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CSBG Archive

Silver Age September – Scrooge McDuck and the Hound of the Whiskervilles!

After a month of spotlighting the strange (if endearingly strange) history of comic books (and especially the Silver Age), I think it is worthwhile to show the comic books of the Silver Age that are simply great stories period. Here is an archive of all the Silver Age comics features so far!

Today we look at a classic Carl Barks’ Uncle Scrooge tale from the Silver Age, with “The Hound of the Whiskervilles,” from 1960’s Uncle Scrooge #29. An adapted version appeared as the DuckTales episode “The Curse of Castle McDuck” (while not knocking that episode, as it was fine, Barks’ story is a whole lot better).

Enjoy!

What is so striking about Carl Barks’ work is how much it did not talk down to its audience. Even though he was writing for children, Barks continued to spin rather complicated stories with adult themes (but, of course, in a fashion where the story would still be accessible for a kid to read). Take, for instance, Barks’ commentary not only on the shallowness of society but some criticism (not necessarily ACCURATE criticism, but criticism) of modern art…

Barks always threw in interesting tidbits like that for the readers.

Barks does some good character work…

And then he changes gears effortlessly as he turns the story into a horror tale…

I won’t spoil the ending for you, but it is a remarkably pointed ending (and one that is a good deal more acute than the sanitized ending on the cartoon episode). You can pick this up in the Carl Barks’s Greatest Ducktales Stories trade paperback, Volume 1. Well worth a read. And he did this all in less than EIGHT PAGES, people!!!

11 Comments

Don Rosa did a very good sequel to this story, delving further into the McDuck ‘Mythology’.

Looking forward to seeing this re-presented in the upcoming Fantagraphics reprints!

This was also reprinted for Free Comic Book day a few years ago. My kids loved it.

Eight pages. It’s incredible how rich those stories are. I too, am excited about the upcoming Fantagraphics reprints.

I really believe that Barks was the greatest comics storyteller ever.

was wondeirng if this story would wind up showing up here for loved how even though Carl was writting scrooge for kids he dared to deal with adult issues in the book too. proving a great fit for Disney ducks. can not wait for the reprint.

Weird to see this one under the title “Silver Age”… In my opinion, the term “Silver Age” as used here is only applicable to superhero comics. The various ages of Disney comics (or any other non-superhero comics) probably don’t follow the same history. One could argue that this was a golden age for Disney comics.

I, too, am saving pennies for the upcoming reprints.

Fingers crossed for no Photoshop gradients.

I’m saving my pennies too, but only so that I can dive around in them like a porpoise, and burrow through them like a gopher, and toss them up and let them hit me on the head.

*smiles at buttler*

Barks did take shots at modern art in couple of other stories too, obviously not a fan of nonfigurative stuff…

And yes, as a storyteller he’s one of the greatest comics have ever seen…

Ah, the memories . . .

I remember first reading this as a reprint in a Disney comic I bought in the early 1980s, when I was just a young whippersnapper starting to accumulate a comic book collection. (And I’ve reread it since then, over the years.) It helped that I was already familiar with “The Hound of the Baskervilles” — at least from the old Basil Rathbone movie which I’d seen recently, if memory serves — so I was instantly able to appreciate the joke in the story title!

Brilliant. Carl Barks feels so much more like a cartoonist working in the Franco-Belgian tradition than the American. D’ y’ know what I mean?

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