The Greatest Christmas Stories Ever Told! – #23
The countdown continues with 1955’s “Dinner at Grandma’s” from 1955’s Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade by Vic Lockman and the OTHER great Duck artist, Tony Strobl.
Tony Strobl is an interesting figure in comics history. He went to school with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster and Siegel actually tried to replace Shuster with Strobl on Superman in the early days but Strobl passed, feeling he wasn’t right for the character, Strobl was a brilliant comic book artist, but the series of comics he worked on just so happened to be the same ones that Carl Barks, an even MORE brilliant comic book artist, ALSO happened to be working on, so Strobl tends to be overshadowed a bit by Barks’ greatness. And that’s a shame, as Strobl was a wonderful artist.
The #23 story on the countdown, “Dinner at Grandma’s,” shows Donald Duck being sent on an outlandish mission by Uncle Scrooge to the only store owned by Scrooge that is not doing boffo business during the holidays.
The boys help Donald through one of Gyro Gearloose’s inventions (invention is a stretch of the word) – he found a rare breed of hummingbird that can drag a small chariot at extremely high speeds!
So Donald and the boys head off to Outer Congolia and, I’ll admit, Lockman leaned a bit too much on the whole “ethnic stereotype” jokes with the Congolians (a lot of pidgin English), but the basic idea of them making Donald their king because they think he is a wizard (and their old king is a tyrant who will not allow them to buy any presents for the holidays, hence Scrooge’s store not doing any business) is a good one.
And his downfall is handled well, as well…
Strobl is a great artist and such an adept storyteller.
Once Donald and the boys are on their way, they must find a new way home since the store sold out ENTIRELY, including the hummingbirds Donald left there when he first showed up! But who bought them but Santa Claus himself!!!
Once home, Donald thinks he has won the big bag of cash, but things are not what they seem…
Scrooge tricking them into thinking they got one over on him so as to hide his generosity was an especially inspired bit by Lockman.