The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8: Trail of the Unicorn Review

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library

Fantagraphics launched the Complete Carl Barks Disney Library with Lost in the Andes in December 2011. Since then, they have released two volumes each year. The volumes in this library are numbered chronologically, but they are being released in a different order. For example, the first volume released, Lost in the Andes, is volume 7. Carl Barks Disney comics were published between 1942 and 1966. When the Complete Carl Barks Disney Library is completed, it will have around 30 volumes. Carl Barks is in the Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame, and he is a Disney Legend which makes this library essential reading for Disney Duck Fans as well as all Disney and comic book fans.

Trail of the Unicorn

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8: Trail of the Unicorn was released by Fantagraphics in May 2014.

The illustrations that make up the cover of this book are from Luck of the North (top) and Trail of the Unicorn (bottom).

This edition of the Carl Barks library is 224 pages, and it includes 21 stories that were published between 1949-1950. There are also some supplement sections with a short biography on Carl Bark’s life as well as behind the scenes pictures and stories about each and every story that is included in this edition. It is full of great and interesting information. I am glad that it is included in this volume and every volume of the Carl Barks Library.

Carl Barks Library Vol. 8 is available in hardcover and Kindle\Comixology versions. A link to buy this book can be found at the end of this review.

This volume is also available in a set coupled with Carl Barks Library Vol. 8: Trail of the Unicorn.

The next new release in this series Carl Barks Library Vol. 20, The Mines of King Solomon, will be released in April 2019.

Included Stories

There are 21 Disney Duck stories included in Trail of the Unicorn:

  • Trail of the Unicorn
  • Fractious Fun
  • King-Size Cone
  • Super Snooper
  • The Great Duckburg Frog-Jumping Contest
  • Letter to Santa
  • Toasty Toys
  • No Noise is Good Noise
  • Dowsing Ducks
  • The Gridlocks Gambit
  • New Toys
  • No Place to Hide
  • Tied-Down Tools
  • Luck of the North
  • Noise Nullifier
  • Matinee Madness
  • Donald’s Love Letters
  • Rip Van Donald
  • Land of the Totem Poles
  • Serum to Codfish Cove
  • A Fetching Price

Scrooge sends Donald to Asia in search of a new animal for his zoo in Trail of the Unicorn. Donald will earn 10,000 for bringing the unicorn back to Duckburg. Gladstone finds out about Donald’s deal with Scrooge, and he decides to try his luck at catching the unicorn. In the end, Scrooge gets the mythical creature for his zoo, and Gladstone and Donald both get paid. Donald’s pay day is a tad higher than Gladstone’s amountas Donald knows what the unicorn likes to eat.

Donald plays all sorts of games with Daisy in Fractious Fun. Daisy can tend to be competitive.

Donald and the boys are serving food to the Duckburg community at a picnic in King-Size Cone. Donald let’s the boys each have one cone of ice cream. They make the best of their one cone each by stacking as much ice cream scoops as they can. I don’t blame them. I do the same thing at the serve yourself Pineapple Dole Whip machine at Disney’s Polynesian Resort at Walt Disney World.

Donald mistakenly drinks a formula that gives him super powers like his nephews’ comic book hero Super Snooper. When he tries to demonstrate his new strength to them, he drinks the real medicine which does not include super powers.

Donald is tired of hot dogs so he takes the boys to a fancy restaurant in The Great Duckburg Frog-Jumping. He wants to order frog legs, but that dish is too expensive. He decides that he will go catch his own frog if he is going to eat frog legs. They see a giant frog that has a great leaping ability. After many, so many, failed attempts to catch the frog, they are finally successful. Instead of eating the frog, they enter the frog in a leaping contest and win prize money.

Donald forgets to put his nephews letter in the mail in Letter to Santa. He finds out that the boys want a steam shovel for Christmas and now that Santa doesn’t have the letter, Donald will have to deliver on the steam shovel so that they won’t find out that he didn’t mail their letter. He goes to Scrooge for the money for the steam shovel, but Scrooge feels regret after giving Donald the money when Donald says that Santa will get the credit, not Scrooge. Scrooge and Donald both buy steam shovels, but they crash them into each other due to their competitiveness. It’s up to Santa to deliver the steam shovel, but did the boys want a real steam shovel or a toy steam shovel?

Donald puts some of the boys’ toys in the fire because it is too cold in the house in Toasty Toys. It is still cold, so the boys throw Donald’s golf clubs in the fire.

Donald wants to read his new book in peace in No Noise is Good Noise, but the boys are playing loudly wherever he finds quiet in the house. His only quiet option now is to read his book outside in the cold.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie are playing with a water diviner in Dowsing Ducks. They are determined that they can find water anywhere with their stick. Donald challenges them and tricks them throughout the story, but the nephews really have Donald convinced by the end of the story that the stick is real and can detect water.

Donald picks the boys up from camp in The Gridlocks Gambit. They play a trick on Donald turning their cabin into the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. Donald catches on quick and goes along with the trick, but real bears enter the cabin which was not part of the plan.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie write out their Christmas wishlist to Santa in New Toys. Donald gives the list a glance over and noticed that they want a new tricycle, scooter, and coaster wagon. They already have those items in the back yard, and they are in new condition. Donald tells them they won’t get new items until the older toys are worn out. The boys go get delivery jobs to try to pay for the new toys, but they end up wrecking the old ones in the process. Donald has a change of heart and boys the boys new toys exactly like they wished for. The boys end up giving the new toys to less fortunate kids that do not have toys to play with. They end up fixing up their older toys in this heartwarming story of Christmas spirit.

Donald tried to find the perfect hiding places for his nephews’ Christmas presents in No Place to Hide. There is no such thing as a perfect hiding place when kids are involved.

The boys get some new tools for Christmas in Tied-Down Tools. Donald chains the tools to the wall so that they cause less destruction to his house.

Gladstone Gander brags to his cousin, Donald, about his good luck in Luck of the North. Donald is tired of hearing about it so he draws a fake map to a mine in Antarctica. Donald proves that he has a conscience after all when he tries to track down Gladstone up north to make sure that nothing bad happens to him.

The boys are playing a little too loud for Donald to read in Noise Nullifier. Donald takes him on a field trip to the only place where he knows that they will be quiet enough for him to read, the library.

Donald is an usher at a movie theater in Matinee Madness. He makes sure to clear a path for the kids leaving the theater after a kid matinee.

After a big fight with Donald, Daisy returns some of his belongings in Donald’s Love Letters. Donald rereads some of the love letters that Daisy returned to him, and he is really embarrassed by some of his love slang that he used in the letters. The letters are accidentally transported into Gladstone’s possession by Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Donald has many failed attempts to get the letters back from Gladstone. Daisy has a change of heart and realizes that she gave Donald love letters from Gladstone not Donald. Gladstone gets mad when he discovers that Daisy gave his letters to Donald. This was a great surprise twist.

Donald takes the boys down south for the winter in Rip Van Donald, but the boys would rather stay up north in the snow. Donald falls asleep by a tree, and the boys pull a Rip Van Wrinkle on him by making him think he wakes up in 1990. Carl Barks comes up with a lot of great ideas of what he thinks the world will look like in 1990. By the end of the story the Duck Family is back north for the Winter.

Donald gets a job as a calliope salesman in Land of the Totem Poles. His boss challenges him by assigning him to the Kickmiquik River territory in British Columbia.

After hearing their uncle brag about how he is the best skier around, the boys volunteer him to deliver Serum to Codfish Cove. Spies have switched the serum for top secret rocket ship plans. Huey, Dewey, and Louie are able to stop the spies from receiving the plans and switch the plans for the serum so that Donald can complete the task. The town of Codfish Cove is saved, and Donald still believes that he is the best skier.

Donald challenges a dog to bring back a stick that he throws in A Fetching Price. The dog fetches a bill from a shop owner when Donald accidentally throws the stick through a store window.

Final Thoughts

This is a nice collection of stories by the master, Carl Barks. I especially loved the Trail of the Unicorn story. This is a great example of why we keep bringing up to fans of the new DuckTales to read the source material comics. This is the story of the unicorn that is in Scrooge’s second secret vault that you may remember from the DuckTales (2017) episode “The Other Bin of Scrooge McDuck.”

Some other highlights include some great Duck family Christmas stories and more classic Donald vs Gladstone. Carl Bark’s predictions of what 1990 will look like In Rip Van Donald is also entertaining.

In this volume, we are treated to a one page Introduction on Carl Barks by Jeff Kinney who Illustrated and authored the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

The behind the scenes content on each story really completes this volume for a comprehensive experience. I can’t wait to read through the rest of the volumes in the Carl Barks Library.

As a reminder: It would take a lot of time and money to compile a comic collection that included all of these stories. Anything that takes a lot of time and money would not be approved by Scrooge McDuck.

Thank you to Fantagraphics for allowing us to go through this Disney Duck journey. I feel smarter for increasing my Disney Duck knowledge base by reading this volume.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND!

You can order the book at the following links:

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 8: Trail of the Unicorn

Walt Disney’s Donald Duck: “Lost in the Andes” & “Trail of the Unicorn” Gift Box Set (The Complete Carl Barks Library)

*By purchasing from Amazon.com through this link above, you are supporting DuckTalks at no additional cost to yourself!

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