The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 12: Only a Poor Old Man 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.

Only a Poor Old Man

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 12: Only a Poor Old Man was released by Fantagraphics in July 2012.

Both illustrations that make up the cover of this book are from the story Only a Poor Old Man.

This edition of the Carl Barks library is 202 pages, and it includes 27 stories that were published in 1957-1958. There is 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.

George Lucas wrote an introduction page to express his appreciation for Carl Barks.

Carl Barks Library Vol. 12 is available in hardcover and Kindle\Comixology versions. A link to buy this book can be found at the end of this review.

The next new release in this series, Carl Barks Library Vol. 21, Christmas in Duckburg, will be released in September 2019.

Included Stories

There are 27 Disney Duck stories included in Only a Poor Old Man:

  • Only a Poor Old Man
  • Osogood Silver Polish
  • Coffee for Two
  • Soupline Eight
  • Fare Delay
  • Back to the Klondike
  • Height of Finance
  • The Checker Game
  • Somethin’ Fishy Here
  • Barber College
  • The Horse-Radish Treasure
  • Follow the Rainbow
  • Itching to Share
  • The Round Money Bin
  • Ballet Evasions
  • The Cheapest Weigh
  • The Menehune Mystery
  • Bum Steer
  • Hospitality Week
  • The Secret of Atlantis
  • McDuck Takes a Dive
  • Slippery Slipper
  • Tralla La
  • Oil the News
  • Dig it!
  • Outfoxed Fox
  • Mental Fee

In Only a Poor Old Man, Scrooge will tell you that he likes to dive around in his money like a porpoise, burrow through it like a gopher, and toss it up and let it hit him in the head. Scrooge tells Donald that there is no greater comfort in life than having a fortune like his. Donald doesn’t see any comfort as Scrooge is constantly stressed about little things such as moths, rats, and spiders causing him to lose his fortune. The biggest stress from being rich would definitely be the Beagle Boys who just so happen to have bought the property next door. Scrooge comes up with a plan to move the money to an old reservoir creek before the Beagle Boys can get to it. This leads to many Scrooge origin stories of how he made his fortune. The Beagle Boys end up finding where he fortune is hidden which leads to a who is smarter than the smarties battle of Scrooge vs the Beagle Boys.

A salesman tries to sell Scrooge some coin polish in Osogood Silver Polish. The salesman offers to polish Scrooge’s coins and then immediately regrets that decision after Scrooge shows him the money bin.

Scrooge gets a cup of coffee for a homeless person in Coffee for Two. The coffee shop had a buy one get one free deal.

Scrooge goes to a car dealer to research a car in Soupline Eight. He gets the information he needs from the salesman and then buys one lottery ticket for a chance to win a similar car.

Scrooge takes a taxi in Fare Delay. He doesn’t step into the taxi until the street light in front of the taxi turns green.

Scrooge takes his family to Dawson to try to collect money he is owed from Glittering Goldie in Back to the Klondike. His Family is suspicious that Scrooge might just want to see Goldie again.

Scrooge needs to change a light bulb in Height of Finance. He can’t reach then light bulb and doesn’t want to use any money on a ladder. So he has to think of a free way to get the light bulb changed.

Scrooge places a risky wager against a familiar foe in The Checker Game.

Donald tricks Scrooge into believing that fish is the new currency in Somethin’ Fishy Here. Scrooge realizes that he must start his fortune from scratch and build his empire of fish currency from his savy business ways. He later in good generosity gives his nephew Donald, his entire fish fortune.

Scrooge needs his sideburns trimmed in Barber College, but he decides to do it himself to save some money.

Scrooge is delivered a contact that says he owes someone his entire fortune because his ancestor, Seafoam Duck, did not deliver a crate of horse-radish in 1753 in the story The Horse-Radish Treasure. The only way that Scrooge can save his fortune is to complete the delivery to Jamaica of the horse-radish crate that went down with a ship that sank to the bottom of the ocean. He has 30 days to complete the delivery.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie want to Follow the Rainbow to get the treasure at the other end. Scrooge is behind this idea until he sees that the end of the rainbow is his money bin.

Scrooge, Donald, and the boys visit the circus in Itching to Share. Each one picks an animal to buy food for. When it is Scrooge’s turn, he feeds the fleas his arm.

Scrooge moves his money to a round water tank in The Round Money Bin in an attempt to hide his money from the Beagle Boys. A round money bin may be easier to roll out away from Scrooge.

In Ballet Evasions, Scrooge learns ballet to avoid people that want his money.

Scrooge wants to weigh himself in The Cheapest Weigh, but he doesn’t want to pay the penny to find out the weight. He talks someone into weighing himself twice and step on the scale during the second weighing. A simple deduction from the first weigh in makes him smarter than the smarties.

Scrooge wants to move his fortune to an island close to Hawaii in The Menehune Mystery. He hides the cash in spinach cans, but the Beagle Boys are able to find out the plan and take possession of the ship before they reach the island. The Beagle Boys make Scrooge, Donald, and the boys their servants on the island. The Duck family is going to need the help of the mystical Menehune that inhabit the island to get out of this mess.

Scrooge gives a homeless man several bags of money in Bum Steer. He pays the man a dime to help him carry the bags across town.

Scrooge has to invite someone to his house for dinner in Hospitality Week. He finds someone who doesn’t eat food that would cost him money.

Scrooge is in search of a valuable coin lost in the ocean in The Secret of Atlantis. Scrooge collected coins of a specific type and year in an attempt to make a coin valuable to win a bet with Donald. The coins were dumped in the ocean and now he has to recover them from the Antlanteans who have taken him prisoner.

Scrooge laughs at people who are jumping in the river to collect pennies in McDuck Takes a Dive. Then Scrooge jumps in the river when he sees a dime.

Scrooge makes a million dollars and takes Donald and the boys our for a soda with five straws to celebrate in Slippery Slipper.

Scrooge’s money is driving him crazy, and he desires to go to a place where money means nothing in Tralla La. Scrooge finds that perfect city in a place called Tralla La. Paradise will never be the same again after the citizens of Tralla La become obsessed with bottle caps as a currency.

Scrooge visits a public library to find out from a newspaper that he struck oil in Oil the News.

Scrooge digs up an entire beach to find a nickel in Dig it!

Scrooge tricks Donald and his neighbor to destroy their houses looking for a made up fortune in Outfoxed Fox. He wants to buy their homes, but Donald and his neighbor flip the script on him.

Scrooge takes the saying a penny for your thoughts literally in Mental Fee.

Final Thoughts

This volume is full of great Scrooge McDuck stories and his many adventures with his family. You can really see how these stories inspired Don Rosa’s stories and DuckTales. We do get some classic Barks’ one pagers, but there a quite a few stories in here around the 30 page length which I loved. Only a Poor Old Man, Back to the Klondike, The Menehune Mystery, and Tralla La were my favorite stories from this volume.

I just so happen to be on a flight to Hawaii when I read this volume which includes a story which takes place on one of the Hawaiian islands. The Menehune Mystery has become one of my favorite Carl Barks stories as I can now relate the story to the wonderful time that I had in Hawaii on my trip. There really is a Disney Duck story for all occasions.

We get treated in the back of the book to a few of the comic covers that Carl Barks illustrated. The covers for Only a Poor Old Man and Back to the Klondike are famous covers that I have seen before, and now I know the stories that go with those covers.

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.


You can order the book at the following links:

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 12: Only a Poor Old Man

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


    • Thank you for your feedback Matt! This is true and maybe something we could have included in the review, but our main goal was to let people know that this volume will be available in September. I know there are quite a few of us who missed the original printings of these volumes and we can’t wait to get our hands on them.


    • Thanks…I fixed the year in the review. I was also doing a review at the same time as this one for Carl Barks volume 20 which was released in May 2019.


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