The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 21: Christmas in Duckburg 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.

Christmas in Duckburg

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 21: Christmas in Duckburg was released by Fantagraphics in October 2019.

The top illustration on the cover of this book is from the story The Master Mover and the bottom illustration is from the story Christmas in Duckburg.

This edition of the Carl Barks library is 194 pages, and it includes 17 stories that were published in 1958-1959. 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 Disney Library.

Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 21 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. 22: The Twenty-Four Karat Moon, will be released in April 2020.

Included Stories

There are 17 Disney Duck stories included in Christmas in Duckburg:

  • Christmas in Duckburg
  • Dramatic Donald
  • Noble Porpoises
  • Tracking Sandy
  • The Littlest Chicken Thief
  • The Beachcomber’s Picnic
  • The Master Mover
  • Rocket-Roasted Christmas Turkey
  • Spring Fever
  • The Lovelorn Fireman
  • The Floating Island
  • The Black Forest Rescue
  • Jingle Hi-Jinks
  • The Flying Farmhand
  • A Honey of a Hen
  • The Weather Watchers
  • The Sheepish Cowboys

Christmas in Duckburg is another classic Carl Barks Duck Family Christmas story. This time Scrooge needs to have Donald and the boys deliver a Christmas tree that is taller than Duckburg’s clock tower to win a bet and to spread Christmas cheer…but mostly to win a bet.

Donald and Gladstone compete for the lead role in Daisy’s Halloween play in Dramatic Donald.

Donald tries to catch some dolphins for the aquarium with the hopes of earning some extra money in Noble Porpoises.

Huey, Dewey, and Louie with their uncle Donald try to track down a gold dust mine for their Uncle Scrooge so that he can donate money to build the Junior Woodchuck’s Hall of Science in Tracking Sandy.

Donald and the boys attempt to train a young coyote that trespasses on Grandma Duck’s farm in The Littlest Chicken Thief.

Donald competes against Gladstone for a chance to be her lunch partner in The Beachcomber’s Picnic.

Donald gets a job that he is really good at in The Master Mover. Donald is actually really good at this one thing.

Donald uses a chemistry set that the boys got for Christmas to invent a new rocket fuel in Rocket-Roasted Christmas Turkey.

The day that Donald and the boys have been waiting for his finally here, the first day of Spring. Donald badly wants to go fishing and Huey, Dewey, and Louie want to fly a kite in Spring Fever, but Donald forgets his fishing license.

Donald is an under appreciated volunteer fireman in The Lovelorn Fireman.

Scrooge discovers a new island from watching a tv show broadcasting images from satellites circling the Earth in The Floating Island.

Donald hides in the forest so that the Jr. Woodchucks can find him and rescue him in The Black Forest Rescue. If the Jr. Woodchucks are not able to find him by sundown, Donald will win a prize.

The boys want to win a photo contest in Jingle Hi-Jinks. They get an an experimental camera from Gyro and get invited to travel to Africa as junior cameramen. Donald comes along to help their film, but he ends up being the star of the film when he gets into trouble with some wildlife.

The last four stories in this volume are Walt Disney’s Grandma Duck’s Farm Friends stories. There are some very interesting cameos in these stories.

In The Flying Farmhand, Dumbo helps Grandma Duck scare the crows from her cornfield as a living scare crow. Brer Fox also makes an appearance as the main antagonist who is out to steal corn, chicken, live stock, and whatever he can get his hands on. It is up to Dumbo to save the day.

In A Honey of a Hen, Scrooge visits Grandma Duck’s farm and shops for groceries as if the farm is a supermarket. He ends up buying one of Grandma’s hens named Eggetha to make his some eggs. He grows really attached to Eggetha.

In The Weather Watchers, Gyro gifts a new advanced weathervane to Grandma Duck. Grandma’s goat messes with the sensitive weather vane so that it predicts all sorts of crazy weather.

In The Sheepish Cowboys, Huey, Dewey, and Louie play cowboys riding on Grandma Duck’s horse. They end up switching to sheep which are more their speed when the horse hears Grandma’s call for lunch. Meanwhile, the Big Bad Wolf is stealing Grandma’s sheep’s wool to make his mattress fluffier.

Final Thoughts

Some of my favorite Carl Barks stories are the ones that are themed around our favorite Disney Ducks and the holidays. Christmas in Duckburg is a great holiday story that I had not read before, and I think it is up there with some the classics like Christmas on Bear Mountain and A Christmas for Shacktown. This volume also has plenty of Donald vs his cousin Gladstone. The end of the volume features four Walt Disney’s Grandma Duck’s Farm Friends stories at the end of the volume. It was great to see Barks’ Grandma Duck stories with the appearances of unexpected characters like Bret Fox and Dumbo. Who doesn’t love some Bret Fox?…maybe Brer Rabbit.

We get treated in the back of the book to a few of the fantastic comic covers that Carl Barks illustrated.

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. 21: Christmas in Duckburg

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

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