The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 23: Under the Polar Ice 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.

Under the Polar Ice

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 23: Under the Polar Ice will be released by Fantagraphics on November 10, 2020.

The top illustration on the cover of this book is from the story Under the Polar Ice and the bottom illustration is from the story Mastering the Matterhorn.

This edition of the Carl Barks library is 200 pages, and it includes 25 stories that were published in 1959-1960. 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. 23 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. 24: Island in the Sky, will be released in February 2021.

Included Stories

There are 25 Disney Duck stories included in Under the Polar Ice:

  • Under the Polar Ice
  • The Watchful Parents
  • The Good Deeds
  • Black Wednesday
  • The Wax Museum
  • Mastering the Matterhorn
  • The Master Glasser
  • Tight Shoes
  • Knights of the Flying Sleds
  • Riding the Pony Express
  • Want to Buy an Island?
  • The Christmas Cha Cha
  • The Librarian
  • The Double Date
  • The Framed Mirror
  • The TV Babysitter
  • The Beauty Queen
  • The New Girl
  • Donald’s Party
  • Daisy’s Dazed Days
  • Trail Tycoon
  • Touché Toupee
  • Free Ski Spree
  • The Snow Chaser
  • Mapping Up

In Under the Polar Ice, Donald is punished by the Loyal Order of Marshbirds with a task of peeling five sacks of potatoes. He is not a fan of peeling potatoes so he wants Huey, Dewey, and Louie to help him. The boys are busy with Junior Woodchuck activities that prevent them from assisting their uncle. Donald’s nephews win a trip on a submarine to travel under the North Pole. Donald stow ways on the sub, and he is given the job of peeling one hundred sacks of potatoes.

Donald is a member of The Watchful Parents Club where he promises that he will keep his nephews safe while on a trip to South America for his Uncle Scrooge. The boys have to constantly keep Donald safe from danger on the trip.

Donald learns to good deeds without expecting something in return in The Good Deeds.

The third Wednesday after Red Monday is always Black Wednesday in Duckburg. Donald and the boys are determined to solve the mystery on why Duckburg citizens’ hair falls out on this day.

Donald gets a job as a night watchman at a wax museum in The Wax Museum. Falling asleep in a wax museum can play funny tricks with your head.

Donald and the boys encounter a mountain goat and the Beagle Boys in Mastering the Matterhorn.

Donald is a master of a new craft fixing all of the glass in Duckburg in The Master Glasser.

Daisy goes shoe shopping for comfortable shoes in the Tight Shoes. This is the start of Daisy Duck’s Diary stories.

Gyro provides hovering sleds for the boys to live out their knight fantasy in Knights of the Flying Sleds. Not to be left out, Donald joins in on the knighthood as well.

Donald and the boys take place in a Pony Express reenactment in Riding the Pony Express. A jet carrying a top secret package crashes, and Donald ends up in a reenactment turned real life situation.

Donald learns the lesson that you should never buy anything unseen from somebody you don’t know in Want to Buy an Island? Any guesses on what he bought?

We are treated to another great Carl Barks Christmas story with The Christmas Cha Cha. Donald wants to get a nice present for Daisy for Christmas. He has been practicing the Cha Cha in the hopes of winning a great prize for Daisy. His backup plan is to sell Christmas cards door to door for Christmas gift spending money.

Daisy gets a job as a librarian, but she finds out that being a peacemaker is also part of the job in The Librarian. This story also features Scrooge McDuck having an overdue library book and a lion.

Daisy and Donald going on a double date with Clara Cluck and Rockhead Rooster in The Double Date. This one also features a cameo of Daisy’s nieces April, May, and June.

Daisy decides that framing a mirror is easier than painting a self portrait in The Framed Mirror.

Daisy watches the boys while Donald goes to his bowling tournament in The TV Babysitter. Gyro hooked up a camera and yDonald’s tv to be a nephew monitor so that Daisy can always know what the boys are up to.

Daisy’s beauty wins her multiple contests in The Beauty Queen.

Daisy faces some completion when The New Girl moves into the neighborhood, and then it rained so everything turned out okay.

Donald calls all of his friends to his house for a come as you are party in Donald’s Party. All of the guest were wearing their old clothing for cleaning while Daisy at the moment of the call was all dressed up in a new evening gown that Grandma Duck made for her.

Daisy uses picture icons to write her Dear Daisy diary entry in Daisy’s Dazed Days.

Scrooge brings money along as his only supplies on the trail in Trail Tycoon. He will learn that money is not as valuable to people on the trail as it is to him.

Grandma Duck sleeps in for the first time in Touché Toupee. Huey, Dewey, and Louie help her catch up with chores as well as appease her grumpy neighbor Mr. Bumpkin.

Scrooge visits Grandma Duck’s farm to engage in some winter sports in Free Ski Spree. He unsuccessfully tries ice skating, sledding, and skiing. He discovers that his favorite winter sport is indoor skiing in his money bin.

Gyro’s latest invention The Snow Chaser is used by Grandma Duck to help her clear snow on her farm. She uses it sparingly because the Snow Chaser creates clouds in the sky that could turn into storms. After Grandma Duck’s cow gets a hold of the invention, Gyro has to hurry up and make a Storm Chaser.

Grandma Duck is tired of Mopping Up after Gus. She uses fly paper to trap the dirt on his feet instead of her floor.

Final Thoughts

I could read Carl Barks Fantagraphics volumes of Disney Duck stories all day. The stories in this volume really quacked me up. Daisy Duck stands out as a star in this volume for the Daisy Diary Stories . Grandma Duck also gets a lot of attention in this volume.

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.


You can order the book at the following link:

The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library Vol. 23: Under the Polar Ice

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


  1. Did you notice any censorship that Fantagraphics made on the stories contained in this volume? I am buying all the boxset of this edition and I was shocked to read two comments on Amazon mentioning that this issue is heavily censored. They don’t specify the story but apparently, the original lettering was replaced with a digital one to replace some words like “violent” or “paleface” with others more politically correct. If this is true, this is a very sad day for me and all Carl Barks fan in the world. I really hoped that this was going to be the perfect Carl Barks collection. What am I supposed to do with 20 books uncensored and the final 10 randomly heavy altered? I believe I will not keep buying the next books in the series, and this makes me really sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t notice any specific censorship on my first read through, but I just checked that in the table of contents it says that “Some dialog has been modified.”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Right there with you. I was about to catch up on the new books with some birthday money and have decided instead to track down originals as best I can. Censorship is not to be tolerated. Fantagraphics just lost all credibility.


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