Fantagraphics Disney Masters Vol. 18: Pie in the Sky Review

Disney Masters

Fantagraphics launched the Disney Masters Series with Vol. 1: The Delta Dimension in May 2018. Since then they have published a few new volumes in the Disney Masters series each year. Volumes have been alternating between the central character and story being Mickey Mouse related or Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge.

Fantagraphics presents Disney Masters – acclaimed artists from around the world working in the grand Walt Disney tradition. Many of these stories are new to American readers and appear here for the first time in English. Fresh new artwork, fresh new adventures, and fresh new laughs!

Disney Masters Vol. 18: Pie in the Sky

Book Description:

Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck battle old foes and ancient curses in wild comics adventures by fan-favorite artist William Van Horn!

Scrooge McDuck is an ace treasure hunter, but is he a flying ace? When Scrooge enters the infamous Flitterwobble Airplane Show as a stunt pilot, he ends up defending his life, his rep ― and his priceless antique Sopwith Two-Seater plane from the bombastic Baron Von Strudel!

Canadian Disney Comics writer/artist William Van Horn has been a beloved Donald and Uncle Scrooge talent since 1987 ― but only his DuckTales stories have been anthologized in modern times. By popular demand, this volume begins a comprehensive collection of his Uncle Scrooge and Donald adventures!

And “Pie in the Sky” is just the start. In “The Amazon Queen,” Scrooge sells a cursed necklace to a fellow treasure collector ― and assigns Donald to deliver it! And then in “Another Vine Mess,” Donald’s nephews’ purchase of a rare Patagonian Wirevine causes the house to be overrun by ferocious, duck-destroying greenery!

Disney Masters Vol. 18: Uncle Scrooge: Pie in the Sky was released by Fantagraphics in September 2021. The stories included in this volume were originally published in English in the United States.

This volume of the Disney Masters series is 200 pages and features Disney Master William Van Horn.

A short biography on William Van Horn is included in the back of the book.

Disney Masters Vol. 18: Pie in the Sky is available in hardcover and Kindle\Comixology versions. A link to buy this book can be found at the end of this review.

Included Stories

There are 32 stories included in Disney Masters Vol. 18:

  • Pie in the Sky
  • A Prickly Situation
  • Tightrope Gag
  • A Sound Deal
  • Fly Now – Pay Later
  • Dime Collector
  • Backyard Bet
  • Floating Alone
  • Large Deduction
  • Tents, Anyone?
  • Lost on a Dog
  • His Money’s Worth
  • Poisoned Palate
  • The Bright Side
  • Shaping Up
  • Heavy Duty
  • Duel Personalities
  • The Three Bs
  • Seafood Blues
  • Quick Trim
  • Tree’s a Crowd
  • Be My Gust
  • Shooting to the Top
  • False Economy
  • Another Vines Mess
  • Call Off the Wild
  • The Amazon Queen
  • Rootin’, Tootin’ Duck
  • Beachhead Bathos
  • The Bees Have It!
  • Snore Losers
  • It’s Bats, Man!

Scrooge McDuck relives his old days of being a pastry chef in Europe making deliveries by plane of his prize winning pistachio creme pies in Pie in the Sky. A rival pastry chef and plane enthusiast, Barn Von Strudel, is back to dogfight Scrooge in the sky as they compete in an antique airplane show. A pistachio creme pie sounds delicious right now.

Scrooge is looking for a plant that he can relate to in A Prickly Situation.

Donald teaches his nephews that anybody can walk a tight rope if they have the right medical plan in Tightrope Gag.

Donald takes a job as a door to door bugle salesman for Blitzkrieg Bugle Works in A Sound Deal.

A fly ruins Donald’s afternoon of peace and quiet reflection in Fly Now – Pay Later.

Scrooge brags to Donald about still having his first gold mine, oil well, factory, and dime in Dime Collector.

Donald makes a bet with his nephews to try and get them to cut the lawn in Backyard Bet.

Scrooge tells the story about how he almost the time that he threw away a million bucks to win a $500 hot air balloon race in Floating Alone.

Scrooge has to explain to a tax auditor why he has a tax deduction claim of sixty two tons of hay to feed an elephant in Large Deduction.

Donald and his nephews are on the search for the perfect campsite with privacy in Tents, Anyone?

Scrooge pays six thousand seven hindered and twenty nine dollars and sixteen cents for the world’s only whistling flea, Baron Itzy Bitzy, in Lost on a Dog.

Scrooge does not think he is getting His Money’s Worth when he sees his high medical bills for his checkups. He expects for those prices that something should be wrong with him.

Donald decides to take up becoming a French chef instead of taking Daisy out for fancy French meals in Poisoned Palate. His strategy doesn’t work out for him.

Donald longs for a long weekend at a cozy mountain cabin is to eat, sleep, and wallow in bed. When his sled crashes down a mountain, he has to look on The Bright Side that he will get to spend the rest of the weekend in bed doing just that.

Scrooge looks like a million bucks after he decides not to join a gym after looking at the membership prices in Shaping Up.

The Duckburg Grant will be awarded in a contest to determine which civic group will have charge of the money in Heavy Duty. The contest is a weight contest for the heaviest contestant that can tap dance to Dixie music. Donald overhears Daisy talking about another Donald heavyweight in town so he attempts to gain weight to be the person that Daisy is looking for.

Donald and his neighbor, Jones, decide that their best way to coexist with each other would be to ignore each other in Duel Personalities. They couldn’t ignore each other though if they tried, and it becomes another competition to see who can ignore the other neighbor the most.

Scrooge teaches Donald about his simple method of accounting, The Three Bs. The Three Bs are two books (accounts payable and accounts receivable) and a barrel (paid in full).

Donald has Seafood Blues when he dreams of great seafood on a cruise with his nephews, and he can’t stand to eat it because he gets sea sick.

Scrooge hires a barber to do his bush pruning in Quick Trim.

Holes, pine cones, and crows interrupts Donald’s relaxation state in Tree’s a Crowd. His solution is to cut down all of the branches on the tree.

Donald enters Duckburg’s annual cake baking contest in Be My Gust. His cake may not be the flattest, tallest, or roundest cake in the contest, but the heaviest cake wins when a whirlwind interferes.

It cost Scrooge a dollar to enter a contest to get a one hundred dollar bill from the top of a greased flag pole in Shooting to the Top. He wins with the help of a canon.

Scrooge shows Donald his economical car in False Economy. The car is economical because it has no engine and can’t go anywhere.

In a big bind to raise money for house improvements, Donald wins a contest with the prize being a magic vine in Another Vines Mess. The vines end up engulfing the entire house.

Donald went camping for the peace and quiet, but the boys brought their animal caller in Call Off the Wild. Donald ends up calling a rare two tone mink.

Scrooge hires Donald to pick up the long lost necklace of Queen Nodalotaluk which was found on his Brazilian Banana Plantation in The Amazon Queen. The necklace comes with a bad luck hex, but maybe Donald can out hex the hex.

Donald dreams of being a well respected rodeo hero in Rootin’, Tootin’ Duck. It doesn’t start well for him in the beginning when he enters the rodeo as a cowboy, but he gets his hero status in the end as a rodeo clown.

Donald and Jones go head to head in a highly competitive sand castle building contest in Beachhead Bathos. Whomever’s castle is standing at the end of the day wins.

Donald wants his gentleman’s breakfast of toast and honey, but Duckburg is on a honey shortage due to a bee strike in Glendale in The Bees Have It! Donald tries to get honey from the bees the old fashioned way, by dressing up as a giant bee himself.

Donald has been having nightly dreams where his Uncle Scrooge gives him a million dollars in Snore Losers. Scrooge has been cursed with the same dream. A dream therapists suggests that the only way to get rid of the nightmare for Scrooge is for him to give his nephew the million dollars.

Donald is a master of pest removal in It’s Bats, Man!

Final Thoughts

This Disney Masters volume is packed with 32 entertaining Disney duck stories by the great William Van Horn. It includes the first ever complete collection of William Van Horn’s early Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge stories and covers. Many of these stories have been out of publication for decades, and they are all collected here. If you have Fantagraphics Disney Masters Vol. 18: Pie in the Sky and IDW’s DuckTales Classics Vol. 1 then you will have all of William Van Horns’ Disney work that he created from 1987-1990.

I love the Disney Masters series because we get treated to stories and illustrations from more great Disney comic creators besides the legendary Barks and Rosa. We may have never had a chance to read these stories outside of Fantagraphics’ Disney Masters series.

I am definitely looking forward to reading future volumes of Fantagraphics’ Disney Masters series. A big thank you to Fantagraphics for sending us this book to review so that we can continue our education and journey through the history of Disney Comics.

You can purchase Disney Masters Vol. 18 at the link below:

Order: Disney Masters Vol. 18: Uncle Scrooge: Pie in the Sky

The next new release volume in the Disney Masters series has already been announced and are available for preorder:

Order: Disney Masters Vol. 19: Mickey Mouse: Trapped in the Shadow Realm

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


  1. Hi, there used to be 2 Disney Masters boxsets released each October, for some reason no new boxsets have bee released or announced yet as far as I know. Any idea if the boxsets were cancelled? Thank you!


    • I haven’t seen a box set listing for Disney Masters volumes since the box set that included volumes #11 and #12. If I hear about any future releases, I will let you know. The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library is getting a box set with volumes #16 and #20 in November.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s