Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Donald Duck #26

Here is a book that was really tough for me to land. I'd passed on some really lower grade copies and I missed out on one auction that I should have won because I wasn't paying attention. What I wanted was about a very good copy of Donald Duck #26.

While the number was '"26", it was technically #1 of Donald's first comic book series. Before this one, the Donald Duck comics had all appeared under the Dell Comics tryout title commonly referred to as "Four Color Comics". The Four Color title could appear at a rate of several times per month, mainly showcasing some of the many properties that Dell licensed from various film, TV, comic strip, and novel sources. In the case of Donald, the character was licensed (of course) from Disney and all previous issues had appeared as Four Color issues. But with sales blossoming and solid, Dell and Disney decided that it was time to give the cussed Duck his own continuing series. As they reasoned, he'd been featured in 25 previous "Four Color" books, so it was the logical thing to do to start the numbering of his own title with #26.

Thus, #26 is technically #1. And as a #1 book it's in high demand. I have had a really hard time getting a copy for my collection and I am very happy that I have this one. It's not a bad looking book, and I suppose it would grade out at about a 4.0 if I had it slabbed. But I'm going to just keep it around in a mylar bag so that I can take it out from time to time and enjoy that 52-page Carl Barks story inside!

Big kid me is very happy today.

Although I know this story has been reprinted, I've never read it. Tomorrow I plan to take a long, lingering look at this classic Carl Barks Duck story. I'm convinced that Hiyao Miyazaki used the witch from this Barks story as the template for his witch characters in his film SPIRITED AWAY (my favorite of his movies).

The back cover was actually a cut-out project for some lucky kid. You sliced off the back cover, cut out along the dotted lines and--presto!--you had a Donald Duck Halloween mask. And a disfigured comic book. But of course comics were considered throwawy literature back in them thar days. Read 'em, abuse 'em, then toss 'em.


Kent Tankersley said...

Finland has a surprising history of obsession with Donald Duck, which I hope to blog about sometime. Don Rosa is like a celebrity here.

HemlockMan said...

I met Don Rosa once. I'd been warned that he was a total asshole. Indeed, he turned out to be one of the most horrible people I've ever had the misfortune to encounter. Before the meeting I'd been saving some money to buy original art from him and began going through his art to make my selection. By the time a few minutes had passed by and I'd had to deal with him I put the art down and walked away. What a thoroughly horrid person. Later, I was told by some other folk that he's a right wing extremist which seems likely, but I don't know if that's true.

Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

How bizarre. I've met Rosa several times, and he was never other than entirely gracious, nor have I heard about negative experiences from anyone else I've talked to, which is more than few people. Some specific details of what the heck you're talking about?

Nor is he a right-winger; he's made a number of comments that make clear his liberal bona fides.

HemlockMan said...

We had totally different experiences. Mine was horrid. And I'd been warned that it would be but didn't believe it. Alas.

Anonymous said...

I'm about to slab a copy of this comic ...grade could be about a 5-6.0, back page is still intact! I found it in a random middle of no where antique shop for a unbelievably low price, I think its cool that it has some significant history to it!

James Robert Smith said...

Very nice! I had a hard time finding a copy. And they're easy to sell!