Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
We continue the Cool Christmas Comic Countdown with a nifty Donald Duck story from Dell’s Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade #7, “Dinner at Grandma’s,” by the OTHER good duck artist, Tony Strobl!
Tony Strobl is an interesting figure in comics history. He was a brilliant comic book artist, but the series of comics he worked on just so happened to be the same ones that Carl Barks, an even MORE brilliant comic book artist, ALSO happened to be working on, so Strobl tends to be overshadowed a bit by Barks’ greatness. And that’s a shame, as Strobl was a wonderful artist.
The story I’m spotlighting today, “Dinner at Grandma’s,” shows Donald Duck being sent on outlandish mission by Uncle Scrooge to the only store owned by Scrooge that is not doing boffo business during the holidays.
The boys help Donald through one of Gyro Gearloose’s inventions (invention is a stretch of the word) – he found a rare breed of hummingbird that can drag a small chariot at extremely high speeds!
So Donald and the boys head off to Outer Congolia and, I’ll admit, whoever wrote this story leaned a bit too much on the whole “ethnic stereotype” jokes with the Congolians (a lot of pidgin English), but the basic idea of them making Donald their king because they think he is a wizard (and their old king is a tyrant who will not allow them to buy any presents for the holidays, hence Scrooge’s story not doing any business) is a good one.
And his downfall is handled well, as well…
Strobl is a great artist and such an adept storyteller.
Once Donald and the boys are on their way, they must find a new way home since the store sold out ENTIRELY, including the hummingbirds Donald left there when he first showed up! But who bought them but Santa Claus himself!!!
Once home, Donald thinks he has won the big bag of cash, but things are not what they seem…
Scrooge tricking them into thinking they got one over on him so as to hide his generosity was an especially inspired bit.
The rest of the Christmas Parade isn’t great, although Strobl does a fine job on another Scrooge story in the comic (the story for that one, though, was fairly odd – Scrooge can’t think of any good deeds he has done to tell Santa Claus about, but we learn that Scrooge does good deeds all of the time, he just doesn’t pay attention to what he is doing because he is constantly thinking of money. I don’t mind making Scrooge sympathetic, but going out of his way to constantly do good deeds? Seems off to me).