Here’s #31! Click here for the master list!
Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #31
In 1942, Dorothy Strebe, of Disney’s publications department (which was being handled by Western Comics at the time), sent a plot to a former DC animator who was to write and draw his first story for the Disney comic, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories.
Her note said “Here is a 10-page story for Donald Duck. Hope that you like it … you are to stage it, of course … and if you see that it can be strengthened, or that it deviates from Donald either in narration or action, please make the improvements.”
The pay for the issue was $12.50 for each page.
Disney must have been impressed with what he came up with, because they allowed him to write the next issue by himself, and so began Carl Barks’ legendary career doing Disney comic books.
In this issue, the story by Barks was about Donald and his nephews putting together a victory garden. Victory gardens were something that American did during World War II to grow vegetables to supplement the US economy during the war.
Donald’s plan, though, is threatened by some dastardly crows!
Amazing Spider-Man #31, with the first Gwen Stacy and Harry Osborn (and the beginning of the classic Master Planner storyline), definitely gives this issue a run for its money, but ultimately, Barks is more important to comic history than either of those characters.
Other notable #31s were, I dunno, pretty much every issue of Moore’s Swamp Thing was great, same with Lee/Kirby’s FF, Morrison’s Doom Patrol and Gaiman’s Sandman – nothing jumps out, though – not like first Barks’ Disney story or first Gwen/Harry.