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Silver Age Christmas – “The Christmas Cha Cha”

by  in Comic News Comment
Silver Age Christmas – “The Christmas Cha Cha”

All December 2014, we will be celebrating a Silver Age Christmas, with great Silver Age comics about Christmas. For the sake of this endeavor, “Silver Age” will be defined as 1956-1970 (the annoying part about that is that 1951-1955 sort of fall into no man’s land, as it is not yet Silver Age but also seems to be a bit late for Golden Age).

Today we look at 1959’s Dell Giant #26…

This story, “The Christmas Cha Cha,” as far as I know is the only Silver Age Christmas tale WRITTEN by Barks (he drew another one).

Like many Barks’ tales, this story was a complex one, but this one actually is extra complicated, even for a Barks’ tale. There are so many balls being juggled in this story that it’s hard to keep track of them all!

We open with Donald deciding to enter he and Daisy into a Cha Cha contest at the annual Christmas Ball to win a fancy prize…

In case he doesn’t win, he has taken on a side gig of selling poetry Christmas greeting cards to the ladies in town (Barks here gets in some nice digs at sales tactics, things that would have made a lot more sense in 1959 than today)…

He tries to sell to Uncle Scrooge (he succeeds in selling a single card to him). While there, though, he gets it into Scrooge’s head that the rich people of Duckberg are disliked by the people. So Scrooge decides to do something about it. Meanwhile, Daisy enlists Donald to hang the tree for her women’s club and Huey, Louie and Dewey need Donald’s help on a Junior Woodchuck endeavor of decorating the windows of the local Duckberg shops. In all of the chaos, the greeting card offers are not sent out…

And Scrooge finds himself volunteering to deliver the prize for the Cha Cha contest!

We get some nice sight gags where Donald and the boys try to hang the tree and then Donald discovers that the boys never mailed the orders! He will be a pariah in town, as no way will they get their cards in time to mail them. Scrooge, meanwhile, has decided that the only way to assure that he won’t have to actually give away the prize is to win it himself, so he gets a famous Cha Cha instructor to be his partner in the contest. It looks like he will win, too, since Donald is too scared to show his face in public due to the Christmas card snafu.

Now watch as ALL of the plots come together (the plot about the tree being hung is important because it means that Daisy feels obligated to be Donald’s partner – she doesn’t know that he has been practicing, so she thinks he is still an awful dancer)…

What a great ending! Barks was a master!

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