Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and eleventh installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.
Click here for Part 1 of this week's legends.
Carl Barks had a Christmas comic book story that was banned for decades!
Carl Barks is one of the all-time great comic book writers and artists. For decades, he delighted the whole world with his Donald Duck comic book stories and then with his Uncle Scrooge stories, as well, after Barks introduced the adventurous billionaire in one of his Donald Duck stories (a Christmas story, no less!). However, even a creator as great as Barks often had trouble with his editors. You see, Barksked to push the envelope a bit with his stories. Nothing absurd, but his sense of humor would occasionally be too much for what Western (the company in charge of releasing the Disney-licensed comic books) felt was appropriate. Years ago, I did a legend about a famous Barks Christmas story that was edited to remove the original Barks ending.
Today, we look at a Barks Christmas story that was considered so rough that the WHOLE COMIC was pulled, only to be published decades later, mostly intact.
Originally written and drawn in 1945, Barks' "Silent Night" didn't see publication until the 1970s. Courtesy of the Duck Comics Revue, here are some of the pages. The opening of the story actually had to be re-produced by a different artist, but then they got into the actual story, which is about Donald feeling that Huey, Dewey and Louie are too much interested in the commercial aspect of Christmas, so Donald insists that they go caroling...
The problem is that none of Donald's neighbors want to hear him caroling, as his voice is terrible...
Donald is not deterred and he becomes intent on forcing his cranky neighbor, Jones, to receive his caroling...
As you can see, it gets pretty violent.
Donald, though, will not back down...
Finally, in the end, Jones forces Donald to carol for another home, using a cattle prod to force Donald to sing...
This is one of those rare times where I can see where the editor was coming from. For a Christmas story, this was probably a bit too intense. It's almost kind of sadistic, right? I mean, it's really well written and drawn, but probably not appropriate for a kids Christmas comic book in 1945. Luckily, the story was archived mostly intact and so we get to enjoy it decades later!
Check out my latest Movie Legends Revealed - Was there a gender-reversed version of It's a Wonderful Life?
Check back later for the final part of this week's Christmas-themed Comic Book Legends Revealed!