It’s been quite a while since good, high-quality collections of some of the best Disney comics were available. Thanks to the good folks at Fantagraphics Books, that drought is well and truly over, with the introduction of their Carl Barks and Don Rosa hardcover libraries, which collect the work of the two best creators to ever grace the pages of Disney comics in handsome full-color collections. Let’s take a look at two recent releases.
UNCLE SCROOGE: THE SEVEN CITIES OF GOLD is the perfect book to give to someone who’s never read any of Barks’ work before, as it includes several all-time Barks Scrooge classics, including my favorite, “The Fabulous Philosopher’s Stone” from 1955.
Here Scrooge goes on an around-the-world quest to locate the legendary stone, reputed to have the alchemical power to convert all other metals into gold, a quest at leads him, Donald and the nephews to the equally legendary labyrinth of the Minotaur.
This panel absolutely staggered my imagination as a kid. Anyway, when Scrooge finds the Philosopher’s Stone, he gets a little carried away with it…
Not to mention that prolonged exposure to the Stone may not be the healthiest thing:
In another favorite, “The Mysterious Stone Ray,” Scrooge goes head to head with his old enemies the Beagle Boys once more, in a story that includes a great sequence with the Beagles:
This book should be in everyone’s collection. Some of the best comics ever produced.
The heir apparent to Carl Barks, cartoonist Don Rosa, saw the release of his hardcover series recently as well with UNCLE SCROOGE AND DONALD DUCK: THE SON OF THE SUN.
Collecting Rosa’s first thirteen stories, THE SON OF THE SUN, shows Rosa just beginning to learn his craft, and already producing comics of such wit, beauty, and absolute devotion to Barks’ work, it’s staggering to realize that he was for all intents and purposes still a rookie.
Even here, so early in his career, you can see in Rosa’s work the quality that always struck me about it, his ability to combine Barks’ flair for character and emotion with an almost George Perez-like linework and attention to detail.
And the best thing is, there are years more of these collections to come. I can’t wait.