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Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes Hardcover – December 5, 2011
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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“A priceless part of our literary heritage.”
- George Lucas
“Mr. Barks taught me that comics could be high art, and I consider his work to be the best storytelling I’ve experienced in any form. …Fantagraphics… is publishing the Barks collection in beautiful hardcover books that do great honor to the cartoonist and his stories, and I can’t wait to buy them for my kids. Proof that great storytelling endures from generation to generation.”
- Jeff Kinney (author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series)
“Carl Barks was a great storyteller… We had a deep appreciation of [his] comics when we were kids. We read his stories over and over again. Nobody knew his name. We just called him ‘The Good Artist’ because he was so much better than all the other Disney artists.”
- R. Crumb
“The Hans Christian Andersen of comic books.”
- Will Eisner
“Even the silliest premise, when executed by an artist in perfect control of his gifts, can land with deftness and grace - that's something that strikes you again and again as you read Barks' work. …[T]his collection makes a perfect introduction to one of the greatest all-ages comics artists of all time.”
- Glen Weldon, NPR - Monkey See
“Barks’ strips combine high adventure with humor and subtle cultural commentaries, but they remain grounded in character... Lost in the Andes is a gorgeously packaged collection of some of the finest comics ever made.”
- Garrett Martin, Paste
“This volume reprints tales from December 1948 through August 1949, when Barks was in high feather as a creator of breathless adventures and light comedies for his Ducks... Great pop culture, great analysis. Scrooge is always searching for more gold, and there’s plenty here. [Rating] 10/10”
- Michael Barrett, PopMatters
“(Starred Review) One of comics' revered masters gets a fresh new reprinting worthy of his work and accessible to kids.... This volume finds [Barks] at a creative peak, combining the bold adventuring of Tintin with the wisely cynical view of human weakness of John Stanley…. A wonderful project that should put Barks’s name in front of new generations of admirers.”
- Publishers Weekly
“The initial volume in the Barks series is... all pleasure, a treasury of deceptively simple gag and adventure stories that fashioned with wit, irony, and impeccable craftsmanship…. The longer stories here... are suspenseful, surprising, funny, and fresh... These kids' comics are far from kids' stuff -- this is for everyone.”
- Alan Scherstuhl, SF Weekly
“Even now, Barks’ stories are clever and funny, as he leads the ducks into impossible situations and then gives them unexpected ways out. And they’re poignant in their own way, too.... And for those who just want to curl up with more than 200 pages of some of the best-written comics ever published, Lost in the Andes has all the square eggs, rubber bricks, golden Christmas trees, and races around the world that any kid or grown-up could ever want.”
- Noel Murray, The A.V. Club
About the Author
Carl Barks (1901-2000) spent most of his life in Oregon. In 1987, he was one of the three inaugural inductees in the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame (along with Eisner and Jack Kirby). He's also a Disney Legend.
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The printing is excellent. The art size is about 98% of the size the comics were published back in 1949, and a little larger than the size in modern Disney comics. You won't notice the difference unless you lay down an original comic book page next to the reprint. The height is less than an eighth of an inch shorter in the book than in the old comics. Contrast this with Archive Editions, which typically reprint old comics about 83% of original size and it is obvious to the eye that they are much smaller. The coloring is very close to the original comic book coloring, except the yellow is a bit brighter and more gold. But it is clearly an attempt to reproduce with honor the look and coloring with which the comics were originally published. It is arguably better since the registration is generally much better than in the old comics.
With one exception, the stories appear to be printed here exactly as originally published over 60 years ago (although I have not compared all the short stories to the original comic books). The exception is "Race to the South Seas". Apparently the negatives for "Race to the South Seas" and "Darkest Africa" (to be reprinted in a future volume) were lost or are unavailable. When these two stories were reprinted in Europe in the 1980s, they were published from redrawn versions by Daan Jippes, apparently re-inked over blowups of the original comic book printings. "Race to the South Seas" is very good (to be expected from Jippes) but there are subtle differences in details throughout the story as well as less subtle differences in the drawings of the South Seas islanders. When Another Rainbow published the Carl Barks Library 25 years ago, it used the redrawn versions of these two stories. The notes at the end of the book notwithstanding, Fantagraphics used the exact same "Dutch Version" drawings that Another Rainbow did two decades ago. Comparing the Fantagraphics book with the Another Rainbow book clearly shows the drawings are the same. Comparing either with the original March of Comics giveaway clearly shows that it is different from both the reprints. Perhaps their intent was to not use the "Dutch Version" of the story, but that IS what they printed. Perhaps they can use modern scanning techniques to restore the original version of "Darkest Africa" before they reprint it. Otherwise the Barks content of this volume is almost perfect in every way. My commendations to Fantagraphics.
The notes and commentary, especially that of Don Ault, are excellent. Young kids will probably skip over the text, but adults will find reading it rewarding. Even long time Barks fans and scholars--I count myself in that number--are likely to find new and interesting facts and insights.
Small things I would like to see in future volumes: Covers and gag pages reprinted with the stories they were originally published with instead of isolated at the back of the book. A table of contents at the beginning of the book.
You can stop waiting. Buy this book. Buy future volumes. It really is Barks done right. The Another Rainbow books were done by fans for fans. They attempted to get it right and did a phenomenal job under trying conditions set by Disney. They made it possible for this and other later editions to happen at all. The Fantagraphics edition is clearly done with the mass market in mind, and it should succeed there, but it can also be appreciated even more by the connoisseurs.
CORRECTION: "Darkest Africa" was not re-inked by Daan Jippes, but by Dick Vlottes. Apparently the version of "Race to the South Seas" in this book is a composite of Barks and Jippes versions, but mostly Jippes. If the book gets a second printing, they intend to use the Barks version, which, unfortunately, was not yet available at press time (and may not be even now).
ADDENDUM, 8/19/12: Most of the relatively minor flaws in this book are corrected in the second reprint volume, Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: "Only a Poor Old Man" (Vol. 12) (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library), which I have also reviewed. The coloring, in particular, uses a shade of yellow much truer to the original. That volume reprints the first 6 issues of Uncle Scrooge and is also highly recommended.
ADDENDUM, 11/29/13: In Walt Disney's Donald Duck: "Christmas On Bear Mountain" (The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library), volume 5 of the series in both publication order and chronological sequence, the overly intense yellows in previous volumes (12, 11, & 6) have all but disappeared, appearing on only a few scattered pages; and even volume 6 was a great improvement on earlier volumes. And the excessively gold "yellow" in volume 7 Lost in the Andes, fortunately, appears nowhere else. Perhaps that can be corrected when there is a true Second Edition (not just a second printing) to this book which also restores Carl Barks' original version of Race to the South Seas. Volume 5 was published earlier this month and, like the other volumes, is highly recommended.
Among the stories included in this first release is "The Golden Christmas Tree," a full comic book length story that I distinctly remember having when I was nine or ten years old. Maybe I'm just trying to relive my childhood, but these comics were beautifully drawn and colored with often funny dialog. Some of the stories I hope will be released: "The Golden Helmet," a very funny adventure tale, "The Lemming With the Locket" with Uncle Scrooge, Uncle Scrooge in the land of Tra La La, "The Ghost of Sir Quackley" and the summer issue in which Donald and his Nephews, while camping out in the woods, become threatened by a forest fire. There was a memorable Halloween issue having a "Will-o-the Wisp" character. These were of the quarterly full-length Donald Duck issues that I always looked forward to as I am now looking forward to the next Fantagraphic Carl Barks collection.
Thanks to Amazon for making this great collection available.
Growing up I read many Walt Disney Comics. One of my main sources was the great "Walt Disney Comics Digest" put out by Gold Key Comics/Western Publications. I liked many of the comics they reprinted, but among the best were the "duck stories", especially the longer Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge adventures, by Carl Barks (tho like many of us, I would learn who Barks was many years later).
There have been many attempts at reprinting this material. The most recently was the softcover volumes by Gladstone comics of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge stuff (include Gyro Gearloose). I have some of those, but not all.
I figured what with all the Duck stuff I'd read, that I would be familiar with most of the stuff, atleast the longer stories. So its interesting to see 'new' stuff.
Now, in this volume they did something that they dropped with the next volume (the first Uncle Scrooge Volume): organizing the stories by type, with the longer stories first, then the 3 pagers, then the 1 pagers.
There are 4 long stories:
"Lost in the Andes"- one of the classic Donald Duck adventure stories. Donald discovered square eggs and an trip to the Andes to find it. And Donald and his nephews do: a strange land of square eggs and square chickens, where round is wrong. A great story. Don Rosa did a sequel to it. (I wish the books Gemstone was doing that paired up the Barks original with the Rosa sequel had continued...)
"The Golden Christmas Tree" is a great Christmas story I had never read before, as Donald and nephews prevent a witch out to stop Christmas.
"Race to the South Seas"- pits Donald against his cousin Gladstone Gander. Gladstone is a super lucky duck, tho he's not that lucky (as seen here). Donald and Gladstone race to the South Seas to rescue Uncle Scrooge. Who doesn't want to be rescued. Uh oh. So things don't quite work out as some expected.
"Voodoo Hoodoo" is another classic with a smaller role with Uncle Scrooge. There is some non-PC ness to this story, with how the Africans are shown. Bombie the Zombie shows up looking for Uncle Scrooge after decades, with a voodoo doll. But mistakes Donald for Uncle Scrooge (he saw him when Scrooge was much younger). The doll has a potion that makes things shrink, so Donald is off to Africa to get the cure.
There are also several shorter stories, 10 pagers, which are great, and then several one pagers.
Also, there is a long introduction about Carl Barks, and the wrap up at the end gives info on the stories, plus relevant covers.
I look forward to the next volume.
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