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A Christmas for Shacktown

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Please enjoy another Carl Barks Christmas classic. It teaches us, like Lubitsch’s The Shop Around the Corner (so much better than that other Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie), that happiness during the holidays can be found in commercialism, instead of the usual stupid things (family, ‘better to give than receive’, baby Jesus). Yeah, those Shacktown kids are going back to poverty right after the party, dealing with abusive alcoholic fathers and C&C addicted mothers, but hey, at least they get one day of partying, right? And how about that Scrooge McDuck, he doesn’t change or learn a goddamned thing. That’s why he’s the greatest comic book character of all time. (There is a Don Rosa story that ‘tells’ how he finally got all that money out that’s actually pretty good.)

Written by Thad

December 24th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

Posted in comics

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  1. What I always loved about this story was the effortless way that Barks managed to include practically all of the Duckburg characters. When less talented people try to do that sort of thing the story feels crowded, and often rushed as it bounces from all of the players in the story. Not this time though. This is a smooth, natural flowing tale. I’ve always had a lot of admiration for it.


    24 Dec 08 at 7:42 pm

  2. Well, the Shacktown kids got $100,000, so there was probably enough left to see them through a few more days.

    Barks tends to idealize poor kids. You’d think there’d be some bitterness in them, but they practically wear halos in this story.

    But that’s my only beef. Otherwise this story is amazing. Scrooge has never been nastier and at the same time – never funnier. I love the expression on Donald’s face when Scrooge asks him how many bowls of oatmeal he ate. And then there’s Gladstone’s line when Donald asks for money. – “Never have the stuff. Never need it.” It’s remarkable how perfectly detailed Barks’ art is and at the same time it looks effortless.


    26 Dec 08 at 8:54 pm

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