"Santa's Stormy Visit"
Look, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…well, okay, maybe I haven’t said it, but I’ve definitely thought it, dating back to when I was very small: it would be fun to work in a lighthouse. A nice cozy space with a great view—what’s not to like? Okay, so the reality would probably be less cool than my imaginings, but those imaginings are pretty darned nice.
This story’s kind of interesting for someone like me, who likes keeping track of stories where Santa is real versus ones where he’s not. in that one. This time the kids do believe in him, but they’re unambiguously wrong. Ha! I mean, unless you think Santa exerted his benevolent influence to make what happens happen. Which is kind of an unusual theological idea, but we can’t rule it out!
In addition to everything else, this is notable as one of Barks’ first “pet” stories, where an unlikely animal saves the day and is welcomed into the ducks’ home. This one is a big winner mostly because the albatross is just so goddamn adorable.
Even—or maybe especially—when it’s using its karate skills to smash the radio. Look at it in the last panel, menacing the remains of its fallen foe. You want some more of me?!?
Dramatic, and VERY reminiscent of the later story featuring everyone’s favorite frog, Catapult (I would’ve SWORN that I had written about that story, but apparently I’m actually just losing my mind. That’s a relief). It’s very good, especially for an early story like this. No one else at Western could’ve drawn this kind of dramatic ocean scene.
The sailors are so good about everything. Real Christmas cheer. I like it a lot. We can also probably see a bit of the Cuspidora story here.
Good scene of plenitude to end things, with Donald’s puzzlement to cap things off. Barks clearly has things a bit more under control here than he did in “Best Christmas.” It manages to be festive without being schmaltzy. Of course, that’s in part because it’s a different kind of story, but what the hey! Turkeys for all! Though I feel like the coloring makes that one there look sort of gross…
Labels: Carl Barks