Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"The Hammy Camel"

Give them credit: that title may have been applied after the fact, but it sounds very much like something Barks would've come up with himself.

Yes, okay. I will now simultaneously drink an intensely hoppy IPA (this one, to be specific) and write this blog entry. Good times. I mean, not "simultaneously" in the sense that I'm drinking at the same moment I'm typing, but...WHATEVER. Happy Third Day of Christmas.

I mean, in a way it's surprising that I forgot about this one; I remember this opening quite well. The contrast between HDL's present and the rest is fun. Also, it cracks me up that Scrooge's idea of an appropriate Christmas present is a postcard.

The progression in Donald's thinking here is interesting, from trying to seem grateful in spite of the shock to just being annoyed about the whole thing. Is this realistic? Probably. At first, the shock is preventing him from thinking clearly, but as that wears off and the whole thing starts to sink in...explosion.

It's also really well-done how HDL's pleas just bounce off Donald, leaving him in the same pose for all four panels. If you look closely enough, you can see that it isn't just the same image copied four times (to me, the placement of his left eyebrow is the most obvious tell), but they're pretty darned close. Impressive.

I dunno about this questionable idea that Camels are the key to finding uranium mines, however. Why uranium in particular, anyway? Is it just because this was on everyone's minds what with the Cold War? Is it just an excuse for the later glow-in-the-dark stuff? Or what?

Seriously, people, washing dishes is NOT A BIG DEAL. Crikey. But, as well all know, it is nevertheless Barks' go-to forfeit in wagers like this. Okay!

I mean, really. Okay, you can think, well, a camel could be useful in trying to find isolated mines'n'things. I'll buy it. But how does Donald think this is going to work, exactly? Does he imagine Abdul's just going to automatically home in on a mine? Seems odd.

...well that doesn't sound healthy. Is he related to the camel in Gottfredson's "Sacred Jewel" who's only drunk when he's sober and vice versa? Hmm.

And that is...nine dollars' worth of soda. I dunno. I know inflation is a significant thing (I'm always surprised by how low characters' salaries seem in period pieces like Mad Men), but that really worthy of such euphoria? Well, maybe it is; maybe my privilege is showing.

This whole thing where Donald's anger gives way to remorse reminds me of his behavior in "Luck of the North." 'Course, the camel is more worthy of sympathy than Gladstone.

Aw...:( :( :(

And THAT is...a pretty accurate summation of how little kids deal with perceived ghosties. Well done!

What never ceases to bemuse me is how blase these old stories can be about radiation. Hint: if you think your camel may be irradiated, immediately move upwind of him and contact a hazmat team as quickly as possible.


And now we get THIS Gladstone-ish bit of luck. My only question is, exactly how long is a glowing camel really going to enrapture audiences? Maybe they'll tune in the first time, and maybe the show'll get some viewership the second time from word-of-mouth, but more than that? I dunno, man. Does the camel actually do anything? Or does it just sit there and glow? Also, isn't the paint going to wear off sooner rather than later? How come this alleged "TV agent" doesn't ask any questions about why this glowing is occurring? SO MANY QUESTIONS.  Clearly, I was lying when I said that that first one was my only one.

And here's another question: do you think Barks had ever...seen a dishwasher? Because this one looks like it would very quickly reduce your tableware to fine shards of crockery. He appears to have conflated it with a clothes washer.

Oh well, that's that. In other news, I finished my beer. Did I like it? Mmm...I didn't love it. I like an IPA to be a little less hoppy, with a more pronounced smokey flavor. Who knows? Your mileage may vary.



Anonymous Elaine said...

This one reminds me of "Code of Duckburg", in terms of the very large mammal given by the boys to Donald despite his financial objections, and the uses they propose for the new pet. Abdul does get new owners, though, so we don't have to worry about whether he ends up at Grandma's farm or Scrooge's zoo.

In that last panel, I love the washing machine for dishes, and I also love how the boys are playing with the rest of the money. I particularly like the pile of coins on the one nephew's head.

December 27, 2017 at 7:40 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Thanks for reviewing this story at such short notice!

I had similar questions about the "ghost camel" TV show, but I presume the TV folks know what's what and will put on some more luminescent paint on Abdul when the current load starts to wear off. Presumably, they quickly realized Abdul as such wasn't supernatural, but it had given them an idea for a show and they decided to keep the same camel because why not. As for keeping audiences' interest, Abdul is a trained circus camel who can perform various tricks, as we saw above; and I conceived of the TV show in question as a fiction centered around the ghost camel, not just a variety hour where Abdul is the only one on-screen.

Also, Gladstone, less deserving of sympathy than a camel? I suggest you and other heartless Gladstone-haters read some of Sarah Jolley's comics, such as this one: , and then reconsider.

December 28, 2017 at 5:30 AM  
Blogger Pan Miluś said...

This is why I fallow this blog to get my news. Other news-blogs have what happened in the word. This one has Disney comics reviews and what beer Geox drink recently which is much more interesting.

December 28, 2017 at 6:30 AM  
Blogger Mesterius said...

Achille Talon: "I suggest you and other heartless Gladstone-haters read some of Sarah Jolley's comics, such as this one: , and then reconsider."

Um... you link to what appears to be a fan-made comic in order to defend Gladstone's role and personality in Disney comics? Also, what does ANY other writer's portrayal of Gladstone have to do with Barks' portrayal of him in "Luck of the North"?

December 28, 2017 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Achille Talon said...

Well, yes, it is fanmade, but it is very well-made, and most importantly it showcases an interpretation of Gladstone's character that makes him sympathetic but is totally coherent with his portrayal in official comics, Barks and otherwise.

December 29, 2017 at 5:36 AM  
Blogger Miguel Madeira said...

Barks seems to have some obsession with uranium mines - see also The Tenderfoot Trap (, where the plot of the story is a contest to win an uraniun mine.

December 31, 2017 at 12:07 PM  
Blogger Jeffyo said...

A long and unsettling account of camels in the U.S. southwest:

July 10, 2022 at 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Offline Life said...

Nice blog thhanks for posting

January 28, 2024 at 7:38 PM  

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