Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade (2003 Series) #5
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: The Thrifty Spendthrift and other stories
Who else but Uncle Scrooge has the cash to make all twelve days of Christmas a reality?
Writer: Carl Barks, Guido Martina, David Gerstein, Pat & Shelly Block, Stefan Petrucha, Kari Korhonen
Art: Carl Barks, Romano Scarpa, Tino Santanach, Jose Ramon Bernado, Kari Korhonen
Colors: Summer Hinton, Egmont, David Gerstein
Letters: David Gerstein, Sue Kolberg, Travis Seitler, John Clark
Cover Art: Paul Murry, Donald T. MacLaughlin & Rick Keene
Publisher: Gemstone Publishing
After missing on a Christmas Parade last year, this year it’s back in full force, giving us five Yuletide tales with Disney all-stars.
“The Thrifty Spendthrift” is first. In this Carl Barks tale from 1964, Donald decides he’s going to get a better Christmas present out of his stingy uncle with the help of a hypnosis ray he got his hands on. When the nephews tamper with the ray, though, Scrooge winds up with the uncontrollable urge to buy the most amazing Christmas gifts of all time for the town’s snootiest dog. This isn’t quite the big ball of heartwarming goodness that some of Barks’s other Christmas tales were, but it makes up for it by being really funny. It’s a worthwhile compromise, I think.
“Memoirs of an Invisible Santa,” an Italian piece by Guido Martina and Romano Scarpa – with English dialogue by David Gerstein – is up next. Goofy brews up a batch of homemade perfume to give to Minnie for Christmas, but the strange vapors he concocts wind up turning him and Mickey invisible on the night of their big Christmas party. This is another fun, silly story, but to me it’s most notable because it does something you don’t see too much in the comic books – it brings together the Duck characters and the Mouse characters in the same story. Most of the time, they stay separate, and I like seeing them together once in a while.
Pat and Shelly Block, with art by Tino Santanach, give us “Cookery Countdown.” Donald is planning to give his family the greatest Christmas feast of all time, and how better to do that than with the ultimate in modern cookware? His new purchase, a series of pots that stack up on each other, could help him make a meal fit for a king… but if he screws up, it’ll be fit for someone a little more out of this world.
Horace Horsecollar takes the starring role in “Tis Better to Give Than to Deceive,” a story by Stefan Petrucha and Jose Ramon Bernado. Mickey is disgusted at Horace’s behavior, spending all day shopping for things for himself and neglecting all of his friends. His self-produced Christmas is in jeopardy, though, when he comes under the watchful eye of a notorious Christmas criminal. Horace isn’t really a star character, but this story works very well, with a nice moral to wrap things up.
Finally, Kari Korhonen gives us “Mr. Clerkly’s Christmas.” In a story clearly inspired by A Christmas Carol – but far more inventive than the thousands of derivations we get every year – Scrooge finds himself the target of the watchful eye of the media. The reporters get the idea that Scrooge isn’t making things easy for his faithful clerk this Christmas, so he sets out to fix his image. This is a really funny story, with a nice twist at the end. Probably my favorite story in the book, in fact.
As always, we get a nice collection of Christmas tales from the folks at Gemstone. I’m really happy to have this annual tradition back on the bookshelf.