Home > Disney, Gemstone Publishing > Uncle Scrooge #344

Uncle Scrooge #344

July 30, 2005

Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Fishpond Frenzy and Other Stories

Something is fishy when Magica makes a play for Scrooge’s number-one dime.

Writers: Paul Halas, Marco Rota, Janet Gilbert, Terry Laban & Carl Barks
Art: Marco Rota, Manrique, Romano Scarpa, Tino Santanach & Carl Barks
Colors: Egmont, Scott Rockwell, Pamela Rambo, Marie Javins & Summer Hinton
Letters: Willie Schubert, Jon Babcock & Susie Lee
Editor: Arnold T. Blumberg
Cover Art: Marco Rota & Susan Daigle-Leach
Publisher: Gemstone Comics

This month’s collection of Uncle Scrooge tales is a nice little assortment. There’s nothing mindblowing, but every story is above average and entertaining in its own right.

First up is “Fishpond Frenzy” by Paul Halas and Marco Rota. Scrooge attempts to breed a new species of fish to win a Koi Pond contest with a $10,000 cash prize, but when a ravenous pike makes its way into the pond, Magica sees the perfect distraction to go after his number-one dime. It’s a good story, only upset a little by a last panel that lapses into the cheesy.

Next is “Beagles, Boys and a Bin” by Janet Gilbert and Manrique. The Beagle Boys use a perfume that smells like money to lure Scrooge into a trap and begin a raid on his money bin. Now the only ones who can save his fortune are his great-nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie – with a little help from the Junior Woodchuck Guidebook. This is really a starring vehicle for the nephews, which is fine with me – this is the kind of story where they really shine.

“All You Need is Love” by Terry Laban and the late European superstar artist Romano Scarpa is actually my favorite story this issue. Scrooge’s admirer Brigitta MacBride is dismayed when he begins spending time with a diamond heiress. When she decides to try to become friends with her rival, though, she worries that Scrooge may be in danger. Scarpa is one of the few duck artists (along with William Van Horn, Don Rosa and Carl Barks) that has a really unique style all his own, and it’s a great one that will be missed.

Gilbert and Tino Santanach bring us this issue’s Gyro Gearloose tale, “Big Helper.” Gyro and Little Helper (his light-bulb headed assistant) are dismayed when another inventor and his “Big Helper” steal the show at the Duckburg Invention Convention, leading Gyro to try to improve on his own assistant. But some things, he learns, are perfect just the way they are.

Finally we have a lesser-reprinted Carl Barks story, “The Cattle King” (originally published in Uncle Scrooge #69, May 1967). Scrooge brings his nephews off to his ranch in Longhorn Valley to teach them the cattle business. Things get hairy when one of his old enemies from the McViper clan shows up and tries to rustle his herd, and again, it’s up to the nephews to save the day. It’s a dandy little comedy/western.

Overall, this is a highly satisfying issue, one that would be perfect to sit down and share with your kids.

Rating: 8/10

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