Bill Peckmann &Comic Art &Disney 26 Oct 2012 05:53 am

Trick or Treat à la Barks

Note: This is a long post. I was going to post it the day before Halloween, but I thought I’d give you something to do – revisit this classic comic – over the weekend. Happy Halloween.

- I remember as a kid seeing the annual Halloween show on the Wonderful World of Color. Featured was the Donald cartoon wherein Hazel the Witch was introduced, Trick or Treat. Carl Barks went wild with this character and the premise, and it was a treat every year to get the new Donald story featuring the great character. (All that was missing was June Foray’s great voice. But I could play that in my head when I read the comic book. t was her first voice for Disney and her big break into animation voices. She started with a homerun; a classic the first time out of the box.)

Bill Peckmann has forwarded scans of the following story. Here’s his introductory words to the piece.

    In 1952 Carl Barks did a ‘Donald Duck’ comic book titled ‘Trick or Treat‘. It was a rare instance where a Barks story had its origins in a Disney Duck short. (Geoff Blum‘s excellent essay/history of the story at the end post will explain how the ‘Trick or Treat’ book came about.)

    Here, with no tricks and all treats is Carl being at the top of his game, this is the cover of the original 1952 Dell comic book.


Comic book cover

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Here’s the article by Geof Blum writing about the genesis of this comic book story adapted from the animated short.

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(Click any image to enlarge to make it legible.)

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There’s a good post about the color of this strip for the Gladstone publishing version of Trick or Treat. Posted are a number of color guides for that version.

Finally, here’s Carl Barks’ oil painting based on the artwork for his classic comic book.

To be honest, I think this is the best of this series of oil paintings that Barks has done. It doesn’t feel like something overworked and trying too hard. It just captures the spirit of the original magazine as well as the spirit of the animated short from which it was adapted. Not only a Barks gem, but a Disney gem as well.

3 Responses to “Trick or Treat à la Barks”

  1. on 26 Oct 2012 at 2:12 pm 1.Bill said …

    Michael, your take on the oil painting is right on the mark and I also believe that with this and other of his paintings, Carl had the freedom to portray the ‘Donald’ that was always near and dear to him, and not have to follow the lastest and greatest corporate model chart.

  2. on 26 Oct 2012 at 2:19 pm 2.Denis Wheary said …

    Thank you Bill and Michael, for this post.

    “Trick or Treat” was one of many great comic book stories. I’m not sure the animated cartoon holds up as well as the Carl Barks’ version, but I’ll leave that up to you.

    Check out the cartoon here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skdVouumMk4

  3. on 27 Oct 2012 at 1:32 am 3.Thad said …

    Carl Barks had a rough year creatively in 1952. Not only were nine pages deleted from this story because they veered far off from the animated cartoon, but one of Barks’s most important (and greatest) stories BACK TO THE KLONDIKE was also censored. Less pages were removed, but its soul, the too-mature-for-kiddies backstory of Scrooge McDuck kidnapping Glittering Goldie and making her work off the money she stole from him on his claim, was neutered.

    Maybe the real reason for the censorship is that Smorgie the Bad’s tormenting of Donald may be all for laffs and candies, Barks stages it so creepily that it can be downright terrifying. That kind of complexity sure wasn’t found in other comic books in 1952. Thanks for posting the whole story, Michael.

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