Fantagraphics is reprinting Christmas-themed classics from well-known comics creators this holiday season. Comics masters Carl Barks and Charles M. Schulz have holiday season reprint packages coming from the publisher this year.
As part of its series reprinting all of Carl Barks' Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comics, this year brings the reprint collection “Walt Disney's Donald Duck: A Christmas for Shacktown.” The 32-page “Shacktown” story is the highlight of the book, as Donald Duck and his nephews seek donations to provide a Christmas celebration for the children of Shacktown, despite the near-indifference of rich Uncle Scrooge. “Shacktown” was originally published in 1951.
Other Barks adventures in this volume include the adventure stories “The Golden Helmet,” which finds the ducks on a quest off the coast of Labrador; and “The Gilded Man,” in which the group hunts a rare stamp in South America.
The book features an extensive series of notes and behind-the-scenes essays by “Duck” experts.
According to the Fantagraphics website, Carl Barks spent most of his life in Oregon. In 1987, he was one of the three inaugural inductees in the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame; Eisner and Jack Kirby were the others.
Another comics Christmas item from Fantagraphics features the characters from “Peanuts” in original stories created by Charles M. Schulz.
In 1963, “Charlie Brown's Christmas Stocking” contained 15 vignettes from the Peanuts cast, with a joke or reflection about the season. The stories were originally created as a supplement for Good Housekeeping Magazine.
The second tale, “A Christmas Story,” was created in 1968 for Woman's Day. In this story, Lucy and Linus explain the meaning of Christmas to Snoopy.
Schulz's has long been associated with Christmas, since “A Charlie Brown Christmas” first aired in 1965. These stories, from the same era, represent similar charm.
According to the Charles M. Schulz Museum (www.schulzmuseum.org), the Peanuts comic strip was syndicated in over 2,600 newspapers worldwide at the time of Schulz's retirement announcement in December 1999.
Schulz and Barks both died in 2000.