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Bizarro Back Issues: Donald Duck and the Tear-Harvesting Christmas Witch (1948)

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Last week, I mentioned that Lost in the Andes, Fantagraphics' amazing new book Donald Duck stories by Carl Barks, had one of the weirdest Christmas stories I've ever read. And for me, that's saying something: Christmas comics are one of the few things I go out of my way to collect regardless of who the creators are and who puts them out. I love the darn things, and over the years, I've read hundreds of 'em, going back through my favorites every year.

And even with all that, The Golden Christmas Tree might just take the fruitcake. After alll, most of the other Christmas stories I've read don't involve a harvest of tears or someone turning into a woodchipper.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Donald Duck In ‘A Christmas For Shacktown’ (1952)

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If you're a regular ComicsAlliance reader, then you already know that I'm pretty fascinated by the weirder comics of the past, but at Christmastime, my thoughts turn to more heartwarming tales. As soon as that calendar flips over to December, 'tis the season for Santa Claus, presents, the occasional talking Christmas tree that Wonder Woman rescued from the Nazis by holding a door shut and talking about how it felt like being spanked. I mean, yeah, they're still pretty weird, but they've got that Christmas spirit!

Case in point: "A Christmas For Shacktown," the title story in the latest Fantagraphics collection of Disney Duck tales by the legendary Carl Barks. At 32 pages, it's a sprawling epic (By Barks' standards, anyway) that hits those beautiful Holiday themes of altruism and the spirit of giving. Although to be fair, it does get a little closer to cannibalism than most other Christmas comics.Our story begins as Donald Duck's three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, are taking a shortcut home from school through Shacktown, the hard-luck side of Duckburg where Calisota's poor gather together in sub-Dickensian poverty. Now, you'd think that a city built around the most successful businessman in the history of the world would be prosperous enough that even the bad neighborhoods would be doing all right, but apparently McDuck industries isn't the proven job creator that you might expect. If I had to guess, I'd say it's probably because its owner keeps three cubic acres of cash in a gigantic bin on top of a nearby hill, but I'm no economist. That's a different Chris Sims.

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Holiday Gift Guide: ‘Lost in the Andes’ By Carl Barks

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With the holiday season upon us, we here at ComicsAlliance have decided to make things a little easier on you by highlighting some of the best presents you can get for the comic book reader on your list in our Holiday Gift Guide!

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Published by: Fantagraphics
Retail Cost: $24.99

This year, Fantagraphics put out the first volume in their Disney Duck hardcovers, collecting the b

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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – November 16, 2011: Square Eggs (One Size Does Not Fit All)

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Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY:
´ Accent aigu
` Accent grave
˜ Tilde
¨ Umlaut

´ THE ADVENTURES OF HERGÉ
Jose-Louis Bocquet, Jean-L

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Don’t Ask! Just Buy It! – July 20, 2011: Comic-Con Blowout Edition

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Reading Comics author Douglas Wolk runs down the hottest comics and graphic novels coming out this week.

KEY:
* Bald men who save the universe
^ Helmets
% Go ahead: smile!
¢ At least one creator appearing at Comi

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Boom! Studios Releases Roughs of an Unpublished ‘Donald Duck’ Story by Don Rosa

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This week, Boom! Studios released The Walt Disney Treasury: Donald Duck vol. 1, a 160-page collection of stories about Duckburg's resident top-blower by cartoonist Don Rosa. Rosa may be best known for The Life and Times o

Donald Duck’s Family Tree Highlights Interspecies Marriage and His Nephews’ Dubious Lineage

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Say what you want about the depth and history that come with super-heroes, but if you want to see the most complex, rich and rewarding backstory in comics, there's only one place to go: Donald Duck.

Under the pen of the

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