Mythtic Mystery (US 34) - short explanation
Daniel van Eijmeren
dve at kabelfoon.nl
Tue Sep 2 06:34:27 CEST 2003
Barks has described "Mythtic Mystery" (US 34), as "a 16-pager of Uncle
Scrooge and the ducks getting blown into Valhalla (a wandering small
planet that strays into the earth's shadow). This Valhalla is peopled
by dog-faces named Thor, Odin, and other names common to the Norse Gods.
Also Vulcan, Jupiter, Venus, and the Latin Gods names. You'll have to
read Uncle Scrooge #34 to see how I explain away such mythical anomalies
with scientifically provable hogwash. As Louie expresses it: "Another of
childhood's cherished illusions reduced to so many nuts and bolts.""
(December 30, 1960 letter to Malcom Willits.)
Well, Louie didn't express that in the story at all, after it had been
grinded to pieces. As far as I know, the small quote could be the only
left-over of the story as originally intended.
In a March 24, 1961 letter to a Malcolm Willits, Barks wrote: "In the
Valhalla story, the cuts were scattered around, but totalled the
equivalent of 16 panels. My chin hit my knees when I saw that big
half-page stupender I did of Thor and Vulcan and a nephew riding above
the busiest street corner in Duckburg in the golden chariot missing.
Thor's horses terrified, thousands (at least) of people gaping upward
in disbelief. Autos bumper-to-bumper, smoking, clanking. In short,
I gave Vulcan something to be scared about. All wasted effort."
Besides the loss of what Barks has called "the most complicated drawing
I ever did", the damage to the plot line must have angered him. Concerned
as he was to balance fantasy with science, Barks would have taken care
to explain the crucial detail of the "unmagic stone hammer." In its
truncated form, the story gives no explanation. The hammer simply appears
and solves everybody's problems.
BTW. I guess the half-page overview was cut down to a standard-sized panel.
Panel 13.5, to be exactly. The caption and the balloons look remounted.
My eyes hurt, looking at the cuts and apparent mix-ups of story points.
I have put an unfinished investigation of the story at:
If only I could get myself together enough to finish it.
"Asleep in the DEEP!"
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