Harry Gladstone's Birthday Bugaboo

David A Gerstein David.A.Gerstein at williams.edu
Wed Mar 9 02:10:12 CET 1994

	Harry Fluks described some info from a German fanzine:

	"In Whitman's Donald Duck 169 (I think), there was the story 
"Birthday Bugaboo" which seemed to be inspired by Barks and sold much 
better than other Whitman comics.  I remember having seen 1/2 page of 
Barks sketches for this story, published in the Carl Barks Library. 
The story was done by Harry Gladstone [head of Disney merchandise art
in New York, Mark Mayerson said].

	"Has anyone seen this story? Is it good? If so, is it worth 
reprinting?  Whatever happend to Harry?"


	At last I know that this story is not a figment of my
imagination!!!  I saw it some years ago at a friend's home.  It was in
her son's collection, tattered and coverless.  At the time I borrowed
it to suggest the story to Disney (this was about 1990), but I was
unable to get through to Bob Foster for a time and it somehow slipped
through the cracks.  Later on when he had a chance to listen to me,
I'd returned the comic to my friend's home, and never have seen it

	I assumed, at the time, that this was a Vicar story which
someone had gone to the trouble of lettering in a good imitation of
Barks' lettering.  The lettering was JUST like Barks' 1940s lettering,
with the sole exception of the exclamation points, which were
italicized here.  My only confusion was that the story had a W code at
the left corner of the splash.  Well, well...

	The story is about the kids adopting a stray dog, who they
nickname "Alley" because they found him in one.  Dog is a dead ringer
for the dog wallowing in the garden on the first page of "Too Many
Pets" if I recall.  Anyway, after some fairly standard mishaps (dog
following the ducks on a picnic, I think) Donald refuses to let the
kids keep the dog.  After some kind of catastrophe Donald ends up in
the rapids of a river (I can't remember how this happened!)  The kids
decide that they'll refuse to save Donald until he's told them they
can keep Alley.  Donald is rescued.  And as the ducks walk into the
distance, Donald asks the boys, "You'd have saved me if I hadn't told
you you could keep him, right? .... Well, answer me! ... ANSWER ME!

	It's a very mid-'40s style story in the personalities --
the ducks are very much at odds with each other, and furthermore the 
ending has a very "gothic" look as dark shading sets in over the last 
panel...  This is an unsettling story.

	The Ducks are drawn as they were about 1956, presumably
because Western hated printing stories where Donald had a longer bill.
That's why they seldom reprinted stories from before the late 1950s
until a change of heart around 1982 (too late!);  that's ALSO why they

	The Ducks lack pie-eyes in "Birthday Bugaboo" and have a rigid
look now and then if I recall.  However, the story is much better
than, say, Tony Strobl's stuff.  Some panels are really good.

MAGAZINE SAY?  WAK!  WAK!  WAK!  I'm completely staggered by this...
looks like Barks began a new Duck story at some point, and never
finished it so that this Harry Gladstone had to do that.

	I never thought I would hear anything about this story again.
Some of me would like to see it reprinted because it's a very rare
attempt by Whitman to correct what they did wrong for years.  But then
again, it's not one of the all-time greats...  But if Barks did
anything for it, it should definitely be in the CBLDDAIC, and it's
good enough that it doesn't need to be redrawn...

	I got DD 284 and D&M 23 today at last.  DD 284 is superb,
although I wish the ten-pagers could be Dutch ones now and then.  D&M
23 had a superb cover (Hey!  First Mau Heymans work to see print
here!), but I don't like "Don't Call Me Tut!" as much as "Goofy Midas"
and feel that this is not the type of story that serialization works
with.  I wouldn't mind seeing, say, one of these stories per year, but
it should be put in a 64-page issue like #20.

	Anyone have the Danish reprint series, so that we can know
what the topic was of the Donald strip for 3-3-38, which was banned
from reprint?  We'll see what happens...

	The most offensive AT strip I have ever seen dated from 1941,
and I saw it in WDC&S 30 (part of my own collection).  Donald gets a
job at a circus sideshow imagining himself as a ringmaster, but ends
up painted black with a red beak, billed as the son of the circus
"Ubangi".  Don't bet on seeing it reprinted -- outside of a "complete
AT library," I wouldn't want to.

	David Gerstein

	"I'm the Fuller Brush Man!  I'm givin' g'way a free semple!"
	<David.A.Gerstein at williams.edu>

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