apocryphal Firestones?

Lunnan & Hjort brit.lunnan at chello.no
Tue Nov 16 02:27:55 CET 2004

We were dicussing the existence or not of Santa,
and I mentioned in passing that I find Barks' 8 page 
Firestone 1948 story "apocryphal" and that "it cannot 
be trusted". Thanks for racking your brain since then, 
Lars Jensen, that's nice of you. I indeed placed the 
remark consciously, inviting reactions, because my 
reasons are not strong and will not necessarily stand
up in court.  

So, does the Firestone 1948 story belong to those 
included in the Septuagint or Vulgate versions of the 
Old Testament but not in the Hebrew bible? Did 
Shostakovich (1906-1975) write Shostakovich' 
(1906-1975) memoirs? Again, I'm not really sure, and
there are conflicting pieces of evidence, but I simply feel 
that the Firestone 1948, although decent, classic Barks 
with a nice touch and some good points, doesn't touch 
the Home Ground of Plausibility in my reader's mind. It 
may be my internal scepticism towards Santa himself -- I 
have some difficulties believing he exists, apparently. 
And my plausibiliometer skips a beat when I read 

"It's a telegram from Santa Claus! Let's see -- it says,
"I need you and the boys at the North Pole! If you can
come, let me know by return wire!" -- "How do we
go to the North Pole?" 

"He'll come for us at eight p.m.! Be on the rooftop
ready to go!" 

in the two first panels. This is very different in spirit
and "literary realism" to e.g. the great Christmas Parade 
#1 1949 story, "A Letter to Santa", which has (for me) 
the stamp of authenticity to it. 

When I heard many years after reading the Firestone 
1948 for the first time that it was not 100% Barks, in
that it was scripted by someone else [by whom, btw?], 
I thought "it figures". It still does, for me. Hence my comment.

There's also something with the supplementary Mickey
8-page story in the same comic. It's outside common
mickeyground, e.g. with "real humans" working in the
newspaper. Can I believe in humans with human ears
and human noses? Hm. 

My clear favourite among the "Donald and Mickey 
Merry Chistmas from Firestone Dealer Stores and 
Firestone Stores" is the 1947 one, "Three Good Little
Ducks". It's a fabulous miniature and a splendid vignette. 
The 1945 one, with a glimpse of Grandma Duck, is fine, 
as is the 1946 "Santa's Stormy Visit", while the 1949 
"New Toys" is completely satisfactory but not more, 
on the scale of Barks. 

Who scripted these stories? Are none of them 100%
Barks? Was he given "rough story guidelines" and made
it from there? Are such details known? Of course the
stories were made to be xmassy on purpose, and 
Barks is again to be admired for making them as good
as they are, without too much xmas sugar in the making.

By the way, the commercials work, I have to report.
When browsing through my battered Firestones
1945-1949 I feel a desire to get out there and get a
driver's licence and stop at the nearest Firestone Store
to buy new tires. And you behind the couter, throw in these 
comics giveaways, please. Apocryphal or not. 

Nils Lid Hjort 
... who might report later on about this strange "panel
of scientists" meeting in a couple of days, set up to discuss
the existence or not of Santa. Isn't he Turkish, by the way?

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