DescriptionCarl Barks Donald Duck #26 "Trick or Treat" Censored "Smorgie" Page 21 Original Art (Dell, 1952). Here's an incredible page of Carl Barks art that almost never saw the light of day! Carl's work on the Disney comic book stories published by Western Publishing (under the Dell and Gold Key imprints) has been so highly regarded in the past 40 years that it seems hard to imagine now that a few of his stories were severely edited. The most famous of these stories is "Trick or Treat," based on the animated cartoon, released a few months prior to the comic book version (which itself kicked off the Donald Duck series proper, after years of one-shot Four Color issues). Barks took the somewhat threadbare story of Witch Hazel cavorting around making trouble for Donald on Halloween, and embellished it with lots of extra details, while still retaining the flavor of the original cartoon. In the animated short, the most frightening thing was a jack-o-lantern brought to life by Hazel, but in the Barks comic book version, something much scarier was added: Hazel's pet ogre, Smorgasbord, aka Smorgie the Bad! This wild six-armed, derby-wearing creature was definitely the stuff of nightmares, filling six pages of action that the Western editors cut from the final published version (along with three others from the story).
Fortunately for fans, those cut pages were saved, and have since been reinstated in reprints of the story. This page of original artwork is one of those nine pages omitted, and certainly one of the best; here, Donald thinks Smorgie is simply "the phoniest... figment of the imagination" and proceeds to force him out of his house. The art is in ink over blue pencil on two conjoined pieces of Bristol board (Barks liked to cut his large pages in half, to make them easier to work with and to ship to Western). The combined image area measures 16" x 23.25"; other than one tiny stain in the next-to-last panel and some very light handling in the outer borders, the page remains in Excellent condition.
This is one Halloween treat that is guaranteed to make you smile all year long (although it might give the little ones a scare). It's sure to be the centerpiece of any major Disney or Carl Barks collection; in fact, we love it so much we hate to let it go! We're pretty certain the next owner will feel the same way!
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