Four Color Comics (1942) 178

It being November 1st, let’s start with a first. Also known as Donald Duck issue seven, Four Color Comics 178 has the distinction of hosting the first appearance of Uncle Scrooge McDuck.

Donald Duck and the nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louis; are dreading Christmas. None have the finances for food or festivities. Donald’s wealthy Uncle Scrooge could change that – if he wasn’t such as skinflint.

As fate – and writer/creator Carl Barks – would have it, Scrooge is whiling his time away thinking up a way to trick his nephew. He decides on inviting Donald and the boys to his cabin on Bear Mountain, hence the story title “Christmas on Bear Mountain.”

Four Color Comics (1942) 178

Four Color Comics (1942) 178

Scrooge wishes to humiliate his nephew. To do so he buys a bear suit which Scrooge plans to don at the appropriate moment and scare Donald.

In the meantime, Donald and the nephews take the bait and arrive at the cabin. The only thing they lack for a true holiday is a Christmas tree. Pines are scarce so they chop down a hollow oak and drag it back.

Unbeknownst to them a bear cub is hibernating in the tree. The warmth of the cabin wakes the cub and he begins foraging for food. The mother, still in the stump, awakes and follows the web prints to the cabin.

Scrooge arrives to find an idyllic scene where Donald has fainted on the mama bear who is snoozing by the warm fire. The nephews are content to play with the cub and all is well.

Scrooge has the group formerly celebrate Christmas at his mansion where Donald is rewarded for his seeming bravery.

Barks packs a lot into 36 pages for the December 1947 comic book.

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