Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Favorite Christmas/Holiday Images: Donald Duck # 99. (1964)

Sometimes, simple says it best!
This is certainly the case for the cover of Donald Duck # 99Christmas Album 1964”. (Cover dated January, 1965)

A collection of Christmas-themed short stories featuring Donald, Daisy, Huey, Dewey, and, Louie, Uncle Scrooge, Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose, and Goofy, this was also one of the very first subscription comic books I ever received.

Comic book subscriptions were very handy in the ancient days of spotty newsstand distribution. And, thanks largely to that service; I missed only two issues of DONALD DUCK between 1964 and 1972. They were “factory-fresh”, seemingly untouched by human hands – and still smelled of newly applied printers ink! Ahhhh, heavenly!

But, the comic book subscription came at a price – and not just the “per-issue price”!
Folded over lengthwise by machine (resulting in the dreaded grading term “Subscription Crease” right down the middle), subscription comics from Gold Key circa 1964 would arrive in your mailbox with a “brown paper sleeve” (similar to “brown paper bag” material), upon which was your name and address, covering the “middle-third” of the folded book – with the top and bottom thirds sticking out (GASP!) unprotected!

Bad as this might have been to future collectors, subscription copies took a considerable turn for the worse in 1968. By then, a name and address LABEL was simply GLUED to the upper left corner of the book. Imagine treating a comic book like a common, ordinary magazine… BARBARIC!

Your options were to either leave it there (…kinda okay, since it was YOUR OWN NAME on it), or to try pulling it off. After one or two RUINED COVERS from such endeavors, I wisely decided to leave the labels as they were! One well-meaning aunt actually tried to STEAM OFF one of those darned labels. The resulting horror of that act, and its lasting effect on the book in question, leaves me scarred to the present day! NOOOOOO! MAKE IT STOP! MAKE IT STOP!

Anyway, as I try to stop shaking, please enjoy this fine Christmas image by artist Tony Strobl – and the history lesson on comic book subscriptions thrown in free of charge. …Uncle Scrooge would like that!

No comments: