Back in 2016 a new Norwegian collection of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck was published, collecting all original chapters and the companion stores in one single volume. I remember thinking that I don't really need another Life and Times collection, but it would be nice to have everything in one single bound book. After getting the book I decided this would be the last one… Then in 2019 Fantagrapics published a nice box set collecting two volumes with the twelve original chapters in one book and the companion stories in the other one. Again, I was thinking it would be nice to have a definitive edition in English, but this would be the last one… Well, here I am only two years later holding yet another edition in my hands!
The Complete Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: Deluxe Edition is collecting the original chapters, in-between stories and a few other bonus stories in one single volume. It also includes the articles and bonus material from the Don Rosa Library that was not included in the 2019 edition from Fantagraphics, updated and with more bonus material. And it's printed in a lot larger format than previous collections.
I was a bit hesitant to pre-order this one without knowing more details about the content, as I already have multiple collections of the same stories. The book was originally listed at $125 on online book stores listing it early. I already thought this was too much, but when the book was officially announced it turned out the price would be $250! Some places still listed the old price and I figured I had to be quick about this if I wanted to get it "cheap". So I ordered it from Amazon UK that still had it at the lower price. Ironically if the price suddenly wasn't doubled, I probably wouldn't have gotten the book at all!
I have stopped using Amazon for books if there are other alternatives, as most arrive damaged in the mail. They really are the worst at packaging, and I was nervous about the condition this expensive book would arrive in. And Amazon did live up to my expectation this time too, because the package looked like this when I received it!
|The box from Amazon arrived like this! It might look like it, but I haven't started opening it yet...|
Opening it up you can see they have added some extra paper on top that have little to no use at all!
But luckily the book came with it its own original cardboard packaging and had survived the transport without any damage.
The book is also protected by a nice slipcase.
The only thing that wasn't perfect about my copy was that one of the fold-out pages was folded in a wrong angle sticking out, and that page had been damaged. But this is something that happened during production.
I'm not going to say too much about the content of the book here as there are forum posts, plenty of pictures online and you can find several videos showing and talking about the book on YouTube. I especially recommend Don's signing session on LiveSigning, where editor David Gerstein also talks about the book and what's new in it. But the most important new thing among the bonus material might be the newly discovered panel for Barks' Back to the Klondike, reprinted in an American publication for the first time.
Here is a little size comparison I did with some of the previous English editions.
|From the left: Uncle Scrooge #285 (1994), Gemstone's sofcover collection (2005), Fantagraphics' 2019 edition, Fantagraphics' 2021 deluxe edition, IDW's Artit's Edition (2015)|
As you can see the Artist's Edition is actually a lot larger than the deluxe edtion. But you can't really compare to that one as it's a different kind of product with reproductions of the original drawings. Also, it's not complete as the announced second volume never happened (I really hope we will see it one day!)
Here's another quick comparison to the Norwegian "all-in-one" book:
The comic pages in the deluxe edition are mostly identical to the previous 2019 edition from Fantagaphics. But the colors look a lot nicer on the glossier paper used in the new book. Compared to even earlier editions you can find a lot of tiny changes and corrections, like the color of the Statue of Liberty.
|Uncle Scrooge #288 (left), Fantagraphics' 2019 edition (middle), 2021 deluxe edition (right)|
But I tried to look for changes to the comic pages between Fantagraphics' 2019 and 2021 editions as there should be some minor ones. The first change I found was that the various "to be continued" texts from the original printings are now back again.
|Uncle Scrooge #285 (top), 2019 edition (middle) 2021deluxe edition (bottom)|
I also found this sign change in The King of the Klondike, making the sign look like how we saw it in Barks' Back to the Klondike.
|2021 deluxe edition (top), 2019 edition (middle), Uncle Scrooge #292 (bottom)|
In the same story a minor coloring mistake is fixed, and now the spilled beans are colored.
|Fantagraphics' 2019 edition (left), 2021 deluxe edition (right)|
And I found several places where the background coloring was removed in cases where the art didn't have panel borders. Here's a couple of examples.
|Fantagraphics' 2019 edition (top), 2021 deluxe edition (bottom)|
I just did a quick flip-through at random places looking for these kinds of things, and there are probably more. But don't expect any big noticeable changes to the comic pages compared to the 2019 edition.