Walt Disney's Donald Duck Adventures 15, September, 1989, Number 15, story 1, p. 2.
©The Walt Disney Company, published by Gladstone Publishing, Ltd.
"The Mad Chemist"
Writer: Carl Barks
Art: Carl Barks
Lettering: Carl Barks
This Donald Duck story, reprinted from Walt Disney's Comics and Stories 44,
May(?) 1944, is perhaps the most famous chemical comic book story ever. When Donald Duck helps nephews Huey, Louie and Dewey with their chemistry set, he is beaned by a flying flask and turned into "Professor Donald Duck, the Mightiest Chemist in the Universe!" Donald invents Duckmite, which he uses to power a rocket to the moon. He recovers from his "Risus Bumpoticus on the Locus Cocus" while approaching the moon, but manages to navigate to his back yard. Among Donald's "chemical talk" is one of the first mentions of methylene, CH2, which
was included as footnote 19 of the paper "The Spin States of Carbenes," by P. P. Gaspar and G. S. Hammond, which appeared in Carbene Chemistry, edited by W. Kirmse, Academic Press: New York, 1964! The telltale panel subsequently appeared in the article "Carbene Chemistry" by R. A. Moss, Chemical
and Engineering News, June 16, 1969, and Organic Chemistry, 3rd Edition, by R. Morrison and R. Boyd, Allyn and Bacon: Boston, 1973. To the best of our knowledge, "Speckled Nitrogen" still eludes chemical synthesis! The story illustrates the fertile imagination and artwork of Carl Barks, the quintessential Donald Duck artist, at his best and offers us an opportunity to include the "funny animals" genre in the Periodic Table of Comic Books.