Carl Barks

Carl Barks

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Carl Barks was an American Disney Studio
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

 illustrator and comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 creator, who invented Duckburg and many of its inhabitants, such as Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck is a cartoon character created in 1947 by Carl Barks and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Scrooge is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a red or blue frock coat, top hat, pince-nez glasses, and spats...

 (1947), Gladstone Gander (1948), the Beagle Boys
Beagle Boys
The Beagle Boys are a group of fictional characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe. Created by Carl Barks, they are a gang of criminals who constantly try to rob Scrooge McDuck. Their introduction and first appearance was in Terror of the Beagle Boys, in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #134,...

 (1951), The Junior Woodchucks (1951), Gyro Gearloose
Gyro Gearloose
Gyro Gearloose is a fictional character, an anthropomorphic chicken created by Carl Barks for The Walt Disney Company. He is part of the Scrooge McDuck universe, appearing in comic book stories as a friend of Donald Duck, Scrooge and anyone who is associated with them. He was also a frequent star...

 (1952), Cornelius Coot (1952), Flintheart Glomgold
Flintheart Glomgold
Flintheart Glomgold is a fictional character in Disney comic books. Glomgold is one of Scrooge McDuck's main rivals, and also holds the title of being The Second Richest Duck in the World...

 (1956), John D. Rockerduck
John D. Rockerduck
John D. Rockerduck is a fictional character from the Duck universe. He is one of Scrooge McDuck's main rivals. His name is a play on that of John D. Rockefeller, the American capitalist and philanthropist...

 (1961) and Magica De Spell
Magica De Spell
Magica De Spell is a fictional character of the Scrooge McDuck universe, a sorceress created by Carl Barks. She constantly steals or attempts to steal Scrooge McDuck's Number One Dime, which she believes will play a vital role in magically obtaining the same fabulous wealth of its...

 (1961). The quality of his scripts and drawings earned him the nicknames The Duck Man and The Good Duck Artist. Writer-artist Will Eisner
Will Eisner
William Erwin "Will" Eisner was an American comics writer, artist and entrepreneur. He is considered one of the most important contributors to the development of the medium and is known for the cartooning studio he founded; for his highly influential series The Spirit; for his use of comics as an...

 called him "the Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Hans Christian Andersen was a Danish author, fairy tale writer, and poet noted for his children's stories. These include "The Steadfast Tin Soldier," "The Snow Queen," "The Little Mermaid," "Thumbelina," "The Little Match Girl," and "The Ugly Duckling."...

 of comic books."

In 1987, Barks was one of the three inaugural inductees of the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

Biography


Barks was born in Merrill, Oregon
Merrill, Oregon
Merrill is a city in Klamath County, Oregon, United States. The population was 897 at the 2000 census.Merrill is an agricultural area and home to an annual Potato Festival...

 to William Barks and his wife Arminta Johnson. He had an older brother named Clyde. Barks once stated that his paternal ancestors were Dutch and his maternal ancestors were Scottish. His paternal grandparents were David Barks and his wife Ruth Shrum. His maternal grandparents were Carl Johnson and his wife Suzanna Massey, but little else is known about his ancestors. Barks was the descendant of Jacob Barks who came to Missouri from North Carolina around 1800. They lived in Marble Hill in Bollinger County. Jacob Barks' son Isaac was the father of the David Barks noted above. Source 1850 census, Goodspeed's History of Southeast Missouri, 1888. Find a Grave.

Childhood


According to Barks' description of his childhood, he was a rather lonely child. His parents owned one square mile (2.6 km²) of land that served as their farm. The nearest neighbor lived half a mile (800 m) away, but he was more an acquaintance to Barks' parents than a friend. The closest school was about two miles (3 km) away and Barks had to walk that distance every day. The rural area had few children, though, and Barks later remembered that his school had only about eight or ten students including him. He had high praise for the quality of the education he received in that small school. "Schools were good in those days," he used to say.
The lessons lasted from nine o'clock in the morning to four o'clock in the afternoon and then he had to return to the farm. There he remembered not having anybody to talk to, as his parents were busy and he had little in common with his brother.

In 1908, William Barks (in an attempt to increase the family income) moved with his family to Midland, Oregon
Midland, Oregon
Midland is an unincorporated community in Klamath County, Oregon, United States, about eight miles south of Klamath Falls on U.S. Route 97. The site was platted in 1908 and named Midland, with a post office established in 1909...

, some miles north of Merrill, to be closer to the new railway lines. He established a new stock-breeding farm and sold his produce to the local slaughterhouses.

Nine-year-old Clyde and seven-year-old Carl worked long hours there. But Carl later remembered that the crowd which gathered at Midland's market place made a strong impression on him. This was expected, as he was not used to crowds up until then. According to Barks, his attention was mostly drawn to the cowboy
Cowboy
A cowboy is an animal herder who tends cattle on ranches in North America, traditionally on horseback, and often performs a multitude of other ranch-related tasks. The historic American cowboy of the late 19th century arose from the vaquero traditions of northern Mexico and became a figure of...

s that frequented the market with their revolver
Revolver
A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. The first revolver ever made was built by Elisha Collier in 1818. The percussion cap revolver was invented by Samuel Colt in 1836. This weapon became known as the Colt Paterson...

s, strange nicknames for each other and sense of humor.

By 1911, they had been successful enough to move to Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa, California
Santa Rosa is the county seat of Sonoma County, California, United States. The 2010 census reported a population of 167,815. Santa Rosa is the largest city in California's Wine Country and fifth largest city in the San Francisco Bay Area, after San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fremont and 26th...

. There they started cultivating vegetables and set up some orchards. Unfortunately, the profits were not as high as William expected and they started having financial difficulties. William's anxiety over them was probably what caused his first nervous breakdown.

As soon as William recovered, he made the decision to move back to Merrill. The year was 1913, and Barks was already 12 years old; but, due to the constant moving, he had not yet managed to complete grade school. He resumed his education at this point and finally managed to graduate in 1916.

1916 served as a turning point in Barks' life for various reasons. First, Arminta, his mother, died in this year. Second, his hearing problems, which had already appeared earlier, had at the time become severe enough for him to have difficulties listening to his teachers talking. His hearing would continue to get worse later, but at that point he had not yet acquired a hearing aid. Later in life, he couldn't do without one. Third, the closest high school to their farm was five miles (8 km) away and even if he did enlist in it, his bad hearing was likely to contribute to his learning problems. He had to decide to stop his school education, much to his disappointment.

From job to job


Barks started taking various jobs but had little success in such occupations as a farmer, woodcutter, turner, mule driver, cowboy and printer. From his jobs he learned, he later averred, how eccentric, stubborn and unpredictable men, animals and machines can be. At the same time he interacted with colleagues, fellow breadwinners who had satirical disposition towards even their worst troubles. Barks later declared that he was sure that if not for a little humor in their troubled lives, they would certainly go insane. It was an attitude towards life that Barks would adopt. Later he would say it was natural for him to satirize the secret yearnings and desires, the pompous style and the disappointments of his characters. According to Barks, this period of his life would later influence his best known fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

s: Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

's Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Donald Fauntleroy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie. Donald is most...

 and his own Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck is a cartoon character created in 1947 by Carl Barks and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Scrooge is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a red or blue frock coat, top hat, pince-nez glasses, and spats...

.

Donald's drifting from job to job was reportedly inspired by Barks' own experiences. So was his usual lack of success. And even in those that he was successful this would be temporary, just until a mistake or chance event caused another failure, another disappointment for the frustrated duck. Barks also reported that this was another thing he was familiar with.

Scrooge's main difference to Donald, according to Barks, was that he too had faced the same difficulties in his past but through intelligence, determination and hard work, he was able to overcome them. Or, as Scrooge himself would say to Huey, Dewey and Louie
Huey, Dewey and Louie
Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck are a trio of fictional, anthropomorphic ducks who appear in animated cartoons and comic books published by the Walt Disney Company. Identical triplets, the three are Donald Duck's nephews. Huey, Dewey, and Louie were created by Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro, and first...

: by being "tougher than the toughies and smarter than the smarties." Even in the present of his stories Scrooge would work to solve his many problems, even though the stories would often point out that his constant efforts seemed futile at the end. In addition, Scrooge was quite similar to his creator in appearing often to be as melancholic, introspective and secretive as he was.

Through both characters Barks would often exhibit his rather sarcastic sense of humor. It seems that this difficult period for the artist helped shape many of his later views in life that were expressed through his characters.

Professional artist


At the same time Barks had started thinking about turning a hobby that he always enjoyed into a profession: that of drawing. Since his early childhood he spent his free time by drawing on any material he could find. He had attempted to improve his style by copying the drawings of his favorite comic strip
Comic strip
A comic strip is a sequence of drawings arranged in interrelated panels to display brief humor or form a narrative, often serialized, with text in balloons and captions....

 artists from the newspapers where he could find them. As he later said, he wanted to create his own facial expressions, figures and comical situations in his drawings but wanted to study the master comic artists' use of the pen and their use of color and shading.

Among his early favorites were Winsor McCay
Winsor McCay
Winsor McCay was an American cartoonist and animator.A prolific artist, McCay's pioneering early animated films far outshone the work of his contemporaries, and set a standard followed by Walt Disney and others in later decades...

 (mostly known for Little Nemo
Little Nemo
Little Nemo is the main fictional character in a series of weekly comic strips by Winsor McCay that appeared in the New York Herald and William Randolph Hearst's New York American newspapers from October 15, 1905 – April 23, 1911 and April 30, 1911 – July 26, 1914; respectively.The...

) and Frederick Burr Opper
Frederick Burr Opper
Frederick Burr Opper is regarded as one of the pioneers of American newspaper comic strips, best known for his comic strip Happy Hooligan...

 (mostly known for Happy Hooligan
Happy Hooligan
Happy Hooligan was a popular and influential early American comic strip by Frederick Burr Opper.Happy Hooligan, the first major comic strip by already celebrated cartoonist Opper, debuted with a Sunday strip on March 11, 1900 in the William Randolph Hearst newspapers, and was one of the first...

) but he would later study any style that managed to draw his attention.

At 16 he was mostly self-taught but at this point he decided to take some lessons through correspondence. He only followed the first four lessons and then had to stop because his working left him with little free time. But as he later said, the lessons proved very useful in improving his style.

By December 1918, he left his father's home to attempt to find a job in San Francisco, California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

. He worked for a while in a small publishing house while attempting to sell his drawings to newspapers and other printed material with little success.

First marriage


While he continued drifting through various jobs, he met Pearl Turner (1904–1987). In 1921 they married and had two daughters:
  • Peggy Barks, born in 1923.
  • Dorothy Barks, born in 1924.


In 1923 he returned to his paternal farm in Merrill in an attempt to return to the life of a farmer, but that ended soon. He continued searching for a job while attempting to sell his drawings. He soon managed to sell some of them to Judge magazine and then started having success submitting to the Minneapolis-based Calgary-Eye-Opener, a racy men's cartoon magazine of the era. He was eventually hired as editor and scripted and drew most of the contents while continuing to sell occasional work to other magazines. His salary of 90 dollars a month was considered respectable enough for the time. A facsimile of one of the racy magazines he did cartoons for in this period, Coo Coo #1, was published by Hamilton Comics in 1997.

Meanwhile he had his first divorce. He and Pearl were separated in 1929 and divorced in 1930. After he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

, where Calgary-Eye-Opener had its offices he met Clara Balken who in 1938 became his second wife.

Disney


In November 1935, when he learned that Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

 was seeking more artists for his Studio, Barks decided to apply. He was approved for a try-out which entailed a move to Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles , with a population at the 2010 United States Census of 3,792,621, is the most populous city in California, USA and the second most populous in the United States, after New York City. It has an area of , and is located in Southern California...

. He was one of two in his class of trainees who was hired. His starting salary was 20 dollars a week. He started at Disney Studios in 1935, more than a year after the debut of Donald Duck
Donald Duck
Donald Fauntleroy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1934 at Walt Disney Productions and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Donald is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a sailor suit with a cap and a black or red bow tie. Donald is most...

 on June 9, 1934 in the short animated film The Wise Little Hen
The Wise Little Hen
The Wise Little Hen is a Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies cartoon, based on the fairy tale The Little Red Hen. This cartoon marked the debut of Donald Duck. Donald and his friend Peter Pig try to avoid work by faking stomach aches until Mrs. Hen teaches them the value of labor. This cartoon was...

.

Barks initially worked as an inbetweener. This involved being teamed and supervised by one of the head animators who did the key poses of character action (often known as extremes) for which the inbetweeners did the drawings between the extremes to create the illusion of movement. While an inbetweener, Barks submitted gag ideas for cartoon story lines being developed and showed such a knack for creating comical situations that by 1937 he was transferred to the story department. His first story sale was the climax of Modern Inventions
Modern Inventions
Modern Inventions is a 1937 American animated short film produced by Walt Disney Productions and released by United Artists. The cartoon follows Donald Duck as he tours the fictional Museum of Modern Marvels. It was directed by Jack King, his first project at the Disney studio, and features...

, for a sequence where a robot barber chair gives Donald Duck a haircut on his butt.

In 1937 when Donald Duck became the star of his own series of cartoons instead of co-starring with Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon character created in 1928 by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks at The Walt Disney Studio. Mickey is an anthropomorphic black mouse and typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves...

 and Goofy
Goofy
Goofy is a cartoon character created in 1932 at Walt Disney Productions. Goofy is a tall, anthropomorphic dog, and typically wears a turtle neck and vest, with pants, shoes, white gloves, and a tall hat originally designed as a rumpled fedora. Goofy is a close friend of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck...

 as previously, a new unit of storymen and animators was created devoted solely to this series. Though he originally just contributed gag ideas to some duck cartoons by 1937 Barks was (principally with partner Jack Hannah
Jack Hannah
Jack Hannah was an animator, writer and director of animated shorts.Hannah was born January 15, 1913, in Nogales, Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles in 1931 to study at the Art Guild Academy. One of his first jobs was designing movie posters for Hollywood theaters...

) originating story ideas that were storyboarded and (if approved by Walt) put into production. He collaborated on such cartoons as Donald's Nephews
Donald's Nephews
Donald's Nephews is a Donald Duck animated cartoon which features Donald being visited by his three nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie. This cartoon is Huey, Dewey, and Louie's very first appearance.-Synopsis:...

(1938), Donald's Cousin Gus
Donald's Cousin Gus
Donald's Cousin Gus is a 1939 Walt Disney cartoon in which Donald Duck is visited by his gluttonous cousin, Gus Goose, who proceeds to eat Donald out of house and home...

(1939), Mr. Duck Steps Out
Mr. Duck Steps Out
Mr. Duck Steps Out is a Donald Duck cartoon made by The Walt Disney Company. The film was released on June 7, 1940 and featured the debut of Daisy Duck. The short was directed by Jack King and scripted by Carl Barks.-Synopsis:...

(1940),Timber
Timber
Timber may refer to:* Timber, a term common in the United Kingdom and Australia for wood materials * Timber, Oregon, an unincorporated community in the U.S...

(1941), The Vanishing Private
The Vanishing Private
The Vanishing Private is a 1942 animated cartoon by the Walt Disney Studios, starring Donald Duck in the World War II years.-Plot:Donald Duck is doing some camouflage painting on a cannon. He paints the cannon with yellow, green, and red stripes with black dots. Sergeant Pete sees it, scolds Donald...

(1942) and The Plastics Inventor
The Plastics Inventor
The Plastics Inventor is a Disney animated short from 1944, where Donald Duck invents an airplane, following instructions from a radio....

(1944).

The Good Duck Artist



Unhappy at the emerging wartime working conditions at Disney plus bothered by ongoing sinus problems caused by the studio's air conditioning, Barks quit in 1942. Shortly before quitting, he moonlighted as a comic book artist, contributing half the artwork for a one-shot comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

 (the other half of the art being done by story partner Jack Hannah
Jack Hannah
Jack Hannah was an animator, writer and director of animated shorts.Hannah was born January 15, 1913, in Nogales, Arizona. He moved to Los Angeles in 1931 to study at the Art Guild Academy. One of his first jobs was designing movie posters for Hollywood theaters...

) titled Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold
Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold
Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold is a comic book starring Donald Duck that was originally printed in Four Color #9 in October 1942. In this story Donald and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie meet a parrot named Yellow Beak and they wind up searching for the lost treasure of Henry Morgan...

. This 64-page story was adapted by Donald Duck comic strip writer Bob Karp
Bob Karp
Robert Louis Karp was an American comics writer. He began working for the Walt Disney Company in the 1930s, and from 1938 to 1974, he wrote the scripts for the daily Donald Duck newspaper strips. These were illustrated by Al Taliaferro and by Frank Grundeen after Taliaferro's death in 1969.Bob...

 from an unproduced feature, and published in October 1942 in [Dell] Four Color Comics
Four Color
Four Color, also known as Four Color Comics and One Shots, was a long-running American comic book anthology series published by Dell Comics between 1939 and 1962...

 #9. It was the first Donald Duck story originally produced for an American comic book and also the first involving Donald and his nephews in a treasure hunting expedition, in this case for the treasure of Henry Morgan
Henry Morgan
Admiral Sir Henry Morgan was an Admiral of the Royal Navy, a privateer, and a pirate who made a name for himself during activities in the Caribbean, primarily raiding Spanish settlements...

. Barks would later use the treasure hunting theme in many of his stories. This actually was not his first work in comics, as earlier the same year Barks along with Hannah and fellow storyman Nick George scripted Pluto Saves the Ship
Pluto Saves the Ship
Pluto Saves the Ship is a comic book story scripted by writers Carl Barks, Jack Hannah and Nick George from a plot devised possibly by a publisher, and drawn by an unidentified illustrator. It was originally printed in Large Feature Comics #7 in 1942, and is one of the first American Disney comics...

, which was among the first original Disney comic book stories published in the United States.

After quitting the Studio, Barks relocated to the Hemet
Hemet, California
Hemet is a city in the San Jacinto Valley in Riverside County, California, United States. It covers a total area of , about half of the valley, which it shares with the neighboring city of San Jacinto. The population was 78,657 at the 2010 census....

/San Jacinto
San Jacinto, California
San Jacinto is a city in Riverside County, California, U.S.A. It was named after Saint Hyacinth and is located at the north end of the San Jacinto Valley, with Hemet to its south. The mountains associated with the valley are the San Jacinto Mountains. The population was 44,199 at the 2010...

 area in the semi-desert inland empire
Inland Empire (California)
The Inland Empire is a region in Southern California. The region sits directly east of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The Inland Empire most commonly is used in reference to the U.S. Census Bureau's federally-defined Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario metropolitan area, which covers more than...

 region east of Los Angeles where he hoped to start a chicken farm.

When asked which of his stories was a favorite in several interviews Barks cited the ten-pager in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #146 (Nov. 1952) in which Donald tells the story of the chain of unfortunate events that took place when he owned a chicken farm in a town which subsequently was re-named Omelet. Likely one reason it was a favorite is that it was inspired by Barks' own experiences in the poultry business.

But to earn a living in the meantime he inquired whether Western Publishing
Western Publishing
Western Publishing, also known as Western Printing and Lithographing Company was a Racine, Wisconsin firm responsible for publishing the Little Golden Books. Western Publishing also produced children's books and family-related entertainment products as Golden Books Family Entertainment...

, which had published Pirate Gold, had any need for artists for Donald Duck comic book stories. He was immediately assigned to illustrate the script for a ten-page Donald Duck story for the monthly Walt Disney's Comics and Stories
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, sometimes abbreviated WDC or WDC&S, is an anthology comic book series that has an assortment of Disney characters, including Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Mickey Mouse, Chip 'n Dale, Lil Bad Wolf, Scamp, Bucky Bug, Grandma Duck, Brer Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, and...

. At the publisher's invitation he revised the storyline and the improvements impressed the editor sufficiently to invite Barks try his hand at contributing both the script and the artwork of his follow-up story. This set the pattern for Barks' career in that (with rare exceptions) he provided art (pencil, inking, solid blacks and lettering) and scripting for his stories.

The Victory Garden
The Victory Garden (comic book)
The Victory Garden is the first ten page comic book story starring Donald Duck that was done by Carl Barks. In this story Donald tries to grow a victory garden but three crows keep eating his seeds...

, that initial ten-page story published in April, 1943 was the first of about 500 stories featuring the Disney ducks Barks would produce for Western Publishing over the next three decades, well into his purported retirement. These can be mostly divided into two categories:
  • Ten-pagers, comedic Donald Duck stories that were the lead for the monthly flagship title Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, whose circulation peaked in the mid-1950s at 3 million copies sold a month.
  • Humorous adventure stories, usually 24-32 pages in length. In the 1940s these were one-shots in the Four Color
    Four Color
    Four Color, also known as Four Color Comics and One Shots, was a long-running American comic book anthology series published by Dell Comics between 1939 and 1962...

     series (issued 4-6 times a year) that starred Donald and his nephews. From the early 1950s Barks undertook the quarterly adventures of Uncle Scrooge and the duck clan in Scrooge's own title.


He surrounded Donald Duck and nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie
Huey, Dewey and Louie
Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck are a trio of fictional, anthropomorphic ducks who appear in animated cartoons and comic books published by the Walt Disney Company. Identical triplets, the three are Donald Duck's nephews. Huey, Dewey, and Louie were created by Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro, and first...

 with a cast of eccentric and colorful characters, such as the aforementioned Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck is a cartoon character created in 1947 by Carl Barks and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Scrooge is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a red or blue frock coat, top hat, pince-nez glasses, and spats...

, the wealthiest duck
Duck
Duck is the common name for a large number of species in the Anatidae family of birds, which also includes swans and geese. The ducks are divided among several subfamilies in the Anatidae family; they do not represent a monophyletic group but a form taxon, since swans and geese are not considered...

 in the world; Gladstone Gander, Donald's obscenely lucky cousin; inventor Gyro Gearloose
Gyro Gearloose
Gyro Gearloose is a fictional character, an anthropomorphic chicken created by Carl Barks for The Walt Disney Company. He is part of the Scrooge McDuck universe, appearing in comic book stories as a friend of Donald Duck, Scrooge and anyone who is associated with them. He was also a frequent star...

; the persistent Beagle Boys
Beagle Boys
The Beagle Boys are a group of fictional characters from the Scrooge McDuck universe. Created by Carl Barks, they are a gang of criminals who constantly try to rob Scrooge McDuck. Their introduction and first appearance was in Terror of the Beagle Boys, in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #134,...

; the sorceress Magica De Spell
Magica De Spell
Magica De Spell is a fictional character of the Scrooge McDuck universe, a sorceress created by Carl Barks. She constantly steals or attempts to steal Scrooge McDuck's Number One Dime, which she believes will play a vital role in magically obtaining the same fabulous wealth of its...

; Scrooge's rivals Flintheart Glomgold
Flintheart Glomgold
Flintheart Glomgold is a fictional character in Disney comic books. Glomgold is one of Scrooge McDuck's main rivals, and also holds the title of being The Second Richest Duck in the World...

 and John D. Rockerduck
John D. Rockerduck
John D. Rockerduck is a fictional character from the Duck universe. He is one of Scrooge McDuck's main rivals. His name is a play on that of John D. Rockefeller, the American capitalist and philanthropist...

; Daisy's nieces April, May and June; Donald's neighbor Jones, and The Junior Woodchucks organization.

No longer anonymous


People who work for Disney generally do so in relative anonymity; the stories only carry Walt Disney
Walt Disney
Walter Elias "Walt" Disney was an American film producer, director, screenwriter, voice actor, animator, entrepreneur, entertainer, international icon, and philanthropist, well-known for his influence in the field of entertainment during the 20th century. Along with his brother Roy O...

's name and (sometimes) a short identification number. Prior to 1960, the creator of these stories remained a mystery to his readers. However, many readers recognized Barks' work and drawing style, and began to call him the Good Duck Artist, a label which stuck even after his true identity was discovered by John and Bill Spicer
Bill Spicer
Bill Spicer is an editor and publisher who spearheaded the 1960s movement away from commercial comics, opening the gateway to underground, alternative and independent comics, notably with his publication Graphic Story Magazine....

 in 1959. After Barks received a 1960 visit from Bill and John Spicer and Ron Leonard, he was no longer anonymous, as his name soon became known to his readers.

Barks stories (whether humorous adventures or domestic comedies) often exhibited a wry, dark irony born of hard experience. The ten-pagers showcased Donald as everyman, struggling against the cruel bumps and bruises of everyday life with the nephews often acting as a Greek chorus
Greek chorus
A Greek chorus is a homogenous, non-individualised group of performers in the plays of classical Greece, who comment with a collective voice on the dramatic action....

 commenting on the unfolding disasters Donald wrought upon himself. Yet while seemingly defeatist in tone, the humanity of the characters shines through in their persistence despite the obstacles. These stories found popularity not only among young children but adults as well. Despite the fact that Barks had done little traveling his adventure stories often had the duck clan globe trotting to the most remote or spectacular of places. This allowed Barks to indulge his penchant for elaborate backgrounds that hinted at his thwarted ambitions of doing realistic stories in the vein of Hal Foster's Prince Valiant
Prince Valiant
Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur, or simply Prince Valiant, is a long-run comic strip created by Hal Foster in 1937. It is an epic adventure that has told a continuous story during its entire history, and the full stretch of that story now totals more than 3700 Sunday strips...

.

Third marriage


As Barks blossomed creatively, his marriage to Clara deteriorated. This is the period referred to in Barks' famed quip that he could feel his creative juices flowing while the whiskey bottles hurled at him by a tipsy Clara flew by his head. They were divorced in 1951, his second and last divorce. In this period Barks dabbled in fine art, exhibiting paintings at local art shows. It was at one of these in 1952 he became acquainted with fellow exhibitor Margaret Wynnfred Williams (1917 - March 10, 1993), nicknamed Garé. She was an accomplished landscape artist, some of whose paintings are in the collection of the Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art
Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art
The Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art is a private art museum located in Boulder, Colorado. It exhibits the private art collection of Ed Trumble, founder and chairman of Leanin' Tree, Incorporated. Trumble is a publisher of fine art greeting cards since 1949...

. During her lifetime, and to this day, note cards of her paintings are available from Leanin' Tree. Her nickname appears as a store name in the story "Christmas in Duckburg", featured on page 1 of Walt Disney’s Christmas Parade #9, published in 1958. Soon after they met, she started assisting Barks, handling the solid blacks and lettering, both of which he had found onerous. They married in 1954 and the union lasted until her death.

Later life



Carl Barks retired in 1966 but was persuaded by editor Chase Craig to script stories for Western. The last new comic book story drawn by Carl Barks was a Daisy Duck
Daisy Duck
Daisy Duck is a cartoon character created in 1940 by Walt Disney Productions as the girlfriend of Donald Duck. Like Donald, Daisy is an anthropomorphic white duck, but has large eyelashes and ruffled tail feathers to suggest a skirt. She is often seen wearing a hair bow, blouse, and shoes...

 tale ("The Dainty Daredevil") published in Walt Disney Comics Digest
Walt Disney Comics Digest
Walt Disney Comics Digest was one of three digest size comics published by Gold Key Comics in the early 1970s. The other two were the Mystery Comics Digest and Golden Comics Digest....

issue 5 (Nov. 1968). When bibliographer Michael Barrier asked Barks about why he drew it, Barks' vague recollection was no one was available and he was asked to do it as a favor by editor Chase Craig
Chase Craig
Chase Craig is an American writer-cartoonist who worked on comic strips and comic books. During the 1940s and 1950s, he was an editor and scripter for Western Publishing....

.

He wrote one Uncle Scrooge story, three Donald Duck stories and from 1970-1974 was the main writer for the Junior Woodchucks
Junior Woodchucks
Junior Woodchucks are the Scouting organization to which Huey, Dewey, and Louie belong. They have a uniform with a coonskin cap. The Junior Woodchucks were created by Carl Barks in 1951, in the story "Operation St. Bernhard"...

 comic book (issues 6 through 25). The latter included environmental themes that Barks first explored in 1957 ["Land of the Pygmy Indians", Uncle Scrooge #18]. Barks also sold a few sketches to Western that were redrawn as covers. For a time the Barkses lived in Goleta, California
Goleta, California
Goleta is a city in southern Santa Barbara County, California, USA. It was incorporated as a city in 2002, after a long period as the largest unincorporated, populated area in the county. As of the 2000 census, the Census-designated place had a total population of 55,204, however, a significant...

 before returning to the Inland Empire by moving to Temecula
Temecula, California
Temecula is a city in southwestern Riverside County, California, United States with a population of 100,097 according to the 2010 United States Census, making it the lowest populated American city over 100,000 population. It was incorporated on December 1, 1989...

.

To make a little extra money beyond what his pension and scripting earnings brought in, Barks started doing oil paintings to sell at the local art shows he and Garé exhibited at. Subjects included humorous depictions of life on the farm and portraits of Native American princesses. These skillfully rendering paintings encouraged fan Glenn Bray to ask Barks if he could commission a painting of the ducks ("A Tall Ship and a Star to Steer Her By", taken from the cover of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, sometimes abbreviated WDC or WDC&S, is an anthology comic book series that has an assortment of Disney characters, including Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Mickey Mouse, Chip 'n Dale, Lil Bad Wolf, Scamp, Bucky Bug, Grandma Duck, Brer Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, and...

#108 by Barks). This prompted Barks to contact George Sherman
George Sherman (comics)
George Sherman was a publicist for foreign markets and then head of the Publications Department at the Disney Studios. Sherman's daughter has described him as "a writer at heart but worked for Disney as a day job."...

 at Disney's Publications Department to request permission to produce and sell oil paintings of scenes from his stories. In July 1971 Barks was granted a royalty-free license by Disney. When word spread that Barks was taking commissions from those interested in purchasing an oil of the ducks, much to his astonishment the response quickly outstripped what he reasonably could produce in the next few years.
When Barks expressed dismay at coping with the backlog of orders he faced, fan/dealers Bruce Hamilton and Russ Cochran suggested Barks instead auction his paintings at conventions and via Cochran's catalog Graphic Gallery. By September 1974 Barks had discontinued taking commissions.

At Boston's NewCon convention, in October 1975, the first Carl Barks oil painting auctioned at a comic book convention ("She Was Spangled and Flashy") sold for $2,500. Subsequent offerings saw an escalation in the prices realized. The buyer of this painting, Jerry Osborne, quickly became one of Barks' close friends. Barks even painted Osborne into the scene of his 1976 "July Fourth in Duckburg." Jerry Osborne delivered the eulogy at Barks' funeral at Grants Pass, Oregon.

In 1976, Barks and Garé went to Boston for the NewCon show, their first comic convention appearance. Among the other attendees was famed Little Lulu
Little Lulu
"Little Lulu" is the nickname for Lulu Moppett, a comic strip character created in the mid-1930s by Marjorie Henderson Buell. The character debuted in The Saturday Evening Post on February 23, 1935 in a single panel, appearing as a flower girl at a wedding and strewing the aisle with banana peels...

 comic book scripter John Stanley
John Stanley (comics)
John Stanley was a comic book creator, best known for writing Little Lulu from 1945 to 1959. While mostly known for scripting, Stanley also was an accomplished artist who drew many of his stories, including the earliest Little Lulu issues. His specialty was humorous stories, both with licensed...

; despite both having worked for Western Publishing
Western Publishing
Western Publishing, also known as Western Printing and Lithographing Company was a Racine, Wisconsin firm responsible for publishing the Little Golden Books. Western Publishing also produced children's books and family-related entertainment products as Golden Books Family Entertainment...

 this was the first time they met. The highlight of the convention was the auctioning of what was to that time the largest duck oil painting Barks had done, "July Fourth in Duckburg", which included depictions of several prominent Barks fans and collectors. It sold for a then record high amount: $6,400.

Soon thereafter a fan sold unauthorized prints of some of the Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck
Scrooge McDuck is a cartoon character created in 1947 by Carl Barks and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Scrooge is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a red or blue frock coat, top hat, pince-nez glasses, and spats...

 paintings, leading Disney to withdraw permission for further paintings. To meet demand for new work Barks embarked on a series of paintings of non-Disney ducks and fantasy subjects such as Beowulf and Xerxes. These were eventually collected in the limited-edition book Animal Quackers.

As the result of heroic efforts by Star Wars
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

producer Gary Kurtz
Gary Kurtz
Gary Kurtz is an American film producer whose list of credits include American Graffiti, Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back. He later produced The Dark Crystal and Return to Oz after departing from the Star Wars series...

 and screenwriter Edward Summer
Edward Summer
Edward Summer has been an award winning painter, motion picture director, screenwriter, internet publisher, magazine editor, journalist and science writer, comic book writer, novelist, book designer, actor, cinematographer, motion picture editor, documentary film maker, film festival founder, and...

, Disney relented and in 1981, allowed Barks to do a now seminal oil painting called "Wanderers of Wonderlands" for a breakthrough limited edition book entitled Uncle Scrooge McDuck: His Life and Times. The book collected 11 classic Barks stories of Uncle Scrooge colored by artist Peter Ledger
Peter Ledger
Peter Ledger was an Australian commercial airbrush artist and illustrator.-Biography:...

 along with a new Scrooge story by Barks done storybook style with watercolor illustrations, "Go Slowly, Sands of Time". After being turned down by every major publisher in New York City, Kurtz and Summer published the book through Celestial Arts, which Kurtz acquired partly for this purpose. The book went on to become the model for virtually every important collection of comic book stories. It was the first book of its kind ever reviewed in Time Magazine and subsequently in Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

, and the first book review in Time Magazine with large color illustrations.

In 1977 and 1982, Barks attended the San Diego Comic Con. As with his appearance in Boston, the response to his presence was overwhelming, with long lines of fans waiting to meet Barks and get his autograph.

In 1981, Bruce Hamilton and Russ Cochran, two long-time Disney comics fans, decided to combine forces to bring greater recognition to the works of Carl Barks. Their first efforts went into establishing Another Rainbow Publishing, the banner under which they produced and issued the award-winning book, "The Fine Art of Walt Disney´s Donald Duck by Carl Barks", a comprehensive collection of the Disney duck paintings of this artist and storyteller. Not long after, the company began producing fine art lithographs of many of these paintings, in strictly limited editions, all signed by Barks, who eventually produced many original works for the series.

In 1983 Another Rainbow took up the daunting task of collecting the entire Disney comic book ouvré of Barks—over 500 stories in all—in the ten-set, thirty-volume Carl Barks Library
Carl Barks Library
Carl Barks Library is a series of 30 books with all Disney comics and covers written and/or drawn by Carl Barks. A few stories were modified, sometimes for production reasons and sometimes in an attempt to remedy censorship in the original publication, restoring the published work to Barks'...

. These oversized hardbound volumes reproduced Barks´ pages in pristine black and white line art, as close as possible to the way he would originally drawn them, and included mountains of special features, articles, reminiscences, interviews, storyboards, critiques, and more than a few surprises. This monumental project was finally completed in mid-1990.

In 1985 a new division was founded, Gladstone Publishing
Gladstone Publishing
Gladstone Publishing was an American company that published Disney comics from 1986 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1998. The company had its origins as a subsidiary of "Another Rainbow", a company formed by Bruce Hamilton and Russ Cochran to publish the Carl Barks Library and produce limited edition...

, which took up the then-dormant Disney comic book license. Gladstone introduced a whole new generation of Disney comic book readers to the wondrous storytelling of such luminaries as Barks, Paul Murry, and Floyd Gottfredson, as well as presenting the first works of modern Disney comics masters Don Rosa and William Van Horn. Seven years after Gladstone's founding, the Carl Barks Library was revived as full-color, high-quality squarebound comic albums (including the first-ever Carl Barks trading cards) - the Carl Barks Library in Color.

Barks relocated one last time to Grants Pass, Oregon
Grants Pass, Oregon
-Rogue River:The Rogue River runs through Grants Pass.-Demographics:As of the census of 2000, there were 23,003 people, 9,376 households, and 5,925 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 9,885 housing units at an average density of 1,303.3 per square mile . By 2008,...

 near where he grew up, partly at the urging of friend and Broom Hilda artist Russell Myers
Russell Myers
Russell Myers is an American cartoonist best known for his newspaper comic strip Broom-Hilda.Born in Pittsburg, Kansas, Myers was raised in Oklahoma where his father taught at Tulsa University. Myers was interested in cartooning from an early age...

, who lived in the area. The move also was motivated, Barks stated in another famous quip, by Temecula being too close to Disneyland and thus facilitating a growing torrent of drop-in visits by vacationing fans. In this period Barks made only one public appearance, at a comic book shop near Grants Pass.

From 1993 to 1998, Barks' career was managed by the "Carl Barks Studio" (Bill Grandey and Kathy Morby—They had sold Barks original art since 1979). This involved numerous art projects and activities, including a tour of 11 European countries in 1994, Iceland
Iceland
Iceland , described as the Republic of Iceland, is a Nordic and European island country in the North Atlantic Ocean, on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Iceland also refers to the main island of the country, which contains almost all the population and almost all the land area. The country has a population...

 being the first foreign country he ever visited. Barks appeared at the first of many Disneyana conventions in 1993. Silk screen prints of paintings along with high-end art objects (such as original water colors, bronze figurines and ceramic tiles) were produced based on designs by Barks.

During the summer of 1994 and until his death, Carl Barks & his studio personally assigned Peter Reichelt, a museum exhibition producer from Mannheim, Germany, as his agent for Europe. Publisher "Edition 313" put out numerous lithographs. In 1997, tensions between Barks and the Studio eventually resulted in a lawsuit that was settled with an agreement that included the disbanding of the Studio. Barks never traveled to make another Disney appearance. He was represented by Rev. Ed Bergen, as he completed a final project. Gerry Tank and Jim Mitchell were to assist Barks in his final years.

During his Carl Barks Studio years, Barks created two more stories: the script for the final Uncle Scrooge story "Horsing Around with History", which was first published in Denmark in 1994 with Bill Van Horn art. The Barks outlines for Barks final Donald Duck story "Somewhere in Nowhere", were first published in 1997, in Italy, with art by Pat Block.

Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein
Gottfried Helnwein
Gottfried Helnwein is an Austrian-Irish fine artist, painter, photographer, installation and performance artist.-Work:Helnwein studied at the University of Visual Art in Vienna...

 curated and organized the first solo museum-exhibition of Carl Barks. Between 1994 and 1998 the retrospective was shown in ten European museums and seen by more than 400,000 visitors.

At the same time in spring 1994, Reichelt and Ina Brockmann designed a special museum exhibition tour about Barks' life and work. Also represented for the first time at this exhibition were Disney artists Al Taliaferro
Al Taliaferro
Charles Alfred Taliaferro , known simply as Al Taliaferro, was a Disney comics artist who used to produce Disney comic strips for King Features Syndicate...

 and Floyd Gottfredson
Floyd Gottfredson
Arthur Floyd Gottfredson was an American cartoonist best known for his defining work on the Mickey Mouse comic strip. He has probably had the same impact on the Mickey Mouse comics as Carl Barks had on the Donald Duck comics...

. Since 1995, more than 500,000 visitors have attended the shows in Europe.

Reichelt also translated the Michael Barrier
Michael Barrier (historian)
Michael Barrier is an American animation historian. Barrier was the founder and editor of Funnyworld, the first magazine exclusively devoted to comics and animation. It began as a contribution to the CAPA-Alpha amateur press association...

 Barks biography into German and published it in 1994.

Final days and death


Still living in a new home in Grants Pass, Oregon which he and Garé had built next door to their original home, Barks died in 2000 at the age of 99, seven years after Garé had died.

Although he was undergoing chemotherapy
Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is the treatment of cancer with an antineoplastic drug or with a combination of such drugs into a standardized treatment regimen....

 for leukemia
Leukemia
Leukemia or leukaemia is a type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells called "blasts". Leukemia is a broad term covering a spectrum of diseases...

 he was, according to caregiver Serene Hunickle, "funny up to the end."

Barks' influence


Barks' Donald Duck stories were rated #7 on Comic's Journal list of 100 top comics; his Uncle Scrooge stories were rated #20.

Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

 and George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

 have acknowledged that the rolling-boulder booby trap in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American action-adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford. It is the first film in the Indiana Jones franchise...

was inspired by the 1954 Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge adventure "The Seven Cities of Cibola" (Uncle Scrooge
Uncle Scrooge
Uncle Scrooge is a comic book with the stingy Scrooge McDuck "the richest duck in the world" as the main character. The series also featured Donald Duck and his nephews as supporting characters. The first 70 issues mostly consisted of stories written and drawn by Carl Barks, the creator of Scrooge...

#7). Lucas and Spielberg have also said that some of Barks's stories about space travel and the depiction of aliens had an influence on them.
Lucas wrote the foreword to the 1982 Uncle Scrooge McDuck: His Life and Times. In it he calls Barks’s stories "cinematic" and "a priceless part of our literary heritage".

The Walt Disney Treasures
Walt Disney Treasures
The Walt Disney Treasures is a two-disc DVD set of classic Disney works. They cover work from the studio's earliest days to their more recent work...

 DVD set Chronological Donald, Volume 2 includes a salute to Barks.

Carl Barks has an asteroid
Asteroid
Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

 named after him, 2730 Barks
2730 Barks
2730 Barks is an asteroid discovered by Ted Bowell in 1981. The asteroid was named for comic book artist Carl Barks who wrote "Island in the Sky", an Uncle Scrooge adventure.-External links:*...

. A Cornell
Cornell University
Cornell University is an Ivy League university located in Ithaca, New York, United States. It is a private land-grant university, receiving annual funding from the State of New York for certain educational missions...

 scientist was inspired by Barks' tale "Island in the Sky".

In Almere
Almere
Almere is a planned city and municipality in the province of Flevoland, the Netherlands, bordering Lelystad and Zeewolde. The municipality of Almere comprises the districts Almere Stad, Almere Haven, Almere Buiten, Almere Hout, Almere Poort and Almere Pampus .Almere is the youngest city in the...

, Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 a street was named after him: Carl Barksweg. The same neighborhood also includes a Donald Ducklaan and a Goofystraat.

A 1949 Donald Duck ten-pager features Donald raising a yacht from the ocean floor by filling it with ping pong balls. In December 1965 Karl Krøyer, a Dane, lifted the sunken freight vessel Al Kuwait in the Kuwait Harbor by filling the hull with 27 million tiny inflatable balls of polystyrene
Polystyrene
Polystyrene ) also known as Thermocole, abbreviated following ISO Standard PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry...

. Although the suggestion is often made, Krøyer denies having been inspired by this Barks story. Some sources claim Krøyer was denied a Dutch patent registration (application number NL 6514306) for his invention on the grounds that the Barks story was a prior publication
Prior art
Prior art , in most systems of patent law, constitutes all information that has been made available to the public in any form before a given date that might be relevant to a patent's claims of originality...

 of the invention. However no definite proof of this story is available. Krøyer later successfully raised another ship off Greenland using the same method, and several other sunken vessels worldwide have since been raised by modified versions of this concept. The television show MythBusters
MythBusters
MythBusters is a science entertainment TV program created and produced by Beyond Television Productions for the Discovery Channel. The series is screened by numerous international broadcasters, including Discovery Channel Australia, Discovery Channel Latin America, Discovery Channel Canada, Quest...

 also tested this method and was able to raise a small boat.

For those currently drawing Disney Duck comics, the influence of Barks cannot be overstated. For artists such as Daan Jippes
Daan Jippes
Daan Jippes is a cartoonist, who has worked with Disney and other comics. He is admired by his fans for his lively emulation of Carl Barks' drawing style, and was therefore chosen by Egmont to redraw some old Junior Woodchucks stories from the 1970s, originally written by Carl Barks and drawn by...

 and Freddy Milton
Freddy Milton
Freddy Milton is a Danish comic-book writer-artist, best known for his work on Disney comics, Woody Woodpecker and Gnuff. He also in 1974 founded and was editor/publisher of the fanzine Carl Barks & Co.-External links:* page on Lambiek.net...

, Barks' comics have made a great impact. Don Rosa
Don Rosa
Keno Don Hugo Rosa, known simply as Don Rosa, is an American comic book writer and illustrator known for his stories about Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and other characters created by Carl Barks for Disney comics, such as The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.-Early life:Don Rosa's grandfather,...

, one of the most popular living Disney artists, and possibly the one who has been most keen on connecting the various stories into a coherent universe and chronology, considers (with few exceptions) all Barks' duck stories as canon
Canon (fiction)
In the context of a work of fiction, the term canon denotes the material accepted as "official" in a fictional universe's fan base. It is often contrasted with, or used as the basis for, works of fan fiction, which are not considered canonical...

, and all others as apocryphal
Apocrypha (fiction)
In the context of fiction, apocrypha includes those fictional stories that do not belong within a fictional universe's canon, yet still have some authority relating to that fictional universe...

. Rosa has said that a number of novelists and movie-makers cite Carl Barks as their 'major influence and inspiration'.

The popularity of Barks' work in Europe is high, and has been that way for years. When the news of Barks' passing was hardly covered by the press in America, "in Europe the sad news was flashed instantly across the airwaves and every newspaper — they realized the world had lost one of the most beloved, influential and well-known creators in international culture."

Dozens of noted comic book artists have taken up elements of Barks' style, especially his ink and pen work. In the US elements of Barks' oil painting style of the ducks were evident in the computer animated, 3-D look Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas
Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas is a computer-animated direct-to-video movie on VHS and DVD made by The Walt Disney Company in 2004. It is the sequel to Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas from 1999. The segments in this video feature Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, Goofy, Max, Donald Duck, Daisy...

 released to video in 2005.

The video game Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers
Donald Duck: Goin' Quackers
Donald Duck: Goin' Qu@ckers*!, known as Donald Duck: Qu@ck Att@ck in Europe, is a platform game developed by Disney Interactive and published by Ubi Soft Montreal for various consoles and Windows-based personal computers...

is dedicated to the memory of Carl Barks.

Carl Barks drew an early Andy Panda
Andy Panda
Andy Panda is a cartoon character who starred in his own series of animated cartoon short subjects produced by Walter Lantz. These "cartunes" were released by Universal Pictures from 1939 to 1947 and United Artists from 1948 to 1949. The titular character is an anthropomorphic cartoon character, a...

 comic book story published in New Funnies #76, 1943. It is one of his few stories to feature humans interacting with funny animal
Funny animal
Funny animal is a cartooning term for the genre of comics and animated cartoons in which the main characters are humanoid or talking animals, with anthropomorphic personality traits. The characters themselves may also be called funny animals...

 characters (another is Dangerous Disguise, Four Color
Four Color
Four Color, also known as Four Color Comics and One Shots, was a long-running American comic book anthology series published by Dell Comics between 1939 and 1962...

 #308, 1951). See List of Fictional Pandas.

The life story of Carl Barks, largely drawing upon his relationship with Disney and the phonetic similarity of his name to Karl Marx, serves as a loose inspiration to one of the subplots in The Last Song of Manuel Sendero by Ariel Dorfman
Ariel Dorfman
Vladimiro Ariel Dorfman is an Argentine-Chilean novelist, playwright, essayist, academic, and human rights activist. A citizen of the United States since 2004, he has been a professor of literature and Latin American Studies at Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina since 1985.-Personal...

, though his biography in this novel veers sharply into science fiction fantasy and symbolism.

The first image ever to be displayed on an Apple Macintosh was a scan of Carl Barks' Scrooge McDuck.

Notable stories

  • "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold
    Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold
    Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold is a comic book starring Donald Duck that was originally printed in Four Color #9 in October 1942. In this story Donald and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie meet a parrot named Yellow Beak and they wind up searching for the lost treasure of Henry Morgan...

    ", Four Color
    Four Color
    Four Color, also known as Four Color Comics and One Shots, was a long-running American comic book anthology series published by Dell Comics between 1939 and 1962...

    #9, October 1942
  • "The Mummy's Ring" (Four Color
    Four Color
    Four Color, also known as Four Color Comics and One Shots, was a long-running American comic book anthology series published by Dell Comics between 1939 and 1962...

     #29, September 1943) presciently dealt with the repatriation of antiquities to their country of origin. This has become a major issue in the contemporary art world and among museums (an example is the dispute between Yale and Peru over artifacts from Machu Picchu)
  • "Christmas on Bear Mountain
    Christmas on Bear Mountain
    Christmas on Bear Mountain is a Donald Duck story by Carl Barks, first published in Dell Comics Four Color Comics #178. It was the first appearance of Scrooge McDuck...

    ", Four Color #178, December 1947, first appearance of Scrooge McDuck
    Scrooge McDuck
    Scrooge McDuck is a cartoon character created in 1947 by Carl Barks and licensed by The Walt Disney Company. Scrooge is an anthropomorphic white duck with a yellow-orange bill, legs, and feet. He typically wears a red or blue frock coat, top hat, pince-nez glasses, and spats...

    .
  • "The Old Castle's Secret
    The Old Castle's Secret
    The Old Castle's Secret is a Donald Duck story written by Carl Barks. Besides having status as one of Barks' best stories, The Old Castle's Secret is also notable for being Donald and Huey, Dewey and Louie's first treasure hunt with their uncle, Scrooge McDuck.- Plot :Scrooge McDuck, in his second...

    ", Four Color #189 June 1948
  • "Sheriff of Bullet Valley
    Sheriff of Bullet Valley
    Sheriff of Bullet Valley is a Donald Duck comic story from October 1948, written and illustrated by Carl Barks.In this story Donald applies for a job as the Sheriff of Bullet Valley and his nephews plan on helping him despite how dangerous he tells them it is...

    ", Four Color #199, October 1948
  • "Lost in the Andes!", Four Color #223, April 1949
  • "A Financial Fable
    A Financial Fable
    "A Financial Fable" is a Donald Duck comic book story written and illustrated by Carl Barks in September 1950. As with many other Barks stories, it was originally untitled...

    ", Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #126, March 1951
  • "Donald Duck in Old California!
    Donald Duck in Old California!
    Donald Duck in Old California! is a Donald Duck comicbook story written and illustrated by Carl Barks and first published in May, 1951.- Plot synopsis :...

    ", Four Color #328, May 1951
  • "A Christmas for Shacktown
    A Christmas for Shacktown
    A Christmas for Shacktown is a Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge story written and drawn by Carl Barks and first published in the comic book Donald Duck, #367 in January, 1952. The story line revolves around the Duck family attempting to raise money to throw a Christmas party for the poor children of the...

    ", Four Color #367, January 1952
  • "Only a Poor Old Man
    Only a Poor Old Man
    Only A Poor Old Man is a comic story written by Carl Barks for the first issue of Uncle Scrooge. It was the first story with Scrooge McDuck as its main character . The story was published in 1952 and is one of the most reprinted Uncle Scrooge comics...

    ", Four Color #386 (Uncle Scrooge
    Uncle Scrooge
    Uncle Scrooge is a comic book with the stingy Scrooge McDuck "the richest duck in the world" as the main character. The series also featured Donald Duck and his nephews as supporting characters. The first 70 issues mostly consisted of stories written and drawn by Carl Barks, the creator of Scrooge...

    #1), March 1952
  • "The Golden Helmet
    The Golden Helmet
    The Golden Helmet is a Donald Duck comic strip story written by Carl Barks in July 1952. Donald and his nephews go on a treasure hunt for a mythical helmet that apparently gives the possessor legal claim of North America.- Plot :...

    ", Four Color #408, July 1952
  • "Back to the Klondike
    Back to the Klondike
    Back to the Klondike is a Donald Duck comic strip story written by Carl Barks in March 1953. Scrooge McDuck returns to Klondike where he has made his fortune, bringing Donald and the three nephews along, to find back gold he has left there....

    ", Four Color #456 (Uncle Scrooge #2), March 1953
  • "Tralla La
    Tralla La
    Tralla La is a Scrooge McDuck comic book story by Carl Barks. The story was first published in Uncle Scrooge #6 . In the story, Scrooge searches for a utopia in which money plays no role.- Plot :...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #6, June 1954
  • "The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone
    The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone
    The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone is an Uncle Scrooge comics story written and drawn by Carl Barks in October 1954. The story was first published in 1955.-Plot:...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #10, June 1955
  • "The Golden Fleecing
    The Golden Fleecing
    The Golden Fleecing is a Scrooge McDuck comic book story from 1955, written and drawn by Carl Barks. It's about Scrooge who wants the Golden Fleece to make a jacket.-Storyline:...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #12, December 1955
  • "Land Beneath the Ground!
    Land Beneath the Ground!
    Land Beneath the Ground! is a Scrooge McDuck comic strip story that appeared in 1956 in the comic book Uncle Scrooge, written by Carl Barks.-Plot:...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #13, March 1956
  • "The Money Well
    The Money Well
    The Money Well is a Scrooge McDuck comic book story written and drawn by Carl Barks, originally published in Uncle Scrooge #21 .- Storyline :...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #21, March 1958
  • "The Golden River
    The Golden River (cartoon)
    The Golden River is a comic strip story written and drawn by Carl Barks in 1957 and first published in 1958, in Uncle Scrooge #22...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #22, 1958
  • "Island in the Sky
    Island in the Sky (cartoon)
    Island in the Sky is a Donald Duck story written by Carl Barks in March 1960.The asteroid 2730 Barks was named after Barks by a scientist at Cornell University who was inspired by the story.- Storyline :...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #29, March 1960
  • "North of the Yukon
    North of the Yukon
    North of the Yukon is a story featuring Scrooge McDuck and his nephews, Donald Duck and Huey, Dewey, & Louie. It was written and drawn by Carl Barks. This was his last story involving Scrooge's adventures in Alaska. It was published in September 1965, and later reprinted in May 1993...

    ", Uncle Scrooge #59, September 1965


Chronological List of Disney comics by Carl Barks.

Awards

  • The Shazam Award for Best Writer (Humor Division) in 1970
  • The Academy of Comic Book Arts Hall of Fame Award in 1973
  • The Inkpot
    Inkpot Award
    The Inkpot Award, bestowed annually since 1974 by Comic-Con International, is given to some of the professionals in comic book, comic strip, animation, science fiction, and related pop-culture fields, who are guests of that organization's yearly multigenre fan convention, commonly known as...

     in 1977 from the San Diego Comic Con
    Comic-Con International
    San Diego Comic-Con International, also known as Comic-Con International: San Diego , and commonly known as Comic-Con or the San Diego Comic-Con, was founded as the Golden State Comic Book Convention and later the San Diego Comic Book Convention in 1970 by Shel Dorf and a group of San Diegans...

  • Inducted into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame in 1987.
  • Inducted into the William Randolph Hearst Cartoon Hall of Fame.
  • The Comics Buyer's Guide
    Comics Buyer's Guide
    Comics Buyer's Guide , established in 1971, is the longest-running English-language periodical reporting on the American comic book industry...

     Fan Award for Favorite Writer in 1996.
  • The Walt Disney Company bestowed a Duckster
    Duckster
    The Duckster is a prestigious in-house award given by The Walt Disney Company for a variety of reasons, including service to the company as well as to the community as a whole...

     award in 1971 and their Disney Legends
    Disney Legends
    Established in 1987, the Disney Legends program recognizes people who have made an extraordinary and integral contribution to The Walt Disney Company. The honor is awarded annually during a special ceremony....

     award in 1991
  • The series Carl Barks Library received the Comics Buyer's Guide Fan Award for Favorite Reprint Graphic Novel/Album for 1996.

Art materials


Barks was an enthusiastic user of Esterbrook
Esterbrook
Richard Esterbrook was the largest pen manufacturer in United States, having reached a record of producing 216,000,000 pens a year. -The beginning:...

 pens. He particularly used a Nº 356 model to ink and letter his Donald Duck comic-book pages.

Further reading

  • Michael Barrier
    Michael Barrier (historian)
    Michael Barrier is an American animation historian. Barrier was the founder and editor of Funnyworld, the first magazine exclusively devoted to comics and animation. It began as a contribution to the CAPA-Alpha amateur press association...

    , Carl Barks and the Art of Comic Book, USA 1981, see Inducks file.
  • Donald Ault
    Donald Ault
    Donald Ault is a professor at the University of Florida and is primarily known for his work on British Romantic poet William Blake and American comics artist Carl Barks...

    , Carl Barks Conversations, University Press of Mississippi, Jackson (Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

    ) 2003, see Inducks file. The book by the University of Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

     professor contains some of the most important interviews Barks made between 1962 and 2000 (Thomas Andrae, Michael Barrier, Bill Blackbeard, E. B. Boatner, Glenn Bray, Paul Ciotti, Sébastien Durand, Bob Foster
    Bob Foster
    Bob Foster is a native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA whom many boxing critics consider to be one of the greatest Light Heavyweight world champions in history...

    , Didier Ghez, Stephen Gong, Leonardo Gori, Bruce Hamilton, Gottfried Helnwein
    Gottfried Helnwein
    Gottfried Helnwein is an Austrian-Irish fine artist, painter, photographer, installation and performance artist.-Work:Helnwein studied at the University of Visual Art in Vienna...

    , Markku Kivekäs, Michael Naiman, Bill Spicer
    Graphic Story Magazine
    Graphic Story Magazine was an American magazine edited and published by Bill Spicer in the late 1960s and early 1970s.As writer and historian Steve Grant describes the magazine's roots,-Artists and writers:...

    , Francesco Stajano, Klaus Strzyz, Edward Summer
    Edward Summer
    Edward Summer has been an award winning painter, motion picture director, screenwriter, internet publisher, magazine editor, journalist and science writer, comic book writer, novelist, book designer, actor, cinematographer, motion picture editor, documentary film maker, film festival founder, and...

    , Erik Svane, Don Thompson, Maggie Thompson
    Maggie Thompson
    Margaret "Maggie" Thompson , is the editor of Comics Buyer's Guide, a monthly comic book industry news magazine...

    , Malcolm Willits, Nicky Wright, and Lynda Ault).
  • List of Carl Barks interviews and articles in the international press
  • Carl Barks, Edward Summer
    Edward Summer
    Edward Summer has been an award winning painter, motion picture director, screenwriter, internet publisher, magazine editor, journalist and science writer, comic book writer, novelist, book designer, actor, cinematographer, motion picture editor, documentary film maker, film festival founder, and...

     Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge McDuck: His Life and Times, Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 1981 (first trade edition 1987).
  • Edward Summer. "Of Ducks and Men: Cark Barks Interviewed. Panels #2 (1981)
  • The Unexpurgated Carl Barks, Hamilton Comics, 1997
  • Gottfried Helnwein, 'Wer ist Carl Barks' (Who is Carl Barks?), texts by Roy Disney, Gottfried Helnwein, Carsten Laqua, Andreas Platthaus und Ulrich Schröder, (ISBN 3-8118-5341-4).
  • Thomas Andrae, Carl Barks and the Disney Comic Book, University Press of Mississippi, 2006 (ISBN 1578068584, ISBN 97815780658586).
  • Alfons Moliné, Carl Barks, un viento ácrata, Madrid: Ediciones Sinsentido, Colección Sin palabras / serie A, núm.16 (2007).

External links