Saturday, June 14, 2008
Comics Legend, Carl Barks - From 1999
Carl Barks was the best duck man in history. His often uncredited work in comic books made him a true legend of the medium.
Although Carl Barks did not create Donald Duck, it is undeniable that no other man did more to define the character for his animated shorts, movies, comic strips and books, and television shows than this master cartoonist. His impact on the characterizations of Donald's three nephews and Uncle Scrooge was even more substantial.
In addition, Barks' adventures single-handedly elevated the ducks from gag-centered characters, and created a history and a world for his beloved 'funny animals'.
Carl Barks was born in 1901, and worked at, the Calgary Eye-Opener newspaper from 1930 to 1935. But it was not until the artist became an 'in-betweener' - the man who actually makes characters move - and as a writer for Walt Disney (1935 to 1942) that Barks carved a permanent niche for himself in history.
Barks' comic book credits include: Donald Duck (1942-'66), Uncle Scrooge (1952-'62), Mickey Mouse (1945), Andy Panda (1943), Gyro Gearloose (1959-'61), Benny Burro (1943-47), and Barney Bear (1944-'47). These were all published by Western. His work has been reprinted worldwide in dozens of comic books and special collections including hardback collections of the 'duck' books reprinted by Gladstone. Barks' original duck paintings are highly prized.
Barks also wrote and drew Donald Duck in Firestone and Cheerios give-away comics, March of Comics, Big Little Books and Little Golden Books. He was chosen to receive the first Shazam award (Best Humor Writer Of Comic Books) in 1971 after he became semi-retired in 1966.
The work of Carl Barks is highly recommended for all ages.
Some older comics are expensive and difficult to locate. Price guides or comics dealers help. Comics shops, conventions, mail order companies and trade journals are best sources. Prices vary: shop around for the best values.