In Memoriam
CARL BARKS
March 27, 1901
August 25, 2000

Reuters


Cartoonist Carl Barks, who drew the character Donald Duck for over three decades, died August 25, 2000, at the age of 99 at his home in south Oregon, the Walt Disney Co. said on Friday. Barks is pictured in Oslo in this 1994 file photograph. (Scanpix/Reuters)

Friday August 25 4:50 PM ET

Man who gave ``Donald Duck'' charm and character dies

By Arthur Spiegelman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cartoonist Carl Barks, who drew Donald Duck comic books for three decades, turning the quacking, cranky waterfowl into an unlikely, universally loved ''Everyman,'' died Friday at age 99 at his home in southern Oregon, the Walt Disney Co. said.

Associates of Barks in Grants Pass, Ore., where he lived for many years and maintained a studio, said he died of leukemia.

As an artist, Barks was expert at creating ``poultry in motion'' and invented the character ``Scrooge McDuck,'' who went from the pages of the Walt Disney Comics & Stories to becoming a full-fledged film cartoon character on his own -- the world's funniest miser.

Barks, whose work went unnoticed for years with many thinking that Walt Disney himself drew Donald Duck comics, developed a world-wide following for his vividly colored works.

After he retired from drawing comic books in 1966, he became a painter and some of his portraits of Disney characters fetched more than $200,000.

Born and raised on a ranch in Merrill, Ore., Barks liked to recall that he grew up with ``well-armed cowboys'' and people who had fought in Indian wars.

In the early 1930s, Barks began as an ``in-betweener'' at the Disney studios, drawing frames between action in animated cartoons.

He then transferred to the story department and helped create the gags and stories of early Donald Duck cartoons -- including having Donald turned upside down and shaved by robot barbers in the short ``Modern Inventions'' while he squawked to no avail. Donald was already a cartoon character when Barks went to work on the animated shorts.

By the early 1940s, Barks had left Disney and gone to Western Publishing, which produced Walt Disney comic books and there he gave the famous duck a career-prolonging personality transplant.

``I get credit for practically raising Donald Duck,'' Barks told the Baltimore Sun in a 1996 interview.

``He was just a noisy, quarrelsome brat in the movies. When I started doing the comics in 1943, I couldn't do enough stories with him like that. So I changed Donald's character. I put him in a role where he had to act intelligently and speak well enough to put his thoughts across. He's a lot like a lot of us, though, wanting to speak his mind.''

He liked to say also that he had turned Donald into an ''Everyman,'' although one that quacks.

Barks also created Scrooge McDuck, with his Gold Bin stuffed with gold and jewels. ``He's a stingy old millionaire miser but people love him because they see that he has as many troubles as people who don't have money,'' Barks told the Sun.

Barks created ``Ducksburg,'' the town where Donald and his crew lived and he used photographs from the National Geographic to inspire the backgrounds for the stories he drew when Donald and his nephews -- Huey, Dewey and Louie -- would go on an adventure.

In the more than two decades that he drew the monthly 10-page Donald Duck segment for Walt Disney Comics & Stories, he developed such other characters as Donald's super-lucky cousin Gladstone Gander and the addled inventor Gyro Gearloose.

Paid only about $45 a page for his comic book art, Barks did not start to make money until his painting career took off.

Disney had given him permission to paint its characters when he retired in 1966, but withdrew its permission in 1976 when fans began to sell photos of his work for $500 apiece.

For the next five years, he painted scenes of American history using duck characters while the price of his Donald Duck portraits soared.

Finally Disney relented and renewed permission for him to paint its characters and his prices reached into the six figures.

Reuters/Variety REUTERS

Obituary also sent on Friday August 25 6:02 PM ET, Friday August 25 13:30 PM ET and Friday August 25 15:41 PM ET with sligth variations.

Friday August 25 10:01 PM ET

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cartoonist Carl Barks, who drew Donald Duck comic books for three decades, turning the quacking, cranky waterfowl into an unlikely, universally loved 'Everyman,' died Friday at age 99 at his home in southern Oregon, the Walt Disney Co. said. Associates of Barks in Grants Pass, Ore., where he lived for many years and maintained a studio, said he died of leukemia.

Associated Press

08/25/00 23:45 EDT

Obituary also sent on Friday August 25 11:45 PM ET with sligth modifications.

(The text appeared on ABC news' web site which is owned by Disney).

Barks, Donald Duck Illustrator Dies

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) -- Carl Barks, the Disney illustrator credited with giving Donald Duck his distinctive feisty and comical personality, died Friday at the age of 99.

He had been receiving chemotherapy for leukemia, but "was funny up to the end,'' said his caregiver, Serene Hunicke.

Barks drew Donald Duck for Walt Disney Studios from 1935 until 1942, and continued afterward as the creative genius behind the Donald Duck universe.

Although other animators had a hand in the duck's activities, Barks polished up Donald, rounding him out and shortening his beak, and gave him a personality that was more jolly, though still spiked with that trademark temper.

Barks' early writing credits included the 1937 Donald Duck short, "Modern Inventions,'' in which Donald runs into trouble at an exhibit of labor-saving devices, including a robot butler.

In 1942, he turned from cartoons to illustrating comic strips and books. He gave Donald a hometown -- Duckburg -- populated by such characters as Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander, the Beagle Boys and Gyro Gearloose, and he is credited with giving Huey, Dewey and Louie -- Donald's nephews -- their distinctive personalities.

Barks got his start drawing one-panel "gag strips'' for magazines when he was in his 20s and 30s, but the job lost its allure.

"I was thinking then that I'd like to do comics with whole stories,'' Barks recalled in a 1994 interview. "You know, like Prince Valiant; stuff with continuity, not single, one-shot gags all the time.''

In 1935, he saw an ad for cartoonists to work for Walt Disney Studios in Hollywood. Leaving a steady paycheck in Minnesota, he packed his bag and decided to take a stab at animation.

He quickly advanced from drawing the tiny details between the characters and the main background to primary character artist, and his handiwork could be seen in more than 60 short subjects, many featuring Donald Duck.

When Western Publishing gained the rights in 1942 to publish Walt Disney characters in comic books, Barks was asked to illustrate a 10-page Donald Duck story written by someone else.

"The story just didn't seem to hang together,'' Barks recalled. "I made some changes. Western kind of liked it and asked me if I wanted to do my own stories. From there on, I was their fair-haired boy.''

Like every other artist in those days, Barks' name never appeared on a comic book.

But that anonymity ended after he retired. Comic book fans came out of the woodwork in the 1970s with the creation of specialty shops, trade publications and conventions.

"I was astonished by the number of people who'd read my work and liked it,'' Barks once said. "These comic book fans seem to want to shake the hand of the guy who drew all that stuff. It's still mystifying to me."

Barks stopped drawing in 1966, but continued writing duck tales until his retirement in 1973.

He painted Disney figures in oil at his home in Grants Pass until he contracted leukemia 13 months ago.

Barks is survived by a daughter, Dorothy Gibson of Bremerton, Wash., four grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and eight great-great grandchildren.

First announcement of Carl Barks' death (Gerry Tank)

From: gwtank
To: Marco Barlotti ; mark@tiapartners.dk ; Markus Sammer ; Martijn.van.Voorst@aalh.nl ; maxfumetti ; megaToni ; Michael Naiman ; Michael Naiman ; Michele Pennazzi ; Michiel Veenstra ; Mike Schneiderath ; mnaiman1@home.com ; Monja Marletta ; Nils Lid Hjort ; Paolo Castagno ; Patti Lutzenheiser ; Pattie, Jody H ; Patty Lutzenhiser ; pekka.malmstrom@uppsala.mail.telia.com ; Per Nilsson ; Per Starback ; petri pelkonen ; Pietro Reynaud-Bersanino ; ppierreydhp@hfp.fr ; PSFr@flsmiljo.com ; Rev. Bergen ; ridout5@erols.com ; Rob Klein ; Rodney w bowcock jr. ; Rolf Marvin B=F8e Lindgren ; Sandra J Bowcock ; SASSOP@freedomland.it ; Stefano Visinoni ; timo ronkainen ; Trond Buland ; Vainio Jyrki ; van Laar ; Westermann Udo ; wolfsong@mpinet.net ; Wouter ; Zuffa Rocco ; Yvon Belliveau ; Jody Pattie ; Steven Robert Tank

Sent: Friday, August 25, 2000 11:51 AM

In Memorium

CARL BARKS

March 27 1901

August 25, 2000

The Disney Comics Mailing List

First public announcement of Carl Barks' death.

From: Detlef Giesler [SMTP:detlef@dreidreizehn.de]
To: dcml@stp.ling.uu.se
Subject: Carl died
Sent: August 25, 2000; 12:04

Carl Barks died this morning.
...

From Donald Ault:

From: Donald Ault [SMTP:ault@nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu]
To: dcml@stp.ling.uu.se
Subject: Death of Carl Barks
Sent: August 25, 2000; 12:31

I'm saddened to report that Carl Barks passed away at about
12:15 AM PDT on Fri., August 25, 2000. There are no words
that can adequately express express the loss to the world.

Donald Ault
Dept. of English
University of Florida
ault@nersp.nerdc.ufl.edu
ault@ufl.edu
http://web.nwe.ufl.edu/~donault/
FAX: (352) 332-0551

From John Garvin:

From: john garvin [SMTP:jgarvin@bendcable.com]
To: dcml@stp.ling.uu.se
Subject: Carl Barks has passed away
Sent: August 25, 2000; 16:03

This just in:

Carl Barks, 99, died yesterday. Ill with leukemia, he had
gone to hospital in June, renouncing chemotherapy. We sadly
say good-bye to the man who gave us the big epos of the
ducks.

DREIDREIZEHN

At some point I will find the strength to say something
about this, and the editorial that just appeared in this
weeks CBG. But for now, my thoughts are my own. Goodbye Carl.

AFP (Agence France Presse)

Renowned Donald Duck cartoonist dies

Portland, Oregon: Carl Barks, the gifted cartoonist who shaped the Disney character Donald Duck, died Friday in a southern Oregon hospice, his family said. He was 99.

Barks, a farm boy who got his big break when he joined Disney studios in 1935, drew Donald Duck and other cartoon characters for more than 25 years.

Though Barks was not the originator of the character, in the 1940s, he supplied the form and personality that made Donald a success.

And in an artistic career than spanned more than 80 years, Barks never ceased to identify with the world's most famous duck.

"I always felt myself to be an unlucky person like Donald, who is a victim of so many circumstances," he said in an interview several years ago.

"But there isn't a person in the United States who couldn't identify with him. He is everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that we all make."

Barks grew up on his family's farm in southern Oregon and learned to draw through a correspondence course. At the age of 17, he headed for San Francisco with $US100 dollars in his pocket, hoping to find work as an artist.

After two disappointing years, he moved to Sacramento and found work as farmer and coach builder, but never stopped drawing.

His persistence paid off in 1928, when he got a job as a joke writer and illustrator for the Calgary Eye-Opener in Minneapolis.

In 1935, the year after Donald Duck first appeared, Barks joined Disney studios. He started out in the art department, drawing Donald, Mickey Mouse, Porky Pig and other Disney characters. His sense of humour and skill at writing gags soon earned him a promotion to the story department.

Barks worked on 35 cartoon shorts including: Donald's Nephews (1938); Donald's Cousin Gus (1939); Timber (1941); The Vanishing Private (1942); and The Plastics Inventor (1944).

In 1942, Barks left Disney to be a chicken farmer, saying he was tired of working collaboratively and wanted to draw as well as write.

While still at the studios, he had created a Donald Duck comic strip, and in 1943 he began drawing and writing comic strips for Disney comics. Barks went on to write 400 scripts and draw 6,000 pages and 200 covers.

In the cartoons, Donald is portrayed as a lazy hothead who speaks in a barely understandable quacking sound. But in his comic strip, Barks gave the hapless duck a personality, an intelligible voice and a cast of supporting characters.

Now Donald had a hometown, Duckburg, and relatives like his rich uncle Scrooge McDuck, lucky nephew Gladstone Gander, and friends like the peculiar inventor, Gyro Gearless.

Other Barks creations include the Beagle Boys, Magica de Spell and Flintheart Glomgold.

Barks retired to southern Oregon in 1966 with his third wife, Gare. Until 1997, however, he had continued to draw and paint his Disney characters. His last published work was Horsing Around With History (1994).

CNN - Norway

(http://www.cnn.no/UNDERHOLDNING/0008/25/6362242.html, August 26, 2000)

Donald-tegner er død

25. august 2000. Publisert kl. 17:06.

CNN NORGE -- Carl Barks, best kjent som tegner av klassiske Donald Duck-tegneserier, er død, 99 år gammel.

Barks døde natt til i dag etter et langvarig sykeleie, opplyser det tyske forlaget Egmont Ehapa. Den legendariske tegneren fikk for et års tid siden diagnosen kreft. Barks var både tegner og tekstforfatter, og var av mange Donald Duck-tilhengere regnet som den største av dem alle. Han var mannen bak figurer som Onkel Skrue, Heldige Anton, B-Gjengen, Magica fra Tryll og Bestemor Duck -Innbyggerne i Andeby har ved Carl Barks død mistet en av sine mest kjente byhistorikere, heter det i forlagets uttalelse.

Libération (French newspaper)

Samedi 26 et Dimanche 27 Août 2000

Article titré "Papa Duck est mort.": << Carl Barks a dessiné Donald pendant trente ans. >> page 34. D'après Reuters.

France 2 (French television channel)

Le journal de 13 h

Reportage diffusé à l'antenne (rediffusion au Journal de 20 h).

Site web

BANDE DESSINEE Donald Duck orphelin

Le dessinateur américain Carl Barks, connu pour être le père de Donald Duck, est décédé vendredi dans l'Oregon, aux Etats-Unis, à l'âge de 99 ans. Carl Barks avait dessiné pendant plus de 25 ans les aventures du célèbre et maladroit canard pour Disney, et avait pris sa retraite en 1966. C'est lui qui au début des années 40 avait vraiment donné vie au palmidède en lui offrant la parole, une personnalité, une ville et une famille, dont le fameux oncle Picsou.

TF1 (French channel #1)

La mort du papa de Donald

Inconnu du grand public, le dessinateur américain Carl Barks a consacré 25 ans de sa vie à donner chair et voix au personnage de Donald Duck. Il est mort vendredi dans l'Oregon à l'âge de 99 ans.

samedi 26 août - 07h23

Le nom de Carl Barks ne vous dit peut-être rien. Pourtant, il est – indirectement – l’un des dessinateurs les plus connus au monde. C’est lui en effet qui, 25 ans durant, a insufflé la vie au célèbre Donald Duck. Vendredi, sans bruit, aussi discrètement qu’il avait vécu, le vrai père de Donald, celui qui l’a animé quand Walt Disney s’était contenté de lui donner forme, est décédé dans l'Oregon à l’âge de 99 ans.

Une vie au service des aventures de Donald

Pendant un quart de siècle, Carl Barks a dessiné les aventures de Donald Duck pour Disney. C'est lui qui au début des années 40 avait doté le célèbre canard de la parole, alors que le palmipède se contentait jusque là de caqueter de manière inintelligible. Barks lui avait donné une personnalité, un discours, des émotions et même un univers, inventant la ville de Duckburg et des personnages pour la peupler, parmi lesquels l'oncle Scrooge McDuck (Picsou), le neveu Gladstone Gander (Gontran Bonheur) ou encore l'inventeur Gyro Gearloose (Géo Trouvetout).

"J'ai toujours pensé que j'étais quelqu'un qui n'avait pas de chance, comme Donald, qui est souvent la victime des circonstances. Mais il n'y a personne aux Etats-Unis qui ne puisse pas s'identifier avec lui. Il est tout le monde, il fait les mêmes erreurs que nous", avait déclaré Carl Barks il y a quelques années. Il avait pris sa retraite en 1966, laissant à d'autres le soin de continuer à dessiner Donald. Il s'était alors consacré à la peinture et a réalisé des dizaines de toiles consacrées… à Donald Duck et son entourage.


Carl Barks et ses créatures


Le petit monde de Donald

Le Monde (France)

Carl Banks, papa de Donald Duck

Mis à jour le samedi 26 août 2000

CARL BARKS, dessinateur américain qui a donné vie à Donald Duck, est mort vendredi 25 août dans sa maison de Grants Pass (Oregon). Né le 27 mars 1901 dans l'Oregon, de parents fermiers, Carl Barks est embauché en 1935 aux Studios Walt Disney, où il dessine Donald pour des dessins animés. A partir de novembre 1942, il quitte les Studios Disney et il va se consacrer pendant près de vingt-cinq ans à donner vie au célèbre canard dans des magazines de bandes dessinées.

C'est Carl Barks qui donne au célèbre canard une personnalité, un discours, des émotions et même un univers, inventant la ville de Duckburg et des personnages pour la peupler, parmi lesquels l'oncle Scrooge McDuck (Picsou), le cousin Gladstone Gander (Gontran Bonheur) ou encore l'inventeur Gyro Gearloose (Géo Trouvetout).

" J'ai toujours pensé que j'étais quelqu'un qui n'avait pas de chance, comme Donald, qui est souvent la victime des circonstances. Mais il n'y a personne aux Etats-Unis qui ne puisse pas s'identifier avec lui. Il est tout le monde, il fait les mêmes erreurs que nous ", déclarait Carl Barks, qui avait pris sa retraite en juin 1966, laissant à d'autres le soin de continuer à dessiner Donald.

Le Monde daté du dimanche 27 août 2000

AFP (Agence France Presse)

Vendredi 25 aout 2000, 23h03

Donald Duck, le canard le plus célèbre du monde, perd son créateur

PORTLAND (Etats-Unis), 25 août (AFP) - Donald Duck, le canard le plus célèbre du monde, a perdu vendredi le dessinateur qui lui avait donné vie, Carl Barks, décédé dans l'Oregon (nord-ouest) à 99 ans.

Carl Barks, né en 1901 dans un ranch isolé aux confins de l'Oregon et de la Californie, a pendant plus de 25 ans dessiné les aventures de Donald Duck pour Disney.

Après plusieurs petits boulots, notamment bûcheron, il est embauché par les Studios Disney, où il fait vraiment naître le petit canard en 1934, en lui donnant la parole dans le dessin animé "La petite poule avisée", alors que le palmipède se contentait jusque là de caqueter de façon inintelligible.

Il n'était alors qu'un personnage secondaire, mais déjà son mauvais caractère faisait recette. En un an, il arrivera presque à voler la vedette à Mickey en devenant l'un des personnages préférés du public.

Il joue les seconds rôles pendant quelques années, en donnant la réplique à Mickey dans de nombreux dessins animés: il sera tour à tour gardien de la paix dans "Le voleur de chiens", vendeur de cacahuètes dans "L'orchestre de Mickey", pompier dans "La brigade de Mickey". Entre 1935 et 1942 il intervient ainsi dans trente-six films.

Mais le petit canard se lasse rapidement de jouer les seconds couteaux à côté de Mickey, Clarabelle et Pluto: il veut devenir la star d'une série qui porte son nom.

En 1937, c'est la consécration: il devient le deuxième personnage, après Mickey, à posséder sa propre série de dessins animés.

Barks lui donne une personnalité, un discours, des émotions et même un univers, inventant la ville de Duckburg et des personnages pour la peupler: l'oncle Picsou, la jolie Daisy, les trois petits neveux Riri, Fifi et Loulou, Gontran ou encore l'inventeur Géo Trouvetout.

L'apparence de Donald a peu évolué depuis ses premiers pas dans le dessin animé. Le seul changement majeur est la longueur du bec, raccourci au fur et à mesure de ses aventures. La tenue de marin, en revanche, n'a pratiquement pas changé.

La voix nasillarde mondialement connue du célèbre canard était celle de Clarence Nash: c'est Walt Disney lui-même qui le découvrit et le choisit.

Mais ce qui a rendu Donald vraiment célèbre, c'est son caractère irascible. Contrairement à Mickey qui est toujours prêt à aider les autres, Donald est égocentrique.

Un autre défaut de Donald est sa paresse légendaire: dans son premier dessin animé, "La petite poule avisée", il est montré faisant semblant d'avoir mal au ventre pour éviter de travailler.

En 1939, le caractère de Donald était défini ainsi dans un mémo: "Il est vain, suffisant et vantard. Son trait le plus apprécié est sa détermination. Il ne reste pas fâché longtemps".

Carl Barks avait lui-même déclaré il y a quelques années: "il n'y a personne aux Etats-Unis qui ne puisse pas s'identifier avec lui. Il est tout le monde, il fait les mêmes erreurs que nous".

Le dessinateur était parti à la retraite en 1966, laissant à d'autres le soin de continuer à dessiner Donald. Il s'était alors consacré à la peinture, réalisant des dizaines de toiles ayant pour sujet principal Donald Duck et sa bande d'amis.

AP (in French)

vendredi 25 aout 2000, 21h55

Mort du dessinateur Carl Barks qui avait donné sa personnalité à Donald Duck

GRANTS PASS, Oregon (AP) -- Le dessinateur Carl Barks, considéré comme le véritable père du personnage de Donald dans les dessins animés de Walt Disney, est mort vendredi à l'âge de 99 ans. C'est lui qui avait donné au célèbre canard ses traits distinctifs.

Carl Barks était atteint d'une leucémie depuis 13 mois. Il s'est éteint dans son sommeil à son domicile de Grants Pass dans l'Oregon.

Carl Barks avait dessiné Donald Duck pour les Studios Walt Disney de 1935 à 1942. Si d'autres dessinateurs travaillaient également sur ce personnage, c'est Carl Barks qui a modifié son apparence initiale, a arrondi ses contours, racourci son bec et donné une personnalité plus sympathique dotée toutefois d'un mauvais caractère légendaire au canard, créant ainsi le canard moderne.

L'un des premiers dessins animés au générique duquel il apparaît comme scénariste est ''les inventions modernes'', un court-métrage de 1937 dans lequel Donald se retrouve aux prises avec plusieurs inventions censées libérer l'homme du travail, comme la machine qui emballe les paquets ou le robot domestique.

En 1942, Carl Barks était passé des dessins animés aux bandes dessinées et au livre. Il donna à Donald un village peuplé d'une pléiade de nouveaux personnages, comme l'oncle Picsou ou Géo Trouvetout. C'est également lui qui aurait créé les personnalités des neveux de Donald Riri, Fifi et Loulou. Les premiers albums furent d'abord centrés sur les disputes entre Donald et les membres de sa famille. Puis Carl Barks fit ensuite voyager les petits canard autour du globe et dans l'espace. Il avait cessé de dessiner en 1966 mais avait continué d'écrire les aventures de Donald jusqu'à sa retraite en 1973.

--Le point de l'actualité internationale à 05H30-- Samedi 26 août 2000

GRANTS PASS, Oregon (AP) -- Le dessinateur Carl Barks, considéré comme le véritable père du personnage de Donald dans les dessins animés de Walt Disney, est mort vendredi à l'âge de 99 ans. C'est lui qui avait donné au célèbre canard ses traits distinctifs. Carl Barks était atteint d'une leucémie depuis 13 mois. AP

AGI

Sabato 26 Agosto 2000, 12:27

Usa: e' Morto Carl Barks, Disegnatore Di Paperino

(AGI) - Los Angeles (California, Usa), 26 ago. - E' morto all'eta' di 99 anni Carl Barks, il disegnatore della Walt Disney cui si deve la maggiore trasformazione nel tempo del personaggio di Paperino. Entrato negli Studios della Disney negli anni Trenta, gia' nei primi anni Quaranta si era trasferito alla sezione editoriale, la Western Publishing, dove avvenne la grande trasformazione del papero piu' famoso del mondo: nei primi cartoni animati era solo un personaggio rumoroso e piantagrane ma Barks lo trasformo' nell'icona dell'Uomo Qualunque (Everyman), uno che in certe occasioni riesce anche a pensare e soprattutto che parla in modo sufficientemente comprensibile. Sua la paternita' anche di Paperon dei Paperoni, l'odioso milionario che pero' ha gli stessi guai di tutti i comuni (paperi) mortali. A Barks si deve anche la creazione di Paperopoli e della precisa ricostruzione di paesi stranieri in cui si avventurano Paperino con i tre vivacissimi nipoti Qui, Quo e Qua. E ancora, il fortunato Gastone e il geniale Archimede. Ritiratosi nel 1996, Barks si era da allora dedicato alla pittura, facendosi apprezzare anche in questo campo. (AGI)

Reuters Germany

Freitag 25. August 2000, 23:08 Uhr

"Vater von Entenhausen" Carl Barks gestorben

Los Angeles (Reuters) - Der amerikanische Comic-Zeichner Carl Barks ist im Alter von 99 Jahren gestorben. Der Mann, der die Comic-Ente Donald Duck weltberühmt machte, sei zu Hause im Süden des US-Bundesstaats Oregon einer langen Krankheit erlegen, teilte die Firma Walt Disney Co. am Freitag mit. Kollegen von Barks in der Kleinstadt Grants Pass, wo Barks lange Zeit lebte und ein Studio unterhielt, sagten, die Todesursache sei Leukämie gewesen. Barks hatte bereits in den 30er Jahren Donald Duck zu einer der beliebtesten Trickfilm-Figuren von Walt Disney gemacht. Danach widmete sich Barks zwei Jahrzehnte lang dem Zeichnen von Donald-Duck-Comics.

In rund 500 Geschichten mit mehr als 35.000 Zeichnungen auf mehr als 6.300 Seiten schilderte Barks die Abenteuer Donalds, seiner Neffen Tick, Trick und Track, seines geizigen Onkels Dagobert und der Panzerknacker- Bande in Entenhausen. Barks, der sich in ländlicher Abgeschiedenheit seinen Zeichnungen widmete, war der Öffentlichkeit lange kaum bekannt. Wegen einer Sehschwäche hatte Barks das Zeichnen seit geraumer Zeit aufgegeben.

Aufgewachsen in bescheidenen Verhältnissen hielt sich Barks über Jahre mit verschiedensten Jobs über Wasser und heuerte erst 1935 als Zeichner bei den Walt-Disney-Filmstudios an. Sieben Jahre lang arbeitete er an Trickfilmen mit, in denen Donald Duck der eigentlichen Hauptfigur Mickey Maus allmählich den Rang streitig machte. 1942 verließ der eigenbrötlerische Barks das Studio und zog sich auf eine Farm zurück. Doch bereits 1944 kehrte er zu Disney zurück, um die ersten Donald-Duck-Comics zu entwerfen. Neben den Zeichnungen kümmerte er sich nun auch um die Texte.

War der ursprünglich von Walt Disney erfundene Donald in den ersten Trickfilmen noch eine faule, hitzköpfige Ente gewesen, die nur unverständliches Zeug quakte, so machte Barks aus ihm eine Comic-Figur mit Persönlichkeit und richtiger Sprache. "Ich erhielt Anerkennung dafür, Donald Duck großgezogen zu haben", sagte Barks 1996 in einem Interview der US-Zeitung "Baltimore Sun". Um den liebenswerten Verlierertypen Donald herum erfand Barks dann weitere Figuren: seine Freundin Daisy, um die er mit seinem ewigen Rivalen Gustav Gans wetteifert, und den genialen Erfinder Daniel Düsentrieb.

Die Welt von Entenhausen verließ Barks 1966, als er sich vom Disney-Konzern trennte. Danach arbeitete Barks als Maler und verewigte die Ducks auf 122 Ölbildern, die heute als wertvolle Sammlerstücke gelten. Einige Bilder, die die Ducks in verschiedenen Szenen in der amerikanischen Geschichte zeigen, wurden für mehr als 200.000 Dollar (etwa 432.000 Mark) verkauft. 1994 unternahm Barks zum 60. Geburtstag von Donald Duck eine mehrwöchige Europa- Reise, auf der er als "Vater von Entenhausen" gefeiert wurde.

hot/sws

Yahoo Germany

Freitag 25. August 2000, 21:22 Uhr

"Donald-Duck"-Erfinder Barks gestorben

Carl Barks, der Zeichner des weltberühmten Comic-Figur "Donald Duck", ist tot. Der Amerikaner starb nach langer und schwerer Krankheit im Alter von 99 Jahren in einem Krankenhaus im US-Bundesstaat Oregon. Sein Stuttgarter Egmont Ehapa Verlag betrauerte Barks als "den besten Geschichtenerzähler aller Zeiten". Barks gilt als Erfinder der Figuren "Dagobert Duck", "Daniel Düsentrieb", "Gustav Gans" und "Gundel Gaukeley". Zudem wurde er weltbekannt für seine Zeichnungen von Walt-Disneys Kult-Enterich "Donald Duck ". Zuletzt wurde er vor allem wegen seiner Ölgemälde - natürlich auch vom neurotischen Enterich im Matrosenanzug und seiner schnatternden Comic-Familie - gefeiert. Erst spät kam Barks zu Ruhm. Lange Zeit blieb sein Name hinter den kunterbunten Comic-Geschichten verborgen. 1935 begann Barks als Mitarbeiter bei Disney. Er war mitverantwortlich für die Produktion von 36 Donald-Duck-Filmen. 1942 entstand das erste Donald-Duck-Comic-Heft. Insgesamt schuf er 6.371 Comic-Seiten für die amerikanischen Disney-Hefte. 1967 trennte er sich von dem Konzern, ein Jahr später erschienen in Amerika die letzten neu von ihm gezeichneten Heft-Geschichten. Der pensionierte Barks widmete sich in der Folge seiner Ölmalerei und spezialisierte sich auch hier auf seine "Duck"-Familie. Viele Stücke werden heute als Sammlerstücke zu stolzen Preisen gehandelt.

Freitag 25. August 2000, 21:15 Uhr

"Donald-Duck"-Zeichner Carl Barks ist tot - Zweite Abendmeldung

"Bester Geschichtenerzähler aller Zeiten" im Alter von 99 Jahren gestorben

Stuttgart/Grants Pass (AP) Donald-Duck-Zeichner Carl Barks ist tot. Der Zeichner und Texter der berühmten Comic-Figur starb am Freitag im Alter von 99 Jahren in Grants Pass im US-Staat Oregon an Leukämie. Sein Stuttgarter Verlag Ehapa betrauerte Barks auf seiner Internet-Homepage als "den besten Geschichtenerzähler aller Zeiten, der dennoch - oder vielleicht gerade deshalb - sein Leben lang so bescheiden geblieben ist". Barks war auch der geistige Vater von "Dagobert Duck", "Daniel Düsentrieb", "Gustav Gans" und "Gundel Gaukeley" sowie Mitbegründer und "Architekt" von Entenhausen. Seine Pflegerin Serene Hunicke sagte: "Er war bis zum Schluss lustig."

Barks wurde am 27. März 1901 in der Nähe von Merrill in Oregon geboren. Nach mehreren Gelegenheitsjobs wurde Barks 1935 Disney-Mitarbeiter. In der Folge war er mitverantwortlich für die Produktion von 36 Donald-Duck-Filmen. 1942 entstand das erste Donald-Duck-Comic-Heft. Kurz darauf verließ Barks Disney und arbeitete als freier Zeichner. Von April 1943 bis September 1965 schrieb und zeichnete er bis auf wenige Ausnahmen alle zehnseitigen Duck-Geschichten in Walt Disneys Comics and Stories. Dabei erfand er 1947 "Onkel Dagobert". Auch "Gustav Gans", Donalds Vetter, kam hinzu, ebenso der umtriebige Erfinder "Daniel Düsentrieb" sowie die "Panzerknacker-Bande" und das "Pfadfinderfähnlein Fieselschweif".

Während die frühen Donald-Duck-Comics überwiegend Slapstick-Konflikte unter den Enten beschrieben, ließ Barks seine Figuren später exotische Abenteuer in der ganzen Welt und im All erleben. Seine erste Auslandsreise führte Barks zum 1994 zum 60. Geburtstag Donald Ducks nach Skandinavien.

Laut Ehapa schuf Barks insgesamt 6.371 Comic-Seiten für die amerikanischen Disney-Hefte. 1968 erschien in den USA die letzte neu von ihm gezeichnete - aber nicht selbst geschriebene -Heft-Geschichte. Barks ließ sich pensionieren, zeichnete aber bis 1973 noch Geschichten um "Tick, Trick und Track" und das "Fähnlein Fieselschweif". Zugleich widmete sich der Zeichner immer mehr der Ölmalerei. In dieser Technik kreierte der Künstler auch mehrere Gemälde mit Duck-Figuren als Motiv. 1994 ging eine Barks-Gemäldesammlung auf Europatournee, die auch in Stuttgart gastierte. Disney-Figuren in Öl malte er bis zu seiner Erkrankung vor 13 Monaten.

"Barks war auf dem Comic-Sektor eine Ausnahmeerscheinung als Texter und Zeichner mit einem absoluten Gefühl für Timing und Witz, Dramatik und Humor", schrieb der Publizist und Disney-Experte Wolfgang Fuchs auf der Ehapa-Homepage. Über seine Arbeit habe Barks einmal gesagt: "Wenn ich ein Talent gehabt habe, dann das, dass ich erkennen konnte, ob etwas komisch war, egal ob ich oder jemand anderer es geschrieben hat."

Freitag 25. August 2000, 19:02 Uhr

"Donald-Duck"-Zeichner Carl Barks gestorben

Stuttgart (AP) Der Zeichner der Comicfigur "Donald Duck", Carl Barks, ist im Alter von 99 Jahren gestorben. Dies teilte der Verlag Ehapa in Stuttgart mit. Den Angaben zufolge starb Barks am Freitag an Krebs. Der Verlag trauere "um den besten Geschichtenerzähler aller Zeiten, der dennoch - oder vielleicht gerade deshalb - sein Leben lang so bescheiden geblieben ist", hieß es auf der Internet-Homepage von Ehapa. Barks wurde am 27. März 1901 in der Nähe von Merrill im US-Staat Oregon geboren. Neben "Donald Duck" war er den Angaben zufolge auch der geistige Vater von "Dagobert Duck", "Daniel Düsentrieb", "Gustav Gans" und "Gundel Gaukeley". Zudem sei Barks Mitbegründer und "Architekt" von Entenhausen gewesen.

Frankfurter Allgemeine

Edition of August 28, 2000.

Er konnte nicht sterben. Zumindest mochten seine Leser das glauben. Denn er schien zeit seines Lebens schon alt gewesen zu sein - zeit jenes Lebens, das er im Scheinwerferlicht der Öffentlichkeit verbracht hatte. Dorthin gelangte er erst, als er schon älter als siebzig war, und er veränderte sich nicht mehr. Da war dieses runde faltige Gesicht mit den immer fröhlichen Augen, die so klein wirkten für den fast zwei Meter großen Körper. Und seine Stimme, etwas schleppend, aber klar und jederzeit für ein Scherzwort gut. Und das Hörgerät, sein Markenzeichen in all den Karikaturen seiner Kollegen und gezeichneten Hommagen seiner Schüler. Er hörte nicht mehr gut, seit er fünfzig geworden war, aber in seiner Welt, in der ihm so ungewollt Ruhe vergönnt war, arbeitete er um so intensiver, und das bis in die hohen Neunziger. Jetzt ist es doch geschehen. Carl Barks ist tot. In einer seiner späten Geschichten um Dagobert Duck, jenen Multimilliardär, von dem wir nichts wüßten, wenn Barks nicht 1947 erstmals von ihm erzählt hätte, liest Donald Duck im Büro seines steinreichen Onkels ein Buch. Es trägt den Titel "Die Kunst, als reicher Mann zu sterben". Barks konnte 1965, als dieser Comic erschien, noch nicht wissen, daß er ein Meister dieser Kunst werden sollte. Erst wenige Jahre zuvor hatten hartnäckige Verehrer den Schleier um die Identität des Mannes gelüftet, den sie in Amerika nur "the good artist" nannten, den guten Zeichner. Niemand außer Walt Disney dürfte seinerzeit als Künstlerpersönlichkeit in Verbindung gebracht werden mit Entenhausen, doch den Lesern fiel es nicht schwer, die Barksschen Arbeiten von denen anderer Zeichner zu unterscheiden. "Alles, was ich erreichen wollte", hat er sich erinnert, "war ein reeller Gegenwert für die zehn Cents, die die Hefte damals kosteten." Aus diesem Arbeitsethos sind unbezahlbare Erinnerungen für sein Publikum entstanden. Und dieses Publikum zählt nach Millionen.

Als Dreiundneunzigjähriger verließ er vor sechs Jahren erstmals die Vereinigten Staaten und besuchte seine europäischen Leser. Es war ein Triumphzug, vor allem in Deutschland, wo er seit 1951 in den brillanten Übersetzungen von Erika Fuchs gelesen wird. Die siebenhundert Duck-Geschichten von Barks liegen mittlerweile als Gesamtausgaben auf deutsch und in allen weiteren wichtigen Sprachen der Welt vor. Mit dem Ende der Anonymität gelangte Barks tatsächlich noch zu Ruhm und Reichtum. Im Ruhestand hatte der alte Mann damit begonnen, seine Helden in Öl zu malen. Das letzte Bild, das er als Mittneunziger vollendete, wurde von seiner Staffelei weg für zweihunderttausend Dollar verkauft.

Das waren kommerzielle Exzesse, die oftmal verdeckten, daß Barks zwar ein großer Comiczeichner war, aber vor allem ein überragender Erzähler. Fast alle Geschichten entstammen auch seiner eigenen Feder, und in seinem Entenhausen entfaltet sich ein gesellschaftliches Panorama, das die Komplexität unserer Welt aufnimmt und auf die schlichten, gleichwohl so expressiven Linien reduziert, mit denen Barks seinen eigenen Kosmos ausgeschmückt hat. Und was ist das für ein Kosmos! Nehmen wir als Beispiel das Bild mit dem lesenden Donald Duck im Büro seines Onkels: Auch der Milliardär liest, allerdings die Börsenkurse aus dem Fernschreiber. Wenn seinereins studiert, dann hat er was davon. Die Kunst, als reicher Mann zu sterben, wie das Buch verheißt, wird von Barks im Bild der doppelten Lektüre (der sich als dritte noch die des Betrachters hinzugesellt) als bloße Theorie entlarvt: nur die Praxis des Geschäftsmanns sorgt für Wohlstand.

Darin liegt zugleich auch Spott gegenüber jeder Teleologie. Nur derjenige, der den Augenblick zu nutzen versteht, führt sein Leben richtig. Der Gegensatz zwischen den beiden Ducks - dem vertieften phlegmatischen Donald und dem aufspringenden erregten Dagobert - läßt im jeweiligen Habitus bereits deren Lebensentwürfe erkennen: Dagobert Duck hat nie jemand gesagt, wie man Kapitalist wird; Donald Duck dagegen sucht Richtlinien in den weisen Worten weiser Männer. Barks zeigt als wahren Philosophen nicht den, der sich in Ruhe der Theorie ergibt, sondern den, der das Staunen über die Welt noch im hohen Alter erlebt. Der Künstler stellt hier eine Opposition auf zwischen Praktiker und Theoretiker, Herr und Knecht, vita activa und vita contemplativa.

Diese mehrschichtige Lesbarkeit hat Carl Barks mit Charles Schulz gemeinsam, dem Zeicher der "Peanuts", der kurz vor ihm verstorben ist. Barks und Schulz - von diesen einsilbigen Klammern wird die gesamte Comicgeschichte seit dem Zweiten Weltkrieg zusammengehalten. Die ganze Welt kennt ihre Serien. Mit dem Tod der Großmeister der beiden klassischen Formen - des Comichefts und des Comicstrips - ist auch eine Epoche des Genres zu Ende gegangen. Comics im einundzwanzigsten Jahrhundert werden verzweifelt nach neuen Wegen suchen - vor allem inhaltlich. Tradition zählt nichts mehr.

Es ist deshalb bezeichnend, daß gerade jetzt, am Todestag seines bekanntesten Zeichners, bekannt wurde, daß der Charakter von Donald Duck umgestaltet werden soll. Disney will das neue Jahrhundert mit einem aufgefrischten Helden beginnen. Nicht Barks zu preisen, stehen sie an, sondern ihn endgültig zu begraben. Dabei hätte man bei ihm lernen können, wie man einen Charakter evolutionär entwickelt - graphisch und erzählerisch. Donald Duck in der Porträts von Barks aus den vierziger Jahren hat nur wenig gemein mit dem der späten sechziger Jahre. Diese Kunst, das Leben mit all seinen Veränderungen, auch den bitteren Facetten, in den Comic zu überführen, hat Barks beherrscht wie kein anderer. Von Charles Schulz unterscheidet sich Barks daher in einem wichtigen Punkt. Die "Peanuts" beschränken sich auf ein festes Repertoire an Figuren und Handlungen; sie bilden Archetypen heraus. Entenhausen dagegen ist der Ort einer personalen und inhaltlichen Wucherung - wie die Welt selbst. Selbst wenn Barks gerne Stereotypen benutzt, die Gegenspieler der Ducks etwa bevorzugt als Schweine mit dünnen Schnurrbärten und verschlagenen Blick zeichnet, verleiht er den so ähnlich scheinenden Figuren immer wieder andere Namen und Marotten. Fremde Völker und Fabelwesen, ja selbst Außerirdische tragen wieder die aus Entenhausen vertrauten Züge, treten als Enten, Hunde und Schweine auf, aber sie sind nichts anderes als maskierte Boten der Differenz: Überall ist Entenhausen, und in Entenhausen steckt die Welt. "Welteroberung aus Entenperspektive" hat der Kunsthistoriker David Kunzle dieses Barkssche Verfahren genannt. Wer jedoch Entenhausen besser kennt, der weiß, daß es sich umgekehrt verhält: Es ist unsere Perspektive, die dort zu ihrem Recht kommt. "Die Ente ist Mensch geworden" übertitelte diese Zeitung ihren Glückwunsch zum neunzigsten Geburtstag von Barks (F.A.Z. vom 27. März 1991). Das ist doppelt treffend, denn nicht nur erscheint uns Donald Duck als zutiefst vertrauter Freund, sondern er selbst hat sich in Carl Barks personifiziert. Ducks Zeichner war selbst Holzfäller, Cowboy, Farmer, Hühnerzüchter und Hilfsarbeiter wie sein Held; er mußte die Schule als Kind abbrechen, schlug sich mehr schlecht als recht durch und bewahrte sich doch die Kraft, nach jedem Scheitern einen neuen Anlauf zu versuchen - wie Duck. So kam er 1936 zu Disney und scheiterte prompt als Trickfilmzeichner. Aber der gleichaltrige Walt Disney erkannte das Erzähltalent seines neuen Mitarbeiters und ließ Barks fortan Geschichten für die Cartoons schreiben. Als sein Gesundheitszustand ihn 1941 zwang, das Studio zu verlassen, reüssierte Barks bald darauf bereits als Comicautor. Es gibt auf dieser Welt Glückskinder und Unglückswürmer, und in Barks und Donald Duck hat sie zwei gefunden, die sich damit nicht abfinden wollen. Man spürt in den Comics von Barks dessen Anteilnahme. Daniel Düsentrieb, der geniale Ingenieur, ist der fleischgewordene Traum des Zeichners, der auf die Frage, was er hätte sein wollen, zu antworten pflegte: ein erfolgreicher Erfinder. Er wußte, daß er es längst geworden war. Mit Düsentrieb, Gustav Gans, den Panzerknackern, der Hexe Gundel Gaukeley und vor allem Dagobert Duck hat er uns überhaupt erst bekanntgemacht; Donald Duck und dessen Neffen Tick, Trick und Track sind ohne Barks' Arbeit am Mythos unvorstellbar. "Mitten in einem schönen Traum" hat sich Barks gewünscht zu sterben. Wir möchten ihn mitträumen: Da geht der große alte Herr mit den schlohweißen Haaren und dem Hörgerät durch die Straßen seiner Stadt. Strahlende Sonne liegt auf dem Geldspeicher, fröhliche Stimmen werktätiger Menschen ringsum. Alle grüßen ihn: die Arbeiter auf den Baugerüsten Entenhausens, die Popcorn-Verkäufer, die Matrosen, die Geschäftsleute - all das Personal, mit dem Barks, der menschenfreundlichste unter den Comiczeichnern, seine Stadt bevölkert hat. Er ist der Stolz seiner Mitbürger. Darüber kann man schon ein wenig glücklich sein. In Entenhausen, so hat ein kluger Interpret einmal festgestellt, wird nicht gestorben, sondern vererbt. Das Erbe des Entenhauseners Barks ist unermeßlich.

ANDREAS PLATTHAUS

(Text forwarded to me by Klaus Harms).

Other reactions in germany

By Klaus Harms (The Disney Comics Mailing List, Tue, 29 Aug 2000 10:46:09)

The reactions of the media in Germany on the passing of Carl Barks were surprisingly vivid and full of sympathy. Here is a very brief and preliminary summary.

The event was reported in virtually all TV main news broadcasts on Friday (as I have been told: Tagesschau on ARD, heute journal on ZDF, RTL Nachtjournal, ZIB 2 on 3sat, the latter covering about 10 minutes); unfortunately I haven't seen any of them (meeting fellow donaldists in Hamburg for a memorial), but someone on the net has taped most of them and has promised to upload them as video files on the WWW, I'll keep the list informed. All big German TV stations also had the passing of Carl mentioned on their videotexts, on 3sat presenting it as top news all weekend.

Newspapers also reported the event in a solemn way, here's what I came to get to know of: On Saturday, the Nordwest Zeitung (a northwest German regional paper), Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine and even boulevard paper BILD (all distributed German-wide) mentioned it on the front page; Nordwest Zeitung, Weser Kurier (another regional paper), Sueddeutsche and Die Welt also had greater articles on Carl Barks inside.

I have been told that the news on the passing of Carl was distributed in Germany first by American Press on Friday at about 6 pm (CET, about 9 hours after), and unfortunately the release contained several mistakes (i.e. Carl being the "inventor" of Donald Duck etc.); it is worth to notice that the main errors were erased when by chance the message came into hands of expert editors such as Fritz Goettler (Sueddeutsche Zeitung) or Klaus Fricke (uncredited, Nordwest Zeitung).

On Monday, there was a superbly written orbituary in the Frankfurter Allgemeine, covering a full page (including comic book panel examples), written by fellow donaldist Andreas Platthaus. German list members are recommended to read this one. I will provide the text if requested [see text above - Favio].

Europa Press

26 de agosto de 2000, 6h49

Fallece Carl Barks, el creador del Pato Donald para los estudios Disney

ORTLAND (EEUU), 26 (EUROPA PRESS)

Carl Barks, el creador durante más de 25 años de las aventuras de Donald para los estudios Disney, ha fallecido a los 99 años de edad en Oregón, al noroeste de Estados Unidos.

El dibujante se retiró en 1966, para dedicarse a la pintura, dejando a otros la tarea de dibujar a Donald, un personaje que el mismo definió como un personaje "sin suerte (...) que a menudo es víctima de las circunstancias. Pero no hay nadie en Estados Unidos que no pueda identificarse con él, comete los mismos errores que nosotros".

Barks nació en 1901 en un rancho aislado cercano a la frontera con California. Después de realizar varios trabajos, como el de leñador, fue llamado para integrar las filas de Disney, donde dio vida al pequeño pato, en 1934.

Donald era en principio un personaje secundario, aunque su mal carácter lo hacía destacar entre los demás. Un año después de obtener la voz, en un principo sólo graznaba, se convirtió en uno de los personajes preferidos del público, desbancando al ratón Mickey.

En 1937, Donald obtuvo su consagración con una serie propia de dibujos animados. Barks le dio una personalidad, un discurso, emociones y hasta un universo, al inventar Patolandia y personajes como el tío Gilito, la pata Daisy o sus tres sobrinos.

Danmark

Fredag 25. august 2000, 16.00

Tegneserielegenden Carl Barks død, 99 år

Carl Barks, en af de mest populære Disney-tegnere gennem tiderne, er død efter længere tids sygdom, 99 år gammel.

Barks var ophavsmand til en lang række af de populære figurer i Andeby: Joakim von And, Georg Gearløs, Fætter Højben, Hexia de Trick, Bjørne-Banden og Grønspætte-Patruljen.

Han var en af "hovedarkitekterne" i udviklingen af Andeby.

Sweden

Fredag 25 augusti 2000, 23.09

Carl Barks död vid 99 års ålder

Portland Carl Barks, serietecknare och skapare av en rad figurer som Joakim von Anka och kusin Alexander, avled på ett vårdhem i södra Oregon på fredagen, meddelade hans anhöriga. Carl Barks föddes i mars 1901 och blev alltså 99 år.

Från 1935 arbetade han med Kalle Anka-filmer på Walt Disneys studio men övergick till att teckna.

Under de år han tecknade Kalle Anka tillförde han serien en rad nya figurer: Björnligan, Oppfinnar-Jocke, farbror Joakim, kusin Alexander Lukas och andre mindre bemärkta invånare i Ankeborg.

Barks pensionerades 1966.

Hans rykte växte så att han fick kultstatus och många inbjudningar. År 1994 besökte han Sverige och uttryckte sin förtjusning över att äntligen ha råd att resa.

Norway

Fredag 25. august 2000, 20.43

Carl Barks er død

Donald-tegneren fremfor noen døde fredag, 99 år gammel.

Legendariske Carl Barks døde natt til fredag etter et langvarig sykeleie, opplyser det tyske forlaget Egmont Ehapa ifølge Verdens Gang. Tegneren led av kreft.

Barks tegnet for Walt Disney fra 1935, og overtok ansvaret for Donald Duck-serien sju år senere. Onkel Skrue, B-gjengen Fetter Anton, gårdsgutten Guffen og Magica fra Tryll er blant figurene han har skapt.

Barks pesjonerte seg i 1967, men var aktiv nesten til det siste. Han gjestet Oslo i 1994.

Fredag 25. august 2000, 16.53

Donald-tegner er død

Stuttgart (NTB-DPA): Carl Barks, best kjent som tegner av klassiske Donald Duck-tegneserier, er død, 99 år gammel. Barks døde natt til i dag etter et langvarig sykeleie, opplyser det tyske forlaget Egmont Ehapa. Den legendariske tegneren fikk for et års tid siden diagnosen kreft.

Barks var både tegner og tekstforfatter, og var av mange Donald Duck-tilhengere regnet som den største av dem alle. Han var mannen bak figurer som Onkel Skrue, Heldige Anton og gårdsgutten Guffen.

-Innbyggerne i Andeby har ved Carl Barks død mistet en av sine mest kjente byhistorikere, heter det i forlagets uttalelse.

Haagsche Courant (The Netherlands)

'Vader' van Oom Donald overleden

Den Haag - De man die Donald Duck zijn karakter gaf, is dood. De Amerikaan Carl Barks (99) stierf gisternacht in een ziekenhuis in Oregon.


Carl Barks met zijn opvallendste creatie, Donald Duck. Ook Dagobert en Willie Wortel maakte hij tot karakters.

De inwoners van Duckstad verliezen met Barks een van hun bekendste stadsschrijvers. Barks was al geruime tijd ernstig ziek.
De Walt Disney-tekenaar gaf de Disney-creatie Donald Duck diens opvallende persoonlijkheid. Hij is verder de uitvinder van Dagobert Duck, Willy Wortel en andere wereldberoemde striphelden. Hij was zowel een uitmuntend tekenaar als schrijver.
Barks werd op 27 maart 1901 in Oregon geboren. Na allerlei baantjes als loopjongen in een drukkerij, houthakker, bij de spoorwegen en als boer solliciteerde hij in november 1935 bij de Disney-studio. Daar werkte hij aanvankelijk als tekenaar. Later was hij uitsluitend als bedenker van verhaaltjes actief en maakte hij korte filmpjes over Donald Duck.
Barks tekende in totaal ruim 6300 pagina's, de meeste over de eendenfamilie. In 1968 verschenen in de Verenigde Staten de laatste door Barks bedachte verhalen. Hij ging met pensioen en stortte zich op het kunstschilderen.

Algemeen Dagblad (The Netherlands)

'Vader' van Donald Duck overleden

New York - De geestelijk vader van de stripfiguur Donald Duck is in de nacht van donderdag op vrijdag overleden in een ziekenhuis in de Amerikaanse staat Oregon. Carl Barks werd 99 jaar.

Barks was langdurig en zwaar ziek geweest. Toen Barks in de jaren 30 bij Disney kwam werkenbestond Donald Duck al. Maar hij diepte het karakter verder uit en bedacht nieuwe figuren als Oom Dagobert (Scrooge McDuck), de Zware Jongens (Beagle Boys), Guus Geluk (Gladstone Gander), Willie Wortel (Gyro Gearloose) en de heks Magica.

Carl Barks is een van de weinige Donald Duck-tekenaars die, weliswaar op latere leeftijd, is ontkomen aan de anonimiteit van de Disney-studio's. De liefhebbers herkennen zijn stijl met sierlijke lijntjes, zijn scenario's vol humor.

ÒIk dank de Heer dat hij eenden heeft geschapen,Ó zei Barks eens. Toch zag hij de Ducks zelden als eenden. ÒVoor mij waren het mensen, ik behandelde hen als mensen in een eendenlichaam. Hun problemen zijn dezelfde als mensen hebben.

In zijn lange loopbaan heeft Barks meer dan 500 strips getekend in ruim 6.000 bladzijden. ÒVraag me niet waarom ik tekenaar ben geworden. Dat blijft voor mij een raadsel. Mijn ouders waren arme mensen zonder culturele belangstelling. Van kinds af aan tekende ik. Op mijn leitje, met houtskool op de muren in huis, op elk stukje papier dat ik in handen kreeg.Ó

Barks was al vroeg hardhorend en daardoor een in zichzelf gekeerd kind. De eenzaamheid, nog verscherpt door het isolement waarin hij woonde, stimuleerde zijn fantasie.

Hij volgde nog een schriftelijke cursus tekenen, maar na 4 lessen moest Carl Barks er mee ophouden. Zijn hulp op de boerderij was hard nodig. Het leven was zwaar en bitter. Maar iedereen in zijn omgeving droeg zijn lot. De levenslessen uit die tijd droegen later bij aan de humor in zijn strips.

ÒMijn jeugd heeft me een andere kijk op het leven gegeven dan de meeste andere mensen bij Disney, die in de steden waren opgegroeid. Via de Ducks kon ik de spot drijven met menselijke verlangens en frustraties, met dikdoenerij en uiterlijk vertoon. De mensen die ik vroeger kende hadden het vermogen om te lachen om de meest ellendige tegenspoed. Als ze die humor niet gehad hadden zouden ze gek geworden zijn.

Tegenslag achtervolgde ook Barks. Zijn moeder overleed op jonge leeftijd, zijn vader was lange tijd ernstig ziek en twee huwelijken liepen op de klippen. ÒMaar ik heb mijn verhalen niet door een sluier van tranen geschreven en getekend. Het isolement koos ik zelf. Als ik tekende raakte ik het contact kwijt met alles om me heen, dan ging ik op in mijn eigen wereld, mijn eigen figuren, mijn fantasie.Ó

Barks bewonderde strips als Little Nemo, Popeye en de Katzenjammerkids. Door die te imiteren leerde hij tekenen, maar voordat hij van zijn hobby zijn werk kon maken had hij eerst nog tal van andere baantjes, zoals houthakker, cowboy, drukker en staalarbeider.

Hij was bijna 30 toen hij cartoons kon leveren aan het moppenblaadje The Calgary Eye Opener. Vijf jaar later hoorde Barks dat Walt Disney tekenaars zocht voor de film Sneeuwwitje. Daar werd hij aangenomen en al snel erkende Disney zijn talent als bedenker van grappen. Donald Duck had toen net zijn eerste avontuur achter de rug. Ik werd de eendeman, zei Barks. Met Jack Hannah (later bekend van de Flintstones) tekende hij de eerste stripverhalen. Hannah zorgde voor de meubels en de interieurs; hij tekende de buitenwereld.

De constructie van een verhaal begon altijd met het bedenken van de situatie waarin de Ducks terecht zouden komen. Daarna bedacht ik de grappen die bij zo'n situatie pasten. Als ik in de stemming was om schepen te tekenen dan was de volgende stap een reden bedenken waarom ze naar zee moesten. Dat kon een race zijn tussen twee partijen die een schat op de zeebodem moesten ontdekken of een zoektocht naar een onbekende zeeslang. En in de National Geographic vond ik wel foto's van fraaie schepen die ik kon natekenen. Ik bewaarde ook stapels knipsels over machines, dieren en oorlogstuig.

In 1974 legde hij zijn potlood neer. In 25 jaar tijd had ik bijna elke lokatie, elk land ter wereld en elke emotionele reden voor een avontuur wel gebruikt. Ik wilde mezelf niet herhalen.

La Repubblica (Italy)

ROMA - Appena arrivata la notizia, con la velocitÀ che hanno solo i tam tam guidati dall'amore, nessuno ha detto nulla. Il silenzio é stato riempito solo con un "sigh!", il suono che fanno i fumetti quando piangono. E' morto the duck man, l'uomo dei paperi. Carl Barks non c'é più. Paperino, Zio Paperone, Qui, Quo, Qua, Archimede Pitagorico e tutta Paperopoli hanno perso il padre che li ha amati di pi* e che li ha fatti diventare quello che sono per milioni di persone. Barks aveva 99 anni, da tempo soffriva di leucemia e qualche mese fa aveva deciso di interrompere le cure. Un'eutanasia lenta, passata nella sua casa di Grants Pass, in Oregon e confortata da migliaia di e-mail che arrivavano al suo sito.

Se oggi la maggior parte del pianeta si sente più Paperino che Topolino, se é ormai prassi chiamare un uomo fortunato Gastone, se milioni di bambini hanno imparato e imparano a leggere più volentieri incuriositi dal mondo di Paperopoli, il merito ù tutto suo. Quell'uomo con il cognome che suonava come un quack di Paperino, ha dedicato tutta la vita ai suoi personaggi.

Inizi˜ la carrierˆ nel 1918 quando ebbe un lavoro come disegnatore presso una rivista chiamata Calgary Eye-Opener. Ha disegnato pin-up per anni prima di trovare il suo vero amore: Donald Duck, un colpo di fulmine appena entrato nell'impero Disney. Paperino faceva ridere Barks e gli insegnava il distacco da quelle "tante stupide abitudini che abbiamo in questo mondo".
Più cresceva Paperino, più cresceva Barks. E più, probabilmente crescevamo tutti: "Non c'é persona negli Stati Uniti che non possa identificarsi con lui. Paperino é come tutti, e fa gli errori che facciamo tutti". Ma l'uomo dei paperi aveva ispirazione da vendere e Paperino non bastava a far esaurire la sua fantasia. Aveva bisogno di un intero universo. Ed ecco allora arrivare tutti gli altri paperi, compreso quel capolavoro tratto direttamente dallo Scrooge del Canto di Natale di Dickens che sarebbe diventato Paperon de' Paperoni.

Barks lavorà pochissimo tempo agli studi Disney, preferiva la sua casa studio di San Jacinto dove aveva anche una fattoria di polli: "Non mi piaceva essere costantemente pressato e non mi piaceva che ci fossero tanti capetti che ti guardavano dietro le spalle per controllare come lavoravi, criticando continuamente il lavoro", raccontava l'artista.

Nel 1968, chiusa la carriera di disegnatore di fumetti, inizià la sua attività di pittore di oli, oggi venduti a milioni di dollari. Ma Barks sarebbe restato sempre "the duck man". L'immaginario collettivo di tutti gli deve troppe cose. Come ammise per esempio il regista Steven Spielberg quando dichiarà che il film "I predatori dell'arca perduta" fu ispirato in molte scene dall'opera del padre dei paperi.

(25 agosto 2000)

Libération (28/8/2000)

Donald en deuil

Libération daté du lundi 28 Août 2000

Carl Barks, scénariste dessinateur chez Disney, avait pérennisé Riri, Fifi, Loulou, Onc'Picsou...
Par PHILIPPE GARNIER

Selon le spécialiste Edward Summers, George Lucas et Steven Spielberg se seraient inspirés des "Sept cités de Cibola" pour leur séquence d'ouverture des "Aventuriers de l'arche perdue".

Le dessinateur Carl Barks est mort vendredi chez lui à Grant Pass (Oregon). Il avait 99 ans et souffrait de leucémie. Gontran et sa patte de lapin, les Frères Rapetou, l'Onc' Picsou et sa piscine à dollars, la Patrouille des castors, c'était lui. Avant de se voir engagé par une revue humoristique dans les années 20, il avait été vacher, bûcheron, cheminot et ouvrier imprimeur en Oregon. En 1935, un an après la première apparition de Donald Duck à l'écran, il rejoignit l'équipe de Walt Disney, dont les studios se trouvaient encore sur Hyperion Avenue, dans le quartier de Silver Lake à Los Angeles. Il travaillera sur trente-six dessins animés de Donald, souvent seul scénariste et artiste, et collaborera aux synopsis de Blanche-Neige, Bambi et Fantasia.

De 1942, et jusque dans les années 60, Carl Barks a dessiné sous licence Disney pour les journaux illustrés du monde entier (en France, le Journal de Mickey), et c'est surtout ce petit monde de Donald qu'il a créé de toutes pièces, qui lui vaudra la reconnaissance de millions de gens, encore qu'il lui ait fallu attendre les années 70 pour la recevoir en son nom, puisque par contrat aucun collaborateur Disney ne pouvait signer de son propre nom. En 1971, Barks a commencé à peindre à l'huile des personnages de Disney, provoquant des poursuites de la part de Disney lorsqu'une compagnie non liée à lui s'est mise à produire des posters de ses œuvres, dont certaines finirent par se vendre jusqu'à un demi-million de dollars. Par la suite, toutes les parties sont parvenues à un accord, avec partage de royalties. A partir de 1994, Barks s'est remis à superviser des histoires de Picsou et Donald, cette fois avec l'aide d'artistes et scénaristes copiant son style. Pour le lancement de ces nouvelles bandes dessinées, et à l'occasion du soixantième anniversaire de Donald, Disney lui organisa une tournée européenne.

Les histoires de Carl Barks se distinguaient des autres surtout par leurs détails, et certaines sont restées en tête de plus d'un vieux gamin - tels George Lucas et Steven Spielberg qui, selon le spécialiste Edward Summers, se seraient inspirés des Sept cités de Cibola pour leur séquence d'ouverture des Aventuriers de l'arche perdue - celle avec le rocher qui roule. Et qui ne se souvient du vaisseau coulé, renfloué par Donald à l'aide de balles de ping-pong introduites dans le bateau par des tuyaux et une soufflerie? Des années plus tard, une société fit remonter une épave à la surface en utilisant le même système. En France, seuls les connaisseurs savaient que Gontran, le cousin chanceux de Donald, s'appelait Gladstone Gander dans son pays natal, ou les Rapetou, les Beagle Boys. Quant à Scrooge McDuck, plus connu sous le nom d'Onc' Picsou, il apparaît pour la première fois en 1947 dans l'histoire Christmas on Bear Mountain. Peut-être parce qu'il en avait fait un chargé de famille, Barks avait adouci quelque peu la boule de nerfs incontrôlable qu'était Donald dans les premiers cartoons. Il en avait fait le clown blanc de sa petite famille, le beauf, laissant à ses impitoyables neveux ou à son Onc' Picsou toute la gamme des sentiments humains, de la violence à la rapacité. Et la tuante faconde pour le cousin Gontran.

Cartoonsearch.com

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Carl Barks, the most famous of all Disney comic book artists and the creator of Scrooge McDuck, passed away at his home in Grants Pass, Oregon on Friday (8/25) after a long illness. The legendary Barks wrote and illustrated almost 500 Donald Duck comic books between 1942 and 1966. At its peak in the 1950s, Barks' Donald Duck stories as featured in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories sold over three million copies a month in the U.S. Another 20 million copies a month were sold in foreign editions. Commenting on Barks' passing, Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of The Walt Disney Company, noted, ``Carl Barks was one of the most gifted artists and inventive storytellers ever to work for Disney and the undisputed 'Comic Book King.' When it came to creating imaginative tales for Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and the other classic Disney characters, no one ever did it better. He challenged our imaginations and took us on some of the greatest adventures we have ever known. His prolific comic book creations entertained many generations of devoted fans all over the world and influenced countless artists over the years. Carl's joyful humor and stylish storytelling will certainly be missed but his timeless tales will stand as a legacy to his originality and brilliant artistic vision.''

Born on March 27, 1901 and raised on an Oregon farm, Barks worked at various vocations before becoming a freelance artist in the late 1920s. In 1935, he started at The Walt Disney Studios as an in-betweener, drawing frames between action in animated cartoons. Within a few months, he was transferred to the story department, where he helped create stories for the animated shorts. His favorite character was Donald Duck and he went to work providing animation for some of ``the duck's'' earliest films. In all, Barks collaborated on three dozen Donald Duck shorts -- including ``Modern Inventions,'' ``Good Scouts'' and ``Timber'' -- and helped the temperamental duck skyrocket to superstardom. Donald's popularity extended to comic books. In 1942, Western Publishing, producer of the Disney comic books, hired Barks to draw the first original Disney comic book, ``Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold.'' The following year, Barks illustrated the lead story for Western's monthly Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. For the next 24 years, he wrote and drew almost every Donald Duck story in that publication. He focused on the everyday adventures of Donald and his nephews -- Huey, Dewey and Louie -- and added a colorful cast of supporting characters that included Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose and the unforgettable Scrooge McDuck. Uncle Scrooge, the eccentric globetrotting ``jillionaire'' first appeared as a bit player in the 1947 story, ``Christmas on Bear Mountain.'' Barks recalled, ``Scrooge's wealth generated so many gag situations he was soon upstaging Donald.'' In 1966, Barks retired from full-time comic book work but continued his association with Disney's ducks. Five years later, in 1971, The Walt Disney Company granted him unprecedented permission to paint Donald Duck in oils, bringing the Duckburg clan to the world of fine art. At age 70, the artist attempted his first oil painting and went on to paint nearly 150 works. Barks' work has been collected in several hardbound coffee-table books -- ``The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck'' (1981), ``The Fine Art of Walt Disney's Donald Duck'' and the 30 volume ``Carl Barks' Library.'' His comic book creations took on a whole new life when they became the basis for the popular Disney animated television series, ``DuckTales,'' which premiered in 1987 and ran for many years in syndication and on network TV. A feature film starring Scrooge McDuck, called ``DuckTales: The Movie, Treasure of the Lost Lamp'' was released in 1990. Barks was honored by the Studio in 1991, when he became part of select group to receive the ``Disney Legends Award.'' Barks is survived by his daughter, Dorothy, from Bremerton, Washington; as well as a granddaughter, a grandson, a niece and several great, great grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for next week in the artist's hometown.

Comicon.com

BARKS DEPARTS FOR LAND OF TRALLA LA! August 25: One of the giants of American comics passed on today. Carl Barks, who's adventure stories of DONALD DUCK, UNCLE SCROOGE and HUEY, DEWEY and LOUIE enthralled generations of readers, died peacefully in his home last night. He was ninety-nine years old and, from all reports, ready to embark on the final adventure.

Barks, suffering from lukemia, had refused further medication to prolong his life.

Carl Barks was born on March 27, 1901, on an Oregon ranch and was described as a solitary youngster, due to the isolated location and partial deafness. At an early age, Barks began drawing and as a young man got a job as cartoonist for the Calgary Eye-Opener.

In 1935, he applied for work at the Disney Studio and submitted a gag about a mechanized barber chair for the Donald Duck cartoon Modern Inventions, which secured him a position in the story department. Barks worked on a number of animated cartoons like Donald's Nephews (1938), Donald's Cousin Gus (1939), Timber (1941), The Vanishing Private (1942) and The Plastics Inventor (1944).

In the early 1940s, Barks left the studio and wrote to Western Publishing saying that he was available to draw Disney comic-books. Western hired him immediately to draw Donald Duck stories, and kept him at it for the next 25 years - and even into his retirement. Barks wrote and illustrated almost 500 Donald Duck comic books between 1942 and 1966. At its peak in the 1950s, Barks' Donald Duck stories as featured in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories sold over three million copies a month in the U.S. Another 20 million copies a month were sold in foreign editions.

Barks immediately set out to create a fully dimensional character for DONALD DUCK, providing him with a personality, articulated speech and a whole range of complex emotions. Barks developed the city Duckburg and populated it with unforgettable citizens like Uncle Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose, and the Beagle Boys. Barks fleshed out Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, making them the real heroes of many of the adventures.

Roy E. Disney, vice chairman of The Walt Disney Company, issued a statement saying, "Carl Barks was one of the most gifted artists and inventive storytellers ever to work for Disney and the undisputed 'Comic Book King.' When it came to creating imaginative tales for Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and the other classic Disney characters, no one ever did it better. He challenged our imaginations and took us on some of the greatest adventures we have ever known. His prolific comic book creations entertained many generations of devoted fans and influenced countless artists over the years. Carl's joyful humor and stylish storytelling will certainly be missed but his timeless tales will stand as a legacy to his originality and brilliant artistic vision."

In an interview, Barks said: "I always felt myself to be an unlucky person like Donald, who is a victim of so many circumstances. But there isn't a person in the United States who couldn't identify with him. He is everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that we all make. He is sometimes a villain, and he is often a real good guy and at all times he is just a blundering person like the average human being, and I think that is one of the reasons people like the duck."

Barks retired from active cartooning in 1966, but still wrote and drew the occasional story while producing a spectacular series of duck paintings that are highly prized by collectors.

As word of Barks' death spread out across the world of comics today, one could almost sense a collective hush come over the legions of fans who adored him. It seems as if everyone, at an early age, has been indelibly touched by the master duckman. Thanks to Don Markstein

CarlBarks.cjb.net

In Memoriam of Carl Barks

To the dismay of Carl Barks fans all around the world, the beloved artist died Saturday of leukemia. This is a very sad moment and a time to remember all the magnificent stories that he wrote and drew. In light of this event I will provide links to newspapers covering the tragic event. If some of the links won"t work anymore than it is because some news sites remove these articles after some time.

ComicbookResources.com

UNCLE SCROOGE FATHERLESS: CARL BARKS, 99, DEAD

One of the world's most popular comic book creators, Carl Barks, known to millions as the preeminent Disney comic book creator. It was in that role that Barks created many of the Donald Duck supporting cast members that have become staples of Disney comics and television cartoons, including Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander and Gyro Gearloose.

Barks primarily worked on the Donald Duck comics from the 1940s through the 1960s after leaving Disney's animation studios, although he continued to create comics through the 1990s. His final comic, "Somewhere in Nowhere," created in 1997, is unpublished, a victim of the limbo Disney comics have languished in over the past few years.

Barks died shortly after midnight Thursday (Friday morning) at his home in Oregon.

Beau Yarbrough

Carl Barks

Tuesday August 29, 2000 For a moment on Friday morning, my world stopped. I received the phone call at work that morning from a fellow Duck fan that Carl Barks had died.


From the first page of UNCLE SCROOGE #1 (March 1952), "Only a Poor Old Man."

It wasn't too long after I first seriously got into comics that the generational tide kicked in. Comics were a medium with a 50-year tradition at that point. We were just getting to the point where the innovators, founders, and original creators of all our favorite characters were facing their own mortality. I suppose the biggest impact hit when Jack Kirby passed. Ever since, we've seen a steady stream of the greats leave us one by one. But it never really hit home until we lost Unca Carl.

Carl Barks was 99 when he left us on Friday morning.

I never met Barks. But of all the old-time greats, he had the greatest impact on my comics life. His stories may have first come alive for me on the small screen in DUCKTALES, but they truly resonated on the printed page. It's all too easy to get trapped in that little world of talking ducks. There are stories of his that I own multiple copies of colored by different colorists on different sizes and weights of paper. I've reread them each time I bought them. How could you not? They suck you in better than anything else.


One of the first comics I ever bought. It reprints "Micro-Ducks From Outer Space," originally printed in UNCLE SCROOGE #65 in 1966. The story would inspire the namesake DUCKTALES episode.

Doing a little bit of math, I see that Barks' best work came from his pen while he was in his forties, fifties, and sixties. He was active painting throughout his seventies, eighties, and a good portion of his nineties.

He created Scrooge McDuck at an age when most men today want to trade in their SUVs for little two-door sports cars.

He painted masterpieces worthy of exhibition at an age when most of us would just be happy to cash our Social Security checks.

Carl Barks led an amazing life. It's the kind of story that would make an award-winning documentary. If you thought the lives of Hollywood stars were fascinating, reading the life story of Carl Barks and everything he did will leave you in awe. From being a Disney gag writer to chicken farmer to comic book artist to painter and more…

Cover to Hamilton Comics' 1997 collection of early Barks' cartoons. Not only was the book "unexpurgated," showing material to be considered sexist and racist by today's standards, it was also unauthorized by Barks, himself.

We're lucky enough to be able to follow a small part of that life through his drawings. The body of work he left behind is impressive, to say the least. For twenty-five years he created stories that would be read by millions not only in this country, but all over the world. Those stories would be reprinted more often in this country than any super-hero comic you care to mention. If you take in worldwide reprints, your mind would boggle.

The biggest irony of Carl Barks' career, perhaps, is that his little tales, replete with Americana, achieved greatest fame overseas. In Scandinavia, he is treated like a god. (They already have a king, and Carl Barks' creations probably have better name recognition and favorability. ;-) In America, you can't find a simple Scrooge memento in a Disney Studios store at the local mall. You're hard pressed to find anything at Disneyland, for that matter! Meanwhile, in other countries, you can get a Scrooge McDuck piggy bank for opening up a checking account at the local bank. But I digress…


Cover to UNCLE SCROOGE #309, May 1998. It's a detail from a Barks oil painting done in 1973 entitled "This Dollar Saved My Life At Whitehorse."

Carl Barks was one of the best storytellers of the twentieth century. Certainly, in comics, he ranks right up there with Jack Kirby and Will Eisner. While his art would often look plain and structured in three- and four-tiered pages, his ability to tell a story was masterful, honed by years of practice.

There were generally two types of stories Barks did. The first was the short and comedic ten-page gag stories, which were often featured in WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES. This would be the "Donald gets a new job" type of story, which strung together a series of gags to their inevitable conclusion. Character was ever important in these stories. Donald's short temper and the nephew's desire to be good Junior Woodchucks and keep him honest often were at odds, and that kept the comedy coming.

The second type of story is probably the one most people remember Barks for. The adventure stories could run twenty to thirty-two pages, but always finished inside of the same issue. There were no such things as continued stories in Barks' day. Using a trusty stack of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC for photo reference and factual background, Barks would send the ducks all over the world in pursuit of treasure.


UNCLE SCROOGE ADVENTURES, Vol 2, #26, May 1994. Carl Barks oil painting detail from "Klondike Kaper."

(You see, Scrooge wasn't obsessed with wealth. He was obsessed with adventure, and the pursuit of treasure was his excuse. Each coin in his money bin told a story. That's why those coins were always difficult to lose on wasteful spending, or Donald's latest Get Rich Quick scheme.)

This isn't meant to ignore or diminish his artistic skills. While his pen and ink skills were, indeed, on the decline by the 1960s, Barks was still able to portray some masterful and memorable images. His ducks were stylish and simple, not needing a whole lot of lines or tedious crosshatching to fill in their characters. The characters emoted naturally when Barks drew them. It was more than just facial expressions, although that might have been charming enough given the bone structure of a duck's face. ;-) He had the body language down pat, and the senses of motion and animation were always present. Scrooge leaned on his cane, but didn't rely on it. When adventure struck, he could barely be bothered with it.

By the end of his storytelling career, Barks' ducks looked a little flatter, maybe slightly less animated. They were telltale signs of a tired artist. The linework wasn't as fluid. But, still, I'd line up any of those 1960s stories against most any modern super-hero or small press comic as far as storytelling and character work go.


From UNCLE SCROOGE #1 (March 1952), "Only a Poor Old Man."

When necessary, Barks could pull out all the stops. One of the most memorable panels in all of comics for me, for example, is the half-page splash of the dam bursting with Scrooge's money from the very first Uncle Scrooge Adventures story, "Only a Poor Old Man." Barks drew in every single coin. You could hear the timber of the old wood damn break, and hear the rush of water following behind the clanging of the coins.

When it came time to send Scrooge and the nephews down below the surface to investigate a series of earthquakes ("The Land Beneath the Ground," 1956), the Terry Fermies' games were shown in startling detail. The Terry Fermies, themselves, were little more than solid lumps of red and blue color. Merged together and placed in "The Land Beneath the Ground," they formed memorable patterns, standout images, and a wonderful sense of motion. All of that was placed against a sometimes photo-realistic backdrop. Such was Barks' style. While his characters would be fluid and animated and cartoony, the backgrounds were always drawn with a keen eye towards detail and realism. There was no stylization apparent there.

Cover to 1996 reprinting of "Land Beneath The Ground," UNCLE SCROOGE #13, March 1956.

One web site (http://www.fmi.uni-passau.de/~zimmerth/comics/barks/index.engl.shtml) lists the final Barks art tally to be 6,215 pages of comics drawn, along with 190 covers and 396 scripts. That just counts the Disney comics. That doesn't include his adult cartoons from the 1930s, his animation gags, or his other works, such as the "Porky Of The Mounties" story reprinted in "Bugs Bunny and Friends: A Comic Celebration" trade paperback a couple of years back.

Nor does it count Barks' second artistic career - painting. For the last thirty years of his life, Barks enjoyed doing watercolor recreations of his Ducks in situations he made famous.

This is hardly the end for Carl Barks. The stories, the characters, and the memories he left behind will be with us always. And when Disney comics publish in America again, a whole new generation will get a taste of what it meant to read comics starring talking ducks that will make them stand up and cheer. Stories that will make them think. Stories that will make them laugh until they cry.

I envy them getting the chance to experience it all for the first time.

We miss ya already, Unca Carl.

Augie De Blieck Jr.
Staff Writer, CBR

The Washington Post

Michael Rhode (on the Disney Comics Mailing List):

<< Saturday's Washington Post had Spiegelman's Reuters obituary - which I thought focussed curiously on the amount of money Barks had and had not made on the ducks. Today's paper has an appreciation:

The Cartoonist Who Had His Ducks in a Row

By Lloyd Rose
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday , August 29, 2000 ; C01 >>

Here is the Washington Post's article.

The Cartoonist Who Had His Ducks in a Row

By Lloyd Rose
Washington Post Staff Writer

Carl Barks was "the good duck artist." Barks, who died Friday at the age of 99, went to work for Walt Disney's Comics & Stories in the 1930s, and he labored in obscurity his whole career. Very few comic book artists and writers got credit for what they produced: They were hired to turn out company product, and they did. Nonetheless, Barks's work--among other things, he created Scrooge McDuck and the gigantic square money bin in which he slithered among his golden coins like a happy porpoise--had its fans from the very beginning. Not knowing his name, children wrote fan letters to him addressed to "The Good Duck Artist."

Charming as that sobriquet is, it gives the impression that Barks's great skill lay in, well, drawing ducks. It's true that he did this expertly. He was a wonderful cartoonist, and his figures have comic vitality; he was particularly good at expressions of exasperation. But it was as a storyteller--a children's book writer, if you will--that Barks was exceptional. I know this because I'm one of the people who read his stuff as a child, and I remember it into adulthood the way I remember the Oz books.

Before his comic book career, Barks had worked in the Disney animation studios as an "in-betweener," someone who provides the connecting drawings between the major poses drawn by the cartoon's director and chief animators (there are 24 film frames to a second, of which a director might draw four to six, outlining the figure's basic movement). It was not challenging work, and besides, working on Donald Duck--who pretty much did nothing but throw one tantrum after another--had a certain sameness to it.

When Barks moved to comic books, he did for Donald what Chuck Jones did in cartoons for Bugs Bunny: gave him a more sophisticated personality and put a spin of wit onto the jokes. Barks expanded on the personalities of Donald's three identical nephews--Huey, Dewey and Louie, distinguishable only by the colors of their billed beanies; they patiently put up with Donald's erratic nature, frequently bailing him out of scraps with tips from the Junior Woodchuck Handbook.

In a repeating motif that's always a hit with kids, the boys were the cool heads who saved the day when the high-strung Donald became hysterical or their Uncle Scrooge became gaga with greed.

Ah yes, Scrooge. The top-hatted, spatted miser (spats on a duck were one of Barks's greatest inspirations) whose fortune brought him more nervousness than joy. Predators always lurked. There were the masked Beagle Boys, nefarious thugs who coveted his gold.

There was the evil enchantress Magica De Spell, with her sloe eyes and Bettie Page hairdo, who was always plotting to steal Scrooge's lucky dime. There was Donald, whom he tried to support by giving him jobs, but who frankly had a head like a knot of wood and could almost invariably be relied on to lose money.

Donald had his own problems. Aside from stingy Scrooge there was Gladstone Gander.

Gladstone strutted around with his eyes half shut, peering with lazy superiority at lesser mortals who had not been born with his fabulous luck. Gladstone was lucky the way the ocean is wet. He didn't have to buy lottery tickets: The winning one would somehow be caught on a breeze and waft right into his pocket. He was so lucky he was blase about it, bored really--a trait that drove the hard-working, under-rewarded Donald up the wall.

We all know a Gladstone, don't we?

Barks's highest flights of fancy came in his plots, which had the surprises and quirky inventiveness in which children delight. In "The Land Beneath the Ground," Scrooge is horrified one morning to discover that his precious money bin is . . . empty! After he recovers from his swoon, the nephews discover that the previous day's earthquake had cracked the vault and all the cash fell into a crevice. Soon everyone is following a mysterious cavern deep, deep, deep underground, and encounter the civilization of the Terries and the Firmies.

The Terries and the Firmies are identical round-bodied folk, although one group wears bow ties and the other four-in-hands. Their country is domed by the immense vault of Earth itself, held up by enormous pillars, and their idea of fun is to roll themselves completely into balls and launch themselves at the pillars to see who can cause the biggest vibration. Thus, earthquakes. Quidditch, hah!

No sense spoiling the story by revealing how our heroes resolve things. Suffice to say that the Junior Woodchuck Handbook, though not the deciding factor, comes in very handy. And that Donald may have no luck but lacks not for pluck. Brain triumphs over brawn, common sense over pretension, sanity trumps craziness.

Greece

From Georgios Balanikas M.D. (The Disney Comics Mailing List, Mon, 28 Aug 2000 22:16:00).

I had started to worry that the passing of the legendary comic artist would pass here unnoticed by the Greek news media. But after a few days delay, some daily newspapers have articles today about the death of our great Master. The wide circulating and among the most serious newspapers" TO VIMA "had today a whole page article in the section "CULTURE",about the life and the work of Carl Barks. The Supertitle is "Barksism"and the title:"Carl Barks and the immortal ducks".It has a color photo of CB painting the "Surprise Party at Memory Pond". It has also a sketch of the "Calgary Eye Opener and a panel of the story "A poor Old Man".The article is very detailed and descriptive of CB life and work. This newspaper has suspended its web site for a moment and it is not possible to see the article in the web. Another daily newspaper "TA NEA " of the same publishing company has also a paragraph with these news and a self-portrait sketch of CB.

This publishing company is the largest in Greece and is co-owner of the company that publishes KOMIX. Every day these two newspapers have colored Disney strips as an advertisement for the weekly Mickey Mouse. Other newspapers:"EXOUSIA" with also a whole page article, a photo and a panel of a story, "Eleytheros Typos"with a one-page detailed article and "Adesmeytos Typos" with a half -page article. The electronic media kept silence.

Satunet.com (Indonesia)

Pelukis tokoh Donald Bebek meninggal

Laporan Charles P Manurung

Carl Barks, kartunis berbakat yang menggambar sosok Donald Bebek, karakter Disney yang dicintai oleh berbagai usia dalam beberapa generasi, meninggal dalam usia 99 tahun, hari Jumat di Oregon, demikian keluarganya menyatakan.

Carl adalah anak petani yang mengubah nasibnya ketika ia bergabung dengan studio Disney tahun 1935 dengan menggambar Donald bebek dan karakter-karakter kartun lainnya. Ia melakukan hal itu selama 25 tahun.

Walaupun ia bukan pencipta karakter itu, sumbangannya adalah dalam bentuk dan kepribadian yang menjadikan Donald sukses sejak 1940 hingga sekarang.

Selama karirnya yang lebih dari 80 tahun, ia tidak pernah berhenti untuk memberikan identitas kepada bebek terkenal itu.

"Saya sering merasa sebagai Donald, yang selalu menjadi korban berbagai situasi," ujarnya dalam wawancara beberapa tahun yang lalu.

"Tapi bukankah tidak ada orang di Ameriak Serikat yang tidak mengenal dia. Ia adalah segalanya, ia adalah milik semua orang. Ia melakukan kesahalan seperti yang kita lakukan."

Barks tumbuh bersama keluarganya di selatan Oregon dan belajar menggambar melalui kursus tertulis. Pada usia 17, ia menuju San Francisco dengan uang 100 dolar AS di kantongnya dan berharap bisa bekerja sebagai artis.

Setelah dua tahun yang mengecewakan, ia pindah ke Sacramento dan bekerja sebagai petani. Tapi ia tidak pernah berhenti menggambar.

Tahun 1928, ia mendapat pekerjaan sebagai penulis humor dan ilustrator Calgary Eye-Opener di Minneapolis.

Tahun 1935, saat Donald Bebek untuk pertamakali muncul, Barks bergabung dengan studio Disney. Ia menggambar 35 tokoh kartun termasuk keponakan Donald (1938); paman Donald Gus (1939); Timber (1941); The Vanishing Private (1942); dan The Plastics Inventor (1944). [cpm]

The BBC

Donald Duck cartoonist dies

His paintings were very popular and sold well The man whose sketches brought the famous Disney character Donald Duck first to comics and then to the screen, has died in the United States.

Cartoonist Carl Barks, who was 99, died of leukaemia on Friday at his home in southern Oregon.

He joined Walt Disney in 1935 and retired as a cartoonist in 1966, but continued to paint. Some of his Disney paintings fetched as much as $200,000.

Mr Barks said in one of his interviews that he always identified with Donald Duck.

"I always felt myself to be an unlucky person like Donald, who is a victim of so many circumstances."

"But there isn't a person in the United States who couldn't identify with him. He is everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that we all make."

Farm boy

Carl Barks was born on a ranch in Merrill, Oregon in 1901 and said of his upbringing that he grew up with "well-armed cowboys".

He took a correspondence course in drawing and moved to San Francisco at the age of 17.

He failed to gain employment as an artist and after two years took a job as a farm worker and coach builder in Sacramento but continued to indulge in his passion for art.

He eventually got a job in Minneapolis as a comic writer and illustrator for the Calgary Eye-Opener.

He then went on to join Disney studios' art department where he drew 35 cartoon characters. He also wrote Donald Duck comic strips at Disney until he left in 1942 to become a chicken farmer.

I n 1943 he began drawing and writing comic strips for Disney comics. Mr Barks went on to write 400 scripts and draw 6,000 pages and 200 covers.

It was in the 1940s that Mr Barks gave the duck a personality transplant.

"He was just a noisy, quarrelsome brat in the movies. When I started doing the comics in 1943, I couldn't do enough stories with him like that. So I changed Donald's character."

"I put him in a role where he had to act intelligently and speak well enough to put his thoughts across. He's a lot like a lot of us, though, wanting to speak his mind."

He drew over 6,000 comic strips

The New York Times

The ´Duck Man,´ Who Drew Donald and Created Scrooge, Dies at 99 By MICHAEL POLLAK

Carl Barks, the once anonymous "duck man" for Walt Disney whose draftsmanship and writing gained him a cultlike following among artists and fans of Donald Duck comic books and of his very own creation, Scrooge McDuck, died Friday at his home in Grants Pass, Ore. He was 99.

Barks' detailed and witty adventure stories attracted a large following from 1942 to 1966, the years he drew comic books under license to Disney. Because Disney artists did not sign their work, most readers learned his name only after he retired and received attention from comic-book collectors.

In more recent years, his oil paintings and lithographs of the extended Donald Duck family sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

John Canemaker, director of the animation program at the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, said Friday that a 20-by-25-inch Barks oil painting sold in 1996 for $230,000. Another oil sold two years later for $500,000.

But it was as a comic book writer and illustrator with a distinctive style that millions of fans and aficionados came to know Barks' work.

"He made the fantasy real," said Canemaker, whose book "Paper Dreams" (Hyperion, 1999) examines the art of Disney storyboard artists. "There is a great amount of detail in his comic books, and enormous subtlety in the way he would draw the characters in terms of their personalities and inner thoughts."

The artist and illustrator Art Spiegelman called Barks' stories more sophisticated than those of other comic books and said that his Donald was easier to understand than "that short-tempered little thing in the animated cartoons."

"His were among the first comic books that made me want to be a cartoonist," Spiegelman said. A few years ago, in an introduction to a book of Barks' gag cartoons, Spiegelman wrote: "I've loved Carl Barks' work since those days of long-lost innocence when I assumed that the duck stories were all written and drawn by Walt Disney himself. As far as I was concerned, they were Walt's best work, done on lunch breaks, when he wasn't making animated cartoons or hosting his weekly TV show. Before that, I just believed the ducks were somehow real, and now, as an adult, I've reverted to my first opinion: the ducks ARE real."

In 1971, Barks began reproducing his Walt Disney characters in oil paintings, some of which he sold for as little as $200. Initially, the Disney Studios turned a blind eye to Barks' work, but when someone not associated with Barks started mass-producing posters of a painting, Disney sued.

Eventually, an agreement was reached under which both Disney and Barks received royalties from his work.

Barks' most famous creation, the fabulously wealthy Scrooge McDuck, is a native Scot who lives in a three-cubic-acre money bin and wears a red broadcloth coat that he bought in a rummage sale in 1924. Scrooge, a forerunner, however unintended, of today's mergers-and-acquisitions executives, first appeared in 1947, in a story called "Christmas on Bear Mountain."

Other characters created by Barks are the Beagle Boys, masked burglars scheming after Scrooge's loot; Gladstone Gander, Donald's lucky cousin; the inventor Gyro Gearloose; and Gyro's helper, a walking light bulb. Barks depicted Himalayan panoramas, downtown Atlantis or a Klondike saloon brawl in the confines of single cartoon panels.

Edward Summers, a writer and film producer who is author of "Uncle Scrooge McDuck, His Life and Times" (Celestial Arts, 1980), said Barks had a wandering and inventive imagination that inspired others, including George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg.

"The rolling rock sequence at the beginning of 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' was consciously borrowed from one of the Uncle Scrooge stories, 'The Seven Cities of Cibola,"' Summers said.

In another comic book in the late 1940s, Barks "invented a way to raise sunken ships," Summer said.

"Donald wants to raise the ship to get treasure rights, but there's no way to do that without breaking up the old boards," he said. "So he shoves a long pipe down to the ship and pumps in Ping-Pong balls. The ship pops to the surface with a huge octopus hanging onto it."

Years later, he said, a salvage company used the method successfully.

Barks was born on March 27, 1901, to a homesteading family in Oregon. He left school at 15 and worked as a rancher, logger, railroad repairman and printer before his freelance cartooning led to a job with a humor magazine. He joined the Walt Disney Studio in 1935, the year after Donald's first screen appearance, and worked on 36 Donald Duck movie cartoons, often as the sole writer and story artist.

Though he did not create Donald Duck, he was largely responsible for Donald's modern look, which first appeared in an animated cartoon he drew, "Modern Inventions." He also worked on story development for "Snow White," "Bambi" and "Fantasia."

His wife of 40 years, Margaret Barks, died in 1993. He is survived by a daughter, Dorothy Gibson of Bremerton, Wash.; two grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Starting in 1994, Barks began creating new Scrooge and Donald Duck comic-book stories, this time with help from artists and writers who closely followed his style.

In Europe, his comics, both new and reprints, sell more copies than in the United States and his fan clubs, especially in Scandinavia, fill the Internet with treatises on Scrooge history.

In 1994, Barks toured 11 European countries on a Disney-sponsored trip occasioned by Donald's 60th birthday, and in April 1997, he was honored at Walt Disney World on his 96th birthday and Scrooge's 50th.

Words from his fans

This text was posted by Armando Botto on the Disney Comics Mailing list (September 4, 2000)

On the 24th of August of 2000, shortly before midnight, Carl Barks fell asleep. And he started to dream.

In his dream, he found himself in Old California, in the hall of a mid-19th Century hacienda. A big celebration was going on, an incredible fiesta. Carl thought "A fancy-dress party, maybe?"

But soon he realized that he knew most of the people he met: friends from his childhood in Oregon, fellow workers in all of the trades he had tried throughout his life... riveters, cartoon animators, scriptwriters, comic-book editors... long-forgotten neighbors and acquaintances... and, mixed in the crowd, Carl spotted many dog-nosed , pig-faced, duck-billed people - and it all seemed perfectly normal to him.

Everybody looked at him and smiled, as if he were the guest of honour of the party. And he entered a huge room, where a long table had been set for a luxurious dinner. And sitting at the table were all his relatives, from his grandparents to his great-great-grandsons, and all the people he had most loved throughout the years, and amongst them he saw also the familiar figures of Gladstone, Gyro Gearloose, the Beagle Boys, the Junior Woodchucks... and he caught a fascinating, Sofia-Loren-like Magica de Spell winking at him.

And a pig-faced Mayor led Carl to the place of honor, where two seats were still vacant... Carl asked him "Are all of these people celebrating for ME ?" And the Mayor smiled, and said "Oh, you've seen nothing yet... just take a look out of the window !" And in an endless patio Carl saw millions and millions of people from all over the world, children and grownups, all cheering at him and waving well-read copies of his comic books... and he also saw Donald and the kids, dancing a dance of celebration....

Awestruck, Carl asked: "But who is going to pay for this unbelievable feast?" And the Mayor: "Oh, money is not a problem for our host... he has a few cubic acres to spare, you should now..." And Scrooge McDuck entered the room, and went to sit next to Carl, and told him: "After this little banquet is over, I'm leaving with Donald and the kids for a long, long trip around the world... I'm planning to visit all my industries in the five continents, and also go back to the places where we lived our adventures, and - of course - look for other things to see, other adventures to live. I'm looking for a guy to write the travel journal, and I hear you're quite good at such stuff... Would you like to join us ? I can pay you 30 cents per hour, nothing more, but you have an eternity of hours in front of you..." And Carl Barks smiled, and shook hands with the old duck, and the crowd cheered.

At a quarter past midnight, on August 25th, 2000, the dream continued on.

Sleep well, uncle Carl...

Romano Scarpa

So, we are left on our own, and lost. We have lost the star that was guiding us through the streets of the Disney comic: the unique, unreachable Carl Barks. We have lost with him the incentive and inspiration to try and do our best, that he
showed us. We have lost the illusion that he was following -- and sometimes appreciating -- our work.

These are the first reflections at the sad event. But with days passing by, we will realise more and more that the artistic and literary patrimony whose heirs we are ourselves, is such as to keep inspiring us always with new stories, on the track of his star, which will keep on shining, showing us the right paths to take.
Goodbye, Carl and... thank you!

Romano Scarpa
Fuengirola (Malaga)
August 25th 2000

Romano Scarpa is one of the most famous Italian Disney comic-book artists.

Roy E. Disney

Roy E. Disney is vice chairman of The Walt Disney Company.

Carl Barks was one of the most gifted artists and inventive storytellers ever to work for Disney and the undisputed 'Comic Book King.' When it came to creating imaginative tales for Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge and the other classic Disney characters, no one ever did it better. He challenged our imaginations and took us on some of the greatest adventures we have ever known. His prolific comic book creations entertained many generations of devoted fans and influenced countless artists over the years. Carl's joyful humor and stylish storytelling will certainly be missed but his timeless tales will stand as a legacy to his originality and brilliant artistic vision.

Art Spiegelman

I've loved Carl Barks' work since those days of long-lost innocence when I assumed that the duck stories were all written and drawn by Walt Disney himself. As far as I was concerned, they were Walt's best work, done on lunch breaks, when he wasn't making animated cartoons or hosting his weekly TV show. Before that, I just believed the ducks were somehow real, and now, as an adult, I've reverted to my first opinion: the ducks ARE real.

Art Spiegelman is a comic-book artist and illustrator


Texts collected by Favio.