Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Legends: Carl Barks

“I want to thank all the kids that bought my comic books for a dime and are now selling them for $2,000.” This was Carl Barks speaking at the ceremony recognizing him as a Disney Legend.

In his “Four Color Fun” Department, Jeff Pepper of 2719 Hyperion, has written extensively about Carl Barks and his comic book creations. I would refer you to Jeff to learn about the life work of Barks. But in honor of his 107th birthday I would like to share just a little about the man.

Carl Barks was born on March 27, 1901 in Merrill, Oregon. Growing up, he held several different jobs. He also developed a hobby of drawing. As a self-taught cartoonist, he sought to improve his skills by copying the drawings from favorite comic books. He was also influenced by a particular Mouse whose cartoons ran in newspaper comic strips.

In 1935 Barks headed to Hollywood to apply at The Walt Disney Studios and was hired for the animation department starting as an in-betweener. In 1937 he moved into the story department and worked on stories for Donald Duck shorts, and played a part in the creation of Donald’s nephews.

By 1942 he was developing comic books for Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck. He continued to do this for the next 25 years. Following his retirement from comic book work he began working in oils and became quite an accomplished fine artist.

Carl was honored as a Disney Legend in 1991. He died on August 25, 2000.

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