Carl Barks Gallery

Carl Barks (March 27, 1901 - August 25, 2000) is simply the greatest storyteller and artist who has ever worked with the Disney universe. The comic book creator, who invented characters like Scrooge McDuck and the Beagle Boys. The quality of his scripts and drawings earned him the nick names The Duck Man and The Good Duck Artist. Barks was born in Merrill, Oregon to William Barks and his wife Arminta Johnson. As a young man Barks started trying out various jobs but with little success—farmer, woodcutter, turner, mule driver, cowboy, printer. Since his early childhood he spent his free time by drawing on any material he could find. At sixteen he was mostly self-taught but at this point he decided to take some lessons through correspondence.By December, 1918 he left his father's home to attempt to find a job in San Francisco, California. He worked for a while in a small publishing house while attempting to sell his drawings to newspapers and other printed material with little success. In 1923 he continued searching for a job while attempting to sell his drawings. He soon managed to sell some of them to "Judge" magazine and then started a longtime collaboration with "Calgary-Eye-Opener".It lasted untill November, 1935 when he learned that Walt Disney was asking for more artists for his Studio he decided to apply. He was hired with a basic salary of 20 dollars a week. The beginning of his work for Disney Studios in 1935, came more than a year after the debut of Donald Duck on June 9, 1934. Carl had to move to Los Angeles, California. He originally did some work as an "inbetweener". That had the meaning of following the instructions of the head animators in making your drawings that would then be animated. Soon in 1936 Carl was transferred to the story department where his inventiveness and experience in creating comical situations and gags was put in use. In 1937 when Donald Duck became the star of his own series of cartoons instead of co-starring with Mickey Mouse and Goofy as previously, a new department was created to be responsible for this series. Though he originally just contributed some ideas for them in 1937 he got approval to create his own. He collaborated on such cartoons as Donald's Nephews (1938), Donald's Cousin Gus (1939), Timber (1941), The Vanishing Private (1942) and The Plastics Inventor (1944). Frustrated by the working conditions at Disney, Barks quit in 1942. Shortly before quitting he had worked on a comic book story along with Jack Hannah. Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold, a story of 64 pages based on an original scenario by Bob Karp , first Published in October, 1942. After quitting the Studio, Barks found work with Western Publishing, which had published the previous story. Barks had originally hoped that he would be allowed to create his own characters but was immediately assigned to produce Donald Duck comics. He insisted, though, on handling both the scripts and the artwork of his stories.Barks produced stories for the next three decades, well into his retirement. He surrounded Donald Duck with a cast of eccentric and colorful characters such as Scrooge McDuck—the wealthiest duck in the world, Gladstone Gander—Donald's obscenely lucky cousin, inventor Gyro Gearloose, the persistent Beagle Boys, the sorceress Magica De Spell, and The Junior Woodchucks organization. People who worked for Disney generally did so in anonymity. However, through the sheer quality of his work, people started realizing that a lot of the stories were written by one person, whom they started referring to as the Good Duck Artist. Later it was discovered his name was - Carl Barks. Carl Barks retired in 1966 but continued to script a number of stories. He began producing oil paintings of scenes from his stories. These paintings quickly became highly sought after and their price rocketed. The market prices today for an original oil painting by Barks is often USD 125.000 and above.Barks died at the age of 99. Though he was undergoing chemotherapy for leukemia he was - according to people who knew him - "funny up to the end."