Barks in Norway
Geir.Hasnes at DELAB.SINTEF.no
Mon Jul 4 16:33:20 CEST 1994
Hello out there in the virtual reality of internetters and ducks!
It seems that I was one of the luckier guys when it came to meeting the
grand master in Europe. I met Barks or was with him a lot of times, and
must say I am overwhelmed by his friendliness and care for one tiny little
collector among all his masses of fans.
Of course there were a few disappointments too, and the editor of the
Norwegian DD & Co. is very manipulating and seems to want to control
everything himself. I would not have written about these things if not
other central Duck and comics in general people had experienced the same.
However, let us take it chronologically.
On Thursday the 2nd I went to Oslo in the evening. I had official business
to do in Oslo on Friday so that I didnt have to pay the travel expense
myself. In my bag there were lots of Barks stuff. The largest Norwegian
newspaper VG had called me and arranged for a meeting between me and Barks
on Friday, "fan meets his idol" or something like that. I was overwhelmed
On Friday the 3rd Barks arrived in Norway. The event was covered in the
newspapers and on the two TV channels. I went away to VG and together with
a journalist and photographer travelled to the meeting place. We waited for
one and a half hour, and then called the hotel. At the hotel Ms Morby told
that they had just returned from dinner and that she knew nothing of the
planned meeting. It all turned out to be manipulation by the DD & Co.
editor. I was a bit disappointed, but we returned to the editorial office
where I could dictate an interview with me to be printed in the VG on
In short, the journalist had detested the press conference because everyone
were so kind to Barks and nothing really was said, and she lightened
considerably up when I told her about the business with Grandey and the
socalled Barks-Rosa schism and the reasons for that and lots of other
behind the scenes at Disney stories. So she decided that we make the Hasnes
interview about Don Rosas birthday story the main scope and reduce the
impressions from the press conference with Barks to a small notice on the
bottom of the page.
You see, the press sheet announced that Barks had been invited - and I
implied that it was because Rosa had encountered the popularity in Europe
that made Barks eager to come to Europe. The press sheet further commented
upon all stories in the 60th birthday issue and its included extra issue,
all except Don Rosas story. That must have been made deliberately by the
editors because of the schism, but of course, I managed to focus all
attention on the Rosa story, which was presented with three panels
inserted. A whole page dedicated, and even a little caption on the front
page about the horror vision of Duckburg. The VG people were very excited
about the presentation!
On Saturday the 4th I had been invited by the DD & Co. editor to row a
viking ship with Barks in, on the Oslo fiord. I met at the shipping museum
early in the morning and met with the other guy from the quiz show and the
judge, who had been an editor and now is a translator for the Norwegian DD
& Co. Apart from us, there were a bunch of other people who knew how to
row, owners of the viking ship etc., all in all 16 rowers and a few more
people. We set sail and went into Oslo harbour where Barks arrived at 10.
With him were Grandey, Morby, and a few Norwegians. It was a fantastic
event, at first we rowed and then we set sail, so that us rowers could talk
to Barks. Grandey was a little ill, but a nice guy, although I already knew
this and that. Since he allowed only two signatures by Barks per person, I
managed to have five - on my Duckmobiles, the Carl Barks Index I coworked
on in 1984, a photograph for the press conference, and two of the first DD
& Co comics I ever owned. I think Barks was a little overwhelmed, but he
was a nice guy who really tried to talk to each one of us even though he
had some problems with hearing us. He functions best when he talks with one
person at the time. And - what can you say to such a person, what can you
ask about that he hasnt answered before, or if not, do you think he
remembers anything about this or that in his comics at all? I told him
about my experiences as a kid and how grateful I was to what he had done,
and he said he had just done his best and was overwhelmed by the reception
We were out on the fiord for many hours and it was a perfect trip. The only
negative thing was that the editor could have invited more Duck fans and
not all those extra rowers from a school ship who never had cared that much
about Barks. I had to help him when we landed so that he shouldnt turn
over, and when I held him then I thought Wow, this I am going to remember
for the rest of my life. How well it was that Grandey had ensured that
there were no drunk Don Rosa lurking in the background that would have
taken the advantage of the situation to throw Barks into the sea!
After the trip Barks went to the Viking Ship museum and I went there also
together with some of the owners of the viking ship we sailed in. In the
museum nobody seemed to recognize Barks, but children and teenagers flocked
around - me! I did my best to persuade them to concentrate on Barks, but I
did enjoy all those young people wanting to be photographed together with
me - since I was known from the quiz show on TV, you see.
Grandey later told me that Barks had said that even if he died on the trip,
he had enjoyed it immensely!
More next time - now I am off to the beach!
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