How did Barks do it?

john garvin jgarvin at
Thu Aug 3 17:30:19 CEST 2000

Don said:
I  find it's a bigger challenge and a more satisfying
accomplishment to produce (hopefully) entertaining stories under such
limiting parameters of logic and actual history. Plus, that's the way Barks
did it (unless ordered to do otherwise by his editors) and that's the way I
likes it.

Someone else might enjoy a universe peopled by all the Disney characters at
once where talking super-intelligent chipmunks meet living wooden puppets
and such, and that's fine, but they shouldn't expect anything like that in
*all* stories in a Disney comic, and certainly not in mine.
Of course all of Barks stories founded in a version of the real world: Duckburg
mirrored our world in many ways because that allowed Barks to tell many stories
that were not fantasy (Donalds everyman stories, for instance), but MANY of
Barks stories contained elements of the fantastic: Santa Clause and his magic
sleigh,  many types of witchcraft and witches, immortal zombies.  And many
stories which had such kooky science they might as well have been magic: gas
that ressurects people who have been dead for thousands of years, machines that
make you smaller than insects.  And who can forget the race of creatures that
live under the earth and create earthquakes? Or the creatures who lived on the
barren planet in view of the bountiful planet?  Or the race of mermen who
hoarded Scrooge's quarters?

Are living wooden puppets really more fantastic than a race of menny-hoo-nees
living in Hawaii?  No, I think the Barks universe is very much a "fantasy" one,
unless one chooses to ignore a great many Barks stories.  You might choose to
tell your stories that way, but you can hardly claim that that's the way "Barks
did it."  Barks did it many ways.  He often used "logic and actual history" and
often used whimsy and pure fantasy.  And I don't think you can argue that all of
these stories were done because he editors ordered him too.

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