Dumbo and Barks

Olivier mouse-ducks at wanadoo.fr
Mon Jun 11 11:13:33 CEST 2001

Hello Halvor (and everyone)!

>>a story published in number 7 in 1961. This was a Grandma Duck
>>story, also starring HDL and Gus Goose. What's a bit
>>unusual, is that the story also includes Brer Fox and Dumbo!

I have this story somewhere in an old "Super Picsou Géant" or something.
I've been wanting to look for it for some time now but never got to doing it.
It may be the occasion.

>>Should Dumbo be included in Barks universe, and
>>is it right that HDL know this character? I find this a bit strange. Maybe
>>stories drawn by Barks and written by others (in this case Vic Lockman) also
>>should be considered 'alternative reality'-stories? Comments anyone?

That's like the "Disneyland" stories. It sounds a bit weird they should know
and go to a place dedicated to the works of  someone who created them
as fictional characters. Or maybe it's a different Disneyland?

I haven't gone through all the issues so I may have missed one; from memory,
here are some stories Barks wrote for "Disneyland" issues (in no particular order):
    -    "Black Pearl Island"
    -    "The Dream Planet"
    -    "Trail Tycoon"
    -    "Mastering the Matterhorn"
"Matterhorn" is indeed a feature of  the original park in Anaheim, but this Matterhorn
is the real mountain: the story does not take place in the park; the latter only inspired
Barks this exotic locale.
For "Black Pearl Island" Barks did a little more exotic, sending the Ducks to this
far-away island which has nothing to do with Disneyland.
"Trail Tycoon" is set in the past; only the fort recalls that in Disneyland.
Only in the opening splash panel of  "Dream Planet" do we see Disneyland-- but Gus
and Donald are flying away.
So it seems Barks did not like the idea of  having the Ducks in Disneyland, ie, in a place
that is in the readers' "real world", where the Ducks would find the comic books in which
they are only said to exist, and (the ultimate paradox), the very comic book in which
the story is featured.

Dumbo may be considered 3 ways I think:
    -    a movie character, which the Ducks can only see in the movie but can never meet
         (just like they read "Super Snooper" but can never meet him)
    -    a real person whose story was told in a movie
    -    just another character, regardless of  the movie (it doesn't exist)

As for Br'er Fox, he's a folktale character, so the ducks should know him only as such.
But then, this Br'er Fox is the embodiment of  the fictitious character, so-- er-- this is
getting too confusing...

Another example: Jaq & Gus-Gus (in a story Barks didn't write).

I think the Dumbo story is a just a fantasy: "let's imagine that they live in the same universe"
or "I have this idea involving such and such characters; they usually don't meet, but I think the
story is so good I'm going to tell it anyway".
A bit like having Scrooge's money stored in a warehouse or a giant corn crib: not to establish
a fact but to tell a good story.
I have a fond memory of  this "Grandma, Dumbo, Br'er Fox" story.
Now, where is it?...


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