Duckmen young and old

Dwight Decker deckerd at
Tue May 10 02:01:07 CEST 1994

I find myself more than a little dismayed that Carl Barks
seems to dislike Don Rosa's version of the ducks -- and is
taking it so personally. Well, it may be that Barks worked
on the ducks for so long that he has something of a
personal interest in what's done with them...although I
get the idea from Barks's public statements that his
duckwork was ultimately just a job he happened to fall into.
It also occurs to me that what may really rankle Barks isn't
that Rosa is working on "his" ducks (after all, they belong
to the corporate entity in Burbank), but that Rosa is
explicitly building on Barks's work in particular. Barks
couldn't care less if nearly 30 years after he retired 
somebody wrote a Duck story that had no relation to anything
he ever did -- but Don is doing explicit sequels to Plain
Awful and Tra La La. And Don Rosa is doing Don Rosa's versions
of the stories. Rosa may be building on Barks, but he's doing
it with his own distinct and personal sensibility, his own
vision of the Ducks. I like Rosa's work, but I don't look at
it as Carl Barks, Jr. It's Don Rosa. And I don't necessarily
like everything Rosa's done -- I think Scrooge's legend
really could have done without him exclaiming "Great Honk!" --
just as there are things in Barks I find jarring (the overuse
of "hip talk" in his later stories...I just don't dig that
crazy jive, man!).
	But Barks is Barks and Rosa is Rosa, and I find things
to enjoy and appreciate in each of them that are distinctively
there own. Lord knows the Europeans have come up with artists
who have been able to imitate Barks's drawing style to the 
point that I've had to look twice to make sure a story wasn't
a Barks story I'd never seen before -- but the stories usually
were vapid to the point of instant forgetability. Rosa's stories,
though...those you remember. There's something to them. He
thinks about his stories. I'd rather have a Rosa story than a
ton of second generations Barks imitations.
	So...I kinda feel Barks's public statements knocking Rosa
are somewhat cranky and show bad grace, even if a 92-year-old
man with Barks's record of accomplishment behind him does 
deserve a certain amount of understanding and forgiveness!

--Dwight Decker

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