Knowing of Carl Barks

Rob Klein bi442 at
Wed Jul 19 09:21:34 CEST 2006

I not only knew about Carl Barks by 1969, but I had met him at his house by 
then.  I grew up reading the US and Dutch Disney comics with Barks stories, 
from the late '40s through the end of Barks' 1960s printings.  I started buying 
them for myself in 1952 (or asking my parents to buy for me), but I had already 
inherited all Barks' Disney comics from older cousins who lived in my house (or 
next door)(other than a couple of giveaways).  When moving to Los Angeles in 
1966 for university, I also discovered Malcom Willits' and Leonard 
Browns' "Collectors' Book Store".  I was already a great fan of "The Good 
Artist" and they told me his name was Carl Barks.  I showed them that I had 
been photocopying ALL of Barks' comic book story pages and magazine cover 
pages, to make my own "Carl Barks Library".  They also sold me the few Barks 
giveaways I didn't have (except "Donald Ducks Atomb Bomb" and "Donald Duck 
Tells About Kites", which I only have in original Dutch printings but not US
(only reprints).  Malcom and Leonard also helped me out with my library, by 
letting me have photostated, all Barks' original drawn inked pages that they 
were auctioning off for him.  That is how I was able to make my library almost 
complete, including The "Milkman Story" and The 1945 Christmas story (later 
titled "Silent Night", for which I also re-created the missing half-page from 
Carl's description of what he had on it).  The latter work also got me started 
writing stories and drawing storyboards for Oberon (Dutch Disney comics)in 
1986, and also the same for Gutenberghus/Egmont in 1989.

When Malcom and Leonard saw that I was hand-colouring all 6700 pages, they 
thought I was quite extreme as a Barks fan, and that Carl, himself, might 
appreciate that.  First, in 1966, they let me talk to him on the telephone, and 
with his permission, gave me his street address.  We talked on the phone a few 
times, and wrote letters back and forth, until 1969, when I and my sister went 
to visit him at his new home in Goleta, California.  He wanted to see the 
finished, hardbound volumes I had coloured.  We spent all day with Carl and 
Garé, and she even made us lunch (sandwiches).  Garé and Carl took pictures of 
3 of the 4 of us in various combinations and Carl and me in front of my books.  
(I'm just about 60 years old, and have never owned a camera).  Carl and Garé 
kept the pictures, and it had been their idea to take them in the first place. 
(I've been all over the World and never kept photos of people or places).  Now 
I regret it.  Before Barks' things were auctioned off, I asked a family member 
to pull out those photos for me and my sister, as the family was supposed to 
see them first.  She told me that, unfortunately, the family never got access 
to the photos before the auction.

In any case, I ended up visiting Carl and Garé two more times.  I NEVER asked 
him to draw me a drawing, so he never did.  I never asked him for his autograph.
But he he and Garé were very nice people, and I think I had a different 
experience meeting him as one person to another, rather than a "drooling fan" 
worshipping an idol.  

In 1991, when my drawing had gotten to what I thought was a presentable state, 
I sent him photocopies of several of my stories.  I had not writtten to him or 
contacted him since 1973 (When I had moved To The Netherlands and started 
working in The Third World).  He wrote back saying that he'd wondered what had 
happened to me.  He said he enjoyed the stories and artwork very much, and got 
some good laughs, and was glad that I was able to do work that I enjoy.  THAT 
is worth more to me than autographs or even personal drawings.

In any case, Malcom and Leonard had turned me on to Duckburg Times, Mike 
Barrier, The Barks Collector and other fanzines in the late '60s and 
early '70s, so there were at least several hundred people in USA in the 
late '60s who knew Carl Barks' name, and probably at least a few thousand in 
the early '70s.  I believe that there were at least a hard core of fans in The 
Netherlands who knew his name in the late #60s.  I imagine there were similar 
groups in Denmark, Sweden and Norway and Italy.  Not sure about Germany (but 
probably there,

This message was sent using Endymion MailMan.

More information about the DCML mailing list