Friday, March 27, 2009

The MMOB Daily Quote - Artist Spotlight on Carl Barks

Our birthday boy is the man credited with turning Donald Duck and his family into the icons they are today: Carl Barks

I found a great, quick overview about Barks by
Borgem in his list of 26 favorite comics posted on Retrojunk:

Carl Barks is propably the most famous of all Disney comic-book artists. It was Barks that tranformed Donald Duck from the simple-minded hot-head of the cartoons into a complex and varied character that felt as real as any actual human being. Barks surrounded Donald and his nephews with heaps of new characters such as Gladstone Gander, Mr. Jones the neighbor, the Beagle Boys, Magica DeSpell, Flintheart Glomgold and last but not least Scrooge McDuck. The latter would replace Donald as the main-character in the long adventures Barks sent his ducks out on in the 50's. All of Bark's 'duck' comics from that time and onward are pure classics and deserve a place on any best comics list.

I loved Barks' style, and that he both wrote and drew the stories he produced. His love of the work shows in every panel, and he never seemed to take the easier path of pushing out formulaic material by simply regurgitating the established characters into contrived new settings and situations (can anyone say "cheapquel", it's the name I've heard for the recent Disney spin-off DVD sequels to their cartoon classics?). And there is no finer cartoon character than his Uncle Scrooge Mcduck.

A quick aside: When I recently spotlighted Hank Ketchum on Q(s)OTD I realized that there was more I could do with artists/cartoonists than just highlight their spoken quotes. So, with today's edition, I'm including a few more examples of the quotees' art and creating a new "label" - Artist Spotlight - to the ongoing list of posting types on this blog. Hope you enjoy the new addition to the mix. ...Oh, and I'm be going back, adding a few tweeks to the Ketchum posting, and relabeling it as well.

So, now's the time to sit back, pull up a snack and enjoy today's quotes from And today you bet to follow it up with a little "dessert" - extra samples of Mr. Barks' classic cartoon style!

“I always felt myself to be an unlucky person like Donald, who is a victim of so many circumstances. But there isn't a person in the United States who couldn't identify with him. He is everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that we all make.”

“There was no difference between my characters and the life my readers were going to have to face.

“I read some of my stories recently and thought, 'How in the hell did I get away with that?' I had some really raw cynicism in some of them.”

“The thing that I consider most important about my work is this: I told it like it is. I told my readers that the bad guys have a little of good in them, and the good guys have a lot of bad in them, and that you can't depend on anything much; nothing is always going to turn out roses.”

“Ideas generally come in a
very complicated form, and you've got to strip them down to make them usable. Boil a gag down to its simplest form, and it is readily discernible to anybody who sees it.”

“I enjoyed doing the gag covers better than the story ones because they were usually simpler. A cover based on an incident in the plot took a great deal of staging to tell a little story that was still part of the book. And it had to make sense on its own.”

A Small Carl Barks Gallery

Cheers! - Jason

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