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Monday, April 27, 2015

Disney Legend #22: Carl Barks

Carl Barks was born in Oregon in 1901. His father was a farmer who would move from farm to farm and job to job, a lifestyle that Mr. Barks would undertake himself early in life. It was this lifestyle that would inform Mr. Banks' future work with Walt Disney Productions.

Mr. Barks began working as an inbetweener at Disney in 1935. His knack for coming up with story ideas and gags got him transferred to the story department, working closely with the staff who wrote for Donald Duck. Sinus problems made him leave Disney to relocate to the Southern California desert where he hoped to operate a chicken farm. He decided to make extra money doing freelance work, which led to him working on Disney comics.

Mr. Barks' history with Donald Duck led to his getting assigned to draw "The Duck". It was this assignment that led to the golden age of Disney Comics. Carl Barks' most famous creation was Uncle Scrooge, who proved to be an enduring character. 

Mr. Barks' work was originally uncredited, but once DuckTales, which was heavily based on his work, had taken off, the Walt Disney Company began to celebrate Mr. Barks and his characters. In 1991, Carl Barks was honored as a Disney Legend, his work having entertained generations of children. Mr. Barks spent his final years attending Disney conventions where he was able to meet and greet his fans. He passed away in 2000 at the age of 99.