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Carl Barks Carl Barks & The Great Pop-up
By Eric Norcross

I remember making lots of peanut butter toast sandwiches while a young lad; I also mixed up plenty of cinnamon sugar for cinnamon toast -- but I don't remember what toaster I used.

I recall with great fondness blending together butter with fresh honey from my Grandparents beehives on a freshly toasted piece of bread -- but have no recollection of their toaster.

A toaster I do remember from my childhood is one that appeared in a comic book. Fortunately my mother was kind enough to keep all of my comics over the years and I read my way through them until I found the story.

I didn't know it at the time, but many of the comics I was reading in the 70s were reprints of work done by one of the greatest comic book artists and writers of all time -- Carl Barks.

Mr. Barks worked in anonymity (like most other comic artists of his time) from 1942 to 1965 writing and drawing Disney stories, mostly ones involving Donald Duck and other inhabitants of "Duckburg."

His work developed the personalities of many of the characters we know today, including Donald and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. And he created many memorable figures: most notably Donald's very rich Uncle Scrooge, but also the lucky Gladstone Gander, and the eccentric inventor Gyro Gearloose, who is the star of The Great Pop Up (originally printed in 1962).

detail

Carl Barks was born on March 27, 1901 in Merrill, Oregon and drew his ducks until he retired in 1965. Then in 1968 he began a new career: fine art painting -- of the Disney Ducks, of course. He did this until his death at age 99 on August 25, 2000. His paintings and lithographs sell for thousands of dollars, and the world now knows the name of the man once known only as "the good duck artist."

Read The Great Pop-up.

The Great Pop-up in PDF format (3.3MB file).

More about Carl Barks.

American Heritage article on Barks.

 


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