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Donald Duck Cartoonist Carl Barks Dies

On Friday, August 25, 2000, cartoonist Carl Barks, who reinvented the fowl-mouthed Donald Duck into an endearing Everyman on the comic book page, passed away. He died at his home in southern Oregon of leukemia. He was 99 years old. Barks started his association with the Walt Disney Co. in the early 1930s as an in-betweener and then moved over to the story department to write gags for many of the early Donald Duck cartoons. In 1943, he moved over to Western Publishing, which published Walt Disney comic books, to draw the Donald Duck segments for WALT DISNEY COMICS & STORIES. Barks is credited as morphing the brat-like quacker into an intelligent Everyman for the comic book series. Within the 10-page Donald Duck segments of the monthly comic, Barks created the town of Ducksburg and the characters Scrooge McDuck, Donalds lucky cousin Gladstone Gander and Einstein-esque inventor Gyro Gearloose. Upon his retirement in 1966, Barks was granted permission by Disney to paint Disney characters, however the company revoked the deal in 1976 when fans were selling photos of his paintings for as high as US$500 a piece. However in 1981, Disney re-granted Barks permission to paint Disney copyrighted characters and currently, Barks paintings sell as high as six-figures.

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