The Single Worst Thing Carl Barks Ever Drew

(Thinking hard why this deserves attention, but I’m doing it anyway.)

A few years ago, I went with David Gerstein to a Barks exhibit at Geppi’s Entertainment Museum in Baltimore. I had a smile on my face the whole time looking at Barks’s paintings, awash in happy memories of plowing through Gladstone back issues searching for whichever of his stories were new to me. But then I saw the above drawing. I think David and I were equally appalled, but it was I who gave this colored pencil sketch of Daisy Duck the honorable distinction as the single worst thing Carl Barks ever drew.

How is it possible that this is the legitimate work of the Good Duck Artist? (My friend Robertryan Cory asked, “Did he draw this after he died? Because that’d explain some of the problems with it.”) Mssr. Gerstein had an answer ready…

Barks’ mid-1990s managers—whom he later fired—contracted for him to crank out a series of around 100 colored-pencil limited editions in only a couple of months.

Many were variations on strangely chosen themes picked by someone other than Carl (so there are around ten treatments apiece of Donald riding a dolphin, Scrooge losing cash stored in his hat, Donald and Daisy dancing on stage…)

Barks had to produce them faster than he’d have liked, and quite a lot of ugly ducks resulted…

Thanks, Dave…

1 Comment

Filed under carl barks, comics

One Response to The Single Worst Thing Carl Barks Ever Drew

  1. J Lee

    If they had ever done ‘Duck Tales’ episode around 1990 that required Daisy Duck to guest star as psychotic cheerleader, this would have been a good model sheet to start with.

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