The purpose of these two model sheets is unclear; Barks has said of them, "I suppose the editors expected to hand them out to other duck strip artists." [Quoted in [Carl Barks and the Art of the Comic Book.]

For several years, Western Publishing had no official model sheet showing how to draw the ducks for the comic books, and the artists had to refer to animation model sheets from the Disney Studios. Barks wrote and illustrated virtually all of the Disney duck stories until 1950, when other artists began illustrating the stories in Walt Disney's Comics and back-up stories in Donald Duck. Some of these new artists' work was markedly inferior to Barks's work, and it may be that Western's editors hoped to use these model sheets to bring them into line.

(In 1950, Barks was busy with longer tales in Donald Duck and the giant comics annuals.)

Ironically, Barks has admitted he "never could follow the model sheets anyway. I was asked to do a model sheet of Donald and Uncle Scrooge . . . . This model was to be the Barks duck. Well, I couldn't even keep my ducks consistent with that sheet." [December 13, 1960 letter from Carl Barks toRonald O. Burnett.]

From mid-1947 to mid-1950 Barks drew Donald with a long bill similar to that in his first animated cartoons. Barks later explained his reasons for shortening the bill: "I was very conscious of criticism from my readers or friends. One of the women who lived up the road was an inker at Disney and she told me that 'the word is out all around the studio that you draw that beak too long.' So I started shortening the duck's beak, and then someone either in the story department at Disney or in the editorial office said I was making the beak too short and too much like Al Taliaferro's duck. [Taliaferro drew Donald for the newspaper strips.] I hadn't noticed anything wrong, but I kept making changes to try to please people." [August 4, 1975 interview by Thomas Andrae and Donald Ault] True to his word, Barks varied the length of the bills he drew during this period from comic to comic and even within the same comic.

About the differences between drawing comic books and animating, Barks said the characters in animation appear "more uniform because the director tells the artists exactly what to draw; and there are certain poses that cannot be used. The characters always have to look good, in other words. We were supposed to do that in the comic books, too, but I never followed the rule closely. [...] One pose that has to be scrupulously avoided in animation is the underside of Donald's beak; it looks like a continuation of his neck and hides all the rest of his face. But I used it a time or two - once or twice on a cover - and managed to make the duck look pretty good. I showed enough of his face that you could see some expression."


E-mail   McDrake International - Carl Barks forum
Generated by DVEGEN 4.8b on 2012-11-24