angry mother Quotes taken from a draft letter to editor Alice Cobb,
± mid-June 1956

[Barks has said that the typed version that was actually mailed was identical to the draft, or nearly so.]

    "Very well, I will avoid any more stories using conflict or rivalry between Don and the kids. Also no more 'Shut ups!'

    "I have bought a number of Tom and Jerrys, Porky Pigs, Chester Chipmunks, etc., and will confine plots and gag situations to 'switches' on the material I find in those safe family journals.

    "Seriously, I think the woman who wrote this letter and sent the marked pages of the comics is a neurotic and so is her sniffling son.

    "In the last few years I have returned from time to time to the early duck plots I used in the years when Disney comics were growing up, thinking that the increased sales of the magazine in those times proved that these story-types were sure-fire. And, as I didn't want to stray too far from the beaten track I switched the plots.

    "When I worked in the Disney story department in the duck unit, the basic theme in a great number of the Donald Duck shorts was rivalry between the kids and Donald. Certainly the main body of the public didn't object to this theme, for during those years Donald and his nephews overtook and passed Mickey Mouse and his nephews in box office popularity.

    "After starting to work for Whitman [i.e., Western] I kept to the proven story lines as much as possible. The 10-page Donald's through the first several years were liberally sprinkled with rivalry plots and with no crime stories among the offerings, it's possible that the contests between Don and the kids satisfied the reader's desire for triumphs of good over bad, the boastful over the meek [sic.], etc.! At any rate the magazine didn't seem to go broke.

    "Now comes a neurotic female with a cramped fault-finding mind, and a cry-baby-son, and proves that all of those millions (well, dozens at least) of boys and girls who have bought and read Disney comics over the years were and are sadists, masochists, murderers, lechers and worse! I agree with her.

    "From now on you will see changed stories coming from this former breeding place of vice. You will see stories that will cause [the offended mother] to write another letter to say that she just loves the Donald Ducks. For every time she reads one to her little nose-picking cry-baby, he goes to sleep in the middle of the second page.

    [Paragraph taken from draft, apparently excluded from the finished letter: "You might be alienating the interest of many of your normal readers if you insist on pleasing the narrow tastes of the 1/10 of one percent who compose the lunatic fringe. But that is none of my business. I only work here.]

    "Forward to better child psychology!"

[Postscriptum taken from draft, apparently excluded from the finished letter: "All of this letter except the first paragraph is so much jousting with windmills!"]


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