in "The Golden Fleecing"

In a letter to Ronald O. Burnett from December 13, 1960, Barks mentioned that taboo after taboo was imposed on the scripter's freedom. "About Donald being less vital than he was in the old days, I can only point to the fact that tabu has been imposed on us scripters' freedom of material. My early stories were in many instances based on an intense and violent rivalry between Don and the kids. Can I do that now? Ha!"

In the same letter Barks talked about his last major bout with censorship, which occured in "The Golden Fleecing" from US 12 (1955). "If you read Uncle Scrooge comics, you may have noticed the story in which I had Uncle Scrooge and the ducks go to the site of ancient Colchis to find the golden fleece. A plot based on the old Jason myth. Well, I almost had to eat those 32 pages of drawings because I'd use some harpies as menaces. It seems that Harpy or Harpie is an obscure nickname for a streetwalker. I managed to save the story by renaming the old girls Larkies." Later, In July 4, 1984 notes for The Carl Barks Library Barks explained that the redrawing of two panels of art was not only to change the names but also because the editors "thought the antics of the Larkies suggested insanity." On another occassion, mentioned undated in Kim Weston's 1975 article on unpublished Barks work, Barks has said that in addition to changing the pages he had to redraw a page or two.

There exist at least two panels of drawings from the story as originally done, panels 1 and 3 of page 16. Scrooge and Donald are sitting in a Harpy nest and five harpies are frolicking and somersaulting in the air while shouting: "Whee!" and "Hee! Hee! Hee!" In the other panel four Harpies are shown and one of them is speaking. In the margins of the page are notes from the editor revising the word Harpies to Larkies in the caption and telling Barks to bring Scrooge and Donald in the nest into the foreground and show only a couple of Larkies. In the other panel Barks is advised to show a close-up on only one Larkie. No changes in the dialogue are made.

Some panels other than the ones with Harpy-Larkie name changes appear to have been relettered, for example page 9 panel 3, but these are probably to omit Harpy references.

One other panel was cut from the story: One of the panels of page 31 (bottom) was cut to make room for a panel from page 32 and the panels on page 32 were shifted. Thus, all panels from the last page are printed and room is made for the Dell Pledge to Parents. (Cuts of this type were made in many Barks stories in the 1950s, although he believes that in a few cases he allowed room for the Pledge.)

For a comic or an album (don't know which one) publisher Gladstone inserted the unpublished cut panels back into the story again, suggesting this was almost the original version as Barks originally made it. What I think has always been ignored is the quote in Kim Weston's article which, as already mentioned here, says: "At another time Barks said that in addition to changing the pages he had to redraw a page or two." This means that still far more is lost from the original story than the now known survived one-and-a-half tier worth of material in the top half of page 16. Maybe more art was replaced on page 16 and 17?

Quite a lot of panels on these two pages have much more in common with the tamed new art than with the original wild ones. In the story's original publication, a trace of a cut can even be seen in panel 5 of published page 17. In The Carl Barks Library the trace is gone because of retouching, which is known to have happened in other stories in this reprint.

On the background of panel 5 of page 17 (as shown in the illustration, taken from a Dutch reprint) the lines of the fog are discontinued, which could mean that part of this panel has been whitened out to be replaced with art that was more suitable to the editors. In this panel the Harpy on the right isn't doing anything, mostly filling up space grinning. Maybe it replaced a wilder Harpy or more Harpies than one?

Panel 5 of published page 16 also may show traces of whitened and altered art, because the background looks very empty and the little Harpy shown standing there also doesn't do anything else than filling up space. If this was how Barks drew it in the original then this would have been quite a contrast in the art on the page.

Maybe also other panels on page 16 and 17 contain changes? As far as I know, no one has ever asked Barks specifically about this. The reason why no original art of these possible cuts has survived may be quite simple: the possible changes might have been done on the original version itself.

Besides the two panels, which are published in The Carl Barks Library - Set III, no art of the original version has survived.

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