olympic try-outs

Barks caricatured himself on panels 4, 5 and 6 of page 6 as Fulldrip Pulpbugle, a javelin hurler with hay fever.

About this caricature, Joseph Cowles wrote in a August 2, 2000 e-mail:

Garé told me about a story Barks had created in late 1955, a WDC&S 10-pager published May 1956, where one of the characters was a caricature of Carl himself. It's Fulldrip Pulpbugle, the fabulous javelin thrower on page six. [...] Like Pulpbugle, Barks had severe bouts with hay fever, back in the days before antihistamines became readily available. I'm sure he was exaggerating slightly because I never saw it thus, but he claimed his nose would swell up like a red balloon.

Fulldrip Pulpbugle, panel 6.4Fulldrip Pulpbugle, panel 6.5

There were other instances when Barks would use real people or local places in his stories, as a sort of inside joke. He told me that he didn't really write his stories for the unseen kids he imagined bought the comics, but for his own amusement (he had little comprehension, in those days, of the magnitude of his audience and how many of his readers were not children at all). He often expressed dismay at what he described as the drudgery of his work, and the difficulty of coming up with new stories. Garé said that there had been a number of times when Carl had gotten halfway through a story only to realize that he had written essentially the same thing years before. There are a handful of Barks stories which actually made it into print, even though their plots are essentially reworkings of earlier versions.

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