Sunday, 11 October 2009

Carl Barks cover for...?

Right now I'm waiting for my bus to arrive here at Gothenburg bus station. Still 40 minutes until my bus arrives so it's a perfect opportunity to finish my earlier blog post about this cover:
I checked with the seller and he told me that this item was found together with the copy of the "Hall of the Mermaid Queen" reprint shown in my previous post. So it's easy to see why this was thought to be an alternate cover rough for that story.

Well, it's not.
And here's my three points to prove it.

1) The logo was traced from an early Four Color issue of Uncle Scrooge. By March 1967 when US 68 was published that early logo had been out of use for more than 10 years.

2) The nephews are almost identical to the ones seen on the 1988 litho "The Makings of a Fish Story".

3) The image of Uncle Scrooge diving was traced from a drawing by William Van Horn, most likely done for the "Horsing around with History".

That said the above info would date the Barks drawing to 1994 and not 1967. Quite a difference.

For all I know the buyer might have been aware of all this and then it's fine. But if not, this might come as an unwelcome surprise.
(BTW: I'm 100% sure the seller didn't try to fool anyone. Anyone might have done the same mistake if not having access to the info I had.)
This shows the importance to know what you are buying and to do your research.


Lars Jensen said...

Point 4) On the cover sketch, the Ducks all wear diving helmets. In the "Hall of the Mermaid Queen" story, they *don't* wear helmets. Why would Barks have them wear helmets on the cover when they didn't wear them in the story?

My guesses (and they are purely guesses): this is a never used cover idea for "Horsing Around With History"... or a fake!

Anonymous said...

Point 5) Barks drew with great assurance and efficiency, with very little need for correction. This type of tracing paper collage would be quite atypical for his working methods, at least as far as published sketches and original art indicate.

Anonymous said...

On the other hand, I'll admit the nephews (particularly the blue-pencilled one) kind of look like Barks sketches. Also, you'd think a forger would be able to avoid the vastly different line quality of the pot outline and the rest of the drawing.

Mike Matei said...

Saw the original painting of Makings Of A Fish Story, you know, a lot of people say that his paintings weren't that great. That the characters had blank expressions and so on. For a few of them, I can see that. "an embarrassment of riches" their faces really seem expressionless. But overall, I think Barks paintings are awesome. Look at Christmas Composition or This Dollar Saved My Life At Whitehorse. Those are really well done. And so was Makings of a Fish Story. The thing nearly knocked me out of my shoes it was so stunning.