Friday, 23 October 2009

Carl Barks "lost" Uncle Scrooge adventure

As I've mentioned earlier I recently bought two folders filled with plot ideas etc by Carl Barks. One has Gyro Gearloose stuff and the other (labeled "Story Germs") is filled with papers dating from ca late 50's to the mid 60's.

I've only read half of the sheets so far and already found some interesting (and revealing) stuff! But that will have to wait a while, because the focus in this post will be on the Happi Happi island story.

It's an unfinished Uncle Scrooge adventure and I'll try to tell you a little bit about it without revealing too much. (I don't want to spoil the fun for you, since I hope these script pages can be published one way or another some day.)

Parts of the story structure and some of the elmements reminds me of both "A Spicy Tale" and "The Staus Seeker"(both written in 1962). Since the rest of the material in the folder is from that period, I think it's a safe bet to say this script is from late 1961 or early 1962.

What I have are the nine and a half first script pages, with dialouge and scene descriptions.
In addition to that I have five and a half pages with ideas and a pretty detailed synopsis of the full story. This would probably have been a 20 pager if it had been finished.

The introduction is structured similar to the "The Status Seeker", but instead of a posh party with rich people we have a Do-gooders club as a starting point. And instead of a giant jellyfish that likes peppermint candy, we have another animal of the sea that the nephews feeds with peanuts. (And like the jellyfish it saves the day.)
The business with Donald teaching natives what's "good" for them in "A Spicy Tale" is probably a refined version of the Do-gooders vs the natives in the Happi Happi story.
All three stories also features natives in a tropical climate. So you see why I draw parallells between the stories.

The script ends abruptly in the middle of page 10. I can see why, since the scenes following presents some storyteling problems to be solved.
And after making the Status Seeker-story and "A Spicy Tale" Barks probably felt no need to finish the Happi Happi-story.

Now, should this story be finished? Someone writing the remaining pages following Barks synopsis, and someone drawing it? Or should it be left as is? Maybe it shouldn't be published in any form since Barks never finished it?
Maybe I shall run it through the paper shredder? ;)

My opinion is that it should be left as is.
Like Hergé's "Tintin and the alphabet art" we have an unfinished story that should remain unfinished.
Someone with great skill could draw the part of the story that has been fully written. And then adding every word from the synopsis and the plot sheets. Or make a "fan publication" out of it reproducing the sixteen pages unaltered as they are?

[Edit: I've changed my mind. If a good script writer can do a good job with it. Well why not.]

And what to to with the other one hundred sheets I have...?


PS. If any of you have unpublished Barks plots or stories in your drawers I'd like to make a trade.


Ger Apeldoorn said...

Let's develop this for Daan!

Gianfranco Goria said...

Interesting! So I talked about you today at :-)

Dimitris said...

I'll make a reference about your post in because it is a very interesting for the members there to know. Thanks for bringing that up.

Joakim Gunnarsson said...

Gianfranco and Dimitris:
Thanks for linking! :)

Dimitris said...

You're welcome! I hope you will let us know for anything else interesting you'll find!!