Finally, here's the answer to the puzzle.
Guess this one's for the harcore Barks fans only. ;)
It all began with an auction on eBay earlier this winter.
The seller offered this drawing for sale:
An unpublished cover rough by Carl Barks! The father of the seller had gotten it from Barks in the 70's.
Notice the circled X on the drawing. I'd say that it means the idea was sold or at least approved by / or sent to Western. Now, there never was any cover like this during the late 50's or early 60's. (The gag covers ended with US 44 so it was most likely made before that. And the proportions of Scrooge also looks like the late 50's/early 60's era.) I guess he felt the gag was too weak or hard to get and filed it away.
But what if Barks had finished the drawing and it had appeared on a cover in 1959?
I took Barks layout and made a finished ink drawing based on it.
Then I scanned the cover of US 28 and used the logo from that cover.
I used the colors from US 28 and added them to the new one.
And finally I did some photoshop magic to make it look old. :)
Thanks for the feedback I got on this one. I got some good guesses from people all over the world, but Are was the only one who guessed 100% right.
I had some fun doing this this puzzle of "The Barks Cover that Never Was" and I hope you have enjoyed it too.