Saturday, 11 May 2013

WDC 132 revisited

A recent post over at Michael Sporn's "Splog" featured the cover to WDC 132 by Carl Barks.
(Thanks to Bill Peckmann for sharing the cover scan!)

Notice how off balance this cover is. There are two big chunks of empty space to the right of Donalds foot and above the nephews. Not well composed at all. And why is there a sign saying "Do not pick flowers"? It has nothing to do with the gag of HDL fooling Donald with a fake flower at all. In fact it distracts from it.

Now, I've seen this cover hundreds of times, but I've never taken a closer look. Could it be that this cover was altered and not what Barks drew?
Take a look at this:

Notice the small gaps between the sign and the inked lines surrounding it. It's been pasted on afterwards. I guess by someone who didn't think the original gag was strong enough.
But by adding the sign the gag became ... strange. Why wouldn't the nephews want Donald to pick the flowers when they are about to fool him?
Working at a comic book company I can attest that editorial desicions aren't always logical...

So what would Barks original version have looked like? I took a quick stab at it using photoshop. Maybe like this:


PS. While on the subject of Barks covers:
Over the years I've seen people write that the nephews on the cover of FC 353 are drawn by someone else than Barks, because the eyes doesn't have the piecut.
Well ... the nephews are drawn by Barks. Why he chose to draw their eyes different (or why someone else changed them afterwards) I don't know. But the composition, drawing and inking is by Barks. :)

Image taken from GCDB.


Christopher Sobieniak said...

It does make it seem like Donald was a fool for not obeying the rules of said park or wherever he was at by simply picking the flowers anyway and the boys fooled him that way.

Roberto Severino said...

On the surface, even with the sign, I can see some kind of negative space around the sign and Donald's foot, but it's also really distracting it itself and unnecessary. I didn't really notice before you brought it up over at Michael's blog. Fascinating examination.