What About Thad?

Thad Komorowski's blog

New Year’s Revolutions

with 14 comments

I love a lot of comics from the 1940s and 1950s, and own about a thousand of them, but they simply don’t hold up well for rereading. The art can be great to look at (and help ID certain animators’ styles in many cases), but the stories are mostly junk, and repetitive junk at that. Carl Barks, John Stanley, and Walt Kelly are the transgressive artists at Western Publishing, period.

I think this story from WDC&S 173 (Feb. 1955) is probably in my top five favorites; of course I say that about every Barks story I reread and laugh out loud at. At around this time, people were not fond of Barks’s depiction of Donald, writing to him, saying that his behavior upset their children. I don’t have a copy of the letter, but I think Barks responded to one of them saying something to the extent of “tell your kid he’s a nose pickin’ crybaby.”

My apologies for those who hate modern coloring, it’s all I have of the story on file.

Written by Thad

January 29th, 2010 at 12:59 am

Posted in carl barks, comics

14 Responses to 'New Year’s Revolutions'

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  1. Only a god like Barks could draw Donald’s rage at the end so perfectly.
    So, no more Jim Davis or Sheldon Mayer either? ;)

    Kasey

    29 Jan 10 at 1:12 am

  2. This was a great one ! Thanks Thad.

    What I admire about Barks the most was his ability to gradually exagerate the situations. This story starts out as a simple bet but by the end, it’s a global humliation for Donald. Also good for Carl who told off the mother of that little snot nosed brat; That boy or girl probably grew up to be a TV executive greenlighting shitty cartoons in the 70’s and 80’s.

    Ricardo Cantoral

    29 Jan 10 at 6:18 am

  3. Thad: I know! Those Western Publishing comics from the 1940s and 1950s had such rubbish for stories. Tell you what. Send them all to me. I’ll pay shipping. — Mykal Banta

    Mykal Banta

    29 Jan 10 at 6:29 pm

  4. Mykal, I might take you up on that if you’ll send me scans gradually. I’d rather let them off cheaply to someone who loves them. There’s way too much of that stuff in my basement – though I may not have the heart to get rid of my 40s Looney Tunes books.

    Thad

    29 Jan 10 at 7:42 pm

  5. Thad: My heart rate just increased double. I love them and would promise to give them a good home. I’ll shoot you an email to discuss. — Mykal

    Mykal Banta

    29 Jan 10 at 8:14 pm

  6. Thad how are the Looney Tunes stories Barks wrote ?

    Ricardo Cantoral

    29 Jan 10 at 8:24 pm

  7. Barks didn’t write any Looney Tunes stories. He drew one, Porky of the Mounties, which was heavily revised (Barks apparently couldn’t draw Bugs ‘well’). He did write and draw some hilarious Barney Bear stories.

    Thad

    29 Jan 10 at 9:11 pm

  8. Yeah I do remember reading from Barks himself that every single Bugs he drew was re-drawn.

    Ricardo Cantoral

    29 Jan 10 at 10:48 pm

  9. Ricardo, Barks later claimed all the Bugses had been redrawn—but he didn’t remember quite right.

    Look at “Porky of the Mounties” and you’ll see that Bugs has a light red nose most of the time—but occasionally a black nose, and the black nose always comes along with a more WILD HARE-like facial design… and a more Barksian line art style.

    I’d put money on that being Barks’ unretouched Bugs. Perfectly OK by the standards of two years earlier.

    David Gerstein

    30 Jan 10 at 2:38 am

  10. Interesting theory Dave. I have never read the story.

    Ricardo Cantoral

    30 Jan 10 at 3:34 am

  11. Okay, those last three panels were hilarious. Carl Barks knew how to draw anger. That was VERY funny. Thank you for putting this up.

    Eric Noble

    30 Jan 10 at 5:47 am

  12. Carl Barks’ drawings were simple but very effective. You certainly feel the emotion of the character in every panel.

    Ricardo Cantoral

    30 Jan 10 at 11:38 pm

  13. Thad (and everyone who’s curious) here’s the letter you’re talking about. Pure Barks genius.

    http://www.cbarks.dk/thecorrespondence1950s.htm

    By the way, you should also explore the site if you haven’t already. The best Barks-related web I have had the pleasure to visit.

    Richie

    1 Feb 10 at 11:02 pm

  14. “Now comes a neurotic female with a cramped, fault-finding mind and a cry-baby son, and proves all of those millions (well, dozens, at least) of boys and girls who have bought and read Disney comics over the years were and are sadists, masochists, murderers, lechers and worse!”

    LOL ! Thanks Richie. I bookmarked that site.

    Ricardo Cantoral

    2 Feb 10 at 7:04 am

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