The Barks Fan's Potpourri: A Medley of Articles from the Carl Barks Fan Club Newsletter by Glenn Bray

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Glenn Bray
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The Barks Fan's Potpourri: A Medley of Articles from the Carl Barks Fan Club Newsletter

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Book review

Published for the international Carl Barks Fan Club, this book includes images and articles regarding the amazing worldwide influence of Carl's stories and artwork on literature, the arts, education and literacy. For seven decades the work of Carl Barks has been translated into every major language, published by the millions, and enjoyed by billions of adults and children of all cultures. The characters he created have become household names, his stories treasured works of literature. Yet it was not until his retirement in the 1960s that Carl's name was made known to the public, for during the twenty-three years of his career, his work was presented to the public as that of Walt Disney—specifically, that of The Walt Disney Company. Carl Barks was "The Good Artist" who created Uncle Scrooge and wrote and drew adventure stories of Donald Duck and a menagerie of other Disney characters. He had the distinction of being the least known while at the same time the most popular storyteller in history. Some authorities have reported that comic books with Carl's stories averaged 23 million copies world wide, EACH MONTH throughout his twenty-three year career. If these figures are accurate, 23 million per month times 12 months times 23 years amounts to six billion copies sold, making Carl the most popular author in his lifetime and probably for all time to come. (And his body of work has continued to be republished globally in even greater volume during the half century since his retirement.) The revenue initially generated by Carl's tales would have amounted to gross sales of over $600 million, an average of more than $26 million yearly, and this was a half century ago when a dime had meaning. Carl himself received little in the way of compensation for helping to make the Disney name a worldwide entertainment empire, as his name was kept secret by the comic book publishers, and nearly all of his original art incinerated. Upon his retirement from twenty-three years of writing and drawing Disney Duck stories, Carl spent his next four decades creating brilliant oil paintings of scenes from the stories he'd written. Today those several hundred paintings are purchased by collectors at enormous six-figure prices. An American of humble beginnings from rural Oregon, Carl Barks became the single most prolific, most published, most read author in history. The Pictorial volumes of the nonprofit Carl Barks Fan Club explore all aspects of his work and its ongoing worldwide impact.

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