Carl Barks Comic Book Art

SURVIVING ARTWORK

Surviving artwork from 1940`ies


I have always been very fond of Matti Eronen's printed book from 1994, but I really missed seeing the surviving comic book art. The main purpose of this website is to show good photos/scans of the original pages. For the most part, I have used scans from the Carl Barks Library [the multi-volume set published in the 1980's by Another Rainbow] in black and white. However, I have started changing these scans to reproductions from the originals—when I am able to find them (a very difficult task). So far, of the 200 pages shown on the site, about 80 are reproductions from the original artwork. Reproductions of the remaining surviving pages on the site are, for now, from the CBL. Any leads or help towards obtaining, and hopefully sharing, additional images of the actual art would be greatly appreciated!

In this section, we will start by examining existing originals from the 1940's...


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WDC 52 - January 1945

Trade rat

August 26, 1944.

The whole 5'th page from this 10 page story has survived. It is the earliest surviving comic book art by Barks. It is also the only ”normal”, published, neither rejected nor discarded, page which has survived from the years 1942-1957.

The 5'th page from the "Trade rat" story would have been the only surviving comic book art from the 1940's if it had not been for the "Silent Night" story being rejcted for excessive violence. Ironically, the sad fate of the latter story saved the artwork.


 

The whole 5'th page has survived.

The artwork for the lower half page is in private collection in Finland.


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WDC 64 – January 1945

Silent Night

August 31, 1945.

From this 10 page story nine and half pages have survived. Only the first two tiers, which presumably comprised 3 panels, are missing. The story was unpublished until the book ”The Fine Art of Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks” was published in 1981.

The story was originally to be published in WDC 64 January 1945. It was rejected because it was reported as being sacriligious and un-Disney. The originals were returned to Barks who saved them until he eventually passed them on to "The Collector's Book Store" in Los Angeles where they sat for years without selling.

Barks later used "Silent Night" as inspiration for the 10 page story ”The Terrible Tourist” for WDC 248, May 1961. The script was somewhat revised, but some panels are virtually identical.

Unpublished artwork. The original pages, several of which were shared as half-pages by later owners, are all part of private collections.

The original artwork is inked in black. The color version shown is from the CBL (Carl Barks Library).


"Silent Night" page 1 - Lower Half


"Silent Night" Page 2


The 3'rd page was for sale at Galerie Laqua in 1997 for $21,850 and again in 2001 for $29,000.


"Silent Night" Page 4


"Silent Night" page 5


"Silent Night" page 6


"Silent Night" page 7


"Silent Night" page 8


"Silent Night" page 9


"Silent Night" page 10