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American cartoonist, born in 1901 near Merrill, Oregon. After spending his childhood working on a farm and drawing, he got a job drawing animated cartoons for Disney. After submitting a gag about a mechanized barber chair for a Donald Duck cartoon, Barks was promoted to the story department, where he co-worked on a number of famous Donald Duck cartoons, but in the early 1940s, a series of irritations at the studio convinced him to quit to set up a chicken farm.

To earn a living in the meantime, Barks went to work for Western Publishing drawing Donald Duck comic books. Donald didn't exactly work in comic books--in the movies, he was a lazy hothead who spoke in barely-coherent quacking. To make Donald more suitable for the comics, Barks gave him a personality, less volatile emotions, and articulate speech. He also created characters like Scrooge McDuck, Gladstone Gander, Gyro Gearloose, the Beagle Boys, Magica de Spell, the Junior Woodchucks, and Flintheart Glomgold.

His original contract with Disney didn't allow him any credits on the comics he created, but he was widely acclaimed as one of the best comic book creators and storytellers around. After his retirement, and after the death of Walt Disney, he has received much more credit and recognition from the Walt Disney Company and from the world of comics in general.

Died in the summer of 2000 of leukemia.
Some additional facts on Carl Barks:

Since Disney and pretty much all "funny animal comics" never listed credits for the people who worked on them, fans learned to recognize artists and writers through their styles and storywriting. Barks, whether it was an adventure-themed story or a short comedy piece, became instantly recognizable and was known to many fans as "the good artist" or "the good duck artist."

One of the ways he was able to create such a rich tapestry to his adventure stories was that he used as "reference" issues of National Geographic and the Encyclopædia Britannica.

In his career, he is said to have drawn 6215 pages, 190 covers, and written 396 scripts for the comics.

When he retired from the comics in 1966, he took to oil painting. Between 1971 and 1976, he painted some 122 Duck-themed works. At that time, Disney decided to step in and restrain him from further use of their characters (the paintings were becoming highly valuable). He continued painting, though, using his own subjects (creating and painting were the things that motivated him and made life enjoyable).

In later years, he was able to return to the Ducks he loved and helped create by working through the Disney licensee Another Rainbow, where his oil paintings were turned into lithographs and collectibles. He continued painting up until his death by leukemia in 2000 at the age of 99.

(Some info from www.fmi.uni-passau.de/~zimmerth/comics/barks/index.engl.shtml)

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