Thursday, 6 April 2017

FC 275

I was quite surprised when this piece turned up on Comicartfans recently. Carl Barks original cover to FC 275! Long thought lost and gone forever. Wow!

Here's what the owner wrote on the CAF site:
"This belonged to a California artist who sold at Art Shows along with Carl and Gare Barks. After becoming friends, Carl gave him some items-----including a 1970 landscape and this piece. When I saw it displayed on his wall, I asked if he would sell it, and he responded with a price. I accepted without any attempt to negotiate."

Now, let's take a closer look and compare this piece with the printed cover.

And I could go on.
The more I look at it the more differences I see. Even the line weight doesn't match the published cover. Enlarge the image of the ink drawing and compare to your own copy of FC 275 and try to spot the differences.

So, unfortunately this is not the real deal. The piece is still on CAF and can be found by clicking HERE.

Monday, 6 March 2017

WDC 405

Recently this piece turned up:
Looks like an alternate version of the cover to WDC 405. But is it by Barks?

Here's  a screenshot of the original listing:

Some people said it was a trace and a fake.
Take a close look. What do you think?

Now, let's see what the *evidence* says.

1. The paper.
See the stamped image in the top left corner? Schoeller Durex was the paper used by Western publishing. The back has preprinted borders. (See image.) So this is done on a genuine Western Publishing board.

2. The stamp
It's stamped with the proper early (1970s) "WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS" stamp, lacking the (c) in the stamp. (Notice it's not stamped with the later stamp that says "(C) THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY")

On to what can be seen and judged:

3. The no-match
The drawing doesn't match the published cover or the painting. Stuff has been drawn differently. (If it had been a forgery/a trace why not try to make it as close as possible?) It's actually closer to the printed cover. I'd say this pre-dates the painting, but this version was used as a basis for the later cover.

See here how the drawing doesn't match the painting. So it's not a tracing. 

4. The handwriting.
The "To Denver Carl Barks" is written by Carl. No doubt about it. (If not this is the best Barks handwriting forgery I've ever seen.)

5. The nephews
Compare the nephews to the printed cover. You can tell that they have been cleaned up by someone else on the cover. (Possibly Larry Mayer.) What we see here is the real deal. You can't forge stuff like this. Barks quick sketches are extremely hard to fake. It's like handwriting.

Now, the tricky thing with this piece is the inking and the double signatures. Why sign a piece twice?

After having looked at this piece I'd say it's by Barks. At least the pencils. It might have been inked by Carl by the request of the fan. Remember that this was done in the mid 70s or later. Barks had not been inking regularely with a nib for many years. And he was in his mid 70s or older. Look at this inked piece from 1977.  Not exactly up to par with what he did in the late 60's.

Carl Barks 1977

Or... the inking and the extra signature might have been added at a later date by someone else to "enhance" the piece. I have to see the piece in person to judge that.

My conclusion:
The paper, the first signature, the stamp and the pencils is the real deal.
The inking I have to examine in person to judge it. To be really, really sure I'd probably have to see a photo with Barks holding the inked piece.


Here's the printed cover and the original art to WDC 405. (Courtesy of Inducks and Heritage Comics.)

Frank Robbins 1947

Monday, 13 February 2017

14-67 Dragon Lady

Back in 1967 Carl Barks did a series of 8 paintings featuring females. 
This is one of them, called "Dragon Lady". 
See more here:

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Stamp Collector Pencils

Two pencil sketches by Carl Barks cobbled toghether.
For the unfinished oil "Stamp Collectors' Bad Moment" 1987

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Barks oil 21-66

This painting by Carl Barks was recently up for auction.
Labeled 21-66 and titled "Distant temples".
Here are the images from the auction, for those of you who are interested in his non-ducks paintings.

Barks index in print

Just a quick note to say that Kim Weston has published his Carl Barks index as a book. Check out the Amazon listing:

Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Unavailable Barks

"The Unavailable Carl Barks" is the title of a newly released book collecting stories that has been out of print for a long, long time in the US.
A "must have" for the Barks fan.
Here's what the cover looks like:

And here's what the publisher, Kim Weston, has to say about it. (More images after the text.)

As you may be aware, in addition to his Disney work, Carl Barks wrote and/or drew 36 non-Disney comic book stories. Unlike the Disney comics, these have not been widely reprinted. In 2011, Craig Yoe and IDW published The Carl Barks Big Book of Barney Bear, with those 26 stories, in the USA. But that book did not include Barks' other 10 non-Disney stories. The Unavailable Carl Barks (in color) DOES include those other 10 stories. And unlike The Carl Barks Big Book of Barney Bear, which is reproduced from faded, yellowed, 70 year old comic books, 7 of the 10 "unavailable stories" in my book are reproduced from copies of original black line proofs. The other 3, for which there are no known proofs, are, of necessity, reproduced from comic books, 600 dpi scans of the original comic books. In addition to the other 10 stories, I have also reprinted 2 of the Barney Bear and Benny Burro stories that are in Yoe's Carl Barks Big Book of Barney Bear. Why? 4 of Barks' stories, including the 2 Barney & Benny stories I reprint, were never published in the form in which Barks submitted them to the publisher. Since I had access to copies of black line proofs of the 2 Barney & Benny stories as well, I have restored them as closely as possible to the way Barks drew them. So the 2 Barney & Benny stories look significantly different--and better--than they do in Yoe's book. In all, 4 of the stories are restored in this way in the book.

There have been 2 other reprint collections of most of Barks non-Disney work. About 1979, the bootleg Barks Bear Book was published, apparently in Sweden, but in English, from black and white photocopies of the comic books. It was missing 3 stories, but it was better than nothing. In 2010, Egmont published Carl Barks: Bruno björn och vänner (Carl Barks: Barney Bear and Friends) in Sweden. It is a very nice book but difficult to read unless you read Swedish. Most of the stories are from black line proofs, but the Porky Pig is not. The color was dropped out of scanned comics to make a black line master and then the story was recolored. It looks passable, but does not compare well to the stories printed from original proofs. The book includes 35 of Barks' 36 non-Disney stories, omitting only his Andy Panda story.

My book includes Andy Panda and the other 9 non-Disney Barks stories not included in the Yoe book so between my book and Yoe's book, all of Barks' non-Disney work is currently in print. Like the Egmont book, my Porky Pig story is also printed from scans of the original comic book and it looks a lot like the original comic book but with some improved detail due to the larger printing size. However, because it is printed directly from color scans without dropping out the color, it does a much better job of preserving Barks' essential line quality than the Egmont book, even though its color, as in the original comic, is sloppy and out of register.

In addition to 125 pages of color comics, there is a 10 page index of all of Barks' non-Disney comic books keyed not only to the original comic books but also my book and Craig Yoe's book plus about 30 pages of introductory, historical, and background articles.

The book is available on in the USA, and the UK and German Amazon sites say it is available there. The book is 34.95 USD, 32 Euros, and 26.95 GBP.

Here are a few snapshots, just to show you what the book looks like.

If you are just even slightly interested I'd say: buy now to avoid eBay prices later. Who knows how long this will stay in print.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Carl Barks art

How can Hake's believe that these forgeries are by Carl Barks? Sigh...

Will be interesting to see if these gets sold. 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Tied up

I bet that Walt Kelly would have loved the current election in the US. So much to do political satire of.
Now, Walt is no longer with us, but his old strips are.
Here's a sample from my collection. Remember, the year was 1968 and Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace were fighting for power. Enjoy!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Blondie 1945 vs 1956

These two strips were recently sold at auction. Interesting to see the differences in timing and artwork.

Guess these are not the only two versions of the same gag?
If you have one feel free to scan and to post a link. Would be fun to see more versions. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Keaton, Eisenstein and Disney

Saw this piece on eBay a while ago. Four Mickey illustrations in a frame.
Seller writes: "Drawn and stamped by the Disney studios vintage 1930's exclusively for Buster Keaton and personally signed by Walt Disney."

I wrote to the seller who said "We took our piece to Disney Corporate in Burbank to the Archive Records Division and they have confirmed that it is a piece that Walt signed for from illustration to have for his personal use as a gift."

It's simply a bad tracing of the Mickey Mouse daily from 2-21, 1930.
And I've told the seller so.
Do the seller write that information in the description after re-listing it? No.
I wonder why...
And they want $15.000 for it.
Good luck selling it! There are suckers out there. You might just catch one.