Comic Books

When I was a kid I spent all my money on comic books. I loved comic books. My father called me and my sister the Comic Book Kids. I had tons. All was bliss until that terrible day. I was ten years old. I came home from school and looked under the bed. We only had one bed. The trailer was small. The couch opened up for my mother and my sister, and I slept on the table. Well, I looked under the bed and my huge box of comics was gone. I asked my father. He didn’t know what happened to them. Right. Like when my hamsters disappeared. You’ve heard people say it. “I used to be a millionaire. Then my old man threw away my comic books.” I started buying them again when I was a young man in graduate school. I had a little money. Not much. But I still have those comics that I bought then.

I know there are a lot of Carl Barks fans out there. Let me tell you a little story. I don’t know exactly when it was, but it was quite some time ago. My friend and former editor at Bladkompaniet in Oslo, Terje Nordberg, told me the story. Carl had been invited to Oslo for a book fair of some kind. When he walked out on the stage and saw the hundreds and hundreds of fans clapping and cheering, he started crying. He had no idea that anyone in the world cared or knew who he was. That’s the way Disney operated. You won’t find Carl’s name on any of the many comic books that he drew. Don Rosa, who later drew duck stories, slipped in the letters D.U.C.K. somewhere in his stories. Here’s an excerpt I took from

Most Don Rosa stories have the letters D.U.C.K. hidden somewhere in the first panel. Rosa’s covers also usually have D.U.C.K. in them. This is an acronym for Dedicated to Unca Carl from Keno. Because Disney would not allow for personal signatures in the comics, and thought that D.U.C.K. looked too much like one, Don Rosa later started hiding the letters in various unlikely places. Many of his readers made a sport out of finding them. D.U.C.K. is in most cases hidden in the very first panel of the story. D.U.C.K. is also often hidden in Rosa’s cover-art, which he makes for his own stories and reprints of old Carl Barks stories.

Don’s first name is Keno. So even though it’s not his signature, at least fans will know who wrote and drew the story.

Tomorrow I’ll show you some of my comic books.

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3 Responses to Comic Books

  1. Divad says:

    Even though the artists couldn’t sign the work, the fans distinguished them by style, and before they ever knew who Barks was, he was “The Good Duck Artist”.

  2. Divad says:

    And if you haven’t picked up Don Rosa’s “The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck”, it’s a great read. It references nearly every Carl Barks story, I recognized quite a few that I read from my Dad’s comic collection (which never got thrown out).

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