Monday, October 11, 2010

The Collected Works of Carl Barks

When I was just a wee lad, my mom, knowing I liked comics, would pick up stacks of old comics at garage sales. They were usually a bit ratty, the covers were usually missing, but I didn't care. The best comics were the old Donald Duck comics. The exciting adventures of Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, Louie and the rest of the gang in Duckburg would captivate me. Hidden cities, lost treasures, pirates, steaming jungles, scorching deserts, snow covered mountains, and much more awaited me in those musty old pages. I didn't realize it at the time, but most of the best stories were ones written by a gentleman by the name of Carl Barks. It was him who created some of the best characters or, at the very least, helped flesh out their personalities to what they are today.

(cover illustration by Don Rosa for the Carl Barks story "The Magic Hourglass")

The well over 500 Donald Duck stories he produced have been reprinted off and on over the years. A story here, a story there, but it wasn't until 1984 that Another Rainbow Publishing decided to publish them all in 30 hardcover volumes (three to a slipcase) called The Carl Barks Library. Unfortunately, these are long out of print. The other downside is the stories were only printed in black and white.

                                           (Image borrowed from an old ebay auction)

A few years later, Gladstone Publishing then began putting out thin graphic novel reprints of  his Donald Duck stories called The Carl Barks Library in Color. While the advantage to these is they were in color, the disadvantage is that instead of thirty volumes, they numbered 141. As they too are long out of print, good luck on trying to collect a complete set.

                                                   (Image borrowed from an old ebay auction)

Flash forward to today, I have some good news and some bad news. The good news is there is a new 30 volume hardcover reprint collection IN COLOR called The Collected Works of Carl Barks.

The bad news however, is it is only available in Denmark, Finland, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Spain.  It is currently not available in either the US or in English.  Gemstone Publishing had originally announced they were bringing it to the US, but they then ran into some financial difficulties and failed to renew their publishing license with Disney.

Boom! Kids however picked up the license from Disney and are now the official publisher of Disney comics in the US. They have not currently announced any plans to bring The Collected Works of Carl Barks to the US, so if you want to see this gorgeous collection see the light of day then please let Boom! Kids know.

1 comment:

  1. Well, don't sulk no longer! Fantagraphics is publishing the complete Duck stories by Barks in 30 volumes, two a year.