Monday, July 06, 2009

With My Old Pal Carl Barks - Part 2

In 1991 Carl Barks was inducted into the Disney Legends Hall of Fame at Disney Studios in Burbank, CA. At the time, I was Managing Editor of Disney Comic Books at Disney Publishing. I also acted as Editor on Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, Uncle Scrooge, Donald Duck and DuckTales. My previous job at Disney was as a staff writer/artist. From 1980 - 1989 my primary job was writing the Donald Duck comic strip for the newspapers. Other staff artists did the art. Sometime in 1989 Disney decided to publish their comic books themselves and canceled the license that had been held by Gladstone Publishing in Arizona. As a knowledgeable fan and collector of Disney Comics going back to my childhood in New York, and being a ten-year veteran at Disney, and having been a staff writer, I was invited to join the Disney Comics team as Managing Editor. I requested that the job of editing the four titles mentioned above be mine. I felt compelled to protect the history and Disney values those titles represented. In my capacity as editor, I found myself dealing with My Old Pal Carl Barks on a soft business level. Even though Carl was no longer working, we did reprint a lot of his material and one of my privileged duties was to make sure he got a sort of royalty check for each page of his that we used. It wasn't a lot, but I felt it was very important that he get something. So this is why I was able to imbed myself in the Legends ceremonies unfolding on the lot that day. I worked there, I was in management and I knew one of the Legends.

Getting ready to approach the ceremonial wet cement, Barks introduces himself to his creation, Scrooge McDuck.

Leading the way is Winnie the Pooh escorting his voice, Sterling Holloway. Next is Scrooge McDuck with Carl Barks waving at the camera. Behind him is Julie Andrews with a penguin from Mary Poppins, and finally Ken Anderson with Snow White.

While he was in town for the ceremony Carl paid a visit to the Disney Publishing group to meet, greet and sign copies of his comics. See... this is where that stupid WITH MY OLD PAL sign comes in handy. Just add CARL BARKS to it and you're done.

This is the real shot. Happy Legend, happy fan boy. Oh, and I didn't dress like that normally. This was a special occasion.

It's only fair. I'm pretending to be annoyed but I was giggling inside. The kid from New York feels very lucky, indeed.


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