The quotes are not placed in chronological order.


FC0159 Ghost of the Grotto

It is interesting to know that this was Garé's favorite story, because, as she said: It's got pathos.

Letter to Dorothy, Mar, 1978:

...It's been many years since Carl 'gave' anything away except an autograph and quickie little stick-figure sketches, and if anyone pays big money for one of those he's askin' to be 'took'. He is selling off a lot of his old drawings these days and getting good money for them. Of course, someone will get more but that's the way it is - as they get advertised for higher prices - he gets more for what he sells...

...lots of work, Carl's and other's, has been stolen from publishers ... Carl knows the culprits and the work and the culprits never come near Carl and Carl has refused to autograph any of these pages several times. Once he did autograph one but charged a hundred dollars just to sign his name!...

Garé's comic book contributions:

...I often helped. I did a lot of the lettering and always inked the solid blacks and occasionally the backgrounds, which Carl had sketched in pencil. I could never draw the ducks, though. I don't know why. I had a lot of difficulties with them...

Turn the light on!

Sometimes Barks literally dreamt up his best ideas. This resulted in him keeping a pencil and pad on his bedside table. Many a night his wife Garé was awakened as he would suddenly sit up in bed to scribble down an idea.
Garé remembered: I'd hear this scribble, scribble, scribble in the dark, and I'd say: 'Turn the light on so you can see what you're doing!

Letter to Dorothy, Sep, 1977:

Carl and Garé responded to Dorothy's sending clippings from a Howard the Duck comic strip:
...Carl for diplomacy's sake always lets the guys think he likes all that stuff - underground comics - anything - it pays dividends for him to be diplomatic about it. They all adore him. And in many cases they sincerely think their work is inspired by having read his and they tell him so!...

Letter to Dorothy, Dec, 1976:

Carl and Garé had finally selected their new mobile home in Temecula and were waiting for it to be delivered and set up. They were looking forward to less maintenance, particularly yardwork.
...Carl's back working on a new drawing and the orders are coming in - so he'll be able to do as much as he wants to...


WDCS185 'Food Resolutions'

Carl enjoyed himself when drawing the numerous vignettes - aquariums, figurines, and paintings - which were found in the background of Donald's house and of course, it was quite deliberate that he made these details as grotesque as possible to ensure that the reader noticed them. The vignettes, after all, had nothing to do with the ongoing stories; they were just there as extra amusement.
But certain background jokes seized abruptly one day when Garé happened to notice him drawing an aquarium overflowing with fish:
That won't do, Carl, she immediately declared, what if your young readers do the same thing at home?
Carl realized that this might be a possibility and he ended the practice.

Spend your money!

When, finally, Barks' luck changed and he began earning big money on his paintings he never became extravagant with his personal economics although he could well have afforded to. Garé once compared her husband to Scrooge:
Oh, yes, Carl's thrifty like Scrooge. He never spends unwisely or changes things. He pays for them in cash, like Scrooge, so that he never pays any interest that he doesn't have to. What are you getting so damned tightwad about? Get out and spend your money!

Still, the fear of not being able to make ends meet was deeply embedded in him...

A fan's first meeting at the bus station, July, 1989:

Carl was incredibly alert for being 88 years. While the driver, with the motor running, unloaded our bags, I shook Carl’s hand and told him how fantastic it was to meet him.
Carl gave me a big smile and nodded his head, when Garé said: 'You can say anything you wish to him now, because he don´t hear a word!'
I knew about his hearing problems, from his childhood, but did not know how bad it was. In fact, Carl’s hearing ability seemed to be Okay if you were talking to him in a room, but no good if there were any other sounds around, like the noise of a Greyhound bus.

Letter to Dorothy, Nov, 1979:

...Carl is working like a beaver on a large Xmas painting (Santa's workshop theme) (Santa's Christmas Mail - Editor's remark) for the Canadian, Richard Foster, who, as someone put it, goosed the market with a fire hose! It will be a beauty - very complicated - with dozens of little animal people working on different things with Santa in the middle...

You only paint ducks...

Carl and Garé friendly teased each other about their chosen painting motifs:
Here is another one of Garé’s paintings, said Carl, As you can see it is a lot of trees.
Garé responded: Oh, should you say that, you only paint ducks!

Letter to Dorothy, Nov, 1978:

...Now, the producer of 'Star Wars' (Gary Kurtz - Editor's remark), who it seems is an Uncle Scrooge fan has succeeded in getting permission from Disney's to put out a deluxe edition (book) of a bunch of the Scrooge stories in their original form, plus a biography (short) and bibliography - plus a few paintings - in one big book (Uncle Scrooge McDuck - His Life and Times - Editor's remark).
Carl is going to have to do a bunch of work for them for that for the next 2 or 3 months. The editor of the book, Ed Summer, will be out here from N.Y. some time late this month to stay out here at our local motel and work with Carl for several days on it. Carl will be paid for his time and work! (The first time any of these interviewers & book writers has volunteered such a thing.)
The fact that Disney's has granted permission for such a work is what has floored everyone - but it's because of the status of this Gary Kurtz in the movie industry, no doubt. Anyway, I'm sure it will sell well - it's long overdue!...

Letter to Dorothy, Aug, 1978:

...Carl can't take time to be sick he's too busy working - God! what a fiend for work - if it's there to do it has to be done! And that's it!...

The 'bright' visitor

A visiting fan to the Barks home once asked Garé a self-explanatory question which she answered like this:
Yes!, we do get a lot of requests for people to visit Carl...

Letter to Dorothy, Aug, 1980:

The project with a book about Barks' Disney paintings (The Fine Art of Walt Disney's Donald Duck by Carl Barks - Editor's remark) ran into trouble and he had to ask Disney to stop all negotiations until everything was straightened out:
...This is still going on, but we’ve dropped out of it and are trying to get back to production after wasting months of time on it. Carl is so disgusted! He says anyone mentioning 'book' to him again will get the 'heave-ho' out of the house!...

...Meanwhile, the first book that the Gary Kurtz outfit started working on 2 yrs ago seems to be starting to move. Anyway, they got as far as sending us a 200 lb. crate of paper on which the 'bonus' prints that go in the limited edition of the book will be printed. The sheets are 26”x40” and Carl has to sign each sheet 8 times where the 8 prints will go! The only trouble is they didn’t send the template that would show him where his signatures should go!...

Approaching another dimension

Garé told a story of when Carl first wanted to start painting the ducks: He got out a Ping-Pong ball, attached a string to it, and studied it under different lighting conditions to figure out how shadows looked on a sphere. It was from studying that Ping-Pong ball that he finally learned how to shade the heads of the ducks. That's the way he approached everything.
It is important to realize that Barks needed a totally different technique in order to paint simulated 3-dimensional ducks than was the case with his strictly 2-dimensional comic book ducks.

Letter to Dorothy, Feb, 1979:

...Carl is in the throes of working on the big book that Disney O.K.'d. (We have one of the Abbeville Press editions of the Duck book to send you - the whole edition (10,000) sold out of the publishers within 10 days.) We had the young editor (Edward Summer - editor's remark) here for 4 days picking Carl's brain - we were both exhausted when he left, all be it he was a real nice guy and easy to have around and thoroughly enjoyed being here - particularly some home cooked food. He's a bachelor out of N.Y. So Carl is now doing the preliminary drawings and will really have his hands full for a couple of months - thank God it's not football season!...

After a meal in town:

Then we were served the compulsory fortune cookies, and Carl got the following message: 'You will have gold pieces by the bushel!'.
Garé chuckled and continued: 'Just like Uncle Scrooge!'

Why are you so ambitious?

Garé: Carl, do you remember that one editor who used to say to you, 'Why do you make so much work for yourself with your stories?  Why don't you just draw one panel, and then the next, and pretty soon you've got a complete story!'
Carl: Sure, he always used to say, 'You don't need to take so long for a single story, why are you so ambitious, why do your stories always have to be so original?'.  Well, I just couldn't reconcile that with my conscience. If I didn't give my best, I wasn't satisfied with myself.

Letter to Dorothy, Feb, 1982:

...Carl is just finishing up a big western bar room scene (Worth a whole Month's Wages - Editor's remark) that he’s been sweating over for several months. He’s just put in a row of mugs or steins up over the bar...