Carl Barks was never a more religious man than the average Christian. He owned a Bible but he was not a regular churchgoer. Nevertheless in his comic book stories Barks did sometimes approach religious subjects either directly or indirectly. This page will give you examples when he referred to religion directly and drew such things as religious buildings or mentioned religious figures. There will only be a few examples of indirect references, because many of the seemingly religious references can be interpreted in different ways. Presumably Barks only used his multiple references to religion as a means to write a storyline just as he used social and environmental references in other stories.

NB.: The term Faith used in this page refers only to the strict theological concept, which excludes several other possibilities - also used by Barks - such as mythology (Hercules, the Odyssey, Jason's golden fleece), the occult (astrology, future-forecasting, hand reading), luck-bringers (rabbits' feet, horseshoes, Scrooge's dime), as well as Barks' own religious inventions (cultures, persons, figurines).




In U$44 Crown of the Mayas Barks starts the story with a small historic prologue about the Mayan's ancient religion.

In FC0029 The Mummy's Ring the ducks travel to Egypt where they encounter a cult worshipping the ancient Egyptian religion.. Two servants carry masks depicting Anubis, the jackal headed God of Death.

Allah is mentioned in U$55 McDuck of Arabia.

In U$34 Mythic Mystery we are presented to Odin, the leader of the Gods, Thor, the Storm God, Balder, the God of Light, and Frigga, the wife of Odin.

Vishnu, the Preserver, is mentioned in U$24 The Twenty-Four Carat Moon.

Native North American:
Manitou, the Great Spirit, is mentioned in WDCS202 'The Weather Hole'.

Zeus, the leader of the Gods is mentioned in U$43 For Old Dime's Sake, and Hera, the wife of Zeus, Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, and Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, are seen in U$34 Mythic Mystery.

Jupiter, the leader of the Gods, Juno, the wife of Jupiter, Vulcan, the God of Fire, Venus, the Goddess of Love, and Diana, the Goddess of the Moon, are seen in U$34 Mythic Mystery.

Although Barks was a Christian he made few references to his own religion in the stories except for a few stories about Christian holidays (Christmas, Easter, Valentine's Day), but these stories did not have the religious themes as the trigger. One isolated religious reference to Christianity comes from U$10 The Fabulous Philosopher's Stone in which Scrooge is following a lead on the Knights Templar from one of the European crusades to the holy land.


Mentioned in U$34 Mythic Mystery. The home of the Gods in ancient Norse religion.

Mentioned in U$44 Crown of the Mayas. Biblical Sodom (probably best known in connection with the neighbouring town Gomorra) was destroyed by God, because the inhabitants had turned away from worshipping.

Mentioned in U$44 Crown of the Mayas. Once the religious capital of the Mayans (the very name of Uxmal is a later invention; today we do not know what the ancient Mayans actually called their city).

Mentioned in U$44 Crown of the Mayas. Palestine, also known as the holy land, was during the medieval centuries the destination for several European crusades.

Mentioned in U$34 Mythic Mystery. The home of the Gods in ancient Greek religion.


In FC0263 Trail of the Unicorn Donald visits an Indian temple ruin, and further east in U$20 City of Golden Roofs the ducks visit the temple city of Tangkor Wat. In South America they visit a number of temple pyramids in FC0422 The Gilded Man and in U$44 Crown of the Mayas.
Furthermore, Barks often drew backgrounds in Arabic countries showing minarets, the slender towers used by Muslims as a prayer platform.

In U$60 The Phantom of Notre Duck Barks serves a story that takes place in Duckburg's Cathedral. He carefully avoided showing the normal Christian interior details such as crucifixes, altar, pulpit, baptismal font, and bibles. In WDCS273 A Duck's Eye View of Europe Barks offers us a hazy glimpse from the waterfront of Venice's famous St. Marko Cathedral.


The well-known seafaring man who built an ark to hold pairs of all animals is mentioned twice in stories that Barks wrote and drew. In U$54 The Billion Dollar Safari Scrooge is lacking new and exciting animals for his Zoo. The last time he bought an animal 'was when Noah had his end-of-the-flood sale!'. In FC1073 The Snow Chaser all the animals on Grandma's farm have to seek shelter in a cellar for a brewing storm, whereupon the nephews utter, that 'this storm cellar is more like an overloaded Noah's Ark!'. In HDL23 Hark, Hark, the Ark Barks wrote (not drew) the story with a distinct reference to Noah's Ark.

The fisherman who was swallowed by a great fish, but whom God let escape unharmed after three days. Jonah is the most mentioned and referred to person in Barks' stories. In WDCS152 'The Talking Dog' Donald is actually swallowed by a whale in his attempt to set a spectacular world record, and in U$18 Land of the Pygmy Indians he almost succumbs to the same fate - this time by a giant sturgeon. And U$48 Jonah Gyro is even titled after the biblical figure.

Goliath was a Philistine warrior who was said to have been more than 9 feet (230 centimeters) tall! When the Philistine army came to battle the Israelites he came forward and challenged their best warrior to a duel. After a wait of 40 days the young David came forward to take up the challenge. Despite being of ordinary size and wearing no armour he managed to slay the mighty Goliath using a sling and a stone. Mentioned in U$36 Duckburg's Day of Peril.

Samson was an Israelite whom an angel predicted was to deliver his people from the Philistines. He does this by using his enormous God-given strength, slaying a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. Later, he falls in love with a Philistine girl, Delilah. He tells her that his strength is in his hair and she cuts it off when he is sleeping. Samson is imprisoned and blinded. After a long imprisonment he is taken to the Philistine's temple. His hair has grown back and he destroys the temple by leaning against a pillar - killing himself in the process. Samson is mentioned in FC0291 The Magic Hourglass and in WDCS069 'Better Biceps' (along with Delilah).

The biblical King is mentioned in U$19 The Mines of King Solomon and in U$55 McDuck of Arabia (in which the Queen of Sheba is also mentioned). The two royal persons were later portrayed by Barks in his last - and unfinished - painting
#8-96 Queen of Sheba. In the painting the Queen is the dominant figure, while Solomon peeks out in disbelief from behind a pillar.

The Wise Men (The Magi):
These are the kings from the Persian Empire who travelled to Jesus' humble birthplace in order to worship and pay tribute. Although the Bible never mentions the kings as being three in number, their traditional names are Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar. Seen as a vignette in CP01 Letter to Santa.

The Devil:
In FC0300 Big Top Bedlam Donald encounters a speed-dresser in the circus. One of his disguises is a scary Devil. Another Devil - this time made from wax - can be seen in WDCS231 The Wax Museum. The Devil carries several names in the Bible; Satan and Beelzebub are both well-known. The latter name was used by Barks for witch Hazel's broom in DD26 Trick or Treat.


One of the best-known Christian priests from ancient times is probably Valentine who is still remembered on Valentine's Day. Barks used his name in WDCS150 'Donald the Mailman' and WDCS258 Ten Cent Valentine. And in
U$44 Crown of the Mayas Barks drew a few Mayan priests in the splash panel.

One of the guests at the fiesta in FC0328 In Old California! is a monk with a traditional cowl and circle-shaven hairdo.

Medicine men:
Barks used medicine men on a few occasions. One example is the African oddity who seeks Gyro in U$32 That Small Feeling. Donald dresses up as a medicine man in WDCS202 'The Weather Hole', and both Scrooge and Gladstone try the same trick in U$35 The Golden Nugget Boat.

The term Dervish usually refers to a religious Muslim fraternity known for their extreme poverty. A troop of dervishes performs for the ducks in U$37 Cave of Ali Baba.

A fakir can be a great many things, but in the religious version he chants holy names and reads scriptures out loud. Barks used fakirs on rare occasions (the best remembered might be the dressed-up Gladstone in FC0263 Trail of the Unicorn). Strangely enough he especially used fakirs in a number of his one-pagers.

In Christianity, Saint is the term for a canonized person who is entitled to public veneration. The French peasant girl and liberator Joan of Arc was such a person. She is seen in WDCS231 The Wax Museum. Another one who is still worshipped today - maybe in a more mercantile way - is Saint Valentine mentioned in
WDCS150 'Donald the Mailman' and WDCS258 Ten Cent Valentine.


Christmas trees:
Christianity's Christmas celebrating the birth of Jesus has many symbols, but one of the best known is the Christmas tree. Barks drew this symbol repeatedly in almost all of his Christmas stories, and in FC0203 The Golden Christmas Tree he even invented a very special version.

Star of Bethlehem:
When the biblical Jesus was born in Bethlehem a bright star shone over his birthplace. The star acted as a beacon for the Magi. Barks drew the symbol as vignette in FC0367 A Christmas for Shacktown and in CP01 Letter to Santa.

Easter eggs:
The true origin of the coloured Easter egg tradition will never be determined, but it is fairly certain that the tradition has roots in Jesus' rebirth and new life which are symbolized by the egg. Barks wrote a whole story about Easter eggs in WDCS151 'Easter Parade'.

Totem Poles:
Several North American Indian tribes use carved wooden poles as symbols of worship. Barks drew them from time to time as background, but in FC0263 Land of the Totem Poles and in WDCS230 Black Wednesday they played a certain role.

Valentine's cards:
Valentine was a priest in third century Rome. According to one legend (there are a variety of legends) he was sentenced to death by the Emperor, whereupon he wrote a farewell letter to a young girl he had fallen in love with signing it 'From your Valentine'. Valentine's cards are found in WDCS150 'Donald the Mailman' and WDCS258 Ten Cent Valentine.   Date 2006-04-05