Of course, Scrooge McDuck has to employ uncountable numbers of assistants to help him maintain his vast empire (bookkeepers, chauffeurs, clerks, managers, and secretaries are examples), but one group comes through as more of a status symbol instead of a genuine necessity, namely butlers*.
One can only speculate why the miserly Scrooge would employ an expensive butler, who would have extremely little to do in the stories, but Carl Barks nevertheless drew a few. It is obvious that he never thought much of them, as they were always different, and he furnished them with the typical posh and distinguished appearance that one expects from a butler. Still,
for some odd reason Barks' butlers were drawn with different types of facial hair, which is somewhat atypical as this is not the normal appearance of a traditional butler (he is clean-shaven).

* A butler has many official and unofficial domestic duties and functions to perform for his employer. The most well known employee from the literary world is undoubtedly the stoic and ingenious Reginald Jeeves, who can be found in no less than 46 of British author P.G. Wodehouse's novels and short stories featuring Bertram 'Bertie' Wilberforce Wooster as an English gentleman with lots of funds but little brains. Again and again Jeeves proves absolutely indispensable when he has to rescue his master from his bad decisions. By the way, Jeeves always resented being called a Butler; he took pride in being addressed as a Manservant or a Valet...




All of them are shown here:

FC0178 Xmas on Bear Mountain - 1947

Scrooge addresses this his first known butler as Edgerton.

FC0189 The Old Castle's Secret - 1948

The next butler is only seen guiding the Ducks to Scrooge's drawing room.

CP2 You Can't Guess - 1950

This butler is dressed up in a livery and called Jarvis*.

U$07 'Cibola' - 1954

The butler with the greatest impact; he has been copied in several other artists' stories.

U$11 - 1955 (1-pager)

Scrooge is driven to a Come-as-you-Are party at Mrs. Van Richgilt's.

FC1150 Ruling the Roost - 1960

The last butler is also the first pignosed and the only one referred to as a Valet.

* There is no evidence that Barks was trailblazing later comic book butlers by calling this one Jarvis, but it may be seen as somewhat suggestive that the name was used by several other writers after that. Example: In the Marvel Comic book series butlers named Jarvis can be found as supporting characters in Iron Man, Spider-man, and The Avengers.


Examples from the USA, Holland, and Denmark:

WDCS336 Master Mixers - 1968
Drawn by Tony Strobl

Donald has to act as a butler when an important guest comes to visit Scrooge's house.

WDCS338 The Rigged Robot - 1968
Drawn by Tony Strobl

A robot butler turns up at Scrooge's office to work for free for a month. Scrooge has no objections...

BB10 Bewitched Buck Baggers - 1970
Drawn by Pete Alvarado

In the mornings Scrooge seemingly needs a calculating machine more than a tray of breakfast.

H82107 Taxi - 1984
Drawn by Josť Colomer Fonts

Example of a story showing a U$07 lookalike. In the story he is referred to as James.

D89190 The Butler did It - 1990
Drawn by Vicar

Donald has been tricked by Scrooge to serve as a butler at a guest's visit, but he takes out his revenge by making sure that the visit goes awry.

D92383 Passport to Lisbon - 1993
Drawn by Miquel Pujol

The Ducks arrive at Scrooge's mansion where they are greeted by a butler whose appearance is, again, remindful of the butler in U$07.




  Date 2013-06-21