Whenever I needed a character, I would create one, Carl Barks once commented. And it was that simple when he created Scrooge McDuck. He just needed a stingy relative for Donald Duck and the nephews, and so their Uncle Scrooge entered the scene. Suddenly I had another character on whom I could keep expanding for several years. And Barks surely did. His finest creation never left the duck universe.

Scrooge was created as a one-shot character for OS178 Christmas on Bear Mountain from 1947. Barks remembered the old, ill-natured Dickens character Ebenezer Scrooge in 'A Christmas Carol', and both the character and the name presented themselves ... practically on a silver platter. But Barks also used Sidney Smith's character Uncle Bim from the Gumps daily strips which had premiered in 1917. Furthermore, he - by his own admission - fashioned the duck after himself...
After Scrooge's opening statement in the first story:
I am different. Everybody hates me and I hate everybody!, Barks realized the old miser's potential and he quickly modified the cold and feeble Scrooge into a more humane and likable character. This combined with his soon-to-come colossal wealth and exceptional stinginess made him a tremendous counterpart to poor Donald who rarely has a penny to his name but who would gladly give it to someone less fortunate if he had one!
As a businessman Scrooge is a phantasillionaire (at least!). He has always worked hard to get where he is today. He started his career as a shoeshine boy and went on to sell lawn mowers in Sahara and wind to the windmill makers along the Zuyder Zee. He has been a gold miner more times than he can remember. He frequently takes his nephews on exotic adventures in search of all sorts of treasures. He continously sets new goals for himself and faces new challenges, because, as he says:
There is always another rainbow. How is that for a life's philosophy?




Scrooge is one of the least changed characters in Barks' duck universe. Apart from his first appearance as little more than a grumpy uncle he hardly ever changed except for the few times when Barks decided to regulate the length of Donald's and Scrooge's beaks.
The most significant change was made to his spectacles which started as wireframe glasses with wires to his ears(!), but they were soon changed to the familiar pince-nez.
Otherwise Scrooge wears the same top hat (
I bought this hat for 2 dollars in 1910 and it will still last many years), a woolly broadcloth coat (that I bought at a rummage sale in Scotland in 1902) and spats. Furthermore, he seems to always carry with him the same cane, although we know that he owns a cane factory.



Scrooge's characteristics are relatively straightforward and plain for anyone to see. Among the more prominent ones are:

He likes to be in the center of things
He always tries to preserve his fortune
He has a fairly nasty temper
He often resorts to ruthless tactics He is honest He is stingy
He is self-taught He speaks various languages
He is a big operator
He has a sharp mind
He is not into fashion
He pays starvation wages
He is not formally educated He manipulates people and events
He is a fighter
... in short, he is just a regular person ...



Throughout his long life, Scrooge has known a broad variety of persons. Some good, some bad. Here are a few of them. Now it is up to you to decide in which category each of the examples belong!



The nephews

Hashknife Kate




The Beagle Boys

Eikral Ali




Scrooge McDuck's wealth is incomprehensible! Period!!! He has money stored in his Money Bin as well as in all the banks in the country, but still he knows each one of his coins and their individual histories. Barks tried several times to make us understand just how much money is involved (see his suggestions HERE), but the numbers boggle the mind.
Scrooge is not exactly short of gold either; in U$24 The Twenty-four Carat Moon he becomes the proud owner of a moon - 500 miles across - of solid gold. This is far more gold than the entire planet Earth contains...



In interviews Barks would from time to time express his opinion about his foremost creation. Here are a few of his observations:
Scrooge in Christmas on Bear Mountain was only my first idea of a rich, old uncle. I had made him too old and too weak. I discovered later on that I had to make him more active. I could not make an old guy like that do the things I wanted him to do.

On purpose I have made it appear as if Uncle Scrooge had made his money at a time when the world was not yet overcrowded and one could still go to the mountains and find riches. I have never seen in Scrooge one of those millionaires who have made their fortune out of the abuse of other people. Yes, he had a lot of money, but he was nevertheless no criminal.

Uncle Scrooge is not so successful as a philosopher. He claims that his riches never gave him an unfair advantage in business dealings. All, he says, because he made his money honestly. He doesn't realize that that very honesty gave him an unfair advantage. He was the only guy using that system.

Uncle Scrooge is an expert on economic gimmicks. You have all heard of President Reagan's Trickle Down theory. Uncle Scrooge has a better one - the Trickle Back theory. It works like this: When he pays his nephews their wages of thirty cents an hour he knows they will use the money to buy tall, fizzy sodas at the nearest soda fountain. Then the soda fountain people will use the money to buy more fizzy ingredients at the chemical factories, and the chemical factory people will buy their ingredients from the coal tar factories - and who owns the coal tar factories? Uncle Scrooge! By the time those thirty centses have trickled back to Uncle Scrooge they have grown to sixty centses.

Uncle Scrooge is an environmentalist. He doesn't grow an organic garden, but he keeps a huge compost of money. He is also an economist. He firmly believes that money must be circulated. He circulates his with a bulldozer.

He is a conservationist. He never throws anything away - especially money. He still has the first dime he ever earned - and all the others he has earned since...



Outside links to all the material Barks drew in two different groups:


http://www.cbarks.dk/THEMISER.htm   Date 2004-03-25