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Carl Barks As Auteur

August 07, 1988

As a member of the "vociferous cult" of Carl Barks fans referred to in Charles Solomon's review of "Uncle Scrooge McDuck: His Life and Times" (Book Review, July 10), I was a bit disappointed with its treatment of the book and Barks' career.

No mention was made that this book originally came out in a pricey limited edition in 1981 or that a cloth version is also available; also that Dell only distributed the Disney comics--actually Western Publishing produced and published them.

In addition, Solomon does not seem to be aware that Ariel Dorfman somewhat changed his stance toward the work of Barks in a review of this same book for the Village Voice.

For those with an interest in Barks' life and work, I would heartily recommend Michael Barrier's book, "Carl Barks and the Art of the Comic Book."

The popular press has a history of poor and inaccurate coverage of the comics. In the case of such lightweights as the current crop of superheroes, I can't think this is very much to get worked up about. But with an auteur like Barks, it matters very much. As George Lucas says in his introduction to this collection: "Barks' comics are one of the few things you can point to that say--like it or not--this is what America is."

DANA GABBARD

LOS ANGELES

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