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Saturday, 26 August, 2000, 07:54 GMT 08:54 UK
Donald Duck cartoonist dies
Carl Barks holding his last Uncle Scrooge oil painting called Eureka!
His paintings were very popular and sold well
The man whose sketches brought the famous Disney character Donald Duck first to comics and then to the screen, has died in the United States.

Cartoonist Carl Barks, who was 99, died of leukaemia on Friday at his home in southern Oregon.

There isn't a person in the United States who couldn't identify with Donald. He is everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that we all make

Carl Barks
He joined Walt Disney in 1935 and retired as a cartoonist in 1966, but continued to paint. Some of his Disney paintings fetched as much as $200,000.

Mr Barks said in one of his interviews that he always identified with Donald Duck.

"I always felt myself to be an unlucky person like Donald, who is a victim of so many circumstances."

"But there isn't a person in the United States who couldn't identify with him. He is everything, he is everybody; he makes the same mistakes that we all make."

Farm boy

Carl Barks was born on a ranch in Merrill, Oregon in 1901 and said of his upbringing that he grew up with "well-armed cowboys".

 Carl Barks, and Donald Duck
He drew over 6,000 comic strips

He took a correspondence course in drawing and moved to San Francisco at the age of 17.

He failed to gain employment as an artist and after two years took a job as a farm worker and coach builder in Sacramento but continued to indulge in his passion for art.

He eventually got a job in Minneapolis as a comic writer and illustrator for the Calgary Eye-Opener.

He then went on to join Disney studios' art department where he drew 35 cartoon characters. He also wrote Donald Duck comic strips at Disney until he left in 1942 to become a chicken farmer.


Donald's a lot like a lot of us... wanting to speak his mind

Carl Barks
n 1943 he began drawing and writing comic strips for Disney comics. Mr Barks went on to write 400 scripts and draw 6,000 pages and 200 covers.

It was in the 1940s that Mr Barks gave the duck a personality transplant.

"He was just a noisy, quarrelsome brat in the movies. When I started doing the comics in 1943, I couldn't do enough stories with him like that. So I changed Donald's character."

"I put him in a role where he had to act intelligently and speak well enough to put his thoughts across. He's a lot like a lot of us, though, wanting to speak his mind."

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