From Robert Latona: I only just recently stumbled across
your Web site and in it, the valedictory
piece you did on Carl Barks, and find myself stirred not shaken
into digitally crying out hear, hear, someone finally
got it right. Of course Barks is immune to debunking, but
I think the world was due for a measured rejoinder to the duckolatry
fundamentalists and merchandisers who have been extracting cash
money and/or cheap academic brownie points from all the man accomplished.
He has been well served by neither, I gather, though I dont
know about the litigation and other less happy circumstances you
The paintings are kitsch. Of course they are, whats
wrong, cant people see? The originals must be even
more wincingly awful than the reproductions Ive seen. Those
duckless landscapes he was so tickled-to-death pleased with and
thought would keep him harmlessly occupied through his senior years
bring on shudders, and to see what the Disney-derived paintings
and prints change hands for makes me weep for my species.
You sure got it right. Barkss genius found its outlet in a
line that could render just about anything a kid could feel and
relate to in his own world or intuit about the adult world and all
it needed for its full expression was to be highlighted with the
mechanical and limited palette of the Western Publishing printing
The artists work is itself a sardonic commentary on
the sort of mind that can embrace something uncritically.
Thank you very much for saying that. Wish I had.
Whats this leading up to? Well nothing much, really. But
I intend to make a major point of hunting up your animation book
(it involves a bit of bother but can be done from Spain) Though
I have to confess Im less compelled by the subject matter
than a real desire to see what you have to say about it. Which is
the best compliment I know how to pay to any historian or critic
or sixties fanzine editor.You do talk shows?
[Posted October 6, 2004]