December 1, 2016
December 1, 2016:
I wrote a few weeks back about Kim Weston's book called The Unavailable Carl Barks (in color), which brings back into print ten Barks stories with non-Disney characters (Andy Panda, Benny the Lonesome Burro, "Happy Hound," Porky Pig). Weston now has published another Barks book under this unwieldy but precisely accurate title: The Complete Carl Barks Index: A Concordance of the comics of Carl Barks as published in the original comic books and reprinted in The Carl Barks Library, The Carl Barks Big Book of Barney Bear & The Unavailable Carl Barks (in color). Special Edition. It's a print version of what was originally available only as a CD-ROM, and it's a "special edition" because the illustrations are in color; a less expensive edition ($34.95 versus the SE's price of $49.95) is illustrated in black and white.
The book, which Weston compiled with the help of Jim Lawson and Jeff Gray, is indeed a concordance, along exactly the same lines as the familiar concordances to the Bible and the works of Shakespeare. If, to take an entry at random, you want to know in which Barks stories jewelry appears or is even mentioned, the new book can tell you, and lead you to the exact pages in the original comic books and the various reprints. (That's jewelry as distinct from individual jewels, which have their own entry.) There are entries under the umbrella title "Donald reading a book," a heading that immediately called to my mind all the comic books in which Donald is doing exactly that; and the concordance even tells you in which stories Donald is reading a book titled, "Oh, so?"
There are, besides, bibliographic essays that illuminate shadowy corners of Barks's output, including the the "new" Barks stories published since his death and the unpublished stories and parts of stories (Kim Weston wrote the pioneering essay on that subject for Funnyworld No. 16, back in 1975, and that essay, updated, is included in the book).
This is, in short, a book for the dedicated reader of Barks's stories, the person who, like me, finds Barks's work as endlessly absorbing as...as...well, other people find Shakespeare or the Bible.