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Prequel Problems: The Duck Universe of Carl Barks and Don Rosa, Part 2

Makemakean

Mr Makemean
Pronouns
Logical, unlike those in German
If you think I'm going through too many stories (and there are more to come), I assure you that I am trying to keep it to a minimum. I would have liked to explain what the story A Race to the South Sea! actually is. Essentially, Scrooge's plane crashes in the middle of the Pacific, and both Donald and Gladstone race out there to be the one to find a rescue Scrooge, hoping that it will make them Scrooge's favourite nephew, and so make them become the heir to Scrooge's vast fortune.

Now, because of his luck, Gladstone, wins of course, arriving first, only to discover that Scrooge is having a nice time with the natives on this remote island and that he deliberately crashed his plane just so that he could have a nice vacation. He is now terribly annoyed that Gladstone showed up to disturb him, and that while he was going to split his fortune between Gladstone and Donald equally, because Gladstone (whom Scrooge reminds him is not actually related to him by blood) has gone and ruined his vacation, he intends to blot out Gladstone's name from the will so Donald will inherit everything.

(Of course, in a later Barks story, Donald also gets expunged from the will, with Huey, Dewey, and Louie being named Scrooge's principal heirs.)

What I love about the story is that it essentially features the richest man in the world faking his death just so he can have two weeks' vacation.
 

Makemakean

Mr Makemean
Pronouns
Logical, unlike those in German
Something I wanted to mention also in the article, but didn't really feel I could fit in suitably had to do with Carl Barks' political views. Barks was very right-wing--one commentator at one point described him as being slightly to the right of Ayn Rand--and this clearly comes through in some of his stories. In the 1970s when Allende was still in power, there were these two Chilean authors who even wrote a book entitled How To Read Donald Duck, wherein they stipulated that the very clear capitalist message of Uncle Scrooge stories that was then being published in Europe and South America was a deliberate propaganda move by Disney, and that it all was very calculated and everything.

The guy who translated the book into English, however, wanted to write a preface, and in his research, he decided to pay Carl Barks a visit and request an interview, which Barks agreed to. The translator was somewhat shocked to learn that Disney had actually excerted very little editorial control over Duck comics artists, and that the capitalist message in the stories were Carl Barks' own, and not something he was instructed to put in his stories by people higher up. Barks was furthermore very surprised to learn that his stories were being translated and published abroad, since nobody had ever told him.

Consequently, the preface to the English-version ended up basically reading, "Yeah, so, the central thesis of this entire book is wrong."
 
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