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Oregon Native Becomes Known as “The Duck Man”

The cartoonist who drew the original Donald Duck character for Walt Disney, Carl Barks, was born in 1901 on a farm in Merrill, Ore.  When he was 17, he tried to get a job as a newspaper cartoonist in San Francisco, but failed and returned to Oregon.

Barks never gave up and in 1935 Walt Disney Studios hired him as an “in-betweener,” an artist who draws the animation frames between two action frames.  Disney artists did not sign their work so Barks remained anonymous.

Six months later he started writing for Donald Duck cartoons, and eventually wrote a story that became a comic book series about the duck and a pirate treasure.

When Barks left the Disney Studios in 1942, Disney comic book producer Oscar Lebeck, asked him to continue doing Donald Duck comics.  Barks invented “Duckburg” and “Scrooge McDuck” as well as other legendary characters in “Ducktails,” a Walt Disney Comics TV series.

By the time he received a Disney Legends Award in 1991, Barks had become known as “The Duck Man.”  He died in Grants Pass, Ore., in 2000 at the age of 99.

Sources: "Carl Barks." Pun of the Day. RSS Feed, 2016. Web. 19 Sept. 2016. www.punoftheday.com/carl-banks.html; Iadonisi, Bill. "Carl Barks." Mickey News. 1 Apr. 2016. Web. 22 Sept. 2016. < https://www.mickeynews.com/cotm/carl-barks/>; Tickner, Bernita, and Gail Fiorini-Jenner. The State of Jefferson. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2005. 65. Print.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.