We noted some of the Dave Sim, Jack Kirby and Mike Allred original artwork being offered for sale from Heritage Auctions in a big new original artwork lot. Well, there are plenty more from some of the biggest names in North American comic books, and Bleeding Cool may be spotlighting a few over the weekend – and the auction price currently being bid. Such as a number of pieces from the late, great Carl Barks.
Carl Barks Camelot Caricatured Portrait Original Painting (1977). Rare to catch Barks painting anything but mallards and drakes and ganders — so indelible is his identification with Walt Disney's Donald Duck franchise. But take a gander at this bold horseman, who appears to be a Lone Star Texan descendant of the Round Table's Sir Lancelot. Likely a caricature commission-job, but no such pedigree is documented. Taken on its own somewhat mysterious terms, a gem amongst gems. Ink and wet-brush watercolors over graphite on Bristol board. Image area, 8" x 10", framed out to 15.25" x 17.75". Light fading in the tints, commensurate with age. Excellent condition. Current bid: $1050
Carl Barks Dangerous Dan McGoose with Fowl Original Painting and Related Correspondence Group of 2 (1978). This tense character study finds Barks departing Duckburg and heading into the Yukon Gold Rush of the 1890s. The inspiration is Robert W. Service's famous narrative poem, "The Shooting of Dan McGrew" (1907), a tale of murderous passions. The painting is a prelude to a quack-up between prospector Dan McGoose and a mysterious stranger. The seductive creature at right is "the lady that's known as Lou," as named in Service's original lyric. At once whimsical and ominous, and thoroughly well attuned to the spirit of the poet. Accompanied by an explanatory letter/photograph from Barks to our consignor Bill Cole, who has owned the piece for forty-plus years. Watercolors on textured stock. Image area, 8" x 10", framed out to 14.5" x 16.5". Excellent condition, with some scuffing about the frame. From the Personal Collection of Bill Cole. Current bid: $900
Carl Barks "The Beginning of the Money Bin" Illustration Original Art (1995). Fans know that Uncle Scrooge has a great affection for his money, and his favorite hobby is to dive in and swim around in the money bin, but this luxurious hobby had to start somewhere. Here, is the Beginning of the Money Bin, which shows Benny Burro flipping flapjacks as Scrooge fills up the cactus bin with gold. This art was created for our consignor Bill Cole, who has owned it since 1995. The reverse side has a hand written notation that this was one of the last pieces of art produced by Barks, along with the name of the work. Created in mixed media on illustration board with an image area of 11.75" x 9.25". There is light marginal smudging, and soft corner, edge, and handling wear. Signed by Barks in the lower left, and in Excellent condition.
A letter from Barks to Cole dated October 1995 (which is included with this lot) sets the scene: "This is a younger Uncle Scrooge in his mining days. Here is the earliest money bin. The later three cubic acre money bin in Duckburg was moveable…. So, it doesn't seem unusual for the first money bin to be located in a large cactus…. The painting itself is a happy situation. Scrooge is growing richer. The burro is enjoying the morning with pan cakes and the Beagle Boys are nowhere in sight." From the Personal Collection of Bill Cole. Current bid: $2300
Carl Barks The Lady Known as Lou with Ducks Original Painting and Related Correspondence Group of 3 (1978).
Barks, the essential Donald Duck artist in Walt Disney's line of comics, turns his attention to the Yukon Gold Rush of the 1890s. The inspiration is Robert W. Service's famous narrative poem, "The Shooting of Dan McGrew". The painting depicts prospector Dan McGoose (so rechristened by Barks), a mysterious stranger, and "the lady that's known as Lou". Accompanied by explanatory correspondence (two envelopes) from Barks to our consignor Bill Cole, who has owned the piece for forty-plus years. Watercolors on textured stock, with an image area of 8.5" x 11", framed to 15" x 17". Excellent condition. From the Personal Collection of Bill Cole. Current bid: $875