Friday, August 16, 2013

Life Is Like A Hurricane Week: The Influence of Carl Barks On Other Media

I am celebrating DuckTales Week in style and talking about DuckTales-related topics.  Deal with it, folks.  Review will be up later today.

Carl Barks, also known as "The Good Duck Man", created Uncle Scrooge and the whole world of Duckburg.  But he didn't just influence future Disney comics.  Oh no, he actually influenced some amazing filmmakers and the future creators of the show DuckTales.  So, today during DuckTales Week I am planning to detail some of what Carl Barks influenced, most of it might be a tad mite surprising, while others might not be as surprising.

First., I have to get the really obvious ones out of the way.  The DuckTales TV show, that I am celebrating this week, is a fabulous series, most of which is based on the work in comics that Carl Barks did.

However, I cannot make any post about the late great Carl Barks's influence without mentioning the infamous boulder-rolling scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark, which came from the story "The Seven Cities Of Cibola" where the Beagle Boys trigger pretty much every trap in one of the temples and figure out that the boulder is rolling down after them, just like Indiana Jones does in the famous opening sequence from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Now for the... not so obvious ones.  First is an episode of Mythbusters called "Ping Pong Rescue", in which Adam and Jamie test a myth about whether you could raise a boat using only ping-pong balls... exactly like what Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie did in the very first Carl Barks comic book story, "Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold", which was based on an unused Donald Duck story idea for one of Donald's short cartoons.

Next is a big one that I think most of us would be intrigued by.  Osamu Tezuka, known as the father of manga and the godfather of anime in Japan, has confirmed that his pioneering manga work was totally influenced by Carl Barks's creation, Scrooge McDuck.  So, you can thank Carl Barks for creating a world of manga and anime... and in a roundabout way, you can thank him for Toonami's main thrust of its lineup, both back in the day and now.

Finally, I think almost anyone who has read the Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich would confirm them as being fun reads, but Janet Evanovich is actually someone on whom Carl Barks had (and has) a pretty major influence.  So much so that at one of the comic cons a few years ago when she was promoting her Troublemaker graphic novel from Dark Horse, Evanovich pretty much flat-out stated that she based the Stephanie Plum books on Uncle Scrooge and that she still subscribed to the Uncle Scrooge comics.  So we can thank Uncle Scrooge (and Carl Barks) in a roundabout way for the Stephanie Plum books.