THE MODERN KNIGHT
Last time I had a signing session, a young man came up to me and said he was going to a wedding the day after, and could I furnish him with an original wedding gift?
I came up with a drawing of a luckily bewildered Daisy remarking to the blushing Donald with teeth showing in his smile and a shy attitude looking down in front, clutching his cap: ‘Oh, Donald, I thought you would never ask!’
Later I presented a similar drawing to someone else in the cue, but she had a sister, so what to do? I then drew a situation with the same Daisy and three loving hearts coming from her but here with a suave Gladstone in front, looking down upon his nails, overly certain of himself.
In my childhood, the Barks comics displaying the rivalry between Donald and Gladstone over Daisy were the only glimpses of desire between adults allowed us kids, and we were therefore thrilled, having the urge of getting to know a bit about passionate adult life that we craved so much.
Early in my career having started the publishing of ‘Carl Barks & Co’ a Swedish fan sent me a manuscript reviving that old rivalry theme in a very appealing way, and it did not need much change before I got a workable story out of it, which I presented as fan art in the third issue of that zine.
Later I could execute it somewhat better, and I sold it to the Dutch Oberon office only slightly changed by my art director Daan Jippes. It still hold a special place in my heart, since it presents in a grotesque way the futility of rivalry so wonderfully conceived by Barks and paid tribute to by a younger generation having adored his imagination way back, when society was more prudent.