Barks Remarks - a Carl Barks Podcast

By Mark Severino

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Barks Remarks is a podcast exploring the adventure stories of Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge comics legend Carl Barks, in chronological order. My guest hosts and I discuss the stories, their cultural background, and how they hold up today.

Episode Date
Ten-Page Podcast: Omelet (1952)

Guest Host: John Lustig

Time to visit, albeit briefly and in disguise, the tiny town of Omelet, site of one of the greatest disasters Donald Duck ever inflicted on a town! Omelet is an utter classic, a very personal story in which Barks drew from his personal experiences raising chickens, and is the ten-pager he often mentioned as being his favorite of his short stories. Check out this special episode as I'm joined by the Disney comics writer John Lustig as we particularly focus on Barks writing and story-telling in this all-time classic.

Sep 26, 2022
45 - the Lemming with the Locket

Guest Hosts: Mikkel Hagen & Ruben Olsrud

Hi listeners! Ready to chase a certain rodent all the way to Norway? The podcast gets to cover Barks' Scandinavian-set adventure, "the Lemming with the Locket." My Norwegian guest hosts and I have a great conversation about Barks' depiction of Norway, misconceptions about lemming, cheeses of Europe, and much more!

Sep 19, 2022
44 - the Mysterious Stone Ray

Guest Host: Thad Komorowski

What's that in that bottle floating to shore? It appears to be this week's podcast, where we discuss the early Scrooge adventure "the Mysterious Stone Ray!" This is a unique adventure story, tinged with a creepy sense of mystery and a real science-fiction influence! Definitely not an episode to listen to on an empty stomach, unless you're a fan of cabbages and prunes!

Sep 12, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Truant Stories, including Truant Officer Donald (1949), Truant Nephews (1951), & Travelling Truants (1954)

Guest Host: Patrick Block

Playing hooky, listeners? The Truant Officer will deliver you where you're supposed to be: listening to this episode! This themed episode looks at Barks' 3 stories that were all about truancy, where the nephews ditch school! "Truant Officer Donald" is probably the most famous, but don't sleep on the other two! Revisiting these three similarly-themed stories is a great way to explore how Barks was able to develop fresh plotlines over the years. And the subject of Truant Officers seems like such a weird time capsule now (though technically they still exist in the U.S.). 

Sep 05, 2022
43 - the Seven Cities of Cibola
Guest Host: Warren Harmon Greetings, listeners -- can we interest you in a new business venture, that is, finding arrowheads in the desert? How about a new podcast episode? "The Seven Cities of Cibola," holds a special place as Barks' first "real" treasure hunt with Scrooge. Listen as my host and I discuss the story's semi-realistic inspiration, Barks' shiftless Beagle Boys, and some of the overused tropes Barks used in this otherwise delightful story.
Aug 29, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Spending Money (1952) (Scroogeanomics, Part 2)
Guest Host: Sara Santiago Here is the second episode in our Scroogeanomics two-parter. This episode covers Barks' famed supply-side ten-pager, "Spending Money." We also discuss one of Barks' cleverest short stories, the five-pager "Somethin' Fishy Here." Both stories involve an exploration of Barks' attitudes towards money and economics.
Aug 22, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: a Financial Fable (1951) (Scroogeanomics, Part 1)

Guest Host: Sara Santiago

Greetings listeners! This episode is a bit unusual as it is the beginning of a 2-part episode we are dubbing "Scroogeanomics." In the first part, we'll be exploring one of the Duck Man's most famous ten-pagers, "a Financial Fable," and considering what it tells us about Barks' free-market philosophy and opinions about capitalism and economics. The episode will conclude next time by exploring the thematically similar "Spending Money," as well as other economically themed stories.

Aug 15, 2022
42 - Tralla La

Guest Host: Patrick Block

Listener, has the pace of being a modern, 1950s zillionaire got you down? On the verge of cracking up? Don't go off to live with the squirrels, instead give our episode about one of Barks' all-time greats, "Tralla La" a listen! This fan favorite, widely-known as "the bottlecap story," is Barks' amazing take on the old Shangri-La/Shambala legend, popularized in the book "Lost Horizon" and in Frank Capra's film adaptation. The story is an incredible work of art that ponders identity, wealth, assimilation, and provides one of Barks' most fascinating economics experiments.

Aug 08, 2022
41 - the Secret of Atlantis

Guest Host: Ryan Bailey

Hello listeners, join us for an underwater adventure that starts out rather innocuously. "Atlantis" features a great, twisty tale that starts with a squabble over a debt, advances to the world's greatest 2-D pie fight, and ultimately ends up with the discovery of the lost city of Atlantis! The story also includes notable first appearance of Scrooge McDuck's Worry Room and the Junior Woodchucks guidebook (here: book of knowledge).

Aug 01, 2022
40 - the Menehune Mystery
Guest Hosts: Warren Harmon & Sara Santiago. Aloha listeners, we are up to Uncle Scrooge #4, and the Menehune Mystery, a real departure for Carl Barks. This is arguably the first story in the Scrooge line not concerned with establishing Scrooge's origin and mythos. The story is an excellent example of one of Barks' frequent story typologies: Scrooge hiding his money somewhere. That somewhere ends up being Hawai'i, in a sort of vacation gone wrong. Apart from the tropical location, the story is notable for being Barks' first major artistic collaboration with new wife Garé, who helped with the background work and suggested the idea, based on knowledge of the folklore of her previous home state. It features some great Beagle Boy antics, fascinating cultural information about Hawai'i, and one of Barks' sappiest endings!
Jul 19, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Brittle Mastery Jobs, featuring the Master Wrecker (1962), the Master Mover (1959), the Master Glasser (1959), & Spare That Hair (1963)
Guest Hosts: Mikkel Hagen & Ruben Olsrud Listeners, we are back with a second episode devoted to Donald's jobs; in this case the "Brittle Mastery" jobs, unusual jobs that Donald masters only to have things go catastrophically wrong, and usually having to flee the country! Listen to us highlight the excellent "the Master Wrecker" and then debate how well other stories fit the mold.
Jul 11, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Donald's Jobs, featuring Fireman Donald (1947), Sagmore Springs Hotel (1957), & the Milkman Story (1974)

Guest Hosts: Patrick Block & Warren Harmon

Greetings, listeners! Carl Barks extracted a lot of comedic potential out of Donald's many jobs! In this episode, we'll cover 3 of his many, MANY professions: volunteer firefighter, hotel manager, and milkman, as well as delve briefly into his many other jobs. "Fireman Donald" is an all-time classic ten-pager, while "Sagmore Springs Hotel" is an essential Donald-in-charge story. "The Milkman Story" is a special case; an underexposed story that was originally taken off the publication schedule; it is little-read and has a unique tone, so be sure to track it down!

Jul 05, 2022
39 - the Horseradish Story

Guest Host: Joakim Gunnarson

Listeners, we are back, with our take on this classic Uncle Scrooge adventure which delves into a bad business detail made by Scrooge's ancestor. Beware of scoundrels bearing contracts with fine print and looking to collect creepy gold teeth! We discuss the ducks' efforts to find and deliver a load of ancient horseradish in this strikingly sarcastic and violent maritime tale! 

Jun 27, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Pool Sharks (1951) & Other Summer Stories (Swimming Swindlers (1946) & Houseboat Holiday (1952))

Guest Host: Austin Kelly

Happy summer! In this episode we tackle three summer themed stories focused on summer break, swimming, and vacations! "Pool Sharks" from 1951 is the standout story: one of Barks' all-time greatest ten-pagers, in which Donald replaces his backyard garden with a swimming pool, before things go horribly awry. Then, in "Swimming Swindlers," an early Barks story from 1946, the nephews attempt to cheat Donald in a swimming contest, where things go horribly awry. Finally, in "Houseboat Holiday," Donald tries to keep the nephews out of trouble during their houseboat vacation, only to have things...well, you probably guessed it! 

Jun 20, 2022
38 - Back to the Klondike

Guest Hosts: Joakim Gunnarson & Henrieke Goorhuis

Listeners, we finally get to release our highly anticipated episode covering one of Barks' all-time classic, "Back to the Klondike!" This story, from Four Color #456/Uncle Scrooge #2 is one of Barks' most legendary stories, dealing with Scrooge's memories of his time in the Klondike gold rush! The story is famous for many reasons, including the first and only appearance of Glittering Goldie, the Star of the North, the only girl who ever gave Scrooge "that faraway look" in his eyes. The story is almost as famous for the content of the pages that were originally censored - a huge brawl in the Blackjack Ballroom, among others! But then, if you're reading this summary, you almost certainly know this story front-to-back, so trek through the Chillcoot Pass, look for four rocks marking a square, and give it a listen as my guest hosts and I discuss this all-time classic!

Jun 13, 2022
37 - Trick or Treat

Guest Hosts: Warren Harmon & Sara Santiago

Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat! Trick or Treat for Halloween! Listeners, if we have to have the song stuck in our head, so do you! Join us as we talk about this Barks oddity: a story with a provided concept, one based on a contemporaneous animated cartoon short (and subject to some editorial snipping). This story is a departure, but has the very memorable Witch Hazel as well as her broom, the delightful Beelzebub, and her wonderful pet ogre, say it with me: Smorgasbard, also known as Smorgie the Bad (!). So when ghosts and goblins by the score, ring the bell on your front door, better not be stingy or your nightmares will come true!

Jun 06, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Statuesque Spendthrifts (1952)

Guest Hosts: Ryan Bailey & Eric Hartley

This episode is all about Barks' famous "statue building contest." This is one of his more outlandish ten-pagers, featuring an absolutely wild competition between Uncle Scrooge (who opens his purse strings for once, in defense of his title of world's richest man) and the Maharajah of Howduystan! The story also features some neat world-building, in the subject of the statues: Cornelius Coot, founder of Duckburg.

May 30, 2022
36 - the Gilded Man

Guest Host: Thad Komorowski

The Gilded Man is one of Barks' great South American-set stories, and features some frenetic hemisphere-spanning, as the ducks race to find, and then recover, a mail satchel containing the world's rarest stamp, held by the legendary El Dorado! The story includes memorable appearances from the Gilded Man himself, Philo T. Ellic, the forgetful stamp collector, and of course, Donald's infuriatingly lucky cousin, Gladstone Gander! We discuss the story's creepy atmosphere building, unusual book-end structure, great running gag, and much more!

May 23, 2022
35 - the Golden Helmet

Guest Hosts: Warren Harmon & Austin Kelly

Ho, rugged listeners! Climb aboard our hot-rod iceberg and hear us talk about this all-time classic Donald Duck story, "the Golden Helmet!" This is a thrilling story with Carl Barks at his absolute best, with masterful art, hilarious dialogue (especially from the indelible villains) and some amazing character work. It doesn't get much better, so enjoy our conversation, just don't go getting any gleams in your eyes!

May 16, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: the Think Box Bollix (1952)

Guest Host: Joakim Gunnarson

This week's episode is about Barks' famous "think boxes" story. It is famous as the first non-cameo appearance of Barks' original character Gyro Gearloose. In addition, the story is one of Barks' more notably creepy tales, with a voracious wolf hankering for roast duckling! Listen to the episode, which features Joakim Gunnarson, editor at Egmont publishing, who gives great insight and perspective as an editor who has worked to localize and restore Barks stories.

May 09, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast - Gladstone Returns (1948) / Gladstone's Terrible Secret (1952)

Guest Host: Henrieke Goorhuis

Gladstone Gander, Donald's ultra-lucky cousin, makes for a great foil for Donald. In this episode we'll talk about Gladstone and explore two of the all-time greatest Gladstone stories, one (Gladstone Returns) from before Barks imbued him with his supernatural luck and one (Gladstone's Terrible Secret) from afterwards, and in a rare example of Barks at least obliquely pondering where the Gander's luck comes from! As a bit of a bonus, we'll even get to talk about the initial appearance of another famous secondary character, as the latter story was the first ever appearance of Gyro Gearloose!

May 02, 2022
34 - Only a Poor Old Man

Guest Host: Patrick Block

This episode's story needs no introduction, but here it is anyway! "Only a Poor Old Man," is a Carl Barks masterpiece, one of the Duck Man's all-time greatest and most famous stories, and absolutely lives up to its reputation. This is the story that launch Uncle Scrooge McDuck as a starring character, and provided inspiration for countless future stories, both by Barks and other creators. It is legendary for a reason, and we try to do it justice, so join us as we talk about what makes this story so special.

Apr 25, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: the Big Bin on Killmotor Hill (1951) / the Round Money Bin (1953)

Guest Host: Austin Kelly

It's our big Money Bin episode! We've got a double feature of two of Barks classic stories featuring one of his greatest non-character creations, Scrooge McDuck's Money Bin! "Big Bin" is the showcase this episode, as it really set the template for Scrooge's relationship with the building that secures his money and all its sundry defenses. "Round Money Bin" is a fun story as well, and includes the first allusion to Scrooge's #1 dime. We'll also talk about Salmon P. Chase, the guy whose face graces the $10,000 bill and briefly discuss other great stories featuring the money bin, including by other creators!

Apr 18, 2022
33 - a Christmas for Shacktown

Guest Hosts: Warren Harmon & Sara Santiago

Already our fifth Christmas episode! "Shacktown" is arguably Barks' most famous Christmas story, and, for the man who created tycoon Scrooge McDuck, striking in its exploration of poverty. This is another holiday story where much of the extended duck family is present, and much of the charm in the stories lies in their interactions. Join us as we talk about this, the last full length story before Scrooge gets his own spin-off title.

Apr 11, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Terror of the Beagle Boys (1951)

Guest Host: Thad Komorowski

Careful about knocking on our door, listeners, you might get a face full of Boer War surplus cannon! "Terror of the Beagle Boys" is one of Barks' most iconic Scrooge-centric ten-pagers, a sort of two-man stage play where the looming threat is almost beside the point. Join us as we talk about that iconic cannon, Barks' ancient messenger boys, and the great character work that went into this "Waiting for Godot"-like story!

Apr 04, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: the Trouble with Dimes (1951)

Guest Host: Patrick Block

This episode is a real treat, as it features this all-time great ten-pager (currently the highest ranked on INDUCKS), and because I am joined by Patrick Block, the great duck artist who got to both meet and collaborate with Carl Barks! We have a great conversation about the Duck Man's best ten-pagers, the absurdity of the rare collectibles industry, and many of Patrick's great remembrances and impressions of Barks.

Mar 28, 2022
32 - Donald Duck in Old California!
Guest Hosts: Warren Harmon & Sara Santiago. Greetings, travelers! Have a sniff of these strange herbs, and come with us, back to old California! This all-time great story is one of Carl Barks' most deeply personal, as it takes place in the vicinity of his home of San Jacinto and draws inspiration from the old novel "Ramona," adapted into an outdoor pageant annually. This story stands apart, as the Duck Man's most romantic, and one that pines for California before the rat race. There is a lot to say about this wistfully nostalgic and fantastical romance!
Mar 21, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: the Duck in the Iron Pants and Other Stories from Barks' Early Career (1943-1944)

Guest Host: Warren Harmon. 

Nothing can save you from this podcast! It is invincible! It is doom itself!

Actually, this episode of the Ten-Page Podcast is all about a carefully curated selection of FIVE of the Duck Man's earliest ten-pagers. We talk about his first ten-pager, "the Victory Garden," a sort of trial-by-assignment that Barks drew but didn't write, followed by his first solo outing, "the Rabbit's Foot." Next we cover the goofy "Salesman Donald," forerunner to so many Donald-gets-a-job stories. After that comes the story that gets the episode's top billing, "the Duck in the Iron Pants," the highlight of his early ten-pagers, and finally, "the Mad Chemist," one of Barks' first out-of-this-world stories. Join us as we talk about Carl Barks' origins and the early evolution of his stories!

Mar 14, 2022
31 - No Such Varmint

What makes a man great? Join us listeners, and find out as we discuss this tall tale about great men, snake charming, and sea serpents! Barks' second sea serpent-centered story, "No Such Varmint" is a delightfully odd one with some truly over-the-top comic artwork and one of Barks' highest of concepts, as Donald discovers one of his most unusual aptitudes. 

Mar 07, 2022
30 - Dangerous Disguise

'Allo, listeners! We 'ave a great episode for you, zo please join us as we discuss this classic European-set saga, both a celebration and a send-up of Hollywood spy thrillers! Witness the ducks become embroiled in early Cold War-era espionage, as they encounter the mysterious and beautiful Madame Triple-X! This story is famously the Duck Man's most human-filled, to his editor's displeasure. Join us, as we talk about spy tropes, Barks' early career with the risque publication The Calgary Eye-Opener, the shocking character deaths, and much more!

Feb 28, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: the Master Rainmaker (1953)

Guest Host: Ruben Olsrud

This story is arguably the best of Barks' "Brittle Mastery" stories -- those where Donald masters an obscure occupation before things go horribly awry. Listen as my guest and I discuss the story's incredible timing and humor, the science and business of rain-seeding, the metaphorical green monster of jealousy, and what exactly an "Idle Dandy" is, anyway.

Feb 21, 2022
29 - You Can't Guess

Merry Christmas in February! "You Can't Guess" is one of Carl Barks' all-time great Christmas-themed stories. As part of our mission to release episodes chronologically, we occasionally find ourselves going a bit off-season, but this story is satisfying to revisit any time of year. "You Can't Guess" finds Huey, Dewey, & Louie forced guess their Uncle's hoped-for Christmas gift in order to receive the gift of their dreams -- an erector set! Join us as we talk about the significance of those classic building sets, wish fulfillment aspects of this story, the duck family tree, and much more!

Feb 14, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: My Lucky Valentine (1953) / Wild About Flowers (1950)

Guest Host: Suzanne Snow Severino

Happy Valentines' Day, listeners! V-Day didn't lend itself to same kinds of well-remembered story-telling Barks was able to come up with for Christmas or even Halloween, but the Duck Man did have a few memorable 10-pagers, one of which we get to discuss in this episode (My Lucky Valentine), with another romance-centered story (Wild About Flowers) thrown in for good measure!

Feb 07, 2022
28 - Big-Top Bedlam

The Circus! This venerable institution was once a beloved American tradition, and the arrival of the circus train might cause the town to shut down in excitement! Times have certainly changed, and the circus is nearly extinct. But in 1950, when Barks' Big-Top Bedlam was published, every TV show or comic series would certainly have had a circus-themed episode or show. This is what struck me most as we discussed Big-Top Bedlam, a rather slapstick adventure full of one-in-a-million coincidences and the lying-one's-way-into-more-trouble trope.

Jan 31, 2022
27 - the Magic Hourglass

Journey with us, by shark-powered boat, if need be, to listen to us discuss "The Magic Hourglass" -- the talisman that is the secret to Donald's Uncle Scrooge's wealth, at least, for this story! Barks will quickly abandon this aspect of Scrooge's background, as he would largely abandon this dark characterization of Scrooge. This moralistic story sees the ducks at loggerheads with each other for much of its course. We get to discuss the story's dark elements, its geopolitical themes, and particularly its use of the magical red sand as a proxy metaphor for oil!

Jan 24, 2022
26 - Vacation Time

Vacation Time! This Carl Barks classic pulls a bit of a bait-and-switch -- nominally a fun vacation-themed romp, it turns into a surprisingly tense survival story at the end. One of the all-time greats, Vacation Time is Barks at his best, with wonderful art, an atypically grounded storyline, and a strong conservationist through-line. My guest host and I talk about this, as well as the possible influence of Bambi, the comic's look at forest fighting, and much more!

Jan 17, 2022
25 - the Pixilated Parrot

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6...I count 25 episodes of Barks Remarks, 30 including the Ten-Page Podcast! You know who likes to count? Carl Barks' animal creation in this story, the Pixilated Parrot! This brisk adventure is a somewhat slight story, though it possesses one of Barks' all-time greatest gags! Join us as we talk about the story, the meaning of the word pixilated, Duckburg's location, and more!

Jan 10, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: the Sunken Yacht (1949)

Guest Host: Ryan Bailey

Happy 2022! This episode is pretty loaded for an episode of the 10PP; we are talking about the Sunken Yacht, one of the earlier 10-pagers featuring Uncle Scrooge McDuck in rascal/antagonist mode. This is the "ping pong" story, that sees the ducks attempt to raise Scrooge's sunken vessel using thousands of the plastic balls, and it is one of the most famous Barks stories outside of Duck Comics fandom, due to being featured in places like Mythbusters, Popular Mechanics, and so forth.

Jan 03, 2022
Ten-Page Podcast: Wintertime Wager (1948)

Guest Host; Sara Santiago

Happy Holidays! "Wintertime Wager" is a classic Ten-Pager, the story that famously introduces Gladstone Gander, before Barks had assigned him his supernatural good luck! It also, by technicality, serves as our holiday episode, as the ducks briefly reference it being Christmas at the very beginning! This is a great slapstick story, and rife with opportunities to talk about lemonade, sub-zero swimming, and to explore some of the internalized anxiety at the root of Donald and Gladstone's ridiculous yet hilarious wagers!

Dec 20, 2021
24 - in Ancient Persia

Curious about the contents of this episode? Be careful, sometimes curiosity kills the cat! "In Ancient Persia" is an all-time classic Barks story, in which Donald and the kids are shanghaied into accompanying a mad scientist...or is he? oh yeah, he definitely is...on strange and creepy expedition to uncover an ancient secret. This is certainly one of Barks' creepiest stories, and is a fascinating collision between the ancient and the modern. Just like this comic bounces between spooky and goofy, we'll dive into the creepy story, but also detour into the scientist's fashion, his resemblance to Boris Karloff, and Spider-man memes. Oh, and go ahead, judge that book by its cover!

Dec 13, 2021
23 - Trail of the Unicorn

Barks Remarks returns, with Barks' first (of several) Himalayas-set adventures! Trail of the Unicorn features TWO duck relations, as both Uncle Scrooge and Gladstone Gander feature in this brisk adventure story about the ducks' efforts to secure a shockingly ferocious unicorn for Scrooge's zoo...with Gladstone seeking to chisel them out of their reward at every turn! Listen to us as we talk about the unicorn legend, Scrooge's spectacular zoo, and the over-the-top luxury vehicles at the story's conclusion!

Dec 06, 2021
22 - Land of the Totem Poles

Greeting listeners! We are heading up to the Pacific Northwest, for Barks' classic kitchen sink story, Land of the Totem Poles! The title should clue you in that this 1949 story is going to have some problematic elements, but we also cover the fact that there are some aspects of the Native village that Barks at least attempted to get right! We'll also talk about totem poles themselves, steam calliopes (or is it calliopes?), and salesmanship! 

Nov 29, 2021
Ten-Page Podcast: Turkey Trouble (1946)

Guest Host: Pierre Sund

Happy Thanksgiving! For those in the United States, including Carl Barks, this is the week devoted to that family meal that features a turkey! We're celebrating with another ten-page podcast devoted to one of Barks' holiday-themed stories, the aptly-named "Turkey Trouble." This is actually the first of TWO stories that retroactively go by that title, and is the earlier one, a funny romp about the ducks acquiring not one, but two live turkeys in advance of Thanksgiving! My guest and I talk about the humor that Barks mines from his animals, the violence on display, and how this story was altered for non-U.S. audiences. Enjoy!

Nov 22, 2021
Ten-Page Podcast: Super Snooper (1949)

Guest Host: Ryan Bailey

Feeling dyspeptic? Chug some isotopes and enjoy our episode all about the one time Carl Barks delved into the world of super-heroes! Barks was well-known to be annoyed by the success of that side of the comics industry and yet, my guest host and I agree, he managed to deliver a 10-page send-up of the genre that captured the essence of those stories surprisingly well!

Nov 15, 2021
21 - Luck of the North

Feeling lucky, listeners? You should -- you've lucked into another great episode, this one being one of Barks' classic northern/arctic adventure stories featuring that infuriatingly lucky relation, Gladstone Gander! "Luck of the North" is a surprisingly deep story, that has just as much to say about guilt and redemption as it does about high adventure. My guest host (this time another longtime Barks fan!) and I have a great time nerding out about this great story, and talking about its great art and surprisingly intimate and introspective storytelling.

Nov 08, 2021
20 - Letter to Santa

Ho ho ho! It's November 1st, the time when we flick the switch from the spooky season and go straight into Christmas! Luckily our chronological exploration of Barks' stories is just happening to land on the Duck Man's second full-length Christmas story, fan favorite "Letter to Santa." This memorable holiday tale features a money fight, the real Santa Claus, and the best steam shovel fight of all time! Join me and my extremely indulgent special guest (who is also my wife!) as we talk about childhood love of construction equipment and Christmas magic, artistic signifiers of the late 1940s, and what happens to beans when they get wet! 

Nov 01, 2021
Ten-Page Podcast: Donald Duck's Worst Nightmare (1949)

Guest Host: Sara Santiago

Welcome to the Ten-Page Podcast! Occasional special episodes of Barks Remarks highlighting some of the Duck Man's 10-page short stories! This story felt just creepy enough to feature in the Halloween slot, and my guest host and I have a great time talking about Donald's extremely creepy series of nightmares, as well as the daffy gender politics in this one, and even some of the history of needlework and male involvement in the craft!

Oct 25, 2021
19 - Voodoo Hoodoo

Alright folks, we did it. We've now covered Voodoo Hoodoo, which is almost certainly Carl Barks' most controversial story. My guest host and I had a thoughtful conversation about the story, both the good and bad, and what the story says about the legacy of colonialism, its genesis from a horror movie scene, the two religions that make up the title, and much, much more! Be aware that there is significant and unavoidable discussion of the legacy of racism and colonialism in this episode.

Oct 18, 2021
18 - Lost in the Andes!

Here it is, our episode about Carl Barks' famous "square egg" story! This is frequently cited as the Good Artist's personal favorite, and is absolutely required reading for any Barks fan! I unabashedly love this story, but do my multiple co-hosts consider it egg-cellent? And will the episode have better puns than that groaner? Yes! So join us, in Plain Awful as we get Lost in the Andes!

Oct 11, 2021
17 - Race to the South Seas

Listeners, it is your lucky day! This is our first episode about a story featuring Donald's lucky foil, Gladstone Gander! Donald's infuriatingly lucky cousin appeared just about a year prior, in the 10-pager Wintertime Wager. Here, his supernatural luck is in full force, as Donald and Gladstone race to be the first to rescue another newish addition to the Duck Family Universe, Scrooge McDuck, who is marooned in the South Pacific! Or is he..? Join us, as we appreciate Donald's nautical bluster, debate if Gladstone's people-pleasing is a form of work, and much more!

Oct 04, 2021
16 - the Golden Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays (hey, we're just 3 months away!) and welcome back to another Barks Christmas story! Join us at the top of ol' Mount Demontooth, as Donald has to rescue the nephews from...the wicked witch from Snow White? This oddball story bears the hallmarks of editorial interference, as the very plot was foist on Barks by his editors who also mucked around with his ending. My newbie guest and I also discuss the other strange aspect of this story - how it supposes the existence of an industry of many-colored Christmas trees!

Sep 27, 2021
15 - Sheriff of Bullet Valley

W'all howdy there, listeners! Just passing through? Why not stop your Sunday drive and either track down some fearsome rustlers or curl up with a nice podcast episode about the Sheriff of Bullet Valley, your choice! This love letter to Hollywood horse operas is one of Barks' masterpieces, loved by both fans and non-fans of Westerns. So mosey on up and listen and we discuss why this is such a masterpiece, its semi-origins as a Mickey Mouse cartoon storyboard and our favorite Wild West tropes and how the comic both celebrates and subverts them.

Sep 20, 2021
13 - In Darkest Africa

Ah, butterfly collecting! That most cutthroat of all hobbies! Who can't relate to casual attempted murder over a butterfly? No? Well, the ducks will find out how serious butterfly collecting can be, as they race their fiendish rival to (a caricatured/colonialist version of) the African wilds to be the first to nab the Almostus Extinctus. Join us, as we learn about some of the significant changes that were made to this questionably-aged story, learn about Dog Latin, and hear some of the alternate names in other languages for the titular butterfly!

Sep 13, 2021
14 - the Old Castle's Secret

Grab your X-Ray machine and peer in the walls of Barks Remarks' World Headquarters as we talk about Barks' all-time classic (and arguably the true origin story for Scrooge McDuck), the Old Castle's Secret! This unusually spooooky story is everything we love about Carl Barks: spine-tingling adventure, a lavishly-illustrated, remote setting, and just enough comedy to keep things from getting too creepy! There is a lot to cover in this one, as we talk about the inspirations behind Castle McDuck and Rannoch Moor, unusual historical uses for X-Ray machines, debate the definition of the word "battlement," and much more!

Sep 05, 2021
12 - Christmas on Bear Mountain

Twelve episodes in and we're finally at our first story featuring none other than Scrooge McDuck! Do you have the gizzard of a lion or the heart of a chicken? Steel yourself, and join us in our cabin on Podcast Mountain, as we explore the supporting character/Uncle Plot Device who would turn into Carl Barks' biggest legacy! Still technically a Donald Duck story, Christmas on Bear Mountain is a slight, but hilarious tale of a bitter old tycoon scheming to terrorize his easily frightened nephew and his more stalwart grandnephews. 

Aug 29, 2021
11 - Adventure Down Under

Look into our are in our are a homesick kangaroo who wants to leave a 5 star review of this podcast! Yes, welcome back to Barks Remarks! Join us, as the ducks take one of the most improbable vacations ever, an Adventure Down Under, spurred by a hypnotist who really should know better! There's a lot to unpack in this episode, as we learn about Australia and its national icon, the kangaroo, represented here by one of Barks' infrequent (and actual) animal supporting characters, Mournful Mary!

Aug 16, 2021
10 - Ghost of the Grotto
Tonight is ye night! Lock up your children and listen to our podcast episode about Barks' masterpiece, "Ghost of the Grotto." This story, a personal favorite, sees the ducks embarking on a new adventure as kelp gatherers. The ducks are based at an island consumed with the terrible knowledge that tonight is the night every 50 years when a small boy will be kidnapped, never to be seen again. But surely the ducks don't need to worry way out at Skull Eye Reef... Listen as we discuss this generational curse, Octopus Kaiju, kelp gathering, the common fallacy of "ye olde English" speech, and much more!
Aug 02, 2021
09 - Volcano Valley
Welcome back! This week sees the ducks inadvertently visiting the fictional Latin American-esque country of Volcanovia, a small nation of breath-taking beauty, dangerous geological features, and...some pretty unfortunate ethnic stereotypes. My newest guest host and I talk about the story's dual high concepts: the volcano-filled country and the siesta-dependent populace, and which one works better. We also talk about U.S. war surplus, the Sleeping Mexican as a cultural icon, and volcano-powered cooking!
Jul 26, 2021
08 - Maharajah Donald
Join us on this time on the podcast, as the nephews do the classic “trading up” trope and turn Donald’s old pencil stub into…passage to India! Follow the quarreling ducks as they blunder into a truly strange royal conspiracy involving a mogul elephant, prime tiger-hunting land, and the world’s strangest real estate transaction.
Jul 19, 2021
07 - the Firebug/Donald Duck's Atom Bomb
We are breaking our format rules this time, as we present TWO oddball stories in ONE super episode! These two stories are technically not 10-pagers; Firebug clocks in at whopping 13, and Atom Bomb was presented in a miniature format of 30 pages (3 panels per page). Since both stories are somewhat dark and include endings that wound up being censored, it seemed logical to pair them in this episode that also includes conversation about the clinical definition of pyromania, the utopian promise of the then-dawning Age of Atom, and much more!
Jul 12, 2021
06 - Terror of the River!!
Come join us, as Donald and the nephews enjoy a soothing trip down the Ohio River, in their new-ish houseboat! Wait, how are we on the Mississippi? And what's that serpentine shape looming overhead? That's right, it's the Terror of the River!! Join me and my guest hosts as we discuss Carl Barks exploration of American river life, submarine paranoia, and an extremely unique fear-loving villain!
Jul 06, 2021
05 - Mystery of the Swamp
Join us for an gnew episode you’ll gnever forget, as we journey to the Everglades and visit Gneezle Gnob! Episode 5 takes a deep dive into one of Carl Barks’ most oddball adventures, the bonkers story Mystery of the Swamp. Listen as we learn about the Everglades and debate whether this one is just too weird.
Jun 28, 2021
04 - Frozen Gold
Episode 4 is the first of Barks' Arctic-set comics, the exciting tale, Frozen Gold! This is an exciting story, and we get the chance to discuss, among other things: the development of penicillin and parallels to the story of Balto the famous sled dog, the return of Black Pete, the ducks' plane hijinks, and Donald's Mr. Magoo moment.
Jun 21, 2021
03 - Too Many Pets
Welcome to our third full podcast, a discussion of Carl Barks' "Too Many Pets"! Listen as we discuss what type of Donald we get in this story, talk about the shadows of WWII lurking in the background, learn about the history of organ grinders, and...isn't Jingo the Monkey the cutest? This may be one of Carl Barks' more minor works (fight us), but we still enjoyed it and had a great time talking Ducks.
Jun 09, 2021
02 - the Mummy's Ring
For our second episode we'll be talking about Barks' second full length comic, and the very first that was fully written and drawn by him. The Mummy's Ring is a spooky tale of intrigue that sets the template for many of Barks' legendary adventure stories to come.
May 31, 2021
01 - Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold!
Our first episode! My guest host Eric and I discuss Barks' first ever Duck comic: Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold! for which Barks collaborated with Jack Hannah, a collaborator from the animation studio. Barks and Hannah were given the assignment to re-purpose a cartoon script for publication,  and they collaborated on the art. This would lead to a long and successful career of drawing and (starting with the comic after this one) writing Duck comics. Episode highlights include pondering Pete, the Disney villain mainstay, and the existential nature of Yellow Beak, the parrot.
May 23, 2021
00 - Intro-Duck-tion
This is the introductory episode to the podcast Barks Remarks! It is a chronological exploration of all of the adventure stories created by the legendary Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge comic book artist & writer, Carl Barks. Starting with the 1st true episode, I will be talking with guests and friends about  Carl Barks' long form/adventure stories. We'll discuss each story's background and provide commentary during a synopsis of the story. We'll cover trivia, reviews, and discuss how well each story holds up. If you're a fan of Carl Barks, this podcast is a great excuse to revisit your Duck comics!
May 23, 2021