Location of Duckburg once again
starback at Minsk.DoCS.UU.SE
Mon Apr 19 00:37:11 CEST 1993
More random notes on Duckburg, this time only using Barks material.
Things get too complicated when you consider other stuff as well.
One problem when using clues as to the location of Duckburg is that we
can't be sure that Donald always has lived in Duckburg. As Harry said
the newspaper that reported on the kite flying contest in WDC 42 is
from "Quackville". (That newspaper is dated March 1 1944 by the way,
and the cover date of WDC 42 is March 1944, so that is one of quite a
few indications that Barks's stories take place when they are
published.) Maybe Quackville is the name of a part of Duckburg, or
maybe it really is another town and Donald and the boys didn't live in
Duckburg yet. (When Donald fantasized about becoming first page stuff
in the earlier WDC 32, it is in the same newspaper, btw.)
Duckburg is mentioned for the first time in WDC 49 (Oct 1944), where a
road sign says that it is 2096 miles to Duckburg when Donald and the
boys are walking along the railroad from Buffalo, N.Y. This fact and
the one that I already mentioned that they travelled 2400 miles to get
to Floodout, Ohio (in "Terror of the River") helps to place Duckburg
firmly on the west coast. (It has a harbour, so it must be on a
coast.) The latest issue of Swedish Donaldist fanzine NAFS(k)uriren
happens to contain an article on Duckburg and Mouseton where the
author (Mattias Hallin) also mentions several other facts that shows
that Duckburg is on the west coast of the USA, e.g., that when the
ducks sail south along the coast in WDC 53 they get to Acapulco.
After the first mention in WDC 49, the name Duckburg is mentioned
again now and then, at least in WDC 61, 86, 112, 117, 138, 139, ...
Probably Donald and the boys live there all this time and onwards.
But before that? Did they live in another town (Quackville) in WDC
42, Duckburg in WDC 49 and moved somewhere between those issues?
Well, then Daisy would have had to move too, and, what is less
probable, Neighbor Jones (noone else though), so I think that's highly
improbable. Later on it becomes even less thinkable that they move
from town to town as the cast of recurring Duckburgians was enlarged.
A curious exchange of lines from WDC 91:
Nephews: "So we're leaving town for good, unca' Donald! Where are we
Donald: "To Little America, where the only social figures are
penguins---and they can't read!"
I guess they changed their mind...
Well, whatabout Burbank then? As I said before Donald greets a square
fellow in Plain Awful (in Lost in the Andes, 1949) with "Howdy Bud!
I'm from the South myself---South Burbank!"
If we go outside the frame for a moment, this line must have to do
with the fact that the Disney Studios was situated in the south part
of Burbank, but what about inside the frame? Well, maybe Donald has
lived in south Burbank, maybe even was raised there? Then he could
have said that he was from south Burbank, even though he didn't live
there at that moment. My theory though, which I made up right now, is
that Duckburg is south of Burbank not far away, and that it sometimes
is called "South Burbank".
Burbank is also mentioned in WDC 101 where Donald exclaims "Let me
go back to Burbank!" but that is in a dream, so it is easy to handwave
away. (Harry, you said that Burbank also is mentioned in Maharajah
Anyway Duckburg seems to be in the Los Angeles area (where Burbank
is). In WDC 75 when Donald shoots at a target from Southside Park
over the creek he hits a boxcar and according to a person there "that
bullet's going clear to San Pedro", a seaport to Los Angeles. And in
WDC 109 the ducks take the car out into the desert where they
accidentally break into a water tunnel on the Los Angeles Aqueduct.
Besides showing that the ducks live near Los Angeles that also shows
that there is a town named Los Angeles in the Barkian universe, so it
is doesn't seem to be the case that Duckburg there corresponds to our
Los Angeles is also mentioned in Old Californa (FC 328, 1951) where
"Donald and his nephews are sightseeing near Los Angeles" and at the
end of the story it's "back to the city kids---and home!" Los Angeles
is in California even in the duck universe, so the state line between
Californa and Calisota must be very close there. (Calisota is where
Duckburg is according to The Gilded Man.)
Well, did that make anything clearer? :-)
Per Starback, Uppsala, Sweden. email: starback at student.docs.uu.se
"That? That Los Angeles?"
"You seem surprised! Did you expect a larger village?"
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