Barks in Norway, part 2. Geir.Hasnes at
Fri Jul 8 11:45:23 CEST 1994


>I was kind of wondering if you had heard about this list, Geir, I have thought 
>about sending you a mail and telling about it, just in case. Welcome you are 
>(for all I know you may have been here much longer than me...). Perhaps we 
>should start a disney at :-)
>Knut Hunstad

Thanks, Knut, and even though we have already met as a consequence of your
mail, I wanted to thank you in public for your thought. I have been around
for a year, but I have had little time to join into the discussions lately.


Barks trip to Norway, part two.

On Sunday, Barks was flown in a small plane to view the Norwegian fiords
and mountains and glaciers, and they visited Lillehammer with the Olympic
arena. Barks told me that he had been impressed by the ski jump, he would
not even dare to walk on that slope.

On Monday 6th the Norwegian Comics Forum had rented the Nobel institute
auditorium and filled it with appr. 120 eager Duck fans and collectors
(space limitations). Bjoern Are reported from this event earlier, he also
videotaped Barks, who arrived at 1715 and greeted the audience waving his
hand and wearing a huge smile. He sat down to answer questions and was very
humourous. Grandey had to repeat some of the questions to him, mostly
because of bad pronounciation from the audience. After that we walked out
on the roof in order to have photographs taken, and the 10 Duck experts of
the panel (among them me) got to meet Barks first. The kind Carl welcomed
me and talked about his impressions of Norway and I introduced him to some
of the various people of the panel. The Norwegain DD & Co. editor got quite
lost out there, he panicked and shouted: No autographs and We got to go now
and This takes too much time and so on, but Barks was content and smiling
and didnt feel the audience threatening. He posed for photographs for a
long time and talked with a lot of people. I got much more than my fair
share :-) , well, we all did, the event lasted much much longer than the
expected 15 minutes with prepared questions on beforehand (yes, that trick
was also skipped). It was great! And I do think Barks thought it was great

After Barks had left, we sat down to talk about Ducks and the editorial
policy and Rosa and all those controversial themes. It was a real occasion
as so many Duck experts of Norway (if I may call us that, or should I
rather say celebrities) had come together, and after we had to leave in the
evening, we went over the street to a restaurant where we continued talking
into the light summer night. 

There I was told about how the Norwegian editor (whom I shamelessly attack
here amidst the protests of the kind Don) had held back and sabotaged the
attempts to arrange this meeting; he could never say anything and all the
time stated how old Barks was and how unclear everything was and a lot else
in the same way - the same he did with me when I asked how I could possibly
see Barks. Krogh, who arranged this comics forum meeting, had to strike the
table to get Soeland to promise anything at all, he was exhausted by having
to ask and ask without getting to know anything. When I asked the
translator who had earlier been the editor, for details about the trip and
the plans, he said that he knew nothing about the events - Soeland never
told anyone. Not even at the editorial office at DD & Co. was there anyone
who knew anything. And I just tell 1% of it, which is enough for this
forum. Let me just add that I thought it was humiliating to call Soeland to
know about Barks´ whereabouts, I was told about a private dinner for
collectors but I had to ask if I was intended for that one, which I wasnt.
I was told about a private visit to a museum, and again I had to ask. I
mean, we fans did have a right to know, although we shouldnt pester the old
man, and Soeland knew what this event meant to us. I am of course happy
because I was included on the Viking ship trip, but I think of the other
fans who werent. Only two days before I left Trondheim, I got to hear about
this Monday event, which I had to call for myself. When a fan has got a job
and kids, he cant just leave on some minutes notice. And I do think that my
research for Barks should have allowed me some notice at least a few weeks
before the event. But everything I knew was because other fans sent me
plans and schedules and because I had those humiliating phone calls with

On Thursday the 7th I first went to the University to look at the auitorium
for my talk and prepare the projector and the slides and so on, and the I
went to Tusenfryd, a childrens amusement park some miles out of Oslo, whose
name literally means the flower Daisy. This park has earlier arranged Duck
exhibitions and rented the 313 replica which I helped build in Trondheim
some years ago. This time a duck fan called Erik Hoerthe had arranged a
huge Duck and Barks exhibition, a fantastic thing really. And he did it for
free, all that work! I am ashamed on his behalf. Barks went out there at
noon to open the exhibition, and then to pose for photographs. Although it
was nice weather, there were surprisingly few people attending, although
there was a long queue before Barks´ table. I was interviewed on the 2nd
national TV channel about the event and when Barks left I was given the
paper cup he had used to drink water - wow, what a collectors item! I then
had to leave to reach what happened to be the greatest event of all, the
seminar at the University. 

Some fans drove me there as they were also attending, and we reached it
just in time for the support act. This was a well known Norwegian language
professor, who talked about the good language of the translations for 15

Then I gave a talk with slides for an hour, about Barks for adults:
Sexuality and Conscience in the Duck stories, much of it from the Pinnacle
Rock story, the Frosty Postman story, the Gladstone´s dime in the safe
story, Luck of the North and Back to the Klondike (A shortened version of
my 90 minutes talk in Bodoe last year and Trondheim in May). The auditorium
was filled to the brim, there between 600 and 700 seats and people were
standing far into the hall outside. It is a fantastic experience to have so
many people laugh and laugh and laugh and even be told afterwards that they
even understood my serious points. The biggest laugh was when I told about
Donald after he had sent Gladstone after that uranium mine and cant get to
sleep at night. I closed that section with that, not telling what happened
next, and a guy in front asked about what happened with Gladstone. In
Norwegian, the question implies that you could not be sure if Gladstone
managed to stay alive. I just had to keep quiet for some seconds, and then
I told the audience what this guy had asked about. I think they laughed for
a whole minute.

At last I finished and got ovations, flowers and a t-shirt from the
arrangement committee, who were students at the maths and natural sciences
faculty at the university, many of them the same people who had invited Don
some time ago.
When the murmur had died down and I had seated, Barks arrived. He was
greeted with a standing ovation that seemed to have no end. Then he seated
on the first row (I sat just behind) and was greeted by a professor
(English term, the Norw. is more complicated) with slides about his
influence on the students for all these years. Barks also got an order
(Bear order, polar bear in green silk band) and held a short talk at the
end. I think all the people in the audience were moved by this fantastic
93-year old, and lots of people came to me afterwards to ask for sources
for Barks material.

Barks was then taken to the top of a huge building to look at Oslo and to
give a few interviews for the university radio and newspaper (Grandey: no
controversial questions, an interviewer asked about Don, Grandey: thats a
controversial question), and I managed to join in. He also made a drawing
for the students, which will be framed and hung at their club room (I got a
photo copy), and after that I managed to talk a little with him thanking
him again for all he has done for me and us in Norway. I think he was
overwhelmed and a little moved himself, he had certainly not awaited this
response. If you look back you can see how it builds up from the Saturday
in the viking ship via the comics forum and the exhibition to this huge

That was that, Barks left and I was invited by the students to talk and
drink and eat, all of which for free. And after that I danced with the girl
who had prepared the order for Barks, for seven hours while Sturle who
arranged the seminar, was the disc jockey (you remember him, Don?), but
that is another story which has just begun.

It was a splendid trip, it was incredible, and I will always remember it.
Barks fulfilled all my expectations and did his best to make us feel
comfortable with him, and just the way he lit up in a smile and waved his
hand every time he saw me (me, little me) was a gesture which meant so much
for me you cannot imagine.

I dont have to report from all the people who noticed me on the street or
the teenage girls who looked at me and smiled and then loudly acclaimed:
It´s him! and then Oh God, what am I doing! or the people at the dancing
places who talked to me after getting courage from a few beers or the girls
who wanted to dance because they knew they had seen me before or all the
other nice people I met ( I havent managed to send that video tape with
Silly Symphonies and conductor shorts like Symphony Hour and Band Concert
yet to the symphony orchestra conductor I met). In a short time my TV
appearance will have been forgotten, I have to take advantage of it as long
as I can. I draw attention because of Barks, and now I have begun thnking
of doing something myself instead of building my reputation on expertise in
some other guy´s creations. Maybe I shall begin to write duck stories
myself? :-)

On Wednesday the 8th, when I had come home to Trondheim, the Norwegian TV
channel broadcast an hour long program about Barks, lots of it very good,
some of it silly, but all in all one of the better things I have watched on
TV. Don showed us his shelves, Geoffrey Blum reported as researcher under
the Golden Gate, Barks himself was quite a guy. Lots of people in Norway
were impressed. Yes, of course I taped it, now only to get Bjoern Ares
video on the same tape!

Thats it! A short report from the Norwegian part of the Barks trip. Could
you Danes and Swedew tell a little more from your parts? Or were we
Norwegians extremely lucky with what we got?

Geir Hasnes

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