money bin paintings

john garvin jgarvin at
Sun Apr 8 17:48:24 CEST 2001

Don wrote: "As for Barks' paintings, the color of the coins which is used is picked
because it makes the most stunning painting. These paintings and lithos,
more often than not, are being done for buyers who never read the comics,
and who would prefer to see GOLD coins filling the background. Also, those
scenes don't actually even seem to be taking place in the Money Bin we are
familiar with -- the background, the vault door, everything is recreated
for the sake of the painting. The paintings are wonderful, but their
accuracy to the original comics was secondary to creating a  colorful,
intricate scene."

I don't have hard facts, anymore than Don has, as to the demographics of litho buyers,
but I suspect he is wrong and that most of the moneybin lithos ARE in the hands of fans
of the comics.  I'd bet that the lithos that non-comics fans gravitate towards are the
"Disney Character" ensembles, such as "In Uncle Walts Collectery."  I own an original
copy of almost every Uncle Scrooge and Donald duck comic created, and I certainly do
not mind that the coins are colored gold in the paintings, and silver in the comics.
And I disagree that the paintings aren't drawn directly from the comics, because there
are many elements taken directly from comic panels: the piles of cash, the depth gauge,
the square door and ladder, the tractor, the shovels, the ledger books, Scrooge's
diving about like a porpoise.  Further, Don points out that the European versions were
colored by folks who did not read the comics: you know what? so were the American
versions.  I know for certain that Barks had nothing to do with the coloring except in
very specific cases (Barks made that very clear in numerous interviews), and there is
ample evidence that the colorists could be very arbitrary in their choices (see
Scrooge's GREEN coat in FC 456, or the sea of GOLD coins on the cover of FC 386).   So
where is the evidence that Barks intended the coins to be silver?  Flipping through my
issues of Uncle Scrooge, I find no instance of Scrooge refering to his piles of coins
by denomination.  It would be interesting, I think, for someone to go through and do an
exhaustive reference.  Underlying Don's comments, I think, is a belief that Scrooge is
keeping hordes of nickels, dimes, pennys, and quarters, for sentimental reasons, and
that to make the coins gold lessens this sentimental attatchment.  This is fine for Don
and his stories, but as he repeatedly states, Don's views are his own.  I find no such
sentiment in Barks stories.  Indeed, the fact of the matter is that American currency
has lots of varieties of gold coins and it is entirely possible that Scrooge would keep
a substantial number of them in his bin, just like Barks showed when he *did* have
control of the color.

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