john garvin jgarvin at
Fri Jun 15 04:13:32 CEST 2001

Dan Shane:
<I'm not about to defend Don's stance on whether Barks' oils have
merit, or argue with John about his personal fervor for that side of
career.  I've had little formal art training, and am thereby not
to make any public declaration of the quality of the last quarter
century of
Barks' work.  But, I've had LOTS of experience in making friends and
them, and I know that I would never be able to stand idly by while
were trying to hurt their feelings.  Some have jumped at the chance to
themselves with John.>

I'm not part of any anti-Rosa alliance, and I have apologized for my
overly vitriolic response.  For the record, I am also a big fan of Don
Rosa's work, and own, enjoy, and have reread many times, every published
comic of his that I can find.  I can count on three or four fingers the
number of disputes I have had with Don on this list: I argued with him
about Egmont's work-for-hire contracts (years ago), about the color of
the coins in Scrooges money bin, and most recently, about whether or not
Barks's paintings should be remembered.  And on occasion I have defended
him as well.   I do think that tempers flare on this list perhaps a bit
more than the subject--Disney comics--warrants.

As to Barks paintings, you _made_ a declaration as to their quality: you
said that the paintings would not stand up on their own.  Hopefully, I
have shown at least one example of where they do.  If you want to
continue the discussion, you would show where or how my reasoning or
examples are wrong, and give examples as to how your assertion is
correct.  That is how reasoned discussions work.

To the list in general:

I have something to say about "opinions" on this list.  The word flies
around a lot.  I wish it didn't.  For one thing, if you are taking the
time to write something to the list, I assume it is your words, and your
thoughts, and your ideas that you are expressing.  You don't need to
tell me it's your opinion.  There is no danger of me thinking that you
are expressing your mother's opinion, or your wife's opinion.

But even if you do feel the need to make an overt expression of opinion,
again I wish you wouldn't.  Instead, make assertions.   Dan Shane made
an assertion about Barks paintings: he said that they would not stand up
on their own and needed the stories behind them.  Don Rosa made an
assertion: he said that Barks's comics works are what should be
remembered, not Barks's paintings.  These assertions are the
springboards for thoughtful and interesting discussions (when cooler
heads prevail), because they take a point of view that can be disagreed
with.  If Dan or Don had merely said "I don't like Barks paintings" or
"Barks paintings are ugly" or "Barks paintings are stupid" followed by
"but that's just my opinion, you are welcome to yours," well, that's not
a very interesting conversation to have, is it?  Honestly, I don't think
very many people are interested in other's opinions, I know I'm not.  I
am interested in other's viewpoints.

Though I disagree when Don Rosa says Barks should only be remembered for
his comics work, I find that a very interesting viewpoint, one to which
I have given a lot of thought, and to which I think I have some
understanding now.  Given time, I think I might even muster enough
information to change his mind.  Same thing with Dan Shane's assertion
that Barks's paintings don't stand on their own.  But how do you discuss
an opinion?  Someone could say: "I don't like Uncle Scrooge, I think
he's stupid character."  What are you going to say? "Uh, no he's not!"
Pretty short discussion.  But if someone says "I think Uncle Scrooge in
Barks's adventure stories has a more interesting personality that Uncle
Scrooge in Rosa's adventure stories."  Well, now there is an assertion
worthy of discussion. Opinion bad.  Assertion good.  But I'm no expert
and your milage may vary.

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