Mutilated (edited) Barks
Well, as discussed at the Disney Comics mailing-list in september 1998, I will show two examples of "mutilation" of a Barks-comic. The example choosen is "Donald Duck and the Gilded man" (DD246)
The English examples are scanned from Donald Duck 246.(Oct 1986) which is, as I can tell, true to the original By Carl Barks. The Story was originally published in DDOS 422.
The Swedish examples is scanned from "Kalle på frimärksjakt", Kalle Anka & C:o, # 40/72 and 41/72 (September - October 1972) Translated by P. A. Westrin (Actually, most of the works by P.A. Westrin was a joint effort between him and his wife). Edited by hitherto unknown person.
As I am a philatelist, I've been going over this story many times. Almost every stamp mentioned, can be found in a stamp-catalogue, and the values Barks is quoting are the very same ones that can be found in U.S. catalogues of that time. This is just a proof of Carl Barks thorough research when it comes to his stories.
The top of this panel have been cut off, but that should be ignored. It's just to allow for the Swedish titles.
- The map has been heavily altered. It's no longer south america we're talkin about, but some strange and alien island.
- The Belgian stamp suddenly comes from "Gungistan" which is just a make-believe country.
- Note that the thought-balloon have been moved and new bubbles have been added.
- The art have been redrawn to become a fictional non-existent country. Even Donald's pointer is shortened.
- British Guiana in the original have been changed into "Korombien". But they actually got the year
right, even though Barks never mentions the year in this panel, so this is not a static translation.
Here I have scanned pages 31 and 32 from Kalle Anka & C:o 41/72 october 1972.
These pictures are too large to put on this pages. Please use the links.
Please compare these two pages with the original story.
- These two pages are edited and replaces no less than eight of the pages in the original and edits out every indian and the gilded man himself.
- On page 31 they have mixed panes from the escape-scenes to make up the new story.
- On page 32Well.. This page is a true nightmare... The third panel is somewhat edited. Several details are erased. Panels four and five are the same panel! First mirrored and then original... I remember reading this story when I was young and wondering where the rope around Donalds feets come from.
- The last panel on page 32 are broadened. Moving the old man further away.
- What more can I say... This page is... terrible!
One curious thing. This same story was published almost at the same time, in the big white hardcover-book
"Jag Kalle Anka" where the complete story can be read, and the translation are identical except where the
missing pages and panels are. Unfortunately, all the stories in these "Big white books" are always edited
to fit into this larger format and most of the formatting is completely gone.
Well, this is not the most horrible example of mutilated Barks in Sweden. This was done in the early
seventies, and more stories were even more heavily mutilated than this. Some even to the extent that
they became different stories altogether. I can't tell exactly why the editors did this. The
reasons I can think of are:
Mind you... This is only my own guesswork... I really don't know why.
- Space. Stories shortened to conserve space. To me it doesn't make sense since it spans several issues... But to the editors.. maybe. Maybe there was a policy against stories spanning more than three issues?
- Censorship, but most often it's the text that is censored, rarely the art.
- Space, again, panels removed to make room for titles and adverts, etc.
- Editors with too little to do. (But that's very unlikely)
- Censorship? But then, it's a double standard... They censor things in some issues and let the same things slip by in another..
Fortunately I can at least say that this treatment of the comics have ceased, and we haven't seen this for several years.
That is a good question, but I'm afraid that noone can answer that with accuracy. I wrote Stefan Diös
(because he is a translator himself, and I'm not) and he pointed a few things out to me.
The art in the comic book was propably edited in Copenhagen. But then, the issues in Norway and Denmark
ought to look the same. Can anyone in Denmark and Norway please check this out? If you have a scanner,
I would be grateful if you could mail me these panels above,
scanned from your language.
1998-09-24:Halsten Aastebøl, Norway, wrote:
I believe the Norwegian version was similar to the Swedish. At least the
title was "Paa Frimerkejakt i Korombia" (Stamp hunt in Korombia) and
something like eight pages were cut. And, yes now I remember Geir Hasnes
told me once that everything concerning The Gilded Man himself was cut
away. When Geir says that was the case there is no need for further
investigation: The Norwegian version WAS INDEED the same shit as the
Swedish. Luckily, a comic story can be printed more than once, and they did
it better the second time around (In "Walt Disney's Godbiter"). I don't
know how it was in "Jeg Donald Duck". Probably just like in the Swedish
"Jag Kalle Anka".
Thank you Halsten! I'm still looking for facts about this comic in other languages, especially scans of complete pages or dialogue so I can compare.
The art in the "Jag Kalle Anka" was, if I'm not misinformed, edited in Italy.
The dialogue is an even more difficult question. Most likely a work of several factors.
I would like very happy to get input from other countries regarding other translations of this
story from about that time.
- The translator (P. A. Westrin) could have got a Danish, German, Serbo-Croatic or Norwegian
text to translate for all we know... Such things happened and are often the explanation for when
the same silly make-believe country names pop up in several languages.
- P.A Westrin might have written "Guyana" or "Brittiska Guyana" but an editor might have changed it to
"Korombien" afterwards, I don´t know how likely this is when faced with the fact that it's called "Korombia" in Norwegian.
- And how is this translations in the comic-book related to that in the big white book?
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Everything beneath " Conclusion" is my own words, my own opinions and my own guesses, where otherwise is not clearly stated.
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The original British Guiana 1¢ in magenta, from 1856.