Steamboat Willie

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)

Example 1:

The Original:

To note:

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 edited:

The top of this panel have been cut off, but that should be ignored. It's just to allow for the Swedish titles.

To Note:
  • 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.

Example 2:

The original: The edited:
To note:
  • 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.

Example 3:

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.

To note: Please compare these two pages with the original story.

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.

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.

For comments, please contact me by e-mail.
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.

Steamboat Willie