The mushrooming fame, popularity and value of tne comics and comic art of Carl Barks came as a surprise to no one, perhaps, more than Carl Barks himself. Barks' seclusion as a corie artist is almost legendary; but what is true of Barks is true of most Disney and funny animal artists. Who knows much about Paul Murry, Bill Wright, Floyd Gottfredson, Al hubbard or Manuel Gonzales? These artists have worked away in a species of oblivion exceeded only by the script-writers of non-superhero non-BC comics. But Barks was rescued early from his mysterious presence behind the greatest comedy-adventure comic book stories ever written by people like Malcolm Willits and Mike Barrier, whose service in un-masking Barks (and to a lesser degree, Gottfredson) has been a mixed blessing. Barks finds himself often snowed under a pile of letters from “fans," many of which are written, it seems, just to pet a sample of Barks’ handwriting for later sale. But Barks knows that most fans are truly interested in him, and he answers letters with great care. Barks’ popularity in part lurked behind Western Publishing's successful attempt to persuade Barks to turn out a JUNIOR WOODCHUCK script every other month, Though Barks is rather tired of writing stories (He's done over 400.), he continues to turn out polished scripts with meticulously detailed pencil drawings of the action.