Jun 29, 2007

Happy Birthday Don Rosa

I really hate to start this entry this way but it's hard to talk about Don Rosa without mentioning Carl Barks. By now, I'm sure Don Rosa is used to it.

If you pay any attention to Disney comics at all, you may have heard the name Carl Barks. Barks was an animator and gag man for the Disney studios in the early years. When he left the Disney studios in the 40's he began drawing Donald Duck comic books for Whitman. Barks most famous character creation is Scrooge McDuck.

Since we here in America pay very little interest to anyone else's popular culture, it's hard to describe just how popular Disney comics are in other countries. The closest comparison I can come up with is J.K Rowling and Harry Potter. No, I'm not kidding, Mickey & Donald comics were [and still are] that kind of popular, particularly in Italy and the Netherlands. This popularity made Carl Barks something of a European rock star and anyone who creates Disney comics has to live in that shadow.

Fortunately, Don Rosa doesn't mind.

Rosa was working for his family's tile company in Kentucky in 1985 when he found out that a small comic publishing company called Gladstone was creating Disney comics. [The whole Disney comics story in America is a long and weird tale left to others who know more]
As a kid growing up in, Rosa loved Donald Duck comics. The adventure stories of Donald and Unca Scrooge were as fascinating to him as they were to millions of American kids in the 40's 50's & 60's. Those old Carl Barks stories had even influenced Rosa's college cartoon strip the Pertwillaby Papers.

Rosa Called the publisher of Gladstone and sent him a story and the rest as is often said, is history.

Now with 20 years of Donald & Uncle Scrooge adventures under his own belt, Don Rosa is the grand old master of Disney Comics with his own rock star status overseas. We here at the Atomic Treehouse wish him a terrific 56th and hope to read more of his comics under the covers with a flashlight for years to come.

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