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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #279

One of the most popular artists in Europe, today’s featured artist is comparably unknown in America, even though he is one of the most acclaimed artists working in comics today (he received more Harvey nominations this year than any other artist). Before you find out who we are talking about, perhaps you’d like to take a gander at the Archive.

10/6/07

279. Don Rosa

Born Gioachino “Keno” Don Hugo Rosa, in Kentucky, in 1951, Don Rosa did not start working on Disney comic books until the mid-80s, mostly because it took until then for Gladstone comics to begin producing them again (there was a lull in American production of Disney comics from the 70s until the mid-80s). As soon as he heard about them, he auditioned for the role, and his very first Uncle Scrooge story, “Son of the Sun,” was nominated for a Harvey Award.

Rosa continued working for Gladstone until 1989, when he parted ways with them over their policy regarding returning original artwork (said policy was “we do not return original artwork”).

Since then, he has worked for European publishers of Uncle Scrooge comics (although Gemstone Comics has reprinted most of the comics here in America).

Don Rosa is a lifelong admirer of Carl Barks, known as the most popular Disney comic book artist ever, and the creator of Uncle Scrooge.

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Rosa’s most notable comic book work is the epic storyling, the Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, which is an elaborate retelling of Scrooge’s history, using both older Barks’ comics as well as actual world history (Rosa is known for intertwining actual facts into his stories, often meticulously so).

Meticulous is a way to describe Rosa’s artwork, too. Rosa graduated college with a civil engineering degree, and you can see his engineering background evidenced in his comic book work, as he is quite detailed with his linework – it gives the work a lush, incredibly deep feel.

Check out the line work on this poster…

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Here is an amazing resource on Rosa’s career.

They have a staggering amount of awesome information about Rosa, including a ton of quotes from the man himself.

For one example, check out their feature on Rosa’s “D.U.C.K” dedications.

D.U.C.K. is an acronym that stands for “Dedicated to Unca Carl from Keno” (which is Rosa’s given first name). Rosa hides this acronym in the splash page of every Uncle Scrooge comic book he draws!!

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Isn’t that pretty darn cool?

Click this link to search for some D.U.C.K. dedications.

Hugely popular in Finland, here is a poster Rosa did when the Olympics took place in 2000.

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Finally, to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Uncle Scrooge, Rosa has been doing a series of posters commemorating the event, starting with, appropriately enough, a meticulous depiction of how Uncle Scrooge changed visually as Carl Barks’ developed the character’s look…

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And here’s just a cool poster…

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7 Comments

Don Rosa’s pretty great, all right. Has Barks ever been a reason?

[…] 365 Reasons to Love Comics #279 from Comics Should Be Good! […]

Wow. I knew he was reknowned, but now I know why.

I met him at HeroesCon this year. Nice guy.

Don Rosa got his start doing strips for his local paper in Kentucky (Captain Kentucky… coincidence?), then in the old Comics Reader in the 1970’s.

In the later days of BBS’s, he would hang out in national comics message boards, where a young comics fan (me) talked how much he loved the strip in Comics Reader. I didn’t have all the issues of that, so he volunteered to send me the trade paperbacks and included an extra sketch…

Definite thumbs up over here…

He may be a nice guy, but his drawings are really stiff and cluttered compared to Barks’s.

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