Donald Duck (comic strip)

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Donald Duck
Author(s)Homer Brightman (1938)
Bob Karp (1938–1975)
Greg Crosby (1974–1979)
Bob Foster (1980–1989)
Illustrator(s)Al Taliaferro (1938–1969)
Frank Grundeen (1967–1976)[1]
Frank Smith (1975–1986)[2] Jim Franzen (1986)
Ulrich Schröder (1986)
Jorgen Klubien (1986)
Daan Jippes (1986–1987)
Tony Strobl (1986–1987)
Bill Langley (1987)
Pete Alvaredo (1987–1989)
Larry Mayer (1987–1989)
Larry Knighton (1990–1995)
Current status/scheduleConcluded, in reruns
Launch date(dailies) February 7, 1938
(Sunday) December 10, 1939
End dateMay 1995
Syndicate(s)King Features
Genre(s)Humour, gag-a-day, anthropomorphic animals

Donald Duck is an American comic strip by the Walt Disney Company starring Donald Duck. The first daily Donald Duck strip debuted in American newspapers on February 7, 1938. On December 10, 1939, the strip expanded to a Sunday page as well.[3] Writer Bob Karp and artist Al Taliaferro worked together on the strip for more than 30 years. Donald Duck was distributed by King Features Syndicate.[3]

Publication history[edit]

Disney artist Al Taliaferro came up with the idea of a solo comic strip for Donald Duck, but had trouble convincing his bosses to support his idea. He initially pitched the idea to Roy O. Disney, who rejected it. Taliaferro then produced three weeks-worth of episodes for a Donald Duck comic strip, brought them to Roy Disney, and asked him to offer the strip to King Features Syndicate for publication. (King Features had syndicated all Disney comic strips up to this point.) Roy Disney was not particularly interested, but his brother Walt Disney could see potential in the project. Taliaferro's original sample stories were rejected due to having "weak gags". Taliaferro co-operated with writer Merrill De Maris to create new sample stories, but these were also rejected. Taliaferro then co-operated with writer Homer Brightman, and this time the sample stories were approved. Taliaferro's idea was greenlighted and the new Donald Duck comic strip was about to begin.[4]

On February 2, 1938, the Donald Duck comic strip started appearing in daily newspapers. A Sunday version was added on December 10, 1939.[3] Taliaferro's was the strip's main penciller, while Homer Brightman was its writer and came up with the gags. But Brightman was mostly a screenwriter, and in 1940 quit the comic strip and returned to writing plots for animated short films.[3] Brightman was replaced by Bob Karp, who would serve as Taliaferro's main creative partner for the rest of his career.[4] The inkers for the comic strip included Karl Karpe (1940-1942), Dick Moores (1942-1943), George Waiss (1943-1946), Manuel Gonzalez (1955-1957), Bill Wright (1960), Al Hubbard (1965), Kay Wright (1965), Ellis Erringer (1965-1967) and Frank Grundeen (1967-1968).[3]

Taliaferro retired from the daily comic strip on October 10, 1967. He kept working on the Sunday version of the strip until his death in February, 1969.[4] Since 1967, Taliaferro's duties on the comic strip had mostly been handled by Frank Grundeen, who replaced Taliaferro as the main artist upon his retirement and death. Bob Karp remained the strip's main writer until his retirement in 1974, with his last Sunday strip published November 29, 1975.[3] Grundeen stayed on the strip as artist until 1976; his last daily was published on May 22, and his last Sunday on June 20, 1976.[3]

The Donald Duck comic strip continued with new writers and artists over the following decades. The strip was written by Greg Crosby from 1974 to 1980, and Bob Foster from 1980 to 1990.[3] When Grundeen left in 1976, Frank Smith was the artist from 1976 to 1986.[3]

A large team of artists worked on the strip in 1986 and 1987, including Jim Franzen, Daan Jippes, Ulrich Schröder, Jorgen Klubien, Rick Hoover, Jules Coenen, Bill Langley, Tony Strobl, Brian Lum and Ennis McNulty.[3] The strip stabilized in May 1987 with Pete Alvarado on pencils and Larry Mayer on inks, until January 7, 1990.[3]

In 1990, Bob Foster, Pete Alvarado and Larry Mayer, all left the strip, which went into reprints starting in January. The daily strip started up again in May 1990 with Larry Knighton as writer and artist, and he resumed the Sunday strip in September 1990. Knighton continued until May 1995, when King Features ended production of new episodes, and started publishing reprints until the present.[3]

Story and characters[edit]

While the Mickey Mouse comic strip was an adventure series, the Donald Duck comic strip continued to be a daily comedy series. Each episode featured Donald dealing with problems and humorous situations. Most of the strips featured stand-alone gags, although some ongoing plots were introduced. The strips often lacked dialogue. [4]

Taliaferro and Karp started expanding the Donald Duck universe by introducing new supporting characters for the protagonist. On March 17, 1938, they introduced Bolivar, Donald's pet St. Bernard. The strip found humor in the fact that Bolivar rarely listens to his owner. Taliaferro reportedly drew inspiration from his own pet dog, which was a Scottish Terrier.[4] Gus Goose, the "lazy and gluttonous" cousin of Donald, was introduced on May 9, 1938.[4] On 4 November 1940, Taliaferro and Karp introduced a comic strip version of Daisy Duck, as Donald's new neighbour and love interest. The character had been created by Carl Barks for the short film Mr. Duck Steps Out (1940).[4] Grandma Duck, Donald's grandmother, was introduced on September 27, 1943. Taliaferro based the character on his mother-in-law and her old-fashioned ways. Taliaferro's version of Grandma is a hard-working farmer, but out of touch with the technologal progress of the world surrounding here.[4] A comic strip version of Scrooge McDuck was added by Taliaferro on February 13, 1951, and a comic strip version of Ludwig Von Drake on September 25, 1961.[4] Donald's car, the 313, was designed by Taliaferro on July 1, 1938. It has been associated with the character ever since.[4]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grundeen entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 18, 2018.
  2. ^ Smith entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 18, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Holtz, Allan (2012). American Newspaper Comics: An Encyclopedic Reference Guide. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. p. 130. ISBN 9780472117567.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Knudde, Kjell (1994). "Al Taliaferro". Lambiek Comiclopedia. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
  5. ^ Thomas Andrae,"The Legacy of Al Taliaferro," in Disney's Four Color Adventures vol. 1 (2011).
  6. ^ "Forbidden Fruit". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  7. ^ "Just In Time For Dinner". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Donald Duck Settles a Grudge". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  9. ^ "Donald makes a hit". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Donald Duck 43-09-27". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  11. ^ "Socrates M. Gosling". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  12. ^ "Donald Duck 51-02-13". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  13. ^ "Donald Duck 51-08-07". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  14. ^ "Donald Duck 61-09-25". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Donald Duck 71-12-06". Retrieved 2 July 2019.

External links[edit]