Don Rosa Rediger
Keno Don Hugo Rosa (generally just called Don Rosa) (born June 29, 1951) is an American comic book writer and illustrator best known for his stories about Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck and other Disney characters. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, United States. His most famous work is The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
The History Rediger
The name Rosa originates from Italy. His grandfather, Gioachino Rosa, lived in Maniago, a small village at the foot of the Alps in Northern Italy, in the province of Pordenone. Gioachino Rosa emigrated to Kentucky, United States in 1915 just after the birth of his son Hugo Rosa. Hugo Rosa was later married in Kentucky. His wife was born to a German American father and a mother with both Scottish and Irish ancestry.
Hugo Rosa and his wife became parents to Keno Don Hugo Rosa on June 29, 1951. The boy was named after both his father and grandfather. Gioachino was called 'Keno' for short.
Biography Part One Rediger
Don Rosa had always been fond of making cartoons. Don began drawing comics before being able to write. But he was always mostly focused on the story. The drawings were just mere illustrations to get the story told. Until high school his featured characters were mostly small men called Holey and Joe.
His favourite comic books while growing up were reportedly Uncle Scrooge by Western Publishing and the Superman titles by DC Comics.
He entered the University of Kentucky in 1969. He graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in civil engineering.
Biography Part two Rediger
In 1985, he discovered a Gladstone comic book in the window of a small comic shop. This was the first American comic book that contained Disney-characters after the 1970s. Since early childhood Don Rosa had been fascinated by Disney stories about Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck. Artist Carl Barks was an especially big idol for him and would remain so for the rest of his career. He immediately called the editor, Byron Erickson, and told him that he was the only American who was born to write and draw Scrooge McDuck comics. Byron agreed to let him send a story, and Don Rosa started drawing his first Duck story: Son of the Sun the very next day.
Son of the Sun was a huge success and was nominated for a Harvey Award. The plot of the story was exactly the same as his earlier story Lost in (an alternative section of) the Andes. As Don Rosa formulated it, he was just "(...) turning that old Pertwillaby Papers adventure back into the story it originally was in my head, starring Scrooge, Donald, the nephews, and Flintheart Glomgold."
Don Rosa did a few more comics for Gladstone till 1989. He then stopped working for them because the policies of their licensor Disney did not allow for the return of original art for a story to its creators. This was unacceptable to Don Rosa, since a part of his income came from selling the originals. Without that extra money, he could not make a living drawing comic books.After making some stories for the Dutch publisher Oberon, the publishers of an American Disney children's magazine called DuckTales (based on of the animated series of the same name) offered him employment. They even offered him a much higher salary than the one he received at Gladstone. Don made just one script (Back in Time for a Dime). The publishers never asked him to make more, and due to problems with receiving the payment, he didn't care.
Biography Part three Rediger
After working with the DuckTales magazine, Rosa found out that the Danish publisher Egmont (at that time called Gutenberghus) had been publishing reprints of his stories and wanted more of them. Don joined Egmont in 1990 along with Byron Erickson, the former editor at Gladstone and has been working there as a freelancer since then.
In 1991 he started creating The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, a twelve chapter story about his favorite character. The series was a huge success, and in 1995 he won an Eisner Award for best continuing series. After the end of the original series, Don started producing additional "missing" chapters. Some of the extra chapters were turned down by Egmont because they were not interested in any more episodes. Fortunately, the French publisher Picsou was eager to publish the stories. From 1999, Don started working freelance for Picsou as well. Some of these chapters were recently compiled as the Life and times of Scrooge McDuck Companion.
Biography Part four Rediger
During early summer 2002, Don Rosa suddenly laid down work. As an artist he could not live under the conditions Egmont was offering him, but he did not want to give up making Scrooge McDuck comics either. So his only choice was to put down work for a while and try to come to an agreement with Egmont. His main issues were that he had no control over his works. Don had discovered far too often that his stories were printed with incorrect pages of art, improper colors, poor lettering, or pixelated computer conversions of the illustrations. Another matter was that his name was used in promotion of books and collections of stories without his agreement and without sending royalties to him.
He came to an agreement with Egmont in December of the same year, which gave him a bit more control over the stories and the manner in which they were publicized. In 2008, Rosa underwent eye surgery.On June 2, 2008, during an interview at the Danish Komiks.dk fair, Don stated that he would not do any more Disney comic, citing three reasons: eye troubles, finding out how low his pay as a professional Disney artist was (he made more money from selling his personal comic collection than in 6 years of working for Egmont), and repeated copyright/royalties issues with many international publishers.
Don remains popular with readers across Europe but considers himself rather obscure in his native United States.