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Born in 1951, Keno Don Rosa - the first name is a legacy from his Italien grandfather - was surrounded from birth by Carl Barks stories. His older sister read avidly and there were always stacks of comics in their Louisville home. Like other children growing up on Dell comics in the 1950s, Rosa read everything that came to hand. Like most of us, what he remembered was the early Uncle Scrooge epics. At the age of six, he started drawing his own adventure stories, filling the pages of blank business diaries that his father would bring home from work. Initially, his characters were stick figures, but over the years backgrounds became more elaborate and plots more sophisticated. The tales were wild as only a child's imagination could make them, but they were never improbable. The boy didn't hold with superpowers, he wanted his heroes to be everyday folks like the Disney Ducks.
This passion was later to stand him in good stead. You can't draw for years without picking up some artistic ruiments. Rosa, however, was not a professional cartoonist. Earning a degree in Civil Engineering, he had gained succes helping to run a family-owned construction company.
When the first series Gladstone Disneys hit the stands in July 1986, Rosa called then-editor Byron Erickson and explained that he was born to write and draw Uncle Scrooge stories. To back up his claim, Rosa submitted his first long Duck adventure - "The Son of the Sun" - which Erickson accepted and published in Uncle
Scrooge #219, July 1987.
Thus from such humble beginnings are legends created. Rosa continued penning long and short Duck opuses under Erickson's editorial leadership until the end of Gladstone's first licensing period and became one of modern Duckdom's most highly regarded raconteurs.
When Disney took over the American comic line in 1989, Rosa began working for the Danish comic publisher, Egmont, ultimately falling once again under the editorial control of Byron Erickson, where he continues to write illustrate definitive Duck tales, which in turn are translated back into Rosa's native English and reprinted by - who else? - Gladstone!