Creator: Don Rosa

aka: Keno Don Rosa

Keno Don Rosa is a big fan of Carl Barks who eventually got promoted to write the official Donald Duck stories in the spirit of The Good Duck Artist. He is one of those rare few writers who have managed to make an excessive use of Continuity Porn into great stories, and is widely regarded as one of the best things that ever happened to Disney comics.

Up until his retirement, he had executive power over the Duck family canon, and brought the world some seriously great Arc Welding in the process.

He grew up as a fan of the Donald Duck comics made by Carl Barks. When he grew older he submitted self drawn comics to Donald Duck fanzines, as well as letters to some debates. He even corresponded with Carl Barks from time to time. Eventually he quit being a hardcore fan, but he never quit being a fan of Carl Barks. Years later a new Donald Duck publication arrived, and Don Rosa applied for the job as an artist. He wrote a letter there he told how much he wanted to be the artist, that he would write the stories in the spirit of Carl Barks and that he was born to make it. (Indeed, in the 1970s and 80s Rosa had done two comics for newspapers in his hometown of Louisville, The Pertwillaby Papers and The Adventures of Captain Kentucky. He later reused several Pertwillaby storylines for his Scrooge stories.)

He got the job, and he created Donald Duck and Scrooge McDuck comics from 1987 to 2005. Because he was a great fan of The Good Duck Artist, he created what can be considered an Expanded Universe based on the Duck-master's works. That is to say, he used Continuity Porn, lots of Continuity Porn. Even Carl Barks told him he did too much Continuity Porn, but he didn't listen. He even dedicated all his comics to Carl Barks by hiding the word D.U.C.K. (Dedicated to Uncle Carl from Keno,) usually on the first page of each story.

Rosa is known for his quirky drawing style and epic storylines, best exemplified by The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck, his personal Magnum Opus. Since Uncle Scrooge is his favorite character, Rosa's longest and best stories deal with the complex and Bad Ass elder duck. His drawing style stems from his education in architecture and technical drawing, with no formal education in art.

For those who consider Disney comics childish stories for five-year-olds, Rosa's style of making comics may be a surprise. The artist is known for doing ridiculously extensive research, basing much of his adventure stories on real historical factlets and making sure all the possible science in his comics is valid. In Life and Times, he drops famous people from the late 19th and early 20th century to Scrooge's life here and there, but always makes sure they were around that area around that time. He's also known for Getting Crap Past the Radar.

Another notable feature of Rosa's work is his unveiling of the Duck Family Tree, based on random Remember the New Guy characters from Barks' stories.

As of 2009, due to fading eyesight, and after years of disagreements over low pay and never getting any royalties from publishers, Rosa is more or less retired from comics. Here's his own words on the end of his career. Tear Jerker warning.

Rosa also wrote two TaleSpin episodes, "I Only Have Ice for You" and "It Came from Beneath the Sea Duck".

The YMMV page for his works is here.

    List of Works 
  • The Son of the Sun
  • Nobody's Business
  • Mythological Menagerie
  • Recalled Wreck
  • Cash Flow
  • Fit to be pied
  • Fir-Tree Fracas
  • Oolated Luck
  • The Paper Chase
  • Last Sled to Dawson
  • Rocket Reverie
  • Fiscal Fitness
  • Metaphorically Spanking
  • The Crocodile Collector
  • Fortune on the Rocks
  • Return to Plain Awful
  • The Curse of Nostrildamus
  • His Majesty, McDuck
  • Forget me not
  • Give Unto Others
  • On a Silver Platter
  • Making the Grade
  • Leaky Luck
  • The Pied Piper of Duckburg
  • Back in Time for a Dime!
  • The Money Pit
  • The Master Landscapist
  • On Stolen Time
  • Treasure Under Glass
  • Return to Xanadu
  • The Duck Who Fell to Earth
  • Incident at McDuck Tower
  • The Island at the Edge of Time
  • War of the Wendigo
  • Super Snooper Strikes Again
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck 1: The Last of the Clan McDuck
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 2: The Master of the Mississippi
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 3: The Buckaroo of the Badlands
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 4: Raider of the Copper Hill
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 5: The New Laird of Castle McDuck
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 6: The Terror of the Transvaal
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 7: Dreamtime Duck of the Never-Never
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 8: King of the Klondike
  • Guardians of the Lost Library
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 9: The Billionaire of Dismal Downs
  • From Duckburg to Lillehammer
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 10: The Invader of Fort Duckburg
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 11: The Empire-Builder from Calisota
  • The Life And Times Of Scrooge McDuck 12: The Richest Duck in the World
  • The Duck Who Never Was
  • The Treasury of Croesus
  • The Universal Solvent
  • Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies
  • Hearts of the Yukon
  • The Incredible Shrinking Tightwad
  • Gyro's Beagletrap
  • The Lost Charts of Columbus
  • The Once and Future Duck
  • The Treasure of the Ten Avatars
  • A Matter of Some Gravity
  • The Vigilante of Pizen Bluff
  • An Eye for Detail
  • A Little Something Special (Don Rosa's personal favorite)
  • Attack of the Hideous Space-Varmints
  • W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N.
  • The Annual Speedskating Race of the Burg of Ducks
  • The Sign of the Triple Distelfink
  • The Last Lord of Eldorado
  • The Black Knight
  • The Cowboy Captain of the Cutty Sark
  • The Dutchman's Secret
  • Escape from Forbidden Valley
  • The Coin
  • The Quest for Kalevala
  • Attaaack!
  • The Three Caballeros Ride Again
  • The Sharpie of the Culebra Cut
  • The Beagle Boys vs. the Money Bin
  • The Crown of the Crusader Kings
  • Forget it!
  • Gyro's First Invention
  • The Dream of a Lifetime
  • Trash or Treasure
  • A Letter from Home
  • The Black Knight Glorps Again!
  • The Magnificent Seven (Minus 4) Caballeros
  • The Prisoner of White Agony Creek

Tropes used:

  • Acting Unnatural: In "A Little Something Special", a Beagle Boy disguised as one of Donald's nephews (thanks to a spell by Magica) attempts to make Donald buy his disguise by talking "how cute lil' ducks talk".
    Beagle Boy!Dewey: (with doe eyes and feminine body language) We sowwy we talk naughty, unca ducky! Oo give-um big hug?
    Donald: Saaay... did somebody slip these kids some silly-pills down at that party?
  • And This Is for...: Scrooge to BlackHeart Beagle in the above mentioned story: "Take that for 1880! And 1882! And 1902! And for Christmas 1947!"
  • Arc Welding: Life and Times as a work
  • As You Know: Lampshade hung in The Last Lord of Eldorado.
  • Author Appeal: Rosa's love of classic Hollywood movies pops up in quotes and other forms of tribute from time to time.
  • Badass: Don't. Fuck. With McDuck.
    • Sometimes Donald, too, gets this treatment. Most notably, in The Magnificent Seven (Minus Four) Caballeros, Panchito and José Carioca think that Donald is a real Badass and treat him accordingly. The fact he ends up mentioning some of the various treasure hunts he's been on with Scrooge and his nephews, namely the discovery of El Dorado, Atlantis, the Lost Mines of the Incas, King Solomon's Mines and the Forbidden Valley (a valley in the Amazon rainforest filled with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals) particularly impresses them. See here, here and here.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: The last panel of The Island at the Edge of Time has Scrooge telling the narrator to shut up.
  • Bungling Inventor: Gyro Gearloose.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Some of Don's Hidden Mickeys refer to Mickey's real-life status as a fictional character, while the Ducks are "real" people. Take into account that Donald started off as Mickey's co-star in the cartoons, and you see how this fits.
  • The Chew Toy: Donald.
  • Comic-Book Time: Averted, Rosa set all of his stories (at least, the ones in the "present") sometime in the '40s or '50s, to be consistent with Barks' stories. He's even stated that the time line of his stories isn't the same as the order he wrote them.
  • Continuity Porn: Oh yeah!
    • Carl Barks himself thought that Don Rosa made too much Continuity Porn, and he encouraged Keno to write original stories without the influence of his stories that were made in the 50s. One of the main reasons behind this is that Carl Barks m.o. was to make all his stories original, and that he was ashamed of reusing elements from earlier stories, even if those stories turned out to be great.
  • Cool Old Guy: Scrooge, all the way.
  • Creator Cameo:
    • The man exiting the comic book shop in "W.H.A.D.A.L.O.T.A.J.A.R.G.O.N" is Rosa's editor, Byron Erickson. The same story also includes cameos of the creators of Huey, Dewey and Louie, Ted Osborne and Al Taliaferro, as original members of the Junior Woodchucks.
    • Rosa appears with his wife in The Dutchman's Secret, as they've taken hiking trips in the region of the story in real life.
  • Creator Insignia: "D.U.C.K."
    • He wrote this more or less in plain sight in one of his earliest stories. Disney removed it, as they decided it went against their policy of not allowing artist signatures. Later, Don Rosa began hiding it in the covers and opening panels.
  • Creepy Twins: Phishkisser brothers, the owners of "Oolated Squigs" fish company, whose heads are fish-shaped, with big lips, dog-ears resembling pelvic fins, and remains of hair resembling dorsal and tail fins.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Scrooge. Donald and the nephews have their moments as well.
  • Death Trap: In "Treasure of the Ten Avatars", Scrooge and Donald have to get out of an entire series of these. Among other things there's a Descending Ceiling and Fake Platform with Spikes of Doom, The Walls Are Closing In, Fed to the Beast, and a Snake Pit. Donald even lampshades it by the end when he points out that they've already been through every B-movie cliché.
  • Deconstruction/Reality Ensues: Although Rosa is a massive fan of Carl Barks, he has several times used this trope in his sequels.
    • The premise of Barks's "The Golden Helmet" (considered one of his best work) the MacGuffin has, due to an old law, theoretically power over all of North America. It is arguably the Bigger Bad of the entire story, as it is an Artifact of Attraction that turns everyone who carries it long enough into a greedy and power-hungry egomaniac. It even corrupts Donald and (very briefly) Huey. It's even scarier than the One Ring, as there is nothing supernatural in it - its creator had no idea how dangerous it could be, and basically the idea that one who wears it rules America is enough to drive anyone into a Face-Heel Turn. The story doesn't end until it's tossed into the ocean. In Rosa's "The Lost Charts Of Columbus", the Helmet is rediscovered, and this time Donald fails to get rid of it before the media gets to see it. Yet in that story, it's turned from the Ring before the Ring into just another artifact museums are full of. Basically, the plot boils down to the Ducks deconstructing the law itself, arguing that it is the most insane example of Western imperialism in history. Eventually, older and older artifacts are found, until UN eventually declares all the artifacts worthless in determining who rules America, and United States, Canada and Mexico keep their independence. The Duckburg Museum eventually manages to buy all the artifacts and their associated stuff. Basically, the sequel made the characters' actions original story out be completely pointless.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Magica in at least two stories.
    • In "Of Ducks, Dimes and Destinies", Magica travels back to the day Scrooge earned his Number One Dime because she thinks it'll be easier to steal it back then. As she's about to depart back to present time, she realizes that taking the dime with her from the past will prevent it from having the power that makes her want it in the first place.
    • In "A Little Something Special", Magica teams up with the Beagle Boys and Flintheart Glomgold because she sees no overlap in their goals: she wants Scrooge's Number One Dime; the Beagle Boys want the rest of his money; and Flintheart Glomgold just wants to drive Scrooge into poverty and steal his title as the world's richest duck. As Scrooge later points out, his first dime will be of no use for Magica once he's broke.
  • Dramatic Thunder
  • Durable Deathtrap
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Magica deSpell in "A Little Something Special" is the only one who speaks up when Blackheart reveals that not only does he plan to steal Scrooge's money, but at the same time he'll also wipe out half of Duckburg's fondation with explosives. Although she quickly gets over it.
  • Every Car Is a Pinto: Mocked.
  • Extreme Omni Goat
  • Fandom Nod : The Quest for Kalevala for the Finnish fandom
  • Funetik Aksent: Scrooge's family in Life and Times as well as Arpin Lusene.
  • Fiction 500
  • Funny Background Event: In the spirit of Barks.
  • Funny Foreigner: Arpin Lusene, together with Funetik Aksent.
    Arpin Lusene: Ah am truly ze master thif!
    Donald: "Thif"?
    Arpin Lusene: Not "thif", you iddy-ott! Thif!
  • Furry Confusion: In "The Magnificent Seven (Minus 4) Caballeros", Josè, the anthropomorphic parrot, is at one point seen communicating with a normal parrot.
    • Similarily, many stories will show regular chickens existing in Rosa's universe. Donald's other friend, Panchito, is an anthropomorphic rooster.
  • Genre Savvy: When the Ducks are pursued by a hungry Spinosaurus in Escape From Forbidden Valley, Uncle Scrooge suggests taking a shortcut over a cliff across an old wooden log. His nephews immediately dismiss the idea and snark that the last movie their uncle has watched was probably at a 1904 science expo.
  • Gentleman Thief: Arpin Lusene
  • Great Big Book of Everything The Junior Woodchucks' Guidebook. This is lampshaded and explained.
  • Green Aesop: "War Of The Wendigo"
  • Have a Gay Old Time: In the first The Three Caballeros comic Rosa did, he changed the lyrics of the eponymous song to remove the verse "the three gay caballeros". In the second one, the line is intact. You could almost swear there's a guy giving them a knowing gaze as they sing it that time...
  • Historical In-Joke
  • Homage: The two stories with The Three Caballeros. Complete with them performing the theme song.
  • Impossible Thief: Arpin Lusene.
  • It's a Wonderful Plot: The Duck Who Never Was does this to Donald. It works.
  • Jail Bake: The Beagle Boys visit their grandfather in prison, to celebrate the birthday of their gang. They bring a huge elaborate cake, of which not much was left after the security removed all sort of tools hidden inside. Including a flamethrower.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: This well-known panel (bottom left), for instance.
  • Mega-Microbes: In "The Incredible Shrinking Tightwad", Scrooge and Donald are eventually shrunk down to microscopic size due to the effects of a malfunctioning shrinking ray, and are menaced by a horde of microbes.
  • Missing Episode: "The Starstruck Duck", a comic by Don Rosa that didn't go beyond the sketch stage.
  • Money Fetish: Scrooge swims in it.
  • Monumental Theft: Arpin Lusene steals a whole viking ship while nude.
  • Mr. Vice Guy: Scrooge and Greed.
  • Number One Dime: Just don't call it "lucky".
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Arpin Lusène, aka Le Chevalier Noir, was the most dangerous foe Scrooge ever faced. Already a master thief, he inadvertently stole Gyro Gearloose's Universal Solvent before using it to cover a black suit of armor coated in diamond paint (the one material impervious to the solvent), making him invulnerable. He could walk through walls, shrug of having buildings thrown on top of him, and even take a bath in an acid pool by soaking it up like a sponge.
  • Older Hero VS Younger Villain: Scrooge to several members of his Rogues Gallery.
  • Older Than They Look: Lots of characters in Rosa's timeline seem to have extraordinarily long lifespans, with Scrooge living up to the noble age of 100 and half of the characters he met in his youth still being in fine shape in the "present" (1950's), but one particularly outstanding example would be Blackheart Beagle, who back in 1880 already had sons who were old enough to wear moustaches.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: In "The Duck Who Never Was", Donald has such bad luck on his birthday that he wishes he were never born after running into a Genie in a Bottle. After seeing that virtually everyone is worse off without him and that Duckburg has become a hellhole, he corrects his mistake by wishing everything back. He wakes up and assumes it was all a dream, but after he leaves the museum the genie shows up one last time.
  • Petting Zoo People: The dog-nosed but otherwise human supporting cast.
  • Pooled Funds: Scrooge, of course.
  • Promoted Fanboy: Hence all the Continuity Porn.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: In the second story featuring the Three Caballeros, Donald becomes especially depressed and Huey, Dewey and Louie decide to reunite the Three Caballeros in the hopes that it will cheer Donald up.
  • Rebus Bubble
  • Required Secondary Powers: Deconstructed in "Super Snooper Strikes Again!". Donald briefly becomes a Flying Brick after chugging down some Applied Phlebotinum, and makes several attempts to impress his nephews with his new powers. He tries to travel around the world in an instant, but realizes that he still perceives the passage of time normally despite everyone else effectively being frozen in time while he's moving around at Super Speed, so the task could take him several months or even years to complete, and nobody would notice anyway. He also tries to use his Super Strength to lift both a mountain and a sunken cruise ship, but the mountain starts falling apart at the base and the ship breaks in two due to years of rust decay to the hull.
  • Running Gag:
    • In The Sign of the Triple Distelfink, something implausibly unlucky for Gladstone happens, prompting a character to say "What are the odds of that?", to which Gladstone becomes increasingly more annoyed.
    • In "The Dream of a Lifetime", whenever Uncle Scrooge sees Donald in one of his dreams, he says "Nephew, what the &#*% are you doing here?!"
    • In his two stories, people not understanding everything French Jerk Arpin Lusene says, particularly "mooney bean" (money bin).
  • Running the Asylum: See Promoted Fanboy.
  • Scenery Porn
  • Self-Made Man: Scrooge. The point being that the "making" was more important to him than "getting made" in the first place.
  • The Shadow Knows: In "A Little Something Special", Magica DeSpell gives Flintheart Glomgold a magical disguise but his shadow clues the heroes to his real identity.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Scrooge, as he is unable to become a Junior Woodchuck and legally get his hands on a copy of their famous guidebook, goes hunting for the remains of the Library of Alexandria in an attempt to obtain something that can rival it in knowledge. That Junior Woodchuck guidebook? Yeah, it's what the contents of the Library eventually got turned into... After chasing the library the world over, his goal ends up being the only book in the world he can't obtain.
  • Shout-Out: Rosa never wrote any Mickey Mouse stories, but that doesn't keep him from littering various Hidden Mickeys within his stories.
  • Shown Their Work: Probably the king of this trope.
  • The Stinger: An extra page for The Quest for Sampo.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Played with in "Escape from Forbbiden Valley", where Donald finds himself abducted by a large female dinosaur mistaking him for her baby. Despite not having appreciated her ... unusual treatment of him, he feels very sorry for her seeing how sad she is when he gets saved, and makes sure to give her a real dinosaur egg to care for (while also allowing our heroes their escape).
  • Stock Scream: Goofy Holler is used when Donald falls horizontally along the street and crashes to a wall in "A Matter Of Some Gravity".
  • Take a Third Option: Rosa had a bit of trouble with naming the star of Guardians of the Lost Library. It starts with Donald and the nephews, but then once Scrooge comes in, the plot follows him, leaving Donald behind. So was it a Donald story or a Scrooge story? He decided to go with Scrooge, but when other countries labelled it as a Huey, Dewey and Louie/Junior Woodchucks story, he realized that made perfect sense, yet he never considered that as an option.
  • This Is Reality
  • This Way to Certain Death: In the Scrooge McDuck story The Treasure of the Ten Avatars, Scrooge and Donald are exploring an ancient Indian city to finds the treasure stored away in the lower levels. Several thousand years ago Alexander's Greek Hoplites tried the same thing but failed to get past all the traps. The Ducks keep finding evidence of the soldiers' unfortunate deaths: armor left behind because whoever was carrying it was eaten, armour with holes pierced through them, armour squished like a pancake, etc.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: He did this to Donald in The Duck Who Never Was, The Three Caballeros Ride Again and The Magnificent Seven (Minus Four) Caballeros.
  • Time Stands Still: On Stolen Time; played with in Super Snooper Strikes Back.
  • Title Drop: In "A Little Something Special", the one telling Scrooge in the end she has "a little something special" for him is Goldie.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Twice in A Matter Of Some Gravity.
  • Villain Team-Up: A Little Something Special
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The second generation of Beagle Boys, last seen at the end of chapter ten of Life and Times when Blackheart Beagle tells them to get married and start families so there would be more Beagle Boys. The next time Scrooge meets Beagle family is forty-five years later in chapter twelve, when it's already Blackheart plus his grandsons. The middle generation is never mentioned again.
  • Worthy Opponent: Scrooge and Arpin Lusene.

Alternative Title(s):

Keno Don Rosa