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Donald Duck’s Family Tree: Who’s Who, from Grandma Duck to Scrooge McDuck?

One of Don Rosa’s most notorious illustrations is the Duck Family Tree, a genealogical representation of Donald Duck’s family. Being one of the most influential writers/artists to have contributed to the development of the mythology surrounding the legendary Scrooge McDuck and his relatives, Rosa added more than a few ducks to the tree. Of course, the one who really planted the seed and helped it grow to a massive size was Carl Barks.

Their stories are classics—and you can take a look at our reading order for the Fantagraphics collection to see if you missed some of them—and took us through time and around the world more than once. During the small and big adventures of Donald, Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, we met more Ducks, MacDucks, Coots, Gooses, and Ganders.

But who are all those characters who are represented in the famous “Duck Family Tree”?

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Little Nemo in Slumberland, Winsor McCay’s influential comic strip

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Little Nemo in Slumberland, New York Herald, January 7, 1906

One of the most famous Little Nemo in Slumberland comic strips today was published in July 1908. Considered a masterpiece, it shows the young Nemo atop his bed which had grown crazy long legs and was walking among buildings.

At this stage, creator Winsor McCay was working for the New York Herald for a few years and had already produced many illustrations and comic strips. He came to work for publisher James Gordon Bennett in 1903 where he was doing caricatures of officeholders. But it was in Telegram that he began experimenting with the comic strip form: a sequential panel called “Hubby Goes Shopping with the Usual Results” was published on December 24, 1903.

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Last Updated on March 27, 2024.

Usagi Yojimbo Reading Order, the comics that inspired Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles

Now adapted on Netflix under the title “Samurai Rabbit: The Usagi Chronicles,” Usagi Yojimbo is certainly not a new series. In fact, this creator-owned comic book series was created by Stan Sakai in 1984 – Usagi Yojimbo first appeared in Albedo Anthropomorphics #2, published by Thoughts and Images in November 1984. 

Openly inspired by Japanese cinema and real-life samurai Miyamoto Musashi, Usagi Yojimbo explores Japanese history, folklore, arts, and more. The story tells the adventures of the Miyamoto Usagi, a rōnin samurai rabbit, in Japan at the beginning of the Edo period (early 17th century) – it is an anthropomorphic comic where humans are replaced by animals – as he travels the country on shogyusha, sometimes monetizing his services as a bodyguard. 

The concept of the series, with Usagi meeting new people which each new adventure during his travels, makes reading Usagi Yojimbo easy as you don’t have to track down every book in order of publication. You can just pick a story at random. Of course, if you like what you read, you can also start from the beginning.

The publication history of Usagi Yojimbo is not clear and simple, as the series has been published by multiple publishers: Fantagraphics Books (Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 1), Mirage Studios (Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 2), Dark Horse Comics (Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 3), and lately IDW Publishing (Usagi Yojimbo Vol. 4). The samurai also appeared in occasional short stories published by other companies.

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Last Updated on February 23, 2023.

Love and Rockets Reading Order, by the Hernandez brothers

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Love and Rockets is a long-running comic series written by Gilbert and Jamie Hernandez that began in 1981 with a self-published issue edited by their brother Mario. It’s kind of an anthology with science fiction or magical-realist elements, each brother working independently from the other, so there are two stories and more following a large cast of characters throughout their lives.

On Jaime’s side, it’s been one long story named Locas for the last decades about Maggie Chascarrillo and Hopey Glass, two young, queer women living in a fictional California town called Hoppers and their transition into adult life—Maggie and her friends and family have aged in real-time.

On Gilbert’s side, there are more ongoing stories and some short stories too—often infused with magical realism. The bigger one is Palomar & Luba about a poor fictional Central American town and the inhabitants like the hammer-wielding matriarch Luba, the midwife-turned-sheriff Chelo, Fritz the (sometimes X-rated) actress, and many more.

Gilbert and Jaime’s work can be read independently.

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Last Updated on August 8, 2023.

Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge by Carl Barks, A Duck Comics Reading Order Guide

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Carl Barks is one of the most influential American cartoonists. Dubbed The Duck Man or The Good Duck artist by his fans, Barks is known for his work in Disney comic books, as the writer and artist of the first Donald Duck stories and the creator of the iconic and rich duck, Scrooge McDuck.

If Scrooge McDuck is his most famous creation, he is not the only one as Barks is the architect of Duckburg, located in the fictional U.S. state of Calisota, and many of its inhabitants such as Gladstone Gander, Donald’s cousin and The Luckiest Person in the World; the Beagle Boys, the family clan of organized criminals who try (and fails) to rob uncle Scrooge; Gyro Gearloose, genius inventor and friend of Donald; Magica De Spell, the Italian sorceress; and more. Let’s simply say that if Disney created the Donald Duck universe, Carl Barks really built it–and for this reason, Don Rosa called it the Barks Universe.

Like many European people, I grew up with the Duck clan (and other classic Disney comics), and those stories were and still are popular in Europe. It was one of those things that most households had, with Asterix and Tintin.

If those comics seem to not have the same iconic status in the US as in Europe, readers can at least now enjoy all of Carl Barks’ amazing Duck work with the ongoing collection The Complete Carl Barks Disney Library by publisher Fantagraphics. It’s an amazing way to read Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s adventures.

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Last Updated on February 23, 2024.