Donald Duck, by Frank Grundeen
Donald Duck Sunday page (14 February 1971)

Frank Grundeen was an American animator and comics artist who worked for the Walt Disney Company. He is best remembered as the second artist to draw the 'Donald Duck' newspaper comic strip after the death of Al Taliaferro in 1969.

According to data found on ancestry.com, John Franklin Grundeen was born in New York on 12 February 1911. He studied at the National Academy of Design. During the 1930s and 1940 he worked as an animator for the Walt Disney Studios, where he participated on the animated feature films 'Pinocchio' (1940), 'Fantasia' (1940), 'Dumbo' (1941) and 'Bambi' (1942). Later that decade he made comic book artwork for Ned Pines' Standard Comics and worked as a commercial illustrator until halfway the 1960s. His comic book work is largely unidentified; he at least drew one 6-page story from a script by Bob Karp for 'Barnyard Comics' issue #11 of April 1947. His cartoons have appeared frequently in The Saturday Evening Post, The American, Western Living other national publications.


Along the Catnip Trail (Barnyard Comics #11, 1947)

In 1967 Grundeen became an assistant of Al Taliaferro, who had been drawing the 'Donald Duck' newspaper gag-a-day comic since 1938 and was already in ailing health. He inked both the daily comic, as well as the Sunday full page. Only two years later he took over the series completely and Taliaferro died that same year. By the time Grundeen stepped in, comic book characters like 'Uncle Scrooge' and 'Ludwig Von Drake' had made regular appearances in the newspaper comics as well, and they remained part of the strip's cast during his tenure. Bob Karp, who had been Taliaferro's gag writer for decades, continued his collaboration with Grundeen until 1974, after which Greg Crosby became the new gag writer. Frank Grundeen drew the strip until his retirement in 1976. The final Grundeen strip appeared on 22 May of that year. He was succeeded as the strip's artist by Frank Smith (1976-1986), Jim Franzen (1986), Daan Jippes (1986-1987), Ulrich Schröder (1986), Jørgen Klubien (1986), Tony Strobl (1986-1987), Bill Langley (1987), Pete Alvarado & Larry Mayer (1987-1989) and Larry Knighton (1990-1995). Grundeen also filled in for Floyd Gottfredson on the 'Mickey Mouse' daily strip from 9 September until 6 December 1968.

Donald Duck strip by Frank Grundeen
Donald Duck Sunday page of 21 September 1969

Not much is known about the man himself. According to an article in The Palm Beach Post of 19 May 1957, J. Franklin Grundeen was an avid angler, who has fished the coastal waters of Florida many times while on vacation. At the time of the article, he was a resident of the Pacific Coast, who had traveled extensively throughout his country and Europe. The paper concluded with: "He is well acquianted with Florida's large number of scenic attractions, many of which have furnished inspiration for his brush and palette." That is probably why the editors asked him to illustrate the cover to that edition's supplement of The All Florida Weekly Magazine.

Frank Grundeen is believed to have passed away in California on 23 January 1986.

Cover for the All Florida Weekly Magazine (1957)

INDUCKS entry

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