Grandma Duck (W WDC134-04)
Frank McSavage was born in Bellshill, a town near Glasgow, Scotland, in 1903. After completing his studies at the Glasgow School of Art, he started out illustrating for some local newspapers and doing screenplays for a theatre group. McSavage left Scotland in 1930, headed for Canada, and eventually settled in Buffalo, New York in the USA. He went to work for the Walt Disney Studios in 1936, and drew promotional material for their New York office. He then moved to California, and cooperated on among others the 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs' feature film and several 'Donald Duck' shorts.
In the early 1940s, McSavage briefly left Disney, and worked on the advertising and merchandise department of the Walter Lantz Studios. Between late 1945 and December 1949, he was back at Disney as an assistant animator on 'Donald Duck' shorts. He subsequently joined his former Disney colleague Art Scott to begin their own studios, where they made advertising films for television.
In addition, McSavage had been active in comics since 1944. His first work was doing funny animal stories for Barnyard Comics, a comic book published by Nedor/Standard in 1944. From 1950, he was a regular contributor to the funny animal titles of Western Publishing, starting with the Walter Lantz characters 'Woody Woodpecker', 'Chilly Willy' and 'Oswald the Rabbit'. Soon followed stories with MGM characters, such as 'Barney Bear' and 'The Mouseketeers', and Disney comics.
Bongo (W OS706-02)
As for his Disney production, McSavage regularly drew stories with 'Donald Duck' from 1950, but he is best known for his stories situated on Grandma Duck's farm, featuring Grandma, Gus Goose and the mice Gus and Jaq. McSavage also illustrated 'Bongo the Circus Bear' when it appeared in its own title, as well as 'Donald Duck' stories for the Wheaties Premium Giveaways and episodes of 'Big Bad Wolf' and 'Jiminy Cricket'. McSavage stopped making comics in 1960, and started illustrating for Western's children's books, that also featured Disney, Walter Lantz and Hanna-Barbera characters. Frank McSavage retired in 1975, and spent his final years painting.