The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck
is Will Eisner Award winning storyline written and illustrated by Don Rosa. It chronicles story of Scrooge McDuck, last member of McDuck clan. Starting from year 1867, it shows journey of duck who wanted to be the world's richest, and who fought more than fifty years to achieve it. Story ends in the year 1947, when Scrooge first entered into world of comics.
The book is fascinating reading for several reasons. First and most importantly, it is well written and successfully gives Scrooge McDuck believable background, and makes him "human", instead of being just a penny-pinching duck with whole lotta money. It is also historically accurate, with Scrooge following trends that actually happened during those times. He owns steamboat just to see them pushed away by trains, he joins ranks of cattle baron Murdo MacKenzie, meets Roosevelt, almost manages to get hold of US's largest copper source thanks legal loophole, digs gold unsuccesfully in South Africa, and so on. Book is also goldmine for those who love Carl Barks' original Scrooge stories. Don Rosa was a big fan of his works, and many parts of the stories have been based on things that Rosa picked up from Barks' works.
The storyline has been collected into single, 256 pages long paperback in the US. It is currently out of print, but Gladstone does new print runs quite often. Those who worry about the book's page count, it is worth mentioning that there is no compression at all. Every panel matters, and story goes forward with rapid pace. Gladstone has also published companion piece for the book called The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck Companion
, which collects later written sidestories into single book. Most of these stories are pretty good, and also work well as a standalone stories.
Scrooge McDuck's Timeline (contains spoilers)
1867: Scrooge was born in Glasgow, Scotland, to Fergus McDuck and Downy O'Drake. He would have two younger sisters, namely Matilda McDuck and Hortense McDuck.
1877: Scrooge becomes a shoe polisher, but his first customer fools him and pays him with an American dime. He keeps the dime he cannot spend as his symbol of success.
1880: Scrooge emigrates to the United States. He first meets his uncle, Mississippi riverboater Angus "Pothole" McDuck, and the Beagle Boys, a family of outlaws that remain his enemies for the rest of his life.
1882: His uncle retires and leaves his riverboat, named Dilly Dollar, to Scrooge. The Beagle Boys destroy the riverboat in an act of revenge. Scrooge decides to try his luck in the American West and later in the year gets hired as a cowboy by cattle baron Murdo MacKenzie (an actual historical figure, one of the many that Scrooge met).
1883: Scrooge becomes a miner searching for silver and copper.
1885: Scrooge's father calls his son back to Scotland on an important family matter. Just a week before he leaves he meets and befriends the millionaire Howard Rockerduck, who had become rich in the California gold rush of 1849. He also meets Howard's seven-year-old spoiled son John Rockerduck, who will grow up to become one of Scrooge's main rivals.
1886–1889: Scrooge searches for gold in South Africa. During his first year there he saves the life of a duck about his age named Flintheart Glomgold, though Scrooge learns his name more than half a century later. A little later they become bitter enemies, and remain as such for the rest of their lives. Glomgold later became the second richest duck in the world.
1889–1893: Scrooge returns to the United States to search for gold. He meets many famous historical figures but his search fails.
1893–1896: Scrooge goes to Australia to search for gold but his search again fails.
1896–1899: Scrooge searches for gold in the Klondike. During his years there he meets the saloon owner, singer and occasional thief "Glittering" Goldie O'Gilt. He carries a love/hate relationship with her for the rest of his life. His search for gold succeeds.
1897: Scrooge's mother Downy O'Drake dies, aged 57, in Dismal Downs.
1899–1902: Scrooge becomes a millionaire and buys a bank. He starts building a small financial empire; by 1902 he has become a billionaire.
1902: Scrooge returns to Scotland to get his sisters Matilda McDuck and Hortense McDuck to come to America with him. Also in 1902, Scrooge's father Fergus McDuck dies, aged 67, in Dismal Downs. Scrooge's mother and one of his two uncles, Angus "Pothole" McDuck (deceased in 1901, aged 72), had already died by this point. Scrooge, Matilda and Hortense are the last of the McDuck clan. Scrooge settles in the small village of Duckburg, Calisota, USA, which he chose as his home base.
1909–1930: While his sisters remain in Duckburg and run his empire, Scrooge travels the world expanding his empire in every continent.
1930: Scrooge becomes the richest duck in the world, but a fight with his family leaves him with no contact with them for the next seventeen years. Note that during this year he met his ten-year-old nephew Donald Fauntleroy Duck and his nephew's twin sister Della Thelma Duck for the first time.
1942: Scrooge feels depressed and tired and decides to retire.
1947: Scrooge meets his nephew Donald Duck again and his grandnephews, Della's children, Huey, Dewey, and Louie Duck. He decides to become active again and soon a circle of activities whirl around him as he attracts the attention of relatives, old and new enemies and friends.
1967: After a life of adventure, Scrooge McDuck died at the age of 100 years old