THE PRACTICAL PIG

AL TALIAFERRO

Charles Alfred Taliaferro (August 29, 1905 – February 3, 1969) was born in Montrose, Colorado. He studied art history at Glendale High School in California and learned to draw through a correspondence school. He was hired by the Disney Studios in 1931as an assistant artist in the animation department.

Best known for his work on the Donald Duck comic strip, he started his career lettering the Mickey Mouse strips (March 1931 – July 1932), and drew the Bucky Bug comics in 1932 as well as Silly Symphonies pages from 1932 to 1939 from scripts by Ted Osborne and Merrill de Maris. The Practical Pig in this presentation is from this series.

In 1936, he tried out drawing Donald Duck in this series and Al was chosen to draw the duck when he got his own daily strip in 1938 and even the Sunday page later in 1039. The duck strip scripted by Bob Karp became highly appreciated among the Disney newspaper strips. When most popular it was published in 322 newspapers.

Taliaferro co-created a number of characters, including Huey, Dewey and Louie, Bolivar, Grandma Duck, and arguably Daisy Duck. Just as Barks decided the style in comic books, Taliaferro became the artist known for drawing the duck when it came to newspapers.

While many of Taliaferro's strips were reprinted in Disney comic books, in only a few instances did he do original artwork for comic books. Among these was the Cheerios Premium Giveaway Donald Duck: Counter Spy (1947) and the cover of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #107 (August 1949). Two Children's books with Disney characters he illustrated are Donald and His Cat Troubles (1948) and Donald Duck and the Hidden Gold (1951) where Al Taliaferro is credited for the first and only time.