AMBROSE

WILLIAM VAN HORN

William Van Horn (b. 15 February 1939, USA/Canada) enjoyed comics as a child, especially the 'Mickey Mouse' newspaper comics by Floyd Gottfredson. He studied at the California College of Arts, after which he worked in the animation field for twelve years (Aesop Films, Imagination Inc. and other small studios). He left this field in 1977 and started to write children's books.

It was not until 1985 when Van Horn created his first comic: Nervous Rex, about a small dinosaur. Blackthorne Publishing published ten issues between 1985 and 1987. These also included the back-up comics Pearl of the Universe and King Billy. For the same publisher, he also created the short-lived superhero parody Possibleman, as well as Tracker. For the Fantagraphics title Critters he made the comics Ambrose and Angst between 1988 and 1990.

He contacted the American Disney publisher Gladstone in 1985 and started out doing script and artwork on Donald Duck stories for them from 1987. In 1991, Van Horn moved from Gladstone to the Danish Egmont Comic Creation and has created over 800 'Duck' pages since.

He introduced new characters to the Disney universe (Baron Itzy Bitzy, Rumpus McFowl, Woimly Filcher) and has also done a lot of comic stories based on the 'Duck Tales' television series.

Although he initially often worked with writer John Lustig, Van Horn has written nearly all of his own stories and he uses a very personal style in both his scenarios and artwork. In his stories, Van Horn focuses on absurd situations, instead of the actual storylines. This gives his comics a distinguished style, which is more slapstick than other Disney stories. Compared to other artists, the artwork in his stories is more vivid, or 'loosey-goosey', as he calls it himself. His son Noel van Horn is an artist of 'Mickey Mouse' stories.