|Lucky Gladstone Gander|
The Lucky GuySome people are just lucky. Annoyingly so. They seem to sail through life with nary a ripple of aggravation - no calamities come their way, they never seem to be in debt or trouble, their clothes are always impeccably neat and their hair is always perfectly in place.
In Gladstone Gander, legendary cartoon artist Carl Barks, created a character that represented the eternally lucky guy. The golden Gander also provides a striking contrast to the hapless Donald Duck - where Gladstone is perpetually lucky, Donald suffers one misfortune and mishap after another. Gladstone, with his curly hair, spats and walking stick, is dapper without even trying, whereas Donald always appears frazzled, no matter how hard he tries. Much to Donald's chagrin, Gladstone always falls on his feet. If there's a lost wallet to be found, Gladstone will find it.
Yet Gladstone is devoid of any real substance. He lacks ambition, drive and eschews anything which may require the slightest effort....he gets by with the central philosophy of Why exert myself? I'm lucky! As a result, he's a rather shallow, complacent character and although he is Donald's rival for the affections of the eye-fluttering Daisy, for all his flaws and bad luck, in the end, the lady prefers Donald.
Gladstone was one on several characters invented by Barks, who also created the capitalist squillionaire, Scrooge McDuck and eccentric inventor, Gyro Gearloose. The lucky duck made his first appearance as a citizen of Duckberg in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #88 in 1948, in the story Wintertime Magic. Gladstone was a frequent character in Disney comics throughout the late 40s and 50s and more recently, has appeared in stories by Bark's fan and successor, Don Rosa.
Stories of GG's lineage are a little unclear. One family tree pegs him as the son of Luke the Goose and Daphne Duck, (who reputedly died tragically from an excess of free food at a picnic) but later adopted by Mathilda McDuck and Goostave Gander. Others claim he is the son of Goostave and Daphne Gander...and it gets more complicated still. In the 1949 story Race to the South Seas, Gladstone loudly proclaims:
Scrooge mcDuck is my mother's brother-in-law and I'm going to get a big cut of his fortune too!Hmmm...