[By Per Starbäck with information from Rob himself]
Rob Klein was born in the USA in 1948, with Dutch/Flemish and Canadian roots. He grew up in the same houses as older cousins, and thus had access to a collection of Disney comics from their start, becoming a fan of Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson and collecting their stories in the U.S., Dutch and Canadian issues.
In 1966 he was introduced to Carl Barks by Malcom Willits. They corresponded through post and telephone from 1966-1973, and Rob visited him (and his wife Garé) twice in 1969 and 1973.
Rob had worked as Environmental Scientist and Economist for
UN/World Bank projects (1972-1986), but his love for Carl Barks's work
inspired him to change career, and do something he dreamed of as a child.
He had asked Barks many questions about his unpublished work, and
later attempted to redraw his
lost pages, including the first
1/2 page of
Silent Night in 1984. (It was
partly redrawn and fully inked by Michel Nadorp in 1986,
and printed by Oberon.)
After that he submitted work of his own and (mostly) with Jan
Gulbransson, writing stories and drawing story layout sketches.
Now Rob concentrated on his new career in cartooning. He attended drawing/art classes in Den Haag, Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (1989), and American Animation Institute in Los Angeles (1992), using the drawing training for other work too, and getting feedback on his cartooning from seasoned artists. In 1990 he started working for Gutenberghus (later Egmont), writing and doing rough sketching mainly for Duck stories, and also submitting cover drawings.
From having lived in Holland, Germany, Denmark part of the year, as well as the USA, he left Europe in 1994 to stay in Los Angeles all year to attend animation school and work for animation studios. His film work has been for Turner Feature Animation and Warner Brothers Feature Animation on The Pagemaster, Cats Don't Dance and Quest for Camelot, as well as writing animation feature scripts for a new fairy tales series called Funny Tales for Iris Productions of Luxembourg.
He hopes to eventually write, draw and ink his own Duck stories, like Don Rosa and Van Horn do.
Rob is currently spending most of his time working on two German Children's book series. They are starring their own characters, and will be illustrated on every page, with comic book-style drawings. If they sell well, the publisher could then market them Europe-wide. Long-term goals are to have them become successful enough to appear in animated films.