Philip Gladstone's first professional work as an artist was as in the comic book field—he wrote Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse stories for the Walt Disney Company, the first of which was written and published while the artist was still in high school. 

Donald Duck in Saved by a Skateboard, written by Philip Gladstone at age 17 for Disney's international division, shown here as it appeared in Brazil.  ©Disney

The comic strip presented here in its entirety, Cello Lake, was developed as a potential newspaper comics feature by the artist in 2002; six week's worth of strips were drawn and submitted to the major syndicates of the day, and some interest was shown in the strip's potential, but it wasn't meant to be—despite the fact that a career in cartooning was a childhood dream, fine art proved to have a stronger pull on the artist's mature imagination, and his career as a painter began in earnest two years later.