Like Grandma Duck, Grandpa made his first appearance on a picture in a Donald Duck newspaper comic strip drawn by Al Taliaferro. Here, he was seen wearing a soldier's uniform, implying that he served in the army at some point.
In the 1964 comic The Good Old Daze by Tony Strobl, one of the most beloved duck masters of all-time, Grandpa Duck appears in flashback taking care of little Donald along with Grandma on their farm. He's portrayed as a dedicated but rigorous grandfather. Donald remembers him as being lazy, making his own grandson do the work on the farm while 'helping' with eating Grandma's pies himself.
Grandpa's real name wasn't revealed in this comic, but in an untitled one from 1951, where Grandma recalls memories of her old lover Humperdink. On the Duck Family Tree printed in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (1993), Humperdink and Grandpa Duck were shown to be the same character, thus implying that Humperdink became her husband. In this same story, Grandma remembers an occasion where she and Humperdink heard one of her favorite songs. She says to herself, "I remember the band played that for Humperdink and me at the Fish Peddler's Picnic...in 1905!". Besides, Grandma finds the ruined coat Humperdink had used to prevent her from stepping on a mud puddle and some romantic letters addressed to her that were written by Humperdink. Grandpa Duck made his first animated appearance in the 1955 Disney cartoon No Hunting.
On Giovan Battista Carpi's 1990s Duck family tree, Strobl's Grandpa Duck and the Grandpa Duck from the cartoon were included as different characters, the first being Donald's actual grandfather and the latter being Donald's great-grandfather. The original cartoon did, however, not make any mention of this.
Humperdink Duck had relevant comic appearances in two stories by Don Rosa: The Invader of Fort Duckburg (chapter 10 of the comic series The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck) and The Sign of the Triple Distelfink.
In a comic story first published in 2013, Grandpa Duck appears in a flashback scene which is told by his wife Grandma Duck. This story is called The Good Neighbors and is written by Lars Jensen and drawn by Flemming Andersen and makes part of the comic sub-series Tamers of Nonhuman Threats.