Disney-comics digest #469.

DAVID.A.GERSTEIN 9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Sat Oct 22 15:33:24 CET 1994

      Dear Folks,

      Let's see -- plenty to talk about, so I'll use the old method 
of headlines.

      *** Gladstone-Marvel distribution ***

      James Williams wondered why Gladstone's sales data listed 
returns as zero.  This is because of the nature of the deal Marvel 
has with Gladstone.  You see, Marvel doesn't really just distribute 
the comics;  Marvel BUYS whatever amount Gladstone has had printed for 
newsstands FROM Gladstone.  Then it's Marvel's job entirely to get rid 
of them.

      And it's theoretically Marvel who have themselves to blame if 
they themselves do a poor job of distributing the comics they've 
bought.  Given how poorly Marvel seems to distribute the 
Gladstones, I'm guessing they must have piles of copies they've 
bought which have never been sent to any newsstand.  So what happens 
to them?  Marvel has solicited "Disney comic jumbo packs" to COMIC 
SHOPS, containing surplus copies of their NEWSTAND Marvel-Gladstones. 
The first such packs (as far as I know) are solicited for next month. 
 I have no idea what comics are in the packs, but there are 
"Donald-packs" (DD and DDA comics, I guess), "Mickey-packs" (WDC&S 
and D&M) and "Scrooge-packs" (the others), as well as "Disney mixed 
packs."  So now we see what they do with their surplus.  My local 
comic shop here in Edinburgh wanted some more Gladstone back issues 
but weren't sure how to get them, so I advised that we order a single 
one of the packs and see what was in it.  I'll update all of you.

      I have seen some Marvel sections of newsstands with Gladstones 
in them.  But Marvel only seems to put Gladstones in one of their 
newsstand displays if the display has twelve or more slots for 
different titles in it.  If it's an eight-title rack, I've never seen 
a Gladstone there.  On the other hand, Marvel ALWAYS puts Barbie (and 
sometimes Ren and Stimpy or Beavis and Butthead) in an eight-title 
rack.  Worse, they seem more likely to put their own Disney comics 
(the feature film and TV characters) into racks than Gladstones.  
This includes twelve-title racks...

       In any event, John Clark told me at the Comic-Con that he 
couldn't do anything about Marvel's poor distribution.  But he has 
told me in private that Gladstone is quite glad they have the deal 
with Marvel.  Only one thing bothers ME -- it seems just like Marvel 
for them to decide that Disney comics aren't selling well, so they'll 
cancel their deal with Gladstone.  Really, it's Marvel who's 
responsible if Marvel-Gladstones don't sell well.  (They do at 
least moderately well at the newsstands I've seen that have them, so 
if there is a sales problem it lies in the distribution, not the 
popularity -- at least far as I can tell.)

      ***  Gladstone Albums seeking a home  ***

      Speaking of popularity, the Gladstone Albums really sell poorly 
here.  One comic shop used to get them, but failed to sell them so 
now has them at a big discount.  They have copies of #6, then nos. 
11-12 and 14-16 all at stlg1.95 which is like $3.25 or so.  Do some of you 
want these copies, or are you all up to your necks in Gladstone 
Albums?  Oh, and they have a few Gyro albums as well (I don't 
remember the numbers).  At the same price.  I'm glad to help find a 
good home for some of them, and if some of you are interested, I can 
buy them and send them to you for the shop's price (converted) plus 
shipping costs.

      ***  British Mickey and Friends this week  ***

     is a typical offering, with the cover of Danish #16/94 (Donald 
and Daisy encountering ghost in tunnel of love), followed by a VERY 
badly-written follow-the-numbers Mickey-catches-crooks tale (D93353), 
a Vicar 12-page adventure story "The Gourmet Club" (D93463), and a 
very funny four-page Gyro about remote-controlled cars (D93238).  On 
the back page is a MM one-pager ("Turning the Worm," D93027) drawn by 
the same artist as the recent hypnotism story.  The Vicar story 
wasn't bad, but not excellent either.  Maybe some good dialogue would 
punch it up, but Disney would never allow this one anyway -- DD is in 
an Arab country, and when some mounted nomads see him on the desert, 
their first move is to jam huge Uzis into his face!  After which they 
discover he's friendly and treat him more kindly.  But I can't say I 
don't find that first bit a little offensive myself...
      In light of all this It may interest you that I plan to write a 
Br'er Rabbit story for Egmont next year.  The characters will speak 
in dialect, but just a "soft" dialect a la Walt Kelly's later Pogo, not the 
very thick dialect of the earliest 1940s BR stories.  I'm hoping that this 
way Disney will approve it for use here with minimal changes.  BR 
just doesn't sound right speaking the King's English.  Of course, 
neither does Mickey.
      Another thing about the gourmet story -- at one point, U$ (who 
has bought a gourmet restaurant chain) threatens to make a gourmet 
dinner out of Donald.  Furthermore, when he's laid up in bed at one 
point in the tale, Scrooge wears the same thicker overcoat that he 
wore in "Christmas on Bear Mountain."  No reason given.

      ***  WDC&S 594  ***

      is now in my collection -- thank you, Mark!  Why did you send 
me two copies of it, though?  Given postage costs here I can only 
really send one British Mickey... but I can send you a good German 
Disney at some point, to make up the difference, next Spring when I'm 
at home.
      #594 is quite good -- Van Horn's concept this time is 
excellent.  But I felt that the story never reached its climax.  
Donald and the boys had gone from rivalry to the very edge of battle 
-- and right then Daisy came in to defuse everything!  There should 
have been a wild splash panel!  Someone in this issue mentioned they 
thought that Van Horn was very good in structuring his ten-pagers, 
but I can't say I agree all the time.  He did some fine ones during 
the Disney Comics period, but I'd say that Jippes has a better track 
record in general ten-pager composition.
      And you all know what I think of "Monarch of Medioka."  Ah, how 
I love that moment when Mickey and King Michael just lay into each 
other!  I like seeing Mickey with a hot temper... and the scene of 
the two making up, later, with those huge steaks tied to their faces 
is just priceless.  And the general atmosphere of the story is so 
damn good!  My only problem with this tale is that it moves too 
slowly, in my opinion, to be broken into such small parts and 
fragmented out over such a long publication time.  But what to do?  
There's no Mickey comic any more!

      Your friend,
      David Gerstein
      "And vat would be ze result if we were discovered, pray?"
      <9475609 at arran.sms.ed.ac.uk>

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