Disney-comics digest #590.

DAVID.A.GERSTEIN 9475609 at arran.sms.edinburgh.ac.uk
Thu Feb 23 17:01:46 CET 1995

      "[Mickey Mouse in Color] is offered again. Are there 3000 _new_ 
issues, or are there a lot of unsold books?"
      It's the latter situation.  Actually, what happened was that 
when the original limited edition was made, distributors bought a 
sizable chunk of the edition at wholesale, but held back many of the 
copies to sell later on, so that they could make the limited edition 
last for a while.  Due to the cost of the book, there's a continued 
demand, but the stock is still lasting a while... that's all.  The 
book wasn't a failure or anything.  Gladstone got rid of all THEIR 
copies.  ;-)
      Poor Gottfredson sure must have been bored by signing all 3000 
copies.  I don't know how my hero passed on, so maybe the poor fellow 
was bored to death by the tedious job.
      Gottfredson signed the parchment pages in 1984, a while before 
he died.  Only later were they cut to size and inserted in the 
finished books.  Production of MMiC began in 1982, but was halted 
when Gladstone decided to wait a few years and tie it to MM's 60th 
birthday... at least I believe that's the case.
      The Murry story about the Foreign Legion is titled "The Lost 
Legion" and is from 1953.  This is one of my FAVORITE Murry stories.  
Not written by Don Christiansen or Carl Fallberg (Becattini doesn't 
know who wrote it).  Its writer went back to the Gottfredson Mouse -- 
Mickey sings "The Sheik of Araby" at one point.  I love it!  
Presented as a 3-parter, WDC&S 167-169.

> - The Big Bad Wolf (D93298, 6 pages).
      "The Magic Rope Trick" -- it was in the British one this week.
> - Donald Duck (H9111, 4 pages).
      It's a HDL story in Britain, titled "To Be Honest."  The art 
looks like Michel Nadorp to me, but I don't know for sure.  Those big 
tufts of hair on the ducks' heads often indicate his work, though.  
That's a Disney-Burbank styling, and he worked for them for a while.
> - Goofy (D92304, 7 pages). Art by Esteban.
      Actually, "How to Ski" (that's the title) is NOT drawn by 
Esteban.  The art looks more like whoever drew that "Art Attack" 
story about nine weeks ago (the one where Minnie's painting disappears 
and it's actually her birthday... etc.)  If you compare Horace to 
Estaban's Horace in "Knights and Bolts," you'll see the difference 
right away.  (For one thing, his tail is grey in "How to Ski," while 
Estaban properly makes it black.)  Some of the gags in the story are 
based on a 1941 Goofy cartoon titled "The Art of Skiing."  The author 
here obviously had that how-to cartoon in mind and tried to name the 
story after it -- but misremembered its name, it would appear. 

      "My suggestion would be to remove the CB stories, and put in 
some Mickey stories in that slot, as outlined above."  That would 
make DM into MM, and while I would of course love a Mickey title, I 
think it would be disastrous financially to use these Goofy stories 
there in ANY portion of the comic!  They really do sell very poorly 
when fans come to the comic looking for MM starring vehicles.
      If Mickey got his title back and I was somehow to be the 
editor, I'd put a mixture of Gottfredson and Scarpa into it.  Then 
I'd put new Mickey stories into DM (Egmont and non-Scarpa Italian)
and a mixture of Murry and Bill Wright serials in WDC&S.  Then I'd 
issue the Goofy Classics stories as annual specials, complete to the 
issue.  If Gladstone ever gets to add that one-shot series, I think 
this is the best idea for them (and that's what you suggested too, 
> You say that Mickey's "limited exposure is too valuable to spend on 
> ... stories that lack... character development."  Uhm, weren't the
> characters developed already, way back when?
      Ooooops.  I meant character EXPOSITION, in which Mickey's 
character is revealed more than it is in these Goofy stories.
      Not that I don't think Mickey can't be developed further.  I 
have my own ideas about how to utilize the FG Mickey in comic-book 
stories, and I think you'll be very pleased with my results.  My MM 
tends to mix the impetuousness of 1931 with the tongue-in-cheek 
attitude of 1941 and the thoughtfulness of 1938 -- or at least, he 
SHOULD be mixing those things, if I can write the stories right.  I'm 
using a patchwork Mouse, if you will.
      Thanks for answering me so thoughtfully, Augie!  It's great to 
have these discussions (and I may have more to contribute over the 
next couple of days).
      Also:  A very thoughtful letter about dealing with Disney's 
policies.  I personally think that the boycott idea could blow 
Gladstone straight out of the water.  Disney won't care why 
Gladstone's comics aren't selling -- they'll only take the license to 
the characters and give it to Marvel when it's time to renew in 1996. 
 Boycotting Disney comics in the States would only hurt Gladstone.

      DAVE RAWSON:  Sorry I haven't had a chance to write back to 
you.  I will.  But in the meantime, please give me your mailing 
address -- I'd like to send you a copy of "Toot Suite," since you 
said you'd never seen the artwork.  I bought an extra British one for 
you.  (It's about time I paid you back for sending ME copies of "Tour 
de Jour" long before DDA 29 printed it.)

      Back tomorrow, gang.
      David Gerstein
      <9475609 at arran.sms.ed.ac.uk>

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