R: Peg-leg Pete / Black Pete

Luca Boschi cnotw at zen.it
Fri Jan 12 18:08:15 CET 2001

Hi, Rod, Henri, and all!

I sent the following message two days ago to the list, but it seems it
didn't... arrive.

I send it you again, since I'm sure it can be interesting. And I add some
lines for you...


>>Incidentally, try to control the Romano Scarpa's "Tapioco VI" story, in the
>>MM comic book, where Pete was totally naked in a panel. Do you remember that
>>famous sequence of panels?
> No; and I'm in doubt if anyone outside of Italia has ever seen them. (Inducks
> tells me the story appeared in Italian editions only.)

Well, it seems impossible to me that INDUCKS doesn't list the american
version. The story was reprinted in "Mickey Mouse" # 256, April 1990, and
panel is the second on the 55th page. From that panel on, Mick and Pete are
naked in a sequence three pages long and Pete shows his peg-leg all the
time, under the the shoe he desn't wear anymore.
It's a WONDERFUL story, if you never read it, it deserves your attention!
>>Obviously, SCARPA knows a lot about SHOES... (this sort of joke should be
>>understandable only to the Italian-speaking memebers, I suppose).
> A dictionary explained this one to me. Very nice.

So, it seem that now all know the meaning of "Scarpa"! :-)

Indeed, I checked again to answer Marco's question properly.

And I see that Dave Gerstein is right. The whole production of Western,
starting with Hannah-Barks' "DD Finds Pirate's Gold", has BLACK PETE instead
of PEG-LEG PET. So, we can say that the "old" name of the villain survives
only in the Gottfredson's (and colleagues) production, poppin' up sometimes.
So, all the critics and columnists who went on calling the character
"Peg-leg" didn't do right.
I checked also the old Pete's movies. Well, in Barks' (not produced)
"Nortwest Mounted"
(1936), he was only Pete, and got no peg-leg anymore.

Starting from the beginning, in "Steamboat Willie" (1928) he has no name
(and I even wrote, and Disney USA approved my version, that the character
was not even Pete, but a "formative version" of Terrible Tom, announced in
an Ub Iwerks strip and later changed into Peg-Leg Pete).

In "The Cactus Kid" (1930), the villain is Peg Leg Pedro, in "The Klondike
Kid" (1932) is Peg Leg Pierre, in "The Mail Pilot" (1933) is only Pete...
But in "The Dognapper" ('35) and in "Mickey's Service Station" ('35) is Peg
Leg Pete again, as in the comic strips!
At least, in "Movin' Day" he still has not the peg-leg anymore and
he's called only Pete (in the movie we even can see his very signature). And
from here on, the name (or nickname) "Peg Leg" or "Peg-leg" doesn' survive
in the movies!

His following film is with DD ("The Riveter", 1940). And it really seems
that in no movies there is the name "Black Pete" al all.

It's not the same in the comic strips, where, even after the famous
changement in his leg-shoe ( in "Hidden River"), the peg-leg pops up again
sometimes, like in the  1948-49 story "MM and Eega Beeva in "Pflip Strange
Power", by Walsh and Gottfredson. the villains name is Peg-leg Pete again.

His following film is with DD ("The Riveter", 1940). And it really seems
that in no movies there is the name "Black Pete".


One more possibily. Is my opinion that the character's real name was "only"
Pete all the time, for the movie gang. For a while, they decided to add a
peg-leg, and the comics were compelled to follow this trend, adding the
surname "Peg-Leg", that maybe was just written somewhere in the early
movies' model sheets (but the strips preceded those movies, as sometimes

Later, when the Hannah-Barks Morgan ghost's story was in production, the
decison to add the surmane (?) Black to the character of Pete can be
suggeste from the name of the "Black Pirate", or even from "Blackbeard
Pirate". It should have been a reference for only one story, but whene the
follwing brand new story with Pete was produced at Disney (the second story
in which it was necessary to write his name, since was unnamed before),
someone decided to briung back "Black Pete", as in the Barks-Hannah story,
whose synopsis (officially coming from the Disney Studio).

So, this was not a Disney decision, but only a *Western* statuition. Trories
for the Daily Strips and stories for the comic books had no connection and
for this reason Pete was still "Peg-Leg" in the Eega Beeva & Pflip story in
1949, and "Black" in the comic books IN THE SAME TIME.

A "general" decision coming from Disney about this character should not have
so "skyzoid" consequences.


And, what do you think about my theory?



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