Friday, October 5, 2018

DuckTales Classics

DuckTales Classics vol.1 from IDW

With the new DuckTales animated series, this is a good time to reprint some of the old DuckTales comic stories from the late 80's / early 90's. We already got the first collections of old stories in Europe last autumn, and not long ago IDW followed up with DuckTales Classics vol.1.
 

3 Norwegian collections published during the last year (left), and the new IDW collection (right)

As the new animated series is a re-boot of DuckTales the IDW comic collection with old stories have “classics” added to the title and is also using the old DuckTales logo – this way trying to differentiate it from the new series.

The first pre-release cover images popping up online actually used the new logo, but I'm glad they changed that. Also it looks like they originally planned to use the cover for The Bedeviled Dime (one of the stories inside) for the collection. But this was changed to a more generic Egmont cover created in the 90's – but according to inducks not known to have been used anywhere before. Not the most important part of the book, but I'm glad for this change too. As a longtime Disney comic fan, I like when the editors dig up old unused material!
 

First pre-release cover (left), second pre-release cover (middle) and the final cover (right)

We also have a small text on the back of the book making it more clear that these are old stories.



But I can imagine some younger readers not familiar with the old DuckTales series getting a bit of a surprise reading this collection, but hopefully that is a good surprise!

The first book in IDW series collects all DuckTales stories drawn by William Van Horn with the comic adaptation of the 1990 Treasure of the Lost Lamp movie as a bonus story at the end, replacing the originally planned reprint of The Curse of Flabbergé.


From the Previews #355 (April 2018) catalog, listing "The Curse of Flabbergé"

I'm sure a lot of fans have waited for a Van Horn collection like this and it's nice to have all of his DuckTales stories collected in one volume. But for me personally the movie adaption turned out to be just as interesting.

I've already read this story before too, but only the European album edit. The story in IDW's Classics collection is the uncut version so that was a nice bonus.


British (left) and Norwegian (right) editions of the movie adaptation

First page of the original editon (left) and the edited edition (right)

Different layot in the edited edition (left) and the original (right)

One of the Norwegian collections pictured at the top of this post (the one with the Mickey 90 logo – on sale next week) have the movie adaptation inside too, but unfortunately just the edited version.
 

***

We already have a volume 2 of the IDW series announced for next year, and I hope we'll see more in the future. My wish list for upcoming volumes are some of the smaller stories from the Disney Adventures magazine and DuckTales magazine that have never been reprinted anywhere before.



First preview/test edition of the Disney Adventure magazine, and the first issue of the DuckTales magazine

Some of the studio stories (S-coded stories) never seen on print in English would be nice too (there's a lot of them). And if the editors do a deep dive in some hidden archives, a collection of all the rare DuckTales gag stories printed on American orange juice cartons would be awesome to see on print! I have no idea how many exists, I only got two of the DuckTales ones – but I've seen more on eBay and such.


DuckTales comics on the Donald Duck Orange juice cartons
DuckTales comics on the Donald Duck Orange juice cartons

DuckTales comics on the Donald Duck Orange juice cartons (pictures from eBay)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Walt Disney's Treasury of Classic Tales volume 3



The third book in the Treasury of Classic Tales series got on sale last month and recently arrived in my mailbox. This book chronologically collects the Sunday pages from May 1959 to December 1962, starting with Darby O'Gill and the Little People and ending with In Search of the Castaways. As with the first two books, all stories inside are comic adaptations of Disney movies – both live action and animation.

When this series started two years ago I was a bit surprised and also skeptical to the project, as I didn't think there was a huge market for the series. And comic adaptations of movies, and especially the live action ones are not the comics that interest me the most. But after three books I'm glad this series saw the light and it turned out to be a lot more interesting than I thought!

I still haven't read all the stories in the first two books, but the way I did it (at least tried to) was to first watch the movie, then read the Sunday pages and I ended with the regular comic book adaptation of the same movie. This made it a lot of fun comparing the different versions of the story and I might do a couple of blog posts about this if I get around to it.

I want to read the rest this way too, but unfortunately not all these movies are easily accessible and I don't have any home media releases of most. But I'm not in a hurry, I'm just glad these rare Sunday pages finally got collected and are available for when I'm ready to read them!

Sadly, it looks like the third book will be the last book in the series, but we do get a page inside the 3rd book suggesting that a 4th volume was planned too.

 



But according to a podcast in April this year, the series will be cancelled after volume 3. They originally planed 4 volumes, but they won't be able to do more books because of low sales. According to the podcast the Disney Archives in Glendale have proofs for enough stories to do the first 4 volumes complete, but after this they only have source material for sporadic stories for the rest of the series. So I guess it would be a lot of work tracking down sources and maybe restoration work have to be done too if they wanted to do the entire series complete.

But looking at the list of stories planned for the 4th volume, Miracle of the White Stallions is missing – it should be between Son of Flubber and Savage Sam. So it sounds like they already had to start skipping stories in this volume too.

I hope plans change and we'll get more volumes sometime in the future, but I'm glad for the three we got and I'm looking forward to digging into the 3rd volume. Especially stories like Darby O'Gill and the Little People and others that are completely unknown to me! I just need to track down the movies first...


Darby O'Gill and the Little People, Sunday page
From "Darby O'Gill and the Little People"

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Disney comics published by Scholastic

Scholastic is a publishing company specializing in books for children and for educational purpose and have a lot of titles with Disney characters. But I only know of two publications that can be defined as comics or graphic novels. With their enormous library I think that is a bit strange – so this post is mostly asking other collectors and Disney comic fans if anyone know if more exist? If you know of any titles not mentioned in this post please make a comment below!

The two titles I know of is Return to OZ and The Black Cauldron, both having comic adaptations of the movies with the same name. They are © 1985, so probably published this year too.
 

Return to OZ and The Black Cauldron published by Scolatic Inc.
Return to OZ and The Black Cauldron published by Scolatic Inc.

 
First comic page



Back cover

I got two more British publications with comics titled The Disneytime Storybook that are "produced exclusively for Scholastic Publications". But both are published/distributed by London Editions Magazines (Egmont) and World International Publishing Limited (also Egmont) while the spine says Cliveden Press. So I don't count them as Scholastic comics.


The British "The Disneytime Storybook"
The British "The Disneytime Storybook"


 



Both are identical to the British The Disneytime Annual 1989 and 1990 in content, just in softcover instead of hardcover. The storybooks even share the same ISBN number as the annuals!


The British "The Disneytime Annual" 1989 and 1990
The British "The Disneytime Annual" 1989 and 1990


The British "The Disneytime Annual" 1989 and 1990
Inside the 1989 Storybook and Annual

Actually (at least) one of the two storybooks exists in hardcover too, published in Australia by Budget Books Pty Ltd. but otherwise identical to the two British editions.

 

British and Australina The Disneytime Stoybook
The British softcover book (left) and the Australian hardcover (right)


British Storybook (top), British Annual (middle), Austraian Storybook (bootom)


But getting back on track; what I'm trying to figure out is if Scholastic has published more Disney comics?


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Donald Duck im Mickey Mouse Weekly von William Ward

Donald Duck im Mickey Mouse Weekly von William Ward

One of my favorites from everything Disney comics last year is the book Donald Duck im Mickey Mouse Weekly von William Ward, published by the German fan club D.O.N.A.L.D. (Deutsche Organisation nichtkommerzieller Anhänger des lauteren Donaldismus). The title and the introduction article is written in German, but the comic pages inside are facsimile copies from the British Mickey Mouse Weekly and in English.

The book collects all the Donald Duck serials by William Ward in chronological order which is a total of 135 comic book pages. In addition, there is a four-page article and a few pages with cover galleries.

These stories are super rare and only collected once before in the Italian Paperino: Le inedite follie inglesi di William A. Ward. I've been trying to get hold of a copy of the Italian book for years, and I wish I had it to compare. But unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anyone selling it for a reasonable price and willing to send internationally yet.
 

Paperino: Le inedite follie inglesi di William A. Ward
Italian book reprinting the same stories

The comics in the German book are scanned from the personal collection of a German collector, so I'm pretty sure the two books use different sources.

Comparing the book to the original British comics it's reprinted in a lot smaller format. But I guess production cost would have been way to high reproducing it in the same size. And I don't think this book had much of a budget as it's made by fans for fans.



Donald Duck im Mickey Mouse Weekly von William Ward and Mickey Mouse Weekly #67
The book on top of Mickey Mouse Weekly #67

Most of the reproduction is pretty good considering and according to a note only three pages had to be partly restored.

 



As I got the original comics I tried to compare the restored pages to the original. In the first case I could seriously not spot anything that could have been restored!
 

Donald and Mac: 5000 Fanthoms Under the Sea
Original comic vs the book - could not spot what had been restored on this page.

On the second restored page it's easier to see what has been done, as the text is partly restored in a new font, and some of the words are guessed wrong.


Restoration to the left, original to the right

The last restored page just has some minor restoration in the upper corner, and I also noticed partly missing text in a panel at the bottom.


Restoration to the left, original to the right

 


Another mistake in the book is that one page is missing. But the page got printed separately, numbered 15 ½ and came as an attachment.


Missing page as attachment

But overall, I'm impressed with the work on this book and it's still awesome! It's mainly created just to make the comics available for anyone wanting to do research or just read these early Donald stories. I'm not sure about the print run, but when I write this it looks like they still have copies for sale.

Not sure if there is any meaning behind changing the flag on the cover to an European Union flag though. The illustration is taken from the Mickey Mouse Weekly #66 cover, celebrating the upcoming coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Mickey Mouse Weekly #66 and Donald Duck im Mickey Mouse Weekly von William Ward





Monday, June 18, 2018

"The Return of the Phantom Blot" and its American reprint

Here's a little trivia post about The Return of the Phantom Blot and its American reprint.
 

"The Return of the Phantom Blot" was originally printed in 4 parts in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #284-287
"The Return of the Phantom Blot" was originally printed in 4 parts in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #284-287


Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #284-287 and Gemstone's Mickey Mouse #285 reprinting the story

The Return of the Phantom Blot (1964) was the first new story featuring the Phantom Blot in the American comics since his first appearance in Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot (1939). In the meantime, there was a couple of remakes of the daily strip series in the comic book format, and the Italians used the Blot in several stories. But The Return of the Phantom Blot was the first new original story for the American market and re-introduced the character leading up to his own comic book series.

 

The first issue of The Phantom Blot's own comic book series

At the end of the last part of The Return of the Phantom Blot we get an ad for this new series. When I see ads like this I'm always wondering if the story was created one row short or if the editors had cut something to make space for the ads. I got curious about this story too and wanted to check how the reprint dealt with the missing row. And it turns out Gemstone had done something clever, they actually re-used the ad too! But this time for their own new two-part miniseries with the Phantom Blot.
 

The story ends with an ad in both the original printing and the Gemstone reprint



AAd in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #287 and Mickey Mouse #285
Ad in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #287 and Mickey Mouse #285
 
The new Gemstone mini-series being advertised

Another fun thing with the Gemstone reprint is a little coloring goof with Goofy's clothes. I wonder what kind of strange onepice/jumpsuit thing is laying on this armchair...



 Checking the original coloring the clothes makes more sense 😄



Sunday, May 27, 2018

IDW's Walt Disney Showcase #2

"Mickey Mouse & Goofy in The Secret of Gold City" published in IDW's Walt Disney Showcase #2
"Mickey Mouse & Goofy in The Secret of Gold City" published in IDW's Walt Disney Showcase #2

In the second issue of IDW's new series we get Mickey Mouse & Goofy in The Secret of Gold City. The story takes place in modern time but with Mickey & Goofy continuing the adventure of their ancestors Mickey the Kid and Six-Shot Goofy.
 

From "The Secret of Gold City" in IDW's Walt Disney Showcase #2

The story is actually a sequel to and with direct references to the Italian story Topolino Kid contro "Jack la vaporiera". To my knowledge the original story is not available in English anywhere, and the second issue of Walt Disney Showcase would have been a lot more interesting if it were – but I do have a Norwegian translation of the story in Donald Pocket #68.
 

"Mikke Kid og Jernhest-Jack" (Norwegian title) in Donald Pocket #68

The flashback panels in The Secret of Gold City are directly copied from scenes in this story.

Original story (top) and flashback scene in "The Secret of Gold City" (bottom)

Original story (left) and flashback scene in "The Secret of Gold City" (right)

Original story (left) and flashback scene in "The Secret of Gold City" (right)

But these two are not the only stories with Mickey the Kid and Six-Shot Goofy created. In fact, there is a whole series with these stories, and the origin story where they meet up is available in English too.
 

"Mickey Kid and Goofy Six-Shots", comiXology
"Mickey Kid and Goofy Six-Shots" available digitally on comiXology

It's published digitally in two parts on comiXology titled Mickey Kid and Goofy Six-Shots. (slightly different names than the recent IDW translation)
 

Mickey and Goofy's Wild West ancestors meets for the first time - from the digital comiXology issues

In addition to the Mickey and Goofy meetup, we also see how they met Susanna, a recurring character in the series and seen in the photograph in The Secret of Gold City. We also get the Oh, Susanna song for the first time, which must have been passed down in generations as modern time Goofy also knows it!
 

From the digital comiXology issues


From the digital comiXology issues (top) and "The Seret of Gold City" (bottom)


And we get to see Mickey the Kid's signature attack move used for the first time, re-used by Mickey Mouse in The Secret of Gold City.
 

From the digital comiXology issues (top) and "The Seret of Gold City" (bottom)


To get the most out of the new Showcase issue I recommend getting the two digital comics too, just to read the backstory of Mickey and Goofy's wild west ancestors. And as I already said, the story would be a lot more interesting if read together with Topolino Kid contro "Jack la vaporiera"!