Monday, July 25, 2016

Donald Duck and Incorruptible covers

If you followed American comic releases back in December 2009/January 2010, this might not be new information. But I didn’t notice until today.

Just browsing the web I saw the cover of Incorruptible #1 thinking this looks a lot like a Donald Duck cover I remember! Comparing the A cover for Donald Duck #350 to the premiere issue of Incorruptible they are obviously from the same sketch/idea. Even the background explosion has the same shape.

Looking at the release dates we can throw all doubts aside. Both covers were published by Boom! within a month.

Inside Donald Duck #350 the art is credited to Magic Eye Studio with colors by Andrew Dalhouse while inducks have this corrected to Euclides Miyaura (affiliated with Magic Eye Studio) and colors by Flávio Bezerra.

The first Incorruptible cover is credited to John Cassaday with colors by Laura Marin. But Andrew Dalhouse colored the story inside, which might explain the mixup.

Both covers also have a kind of a follow-up/parody of the original.

A and B cover variants of Donald Duck #350, published by Boom!

Incorruptible #1 and #30, published by Boom!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Mickey Mouse in Night of the Living Text!

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #733
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #733

If you are a Mickey Mouse or Casty fan, you should go and get this week’s issue of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories! While IDW’s regular Mickey-title is on a four-month hiatus and Mickey Mouse Shorts: Season One is being published instead – we still get a great Mickey-story in WDC&S.

Night of the Living Text!
is one of the weirdest Mickey-stories I’ve ever read and who other than Casty could come up with this?

The story starts with Goofy trying to organize his comic collection a room that looks almost like the one I’m sitting in right now. So I can relate to his problems!

We also get to know some of Goofy’s favorite titles.

But where is Flip the Fish, Goofy’s all-time favorite comic title? After Byron Erickson’s Fantasy Island in the mid 90’s we saw Flip the Fish in a lot of cameo appearances in Egmont stories. I suspect the reason is that the story might have been used as a guide for writers and artists at the time – as we got a change of style in "Egmont Mickey" back then.

From "Fantasy Island" by Byron Erickson and drawn by Ferioli.

But back to Night of the Living Text; after Mickey start seeing captions, the story go crazy. Are they living in a comic book story or what? And how do they get rid of those annoying captions?

Even Pete goes a bit coocoo, with Goofy and Mickey trying to keep up.

It’s the weirdest Mickey-story I’ve read in a long time – and definitively worth checking out. And if that isn’t enough craziness for one issue, we also got one of William Van Horn’s strangest stories in WDC&S #733. In Swallowed Whole we have Donald riding a pie while an octopus spray whipped cream in his face – and Daisy have wings.

Do I need to say more...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Silly Symphonies vol.1 from IDW

IDW Silly Sumphonies - Vol 1 - Complete Sunday Comics

It’s more than two months since IDW published the first volume of their collection of Silly Symphony Sunday comics. But now I have finally found the time to start reading it!

The first volume collects all Sunday pages chronologically from the start in 1932 to the summer of 1935 (and the end of the Cookieland serial). We also get a great introduction article by Disney historian J.B. Kaufmand author of "Silly Symphonies: A Companion to the Classic Cartoon Series".  I’ve been trying to get a copy of that book for years, but every time I see one for sale the seller wants a ridiculous amount of money for it. So I’m glad a revised edition is finally being published this autumn, the book is already pre-ordered!

I’ve also been wanting a collection of the Silly Symphony Sunday comics for a long time, so I was really looking forward to this collection from IDW. And the first book does not disappoint! The reproduction quality and coloring are great. As with the Donald Duck Sunday collection the original coloring is used as a guide and there can be some weird looking colors now and then. But I don’t mind that, I think it’s interesting to see how the original coloring was.

Before this book, "Animated Features and Silly Symphonies" published by Abbeville Press in 1980 was the closest we had to a non-translated collection of Silly Symphony Sunday pages.

Comparing the two books it’s easy to see the difference in reproduction quality. Especially the coloring in the Abbeville book was too dark and grainy.

The size of IDW's book is the same as their Donald Duck Sunday collection, a little bit wider than the daily strip books. But they all look great together on the shelf.

I’m glad this book collects the pages in their original format (that varies throughout the book) including the Lucky Bucks and Mickey Mouse Movies that are not part of the comic stories but were meant to be cut out. But unfortunately not all of the Lucky Bucks are included, just the ones that are replacing panels in the comic page. The usual Sunday package from Kings Features had the Silly Symphony and the Mickey Mouse Sundays together on one page. Some pages (I don’t know how many)* had extra Lucky Bucks included, as can be seen on the newspaper clipping below. To the right is the same page as it appears in IDW’s collection and Fantagraphics’ Floyd Gottfredson collection.
* see comment section below for more information

April 21, 1935 Sunday page in the newspapers (left) and collected by IDW and Fantagraphics (right)

None of the two books have the Lucky Bucks from April 21, 1935 included. I wish they could have been included as a bonus feature somewhere.

But I think all existing Mickey Mouse Movies are included in the first volume of the Silly Symphony collection. To see how they would look without cutting them out of my book, I made these animations:


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Eurovision Song Contest 2016

Tonight was the final in Eurovision Song Contest 2016. I didn’t watch it, and I haven’t for years – but when I was a kid my family would always watch it together. Then it was a one-evening event with a lot of fun rooting for my own country. But with semi-finals and lots of media talk I've grown tired of it and lost interest in the contest all together.

Well, this is supposed to be a Disney comics blog. I just wanted to show two Eurovision covers we had in Sweden and Norway.

Kalle Anka & Co #18-19/2016 and Donald Duck & Co #19/2016
Kalle Anka & Co #18-19/2016 and Donald Duck & Co #19/2016

The Swedish one is a parody of the two hosts Måns Zelmerlöw and Petra Mede, while the Norwegian one is a more generic looking cover with Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Inside we have a story taking place in Stockholm and the Ericsson Globe, where Huey, Dewey and Louie are going to represent Duckburg in the contest.

In the opening panel we can see Stockholm in the background. I had my doubts about Miguel drawing every single detail in that panel, and did a quick image search for Stockholm aerial photos. And guess what I found on the Nordic Visitor Blog:

Stockholm aerial photo from the Nordic Visitor Blog
Stockholm aerial photo from the Nordic Visitor Blog

Looks like that is the image that was used, and it probably went through some Photoshop filters.

Rehearsal before the contest

Names in IDW's Uncle Scrooge #14

IDW's Uncle Scrooge #14
IDW's Uncle Scrooge #14

While reading the last issue of Uncle Scrooge and the second part of Scrooge’s Last Adventure, I noticed a few interesting names.

First we get the given name of Albert Quackmore and Emily Quackfaster (here in the Italian yellow hair look). I don’t think we’ve seen the given names used in any American prints before, or have we? ["Emily" has been used before, check the comments below]

Albert Quackmore
Albert Quackmore

Emily Quackfaster and Albert Quackmore
Emily Quackfaster and Albert Quackmore

Then Grandma Duck is called Elvira by Scrooge. That name is most commonly known from Don Rosa’s family tree and The Invader of Fort Duckburg. But I think the origin of the name is from a Grandma story in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #121, although in a slightly different form.


From Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #121

Friday, April 29, 2016

Donald Duck - The Complete Sunday Comics 1939-1942

Donald Duck - The Complete Sunday Comics 1939-1942
Donald Duck - The Complete Sunday Comics 1939-1942

I got this book a few weeks ago, but I still haven’t found the time to sit down with it. So this post will just be my first impression and some facts about the book.

The first volume collects all Sunday pages with Donald Duck from December 10, 1939 to December 27, 1942. So roughly 3 years of Sunday pages and a total of 160 pages of comics. In addition we get an intro article by Niels Houlberg Hansen.

Before Donald got his own series of Sunday pages, he appeared in the Sunday serial The Wise Little Hen (1934) and 67 Sunday pages in 1937-1938. They were all printed under the Silly Symphony logo and are not included in this book. Instead we can find them in the first and second volume of IDW's Silly Symphonies collection, where the first volume will be on sale next month. Donald also had some guest appearances in the Mickey Mouse Sunday comics, they can all be found it the two volumes of Mickey Mouse Color Sundays as part of Fantagraphics' Floyd Gottfredson collection.

Compared to the Donald Duck Daily Strip collection, this book has fewer pages and is more expensive. But all pages are colored using old file copies as a color guide – where the daily strip collection is in black and white. So I assume there’s a lot more work involved putting this book together, making it a bit more expensive. The Sunday collection is also a bit wider.

But both collections have the same height, so they look great together on the shelf.

My first impression of this book (and series) is really great! Everything from the source material used, paper, printing and binding are all good. And I think the size is perfect. By using the original colors as a color guide we get some weird looking colors now and then, like Gus Goose being all gray. But it’s also interesting to see how the original coloring was – so I don’t mind that. I’ve seen comments from people that prefer the daily strips and the Sunday pages to be printed together in the same book. Personally I think the books are better by separating the dailies and Sunday pages like IDW does.

A lot of the Sunday comics in this book have been published as 1-pagers in various Disney comics, but then some of the panels are usually cut. Sunday pages are also designed so they can be cut and printed in different layouts, so even if you’re a collector of newspaper clippings it’s hard to find complete copies. All pages in this book however are in the complete full format.

Here’s an example from two different Norwegian comics:

And the same page in the IDW book.

A few years ago they stared publishing the Donald Duck Sunday pages chronologically in the Swedish Kalle Anka Christmas album. I planned on collecting this series as I wanted to have the pages chronologically. But they were such a pain trying to get hold of. Now that IDW started a much better collection I don’t have to track down the Swedish comics anymore.

The IDW collection (top) vs. Kalle Anka Julbok (bottom)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Disney Princess #2 from Joe Books

Disney Princess #2 from Joe Books
Disney Princess #2 from Joe Books

The second issue of Joe Books’ Disney Princess continues pretty much the same way as the first one. Again we have a mix of individual strips and short storylines with characters from Disney movies featuring the various princesses.

Some characters are the same as we saw in the first issue, but we also have a storyline with Jasmine and her tiger Rajah, Mulan and her friends, and Tiana’s friend Charlotte is hanging out in Duke’s Café.

Charlotte and Tiana, Jasmine and Rajah, Mulan with friends - Disney Princess

I haven’t seen Aladdin or Mulan in forever, and they were not exactly fresh in my memory when I read this issue. So I actually re-watched Aladdin this weekend, and plan on watching Mulan again too. That's a little bonus effect by reading these comic strips; they make me want to watch the movies again too. As I said in the blogpost about the first issue, you’ll probably get a lot more out of these comic strips if you know the movie stories.

Even if I enjoy the comic strips a lot, I’m starting to have a little problem with this series. I tried to overlook the fact that 1/3 of the first issue was a preview for something I had no interest in, hoping Joe Books wouldn’t do that again. But sadly, that’s exactly what they did! This time 1/3 of the issue is a preview for an upcoming Descendants cinestory. I have no desire to pay for a preview, so please stop doing that now! I already have a subscription on this series at my local comic shop, but if the next issue is the same I'm afraid I have to cancel it. Joe Books: you can put previews online on your webpage, use issuu like IDW does or even send a preview pdf to the distributor and they will put a download link to it on their PREVIEWSworld page. Just don’t force us to pay for it...

Back cover and preview for Descendants cinestory
Back cover and preview for Descendants cinestory

I realize that the publisher might have a problem filling the entire comic with new original content, the credits intro is unnecessarily stretched out over two pages too. Amy Mebberson would have to work like crazy to be able to fill an entire comic with artwork each month, and that would probably lower the quality on the work too. So that part is understandable. But there are other options. A lot of existing short stories with the princesses exist that could be used to fill up the comics. Joe Books already used several short stories like that as fillers in their "Disney Princess Comics Treasury" book, so it shouldn’t be a problem to license similar short stories for the Disney Princess series too.

I don’t have a general problem with a few pages of ads. IDW use to have 3-5 pages of ads in the back of their Disney comics too and I’ve never had any problem with that. A few pages with a summary of Joe Books’ other comics or upcoming titles could actually be interesting! But using 1/3 of the comic to preview one other publication is way too much!