The second volume in Papercutz’ series of Disney Graphic Novels is out. Even if the series title and volume numbers are not written on the cover or spine, the editorial page inside made sure to point out that series is called "Disney Graphic Novels", and that this is #2. That’s also how they are titled and numbered on online bookstores.
The first volume was a comic adaptation of the movie Planes, and I wrote a short blogpost about that one last year. The second volume is titled X-Mickey: In the Morror and contains stories from the first volume of an Italian series of X-Mickey comics.
Originally this series ran for 30 issues in Italy from 2002 to 2004. But part of the series has been translated and published in lots of different countries. In fact it’s not even the first time it’s published in English. The English translation was first available for in-app purchase in a Disney Comics app for iOS (not sure if this is still available), and then they were added to comiXology. Currently there are 8 digital issues for sale on comiXology, I’m not sure if more stories were/are available from the iOS app but I doubt that is the case. So the digital English translated comics are far from complete. At least the official ones, I have seen scanlations (fan translated comics) of this series floating around the net.
Looking at the preview pages on comiXology, it looks like that is the same translation as used in Papercutz book.
|Inside "X-Mickey: Inside the Mirror"|
X-Mickey is sort of a spooky horror inspired series, but there’s also a lot of humor. In it we find Mickey traveling through portals to another dimension and meeting new characters that are special for this series. Most notable is the Goofy-lookalike werewolf named Pipwolf, but we also have Manny that looks like an albino Minnie and several other characters that are recurring throughout the series.
|Toppersby, Pipwolf and Manny - recurring characters in X-Mickey|
X-Mickey used to run in the Norwegian monthly Mickey Mouse comic (not published anymore), so I’ve read a good deal of the stories – but not all. In the Norwegian issues the stories were not printed in the chronological (Italian) order, they were often cut and the issues featuring X-Mickey also had other "classic" Mickey stories. And instead of using the original great cover art, they made new covers by using art from the stories.
|The Norwegian cover for "In the Mirror" is re-used art from the story|
So the stories were not presented in a good way, and at first I didn’t like the series at all! I thought it was weird looking and far from the same as the Mickey stories I grew up loving. But after reading a bunch of stories and getting to know the characters and universe I started to like the series more and more. You just have to think of this as a separate series from the other Mickey-stories and not get too caught up in canon and continuity and stuff. Now I actually look forward to reading this series in English. From the vague talk in the editorial page in vol.2, it sounds like they are planning more issues with X-Mickey. If they do I really hope they keep to the original Italian order, and publish the volumes as complete as possible. Unfortunately only two of three stories from the Italian #1 (or #1000 actually – the original numbering went from #1000, #999… to #971) are printed in the first Papercutz issue. The supporting stories are not as interesting as the main ones, but I would still like to read them.
The future of Papercutz’ "Disney Graphic Novels"
|Pre-release covers for "Disney Graphic Novels" vol.3 and 4|
Two more issues are announced for this year. Vol.3 will be Minnie & Daisy: Best Friends Forever, scheduled for July – and vol.4 will be Great Parodies: Mickey's Inferno, scheduled for December.
The one I’m really curious about and that might be good news for Disney comic fans is Mickey's Inferno! Gemstone already printed a remounted and cut version of this story in Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #666. I also got two different Italian prints, but they I can’t read without serious dictionary help. So I’ve wanted an uncut, uncensored and original layout version that I can read for a long time! And Amazon currently list that the book will be 88 pages, so that sounds promising. I’m also curious if this print will get a new translation. The story is written in rhymes and is not easy to translate, but Dwight R. Decker did a great job for the Gemstone print I think.