When I first heard about the French publisher Glénat's project to publish Disney albums with local artists, I didn't think I'd ever see an English translation! So out of curiously I almost got the French albums this spring. But when IDW announced at Emerald City Comic Con that they were doing the series too, I figured I'd wait for an edition I could actually read. Well, now the wait is over and I finally got hold of a copy.
I knew the book was going to be in hardcover an a bit larger than usual comics – but when I got it in my hands it was a lot larger than I expected! The comics are also printed on thick paper and the production quality is really great!
Here is a size comparison to the last issue of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories:
Mickey's Craziest Adventures is not just a comic adventure story; there is a "story" behind the story too. The intro tells how comic writer Lewis Trondheim and artist Nicolas Keramidas found an incomplete set of the forgotten comic series Walt Disney's Comics and Stories: Mickey's Quest at a garage sale.
|The cover of two "discovered" comics from the 60's|
Wanting to share the rare serial Mickey's Caziest Adventures "Lewis worked hard to adapt the humor of these masterpieces as best he could" while Keramidas made a new cover. And the actually story is supposedly facsimile copies from the discovered comics (of course it's not – the entire story is written by Lewis and drawn by Keramidas). I thought this was a fun and creative way of making a story, but the part about Lewis adapting the story sounds a bit silly for this edition. As it's a translation from French with American dialogue – that wouldn't have been necessary if the French dialogue adaptation (by Lewis) was from discovered comics in English…
As the "discovered" run of comics was incomplete, we do get time gaps in the story, and part of the story is missing. The story starts with Chapter 2, 4, 7, 8, 10 etc. while the in-between parts are "lost". But the story works fine without those parts. Each page is also its own gag page even if all are parts of the same adventure story.
To get an old feel of the story, elements from old real comics are used. If you look at the Mickey's Quest covers, the Mickey part is taken from an old Mickey logo found on Gold Key comics. The "Comics and Stories" text is also from Gold Key comics, while "Tan Elg" looks like one one of the Dell logo variants. And the header on each comic page reminds me of the ones we used to see in the British Mickey Mouse Weekly.
|Similar logo title in Mickey's Craziest Adventures and Mickey Mouse Weekly|
To get an old feel the coloring is also done with lots of dots, probably to imitate the four color printing technique used in the 60's. But here I think they went a bit overboard. A real four color offset printing would look like upper part of the image below, not completely covered with dots everywhere.
But it's not a big deal; I like the overall look and feel of the coloring. And it probably works a lot better on thick matte paper like used in this book than the glossy paper used in the monthly IDW comics, so I'm glad they decided to go with that.
I enjoyed this book a lot, so it's definitively something I'd recommend checking out. Yes, the characters are drawn off model and the art is different than anything we are used to in classic Disney comics. But that is to be expected in this series. I'm already looking forward to Mysterious Melody, the next book in the series – and I hope IDW will continue with more. So far 4 albums are published in France.