Friday, August 22, 2008

Comic Book Letter of Comment (SPOOF): Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Friends # 1.

You’ve seen examples of my Comic Book Letters of Comment in the previous post BELOW and also HERE. (Feel free to link and return.)

Now, I’ll let you in on a joke I shared with Gemstone editor David Gerstein (a huge fan of Oswald!) and a few other friends.

In 2006, Disney reacquired the rights to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, a creation of Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks that predated even Mickey Mouse. To commemorate the occasion, as a gag, I created a fictional Letter of Comment to a non-existent Gemstone comic book title: OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT AND FRIENDS # 1.

At the time, Gemstone was publishing such titles as DONALD DUCK AND FRIENDS and MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS, and similar Letters of Comment were regular fixtures therein. Of course, a companion Oswald title didn’t happen – but this is what you MIGHT have found in the letter column, if it did.

For this bogus LOC, I pulled out every stop to SPOOF my usual LOC writing style. Those of you have who have read my comments in the various Gemstone titles will recognize every beat in this self parody.

I probably don’t need to tell most of you that the satiric-stories that I attribute to Oswald are in actuality some of Carl Barks’ best known UNCLE SCROOGE stories like “Back to the Klondike”, “The Twenty-Four Carat Moon”, and “Micro-Ducks from Outer Space”… but I’ll sleep better if I do.

Here’s Oswald himself, in a 1944 Dell Comic Book, and the LOC. Enjoy...

Dear Gemstoners:

Golly, I feel like I’ve been transported to a completely different universe!” -- Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, feeling like he’s been…um, transported to a completely different universe, from OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT AND FRIENDS # 1.

I’ll second that “Golly!” and add that there is no better way to celebrate Oswald’s migration from Universal and Walter Lantz Productions to Disney than with this fine publication from Gemstone!

When it comes to writing for Oswald, David Gerstein was “to the manor (…or, would that be to the ‘Rabbit Hutch’) born”. Further, could anyone recreate that classic Oswald adventure comics style circa 1953 better than the ever-reliable Vicar.

And what an adventure it was! Oswald goes “back to the Klondike” (…Haven’t I heard that somewhere before?) and reunites with his old flame “Sourdough Sally Snowbunny”. After such a long absence, I’d imagine that, off panel, they went at it like a “couple of rabbits”, thus accounting for his well-deserved “Lucky Rabbit” nickname.

That’s not all, as Ozzie plums the depths of Lost Atlantis in search of a ten-skyrillion buck “Susan Bunny Anthony Dollar” coin, takes one small hop for Rabbit-kind upon the Twenty-Four Carat (Carrot) Moon, and is cast in a myriad of other story situations already owned by Disney – so as to reduce writing expenses and maximize profitability. All I can say is: Bring on the “Micro-Bunnies from Outer Space”!

I also liked Ozzie’s new supporting cast: Chilly Charlie the Cold Little Penguin, Woody Walrus, and Wally Woodpecker… though they, too, seem vaguely familiar.

Particularly entertaining was our Friends Feature “Great Big Honkin’ Woody”… in which the Walrus is transformed into a GIANT GOOSE! What? You were thinking of something else? Shame on you!

If the quality of OSWALD THE LUCKY RABBIT AND FRIENDS is any indication, I can’t wait until Disney conducts future raids on Universal and we see new Gemstone Comics based on Columbo, Mc Cloud, Ironside, and Kolchak the Night Stalker!

Joe Torcivia


ramapith said...

The very day Joe originally sent me this, people, I was actually at Disney for a meeting on what became the WALT DISNEY TREASURES Oswald DVD.

The creepy part comes when you learn that at the time of sending, I *hadn't yet told* Joe a thing about my mission. He didn't even really know I was involved with the Oswald project in any capacity.
I simply finished a chat with some colleagues, walked out to my makeshift workstation, opened my laptop to check my e-mail, and found Joe, ESP-like, already anticipating it all.

Well, not ALL all. Should Oswald ever make it to new Disney comics, I would never knowingly introduce Sourdough Sally Snowbunny. (Though Higitta MacHare, on the other hand...)

Thad said...

I hope this never comes true.