Monday, June 20, 2011


Let's celebrate one of the finest titles in the history of comic magazines -- in the week of what could be its final release! 

There are MORE THAN A FEW good reasons for you to rush out to your local comic book shop, and pick up a copy of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 720!

• It might be the last issue of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES for a while. (Perhaps ever!)

• More importantly, it could possibly be the FINAL ISSUE in the long line of classic-character Walt Disney comic books that began with Dell Comics back in 1940! We hope not… but I know nothing of the future, at this writing.

• It features PART TWO of Romano Scarpa’s long adventure story we titled “The Treasure of Marco Topo”!

• Translation is by the incomparable David Gerstein, the American English script is by yours truly… with some additional material by Christopher Meyer.

• Its “All Star Cast” includes: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Scrooge McDuck, Brigitta MacBridge, Peg Leg Pete, Trudy Van Tubb, and The Phantom Blot!

• Oddly, Donald Duck, who appeared on the COVER of the very first issue of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES, and has had the lead feature in the vast majority of issues, is nowhere to be found. (…Frankly, because Romano Scarpa chose to exclude him!) We “kinda sorta” cover for that… but not really.

I covered for something else as well. In a “kinda sorta”, perhaps controversial way…

It seems that, in some corner of Romano Scarpa’s (…or, perhaps, Italy’s in general) continuity, Mickey and the Gang are considered “general celebrities” in Italy. …And I had to find a way of dealing with that, within the context of the story.

Now, I can easily understand MICKEY enjoying some celebrity as a famous detective, crime solver, and overall hero. He’s even had a long association with Walt Disney (as glimpsed in Part One). And Minnie and Goofy could have ridden his coat (…or would that be “Mouse”) tails. Even PETE might have achieved his share of infamy, by battling Mickey over the years.

SCROOGE is certainly a world-famous tycoon and adventurer, so no problem there.

But, when we find that lower-tier characters like Brigitta MacBridge and Trudy Van Tubb are similarly regarded… well, then we have a problem to solve.

I did it… and in a way that’s (as they used to say about old Warner Bros. movies) “ripped from the headlines”!  …Unfortunately, not the fabled headlines of the 1930s, but the “headlines” of today! 

David and Boom! were pleased with my solution. Please let me know what you think via our Comments Section. …But ya gotta read the book to find out!

We’ll be back on Wednesday (the actual On-Sale Date) with more!



Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

I'm sure this will be fine (even if the circumstances are somewhat melancholy), but here's what I want to know: what the heck happened to the Cavazzano story that was originally meant to appear in this issue? Did they somehow underestimate how long the Scarpa thing was and had to scrap the other one? How is that possible? I am confused and disgruntled!

Joe Torcivia said...


I don’t speak for Boom!, nor would I ever presume to.

Anything I offer would be strictly a GUESS, and that’s what I’ll offer right now.

That “guess” is that “The Treasure of Marco Topo” Part Two would have originally gone into MICKEY MOUSE # 310, had there been such an issue. But, with the rapid onset of “The End”, it ended up in WDC&S # 720.


Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Now that you say it, I realize that that must be what happened. A real shame, too. Seems like they maybe it wouldn't have killed them to make this last issue double-length so as to fit everything in. Yeah yeah, whine whine whine, that's all I ever do...

Joe Torcivia said...

I’m whining with you, Geo!

Especially as I know there is remaining material (some of it mine) to go unpublished. The same was true with Gemstone – and even Western Publishing. The end comes when it comes, alas!

I’m just glad, and thankful to Boom!/Kaboom!, that we got as much great stuff as we did.

This week, let’s celebrate… not morn! (But, we CAN whine all we want!)


Chris Barat said...


I think the proper term would be "mope"... or is that strictly limited to the end of the San Diego Con?


Joe Torcivia said...

I was thinking the same thing, Chris!

For those of you who DIDN’T know me in the ‘90s, every year on the Sunday night that ended the San Diego Comic Con (…now Comic Con International San Diego), I would conduct, or otherwise preside over, a massive MOPE with my group of best friends (of which Chris has long been one) to mark the end of nearly a week-of-good-times, until we got together again next year!

As the years progressed, the San Diego Mopes grew in scope and stature, until they reached epic proportions! The Mope became an integral part of the Con-going experience for our intrepid band - -and (as you can see) is still remembered by anyone who lived it!

But, this week, let’s celebrate… not morn – OR Mope!


Ryan Wynns said...

Just got home from work, and the copy of the WDC&S #720 that I bought this morning is still waiting to bed read (and it will be, VERY soon!) ... but I just HAD to comment... Joe, you're giving me gooesbumps! ...the end-of-SDCC mopes! I wasn't even THERE, and I remember them...from reading about them in WTFB! I was way young to have the personal autonomy to decide to travel across the country to be there...but, oh, how I wanted to be! I'd like to think I was there in spirit (but, through all the reports in the APA -- particularly Chris' very throrough dispatches -- I kind of was...and yet, it was kind of the proverbial snake eating its tail, because those accounts were how I knew I wanted to be there in the first place!)

I've got a comic to read!


(Pssst...did anyone notice...I have a blog now!)

Joe Torcivia said...


Well, it would seem that “The Legend of the San Diego Mope” is even more far reaching that I thought!

Though it was an “annual event” in the '90s, it’s something that could probably never happen again – given the number of people involved, and that those people (Hopefully, still all dear friends!) have since gone in many directions.

But, it’s “waaay cool” to know that “The Mope” lives on – in the memories of those who were there, and in the imaginations of those who weren’t!

I can’t think of ANYONE, who doesn’t already have a Blog, that SHOULD have one more than you!

Click on Ryan’s name in this Comments Section to go there! I just did!

I accidently discovered that our longtime friend Pete Fernbaugh ALSO has a Blog. Why didn’t ya tell us, Pete! Click on his name, where it appears in our Comments, and go there too!

Add them both to your favorites, and make them regular stops! (Someday, I’m REALLY going to have to add a Blog-roll to my Blog!)

To paraphrase The Sheriff of Nottingham, in one of my very favorite Bugs Bunny cartoons “Rabbit Hood”: “The very air abounds with Blogs!” …And that’s nothing to “mope” about!

Looking forward to your (mope-free?) thoughts on the issue, Ryan!


Sim said...

Hi Joe!

This is the first time ever I write here. My name's Simone and I'm so sorry that WDC&S will end with this number.

Anyway, Venetian fellows could know Mickey, Goofy, Minnie, Pluto and Pete as actors and Scrooge as tycoon, but they know them simply because they read Disney adventures on Topolino every week right like us. This is the simple reason.

Joe Torcivia said...

Hi, Simone! Welcome aboard!

What you say may be true in Italian continuity; at least David Gerstein seemed to indicate that was the case when he gave me the problem of “Everyone being a celebrity in Venice” to solve.

It’s just not what we, here in the USA, have been accustomed to. Hence, I came up with my own solution – which I will not yet spoil, since the issue has been out for less than 48 hours as of this writing.

All involved seemed to think my solution worked… though, if the general celebrity of Mickey and the WHOLE gang recurs often, in other Italian stories, we may have to come up with a more comprehensive and lasting reason for that celebrity in the future.

For now, let’s just hope there IS a future! If so, I’ll gladly work on the problem then!

I hope you’ll stick around, when I go back to discussing old TV shows, old comics, and old movies on DVD! Your comments are always welcome!

And I envy you, being able to read TOPOLINO every week. I hope we are not without its American equivalent for very long.


Ryan Wynns said...


I certainly remember reading about at least one year's end-of-con mope. Didn't realize it became a long-running tradition, and ultimately, a legend! But, I suppose it is, at that. :)


Sim said...

Hi Joe!

I just read the part two of the story and I'm a bit perplexed... Why should a billionaire like Scrooge and two robbers like Pete and Trudy act in a Reality Tv Show?

In part one, I noticed a timing error. In page two, Goofy says it's midsummer, but the story is set during the Venetian Carnival, which is in February.

I hope WDC&S will have a future.



Joe Torcivia said...


As you may have gathered elsewhere in the Comments, the “Reality Show Angle” was born of necessity to give the American audience a reason for why EVERYONE in the gang would be considered celebrities. You could make various cases for Mickey and Scrooge being well-known but, when it came to Brigitta and Trudy something more “out of the box” had to be done!

Thanks to your previous comment, I now know that their general celebrity is due to their appearing in TOPOLINO, but that’s not something we could use here – where, alas, the comics are nowhere near as popular as they are in Italy, and other parts of Europe.

Technically, though we all know it’s not true, no one ACTS in a reality show. The camera just follows unusual (or otherwise aberrant) people around and records their lives. For what it’s worth, I don’t get the entertainment value in this – but it is the (pardon) “reality” of the situation!

Oops! We didn’t know the Venetian Carnival was in February, and clearly Romano Scarpa WOULD have known that, and not referenced any “other” time of the year in his original dialogue! The translation David and I worked off of did not mention that, or we would have corrected it! The “mid-summer” line was there just to enhance the throw-away horror gags at the beginning – and I would have quickly discarded it, if the version of the story that WE worked off of (Not the original Italian!) had contained that information. Perhaps one of us should have looked it up – but with the tight deadline to get it done, we didn’t consider that! Being of Italian descent (one grandfather was from Bari and the other from Palermo), consider me suitably embarrassed! Sorry about that!

I join you in wishing that WDC&S will have a future!


ramapith said...

Hey, Joe! Hey, Joe! Nyuk! Nyuk!

Even though I worked from the Danish version of the story, I doublechecked the original Italian later. It didn't mention when Carnival was.

Embarrassingly, though, I double-checked elsewhere, found out, and actually meant to CORRECT the "Midsummer" reference.
But then I forgot!

Sim, want to give me a good, swift KICK?

Sim said...

Hey Dave!

@ ramapith: "Sim, want to give me a good, swift KICK?"

I'd like to give you a kick (whatever that means), but I don't actually know that idiom (if idiom is) and so I can't understand your request.

I'm sorry for the not-understanding and hope you (or anybody else) will explain it to me,

All the best!


Joe Torcivia said...


I’ll take the risk of speaking for David, and say that he’s taking the blame for not catching the seasonal discrepancy between the time of the Carnival and the throwaway “mid-summer” reference. That’s just the kind of stand-up guy he is! In fact, he’s a “stand-up” guy, even when he’s seated!

Please don’t really kick him, though… despite his invitation!


Sim said...

That's Okay, Joe!

I won't kick David. I do appreciate a lot his work and I think I can forgive him for this error.

All the best!