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Disney is launching a new comics line. They have hired Geoff Johns, Dan Jurgens, and Alan Moore. In the new series, Donald Duck is a Gulf War veteran who goes berserk from PTSD and becomes a serial killer. Mickey Mouse is a hit man hired by the military-industrial complex to assassinate President Gladstone Gander. Gyro Gearloose's experiment accidentally turns Huey, Dewey, and Louie into super-heroes who spend more time bickering with each other than they do fighting villains.
Honestly, Anon… Does your nicely-done joke differ THAT much from what Boom! tried to do at the beginning of their Disney license? …Superheroes, secret agents, and wizards supplanting our familiar characters? They need David Gerstein and me, and others like us who know and care about the stuff! ...Sorry, but they just do!
Mickey was sometimes a detective or secret agent and Super Goof was a super hero in the old days. And in the 1960's, Archie and his friends were costumed super-heroes and/or secret agents during those fads. But the characters' personalities stayed the same. What I object to is taking long-running kid-friendly characters and turning them into psychopaths who are as warped as the villains.
It would be nice to have writers and artists who care about the stuff. But the publishers and their parent companies obviously don't. They may continue to publish comics only to retain copyright ownership, and then only for the purposes of licensing and merchandising.
Here’s where I’ll finally disagree with you, Anon! As you may know, if you know me, I am second to none as a fan of Super Goof, and enjoyed Paul Murry’s Mickey in ANY character or historical guise Murry and his writers chose to slip him into. Super Goof was still Goofy, and Murry’s Mickey was still Murry’s Mickey, whether fighting “Viking Raiders”, or as “The Red Wasp” – and even as the “Super Secret Agent”. But, if you read those early Boom! issues, they did not READ like the characters we love! Not by any stretch. They were going for “something else”. And, whatever that was did not grab me! Maybe with a different hand writing the dialogue, the outcome might have been more acceptable. But, that didn’t improve until well into the runs, when it may have been too late. And, for what it’s worth, I agree with you on the general darkening of super hero comics. My affection for the BRAVE AND THE BOLD animated series (expressed ALL OVER this Blog) should indicate that. What DC and Marvel did in the ‘80s was good, and I’d support most of the nineties as well (at least for DC, maybe not Marvel), but now, it’s gone too far. Batman comics look like Spawn comics. That’s when I moved-on. There are plenty of writers and artists who care – I know a few personally! We just don’t have much of a say in what goes on.
I never read any of the Boom! comics. It looked to me as if they were going too far "updating" the characters for my taste. When I said that the characters stayed the same even when they were in different guises (super heroes, secret agents) I meant in the 1960's or earlier, when I was reading Gold Key's Disney comics (or having them read to me). (I should have been more specific about dates; I realize now "the old days" is a relative term.) So, we may not disagree on this point after all.
Yes, it seems we DO agree, at that! …And, I’m not at all surprised. One thing I WOULD recommend would be to read the Boom! Disney comics "Core Four Titles" that were published in 2011 – as opposed to those before that time (...unless they featured Mickey Mouse by "Casty"! Those were always great!). The 2011 issues were the ones that, again too late, reflected the sensibilities I prefer. The issue of WDC&S I link to in this post, is a great example of this. …As was anything with creative input from David Gerstein.
I would like to second Joe's recommendations to check out the "Core Four" titles from Boom last year. He's not just promoting them because he had a hand in writing several superb stories. They were truly terrific. Boom! seemed to have finally "gotten" it. Until you pick up DUCKTALES, but that's another sad saga in the annals of Disney-comics history. But it was too late. I was among the hardcore fans who had not abandoned the titles during the ULTRAHEROES and WIZARDS OF MICKEY days, nor did I abandon UNCLE SCROOGE during its initial creative haplessness (which easily rivaled the worst of the seventies). (I *will* contend, like Joe, that I think ULTRA and WIZARDS could have been decent with better writing.)But alas, it *was* too late when the ball got rolling. The in-office joke at Boom that they didn't want the traditional Disney fan had became a market reality. Still, that material was approaching GLADSTONE and GEMSTONE glory.Pete
"Hard to believe it’s been over a year since THIS! …And nobody’s doing a damn thing to change it!"I hear you, my friend! (Shameless Blog Plug) Starting (sometime) this summer, though, I'm going to be doing my part to remind the Internet of the glory days of Disney comics.Oh, and Classic Toons 365 will be returning. I just need to have enough installments written in advance so time doesn't bite me in the rear like it did at the beginning of the year.Pete
Pete:Thanks for seconding my recommendation on the 2011 “Core Four” Disney titles from Boom! On behalf of myself, David Gerstein, Jonathan Gray, Chris Burns, and Chris Meyer (all of whom made those books the treat that they eventually became), I salute both you and your good taste! :-) And, isn’t “shameless plugging” what Blogging is all about? …Double :-) :-) Joe.
Yeesh! It has been a year! Whoever takes on the Disney line needs to avoid the following mistakes:1) Questionable market research (BOOM! execs thought Mickey comics were the big draw and stuff like Darkwing Duck - well, Aaron really had to work to persuade them)2)Questionable market research3) Questionable market research
I think the popularity of Darkwing Duck surprised a lot of us, ‘Rehab – including me. After all, it was a 20-year old TV series… but one that many of us (again, including me) held fondly. That accounted for a level of success that was both surprising and unexpected. At least, that’s how *I* see it. Nothing wrong with emphasizing Mickey… IF he is done right! That is, done in the Gottfredson / Murry / Scarpa / Casty mold. …NOT as “Harry Potter”, or as a “go-fer” to everyone else in the “Disney Universe” turned superhero – to the exclusion of the type of story that made his comics great in the first place. And, ya sure don’t hijack an once-in-a-lifetime-event like WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 700 for nonsense like that! Yeah, their market research was “questionable”… but mostly in the choice to ignore – or outright discard – all the good that Gemstone (and, before them, Gladstone) had done, in favor of courting an audience that simply wasn’t there. Oh, and on the subject of “questionable”, let’s not forget about every issue having multiple cover variants. That sort of gimmick NEVER worked for Disney comics fans – and pretty much stopped working for everyone else before the end of the nineties. Those things DID change eventually, but too late.
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