Saturday, June 1, 2013

It’s MICKEY… and He’s in COLOR!

Coming soon from Fantagraphics: “Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Color Sundays Volume 1: Call of the Wild”.

This is the next release in the magnificent series of hardcover books from Fantagraphics Books that is commonly referred to as “The Floyd Gottfredson Library”, that started with this issue…

…And most recently presented this one!

Now, I can announce that I’ve been given the honor to participate in one of the truly great comics projects of our time! …Having said so, I hope you’ll buy the book anyway.

My contribution is a one-page text to introduce the 1934 Sunday strip continuity titled “Rumplewatt the Giant” – and, in so doing, zero-in on a peculiar aspect of that story that I don’t believe anyone has covered before. You’ll also find many more such intros by David Gerstein, Thad Komorowski, Leonardo Gori, and Francesco Stajano. Among such company, I’m glad they managed to make some room for me.

Beyond that, David Gerstein and I had great fun in titling various gag-Sundays, to which no known titles have been previously attached. I’ve seen an advance copy of this book – and I can no longer tell which ones were his (far more) and which ones were mine (far fewer, thankfully). It’s great when collaborative efforts become as seamless as that! The only one of mine I can still recognize as such was a gag-strip concerning the crossing of a huge puddle on stilts, that I called “Stilt Waters Run Deep”! …And, after this, they STILL let me participate! Imagine that!

Seriously, there aren’t enough superlatives in the dictionary to adequately describe the work that David Gerstein and Gary Groth have done on this series! It is a Mickey Mouse / Disney comics fan’s literal “Dream Come True”!

But, why take it from me, when you can read a review from Jerry Beck, at THIS LINK.

If you haven’t been along for the four volumes so far, this first Color Sundays volume is an ideal place to start – chock full, as it is, with both continuities and stand-along gag strips.

It’s more fun than you’ll have in a Month of… er, “SUNDAYS”!


Chris Barat said...


So, could it be said that in this volume... Rumpelwatt's your line??


Haven't gotten off a pun like that in some time!

I'm sure this volume will fully live up to the quality of the previous volumes!


Joe Torcivia said...


You’ve just “done a pun” that even I would envy! “I’d be remiss, to not bow to Chris! …Hey-Hey-Hey!” …Oh, wait. That’s what Yogi Bear would say! Mickey would more likely say: “Ha-Ha! Good one, ya big rummy!”

Not only does it “live up” – it surpasses! The pairing of continuities with gag pages makes for a refreshing mix, and the addition of color REALLY puts it over the top!

scarecrow33 said...

This is truly exciting news, Joe!

All along I've been wondering, what about the Sundays? I'm so glad these are seeing the light of day at last.

I am eagerly awaiting the opportunity to read your commentary. I'll be ordering a copy as soon as it gets closer to the release date.

Can't keep up with all of the work Fantagraphics is doing these days...just have to be selective, as a few of these hefty volumes will quickly fill up shelf space.

My main source for color Sunday Mickeys has been the book "Mickey Mouse in Color" put out by Gladstone many years ago, but of course that one was limited to a handful of continuities and nowhere near as comprehensive as this one is evidently going to be. Alas, in those days I could only afford the mainstream hardcover edition, not the super-deluxe and super-pricey edition. But I have been quite content with the one I got. However, that one may soon be eclipsed...

This one looks to be a real treat. Can't wait!!!

Joe Torcivia said...

And isn’t it great that Fantagraphics IS DOING so much great work that it’s hard to keep up, Scarecrow? …And, yes, prepare to be “eclipsed” – in both completeness and, especially, in terms of analysis and special features! Nothing beats this series, when it comes to that!

As the only US licensed publisher of the type of Disney comics material that I want to see (Keep the princesses, TV shows, and movies – and give me Mickey, Donald, and Scrooge!), we should not only thank Fantagraphics for their magnificent work, but encourage them all the more!

My go-to source for the Mickey Color Sundays is the same as yours – though I did manage to get the deluxe hardcover, but not until some YEARS after the fact. Frankly, because I couldn’t afford it at the time, and only due to the fortunate spying of a Comics Buyer’s Guide classified ad, was I able to snag a "used one" at what was less of a price than I would have paid for it new! (…Remember actually getting stuff through MAIL ADs out of Comics Buyer’s Guide?)

Until then, I had to content myself with the “popular” (smaller) edition, which still occupies a special place on my research bookshelf. And, it was through these books that I was able to re-read “Rumplewatt the Giant” for inspiration on the text piece – and make the unusual (and presumably) not-previously-noticed observation on the story that I discuss.

Of course, I’m counting on both you and the rest of our group to let me know if you’ve also noticed this peculiar aspect before, once you read the piece.

Oh, and this month will be TWO YEARS that we’ve gone without the “Core Four” Disney Comic Book titles (Fantagraphics’ wonderful hardcover volumes notwithstanding, of course)! Those responsible for this unfortunate – and continuing – delay should spend an evening with Rumplewatt, as his …um, “dinner guests”!

Dan said...

Great news and congratulations, Joe! Looking forward to this collection to read and pair up with my existing box sets—as you can see from the pic, my own Mickey & Minnie will gladly welcome more Fantagraphics company:

I was fortunate enough to obtain the Deluxe "Mickey Mouse in Color" from Another Rainbow waaaay back in 1988, with signatures of Gottfredson and Barks... perhaps one day I can just procure the coveted Gerstein, Groth and Torcivia autographs in the opening pages of this color Sunday edition.

Thanks to guys like you, David, Gary and Thad, etc. helping make this material available and relevant. Nothing makes me happier than when I see these Fantagraphics collections front and center an Barnes & Noble on the "New Releases" table and average folks not only page through them, but proceed to BUY 'em! - Dan

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s a great picture, Dan! The next volume will look right at home! My copies should have it so nice!

The pic also gives me new appreciation for the boxed sets over the individual volumes, which is the way I opt to get them – just so I don’t have to wait for the release of TWO volumes before diving in.

Assuming, as I believe, that you are in or around NYC, I’m certain we can arrange a meet and sign with David and me – though, as I once autographed one of the comic books I worked on, “This comic is now worth less – for my having signed it!” …So beware! If it were closer to October’s New York Comic Con, I’d even suggest we meet there. Heck, we could do that anyway! Hope you can make it!

If you or anyone wishes to contact me off the Blog, just send a comment with your e-mail address. I will not publish that comment, but will respond to the address.

And, yes… It’s great to see these books being appreciated by the general public for the treasures that they are!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I'll be getting this, and I have the first 4. Love the Fantagraphics works. By the way, do you know if there are any plans to resume monthly US Disney Comic issues? I greatly miss them. I wasn't a fan of the Boom ones but enjoyed all prior publications

Joe Torcivia said...

It’s an honor to have you aboard, Mr. President. :-)

Seriously, the Fantagraphics Mickey Mouse project has been a fan’s dream come true – thanks to Messrs. Groth and Gerstein – and I’ve been saying this long before my (very minor) involvement! Glad you’ve been enjoying it!

Two years after the last “traditional” Disney comic book release (WDC&S # 720, in June, 2011) there are no plans of which I am aware to resume publication. I must say, though, that I’m not plugged into any special access or information beyond that which is generally known. However, if it comes to pass, you can bet I’ll post on it!

My feeling, unfortunately, is that if “the right people” at Disney wanted it to happen, it would be so. And, two years would be more than sufficient time for that to occur.

I’ve been an enthusiastic follower of the “Core Four” titles (Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge, and Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories), and their ancillary add-ons, over all publishers and all eras. And I must confess that I, too, did not enjoy the EARLY (emphasis on “EARLY”) Boom! titles. They strayed TOO FAR from what I felt those titles should be.

But, I’d highly recommend the issues they published in 2011, over their last several months. They moved off of “Harry Potter Mickey”, “James Bond Donald”, and “Let’s Make EVERYBODY a Superhero”, and got back to what made those comics great!

You can tell those issues, if you see David Gerstein, Jonathan Grey, and “yours truly” in the credits. You can click on the “Boom” label (at the bottom of our main display) to find my posts on some of them. I honestly think you will enjoy them! Feel free to sample a few and let me know.

Thanks for commenting, and do come back again!

Abraham Lincoln said...

Well, I hope those "right people" will get working sometime.
! :)Just checked out some of your stuff on the Boom comics and you're right, some of the later ones do catch my fancy! If you know of any specific place online to get Donald Duck 366 for a good price, I think I'll have to pick up a copy of that for the sequel to Donald Duck finds Pirate Gold.

And yeah, I'll be back! I always enjoyed reading your commentaries in the letters sections of Disney issues, so your blog is quite interesting to me.

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s great, Abe! I’ll look forward to your contributions toward whatever-it-is-we-do-here!

I’m certain you can tell how much I enjoyed doing those comic book letters of comment and, if others liked reading them, that’s doubly good! They, and my old APA and fanzine column, are what ultimately resulted in the creation of this Blog. And the Blog has been a wonderful experience, thanks to those who take the time to comment!

“Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold Again” was my favorite script for Boom! ...I sure added a LOT to it! Gemstone’s “A Game of One-Cupmanship” and “Uncle Scrooge Meets the Synthezoid from the Deepest Void” (the latter for the retroactive plotting I also had to do – and I love the title I gave it) probably make up my Top-Three. I’d certainly recommend “Pirate Gold Again” overall, among the Boom! titles, along with the (unseen prior to 2011) Paul Murry Mickey Mouse and Ludwig Von Drake story from 1963.

Hey, maybe you’ll be the first to name ALL of Yellow Beak’s former shipmates, that he reminisces over on Page Four! I don’t think anyone not involved with the book’s production ever got ‘em all – at least no one that ever told me. HINT: They’ve ALL actually met him, though under better-known names!

I’ve always had a good “brick ‘n’ mortar” comics retailer, and supplemented that with comic shows for back issues, so I never got into the habit of ordering online. But, I’m sure an issue of 2011 vintage won’t set you back very much. …Especially one with my name in the credits! :-)