Sunday, June 1, 2014

“Fantagraphics Out(does) The Phantom Blot!”

Mickey Mouse may have “Outwitted” The Phantom Blot, but Fantagraphics has really OUTDONE itself on the next edition of its Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson series! 

I saw an advance copy of the book last week, and it is ever great! 

Floyd Gottfredson’s original Phantom Blot newspaper strip story from 1939 (…oh, excuse me…Blotstory, he wasn’t quite the titularPhantom” back then – just “The Blot”) has never looked better – or more authentic, marvelously laid out, strip-by-daily strip, in black and white! 

Here's where he became The PHANTOM Blot!

The entire Floyd Gottfredson / Mickey Mouse comic strip collection series from Fantagraphics has been a reader’s and fan’s dream come true – but even I wondered if the Blot volume could outdo this one! 

But, YES, it did!  Beyond the Blot, the graphics on “The Mighty Whale Hunter” are amazing!  You’ve never seen these stories presented so magnificently! 

It was a “personal dream come true” for me, as well, as I was privileged to write the Character Profile on The Phantom Blot!  For those who know just how much the Phantom Blot means to me, it was quite the thrill! 

You will also find superb editorial feature work by the incomparable David Gerstein (the true "Heart and Soul" of these books), Jonathan Gray, Thad Komorowski, and more. 

Even if you have none of the prior volumes, this is a superb place to start – and meet (or become reacquainted with) Mickey Mouse’s – and Floyd Gottfredson’s – greatest villain!  

Even Paul Murry's 1960s Phantom Blot recommends this volume!  Don't argue with him!

...And yeah, don't argue with THIS GUY, either!  Just buy the book!  You will NOT be sorry!


scarecrow33 said...

Thanks for the preview, Joe! I am really looking forward to this one.

Has Fantagraphics indicated whether the Mickey books will continue into the gag-a-day era, or will they stop at the end of the serialized adventures?

I'm hoping they will try to encompass all of Gottfredson's Mickey work. I wouldn't even mind if they wanted to continue reprinting the strip beyond Gottfredson, although I'm grateful for whatever I can get.

I also would love to see the Silly Symphony and Donald Duck strips reprinted. Al Taliafero has never gotten as much recognition as Barks, and while I appreciate the new volumes dedicated to the work of Barks and Gottfredson, I'm also craving the Duck comic strips.

Like I said, I'll take what I can get, and I'm definitely planning on getting this volume when it is released. There's joy in Mudville--or should I say, Mouseton?

Joe Torcivia said...


I am looking forward to this particular volume, even more so than the others – and I always look WAAAAY forward to these books! Needless to say, they NEVER let me down!

I do not know if “Gottfredson: The Gag Years” will be collected. It would run for about 20 YEARS worth of unrelated, non-continuity strips, and take us into the later period where Gottfredson drew more like Jack Manning than like anything in his prime period. I feel it would be interesting, though less desirable, but that’s just my own opinion, and no one else’s.

Fantagraphics *is* doing the thing I would want “second-most” to a complete series of the Gottfredson Mickey continuities… a Chronological Don Rosa series.

This is very important to me because Rosa’s run was not presented to American readers in any sort of continuum, once he was forced to take his talents from Gladstone Series I to European publishers, and especially so with the changes and gaps in American Disney comic book licensees. His work is spread willy-nilly across the publications of Gladstone Series I, Disney Comics, Gladstone Series II, Gemstone, and Boom! I would have a hard time piecing it all together – and I saw it all “as it happened”!

So, Fantagraphics’ upcoming Don Rosa series will be a very valuable resource for us. I can’t wait for it.

Pan Miluś said...

AH! The volume I'm most interested in :)

The first apperance of my favorite Disney villian :D :D :D

I only wish they didn't unmask him on the end. Until I was around 16 all Blot stories that came out in Poland NEVER shown his face so I asume his real face is unknown but then they started publishing stories that show his face and... AAAAH! Spoiled the fun!

Blot is way more interesting when his mysterious, not "just some guy in the costume"...

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s a great point, Pan! …And very consistent with my own experiences.

Considering (as the link indicates) I was introduced to The Phantom Blot in Paul Murry’s 1964 Mickey Mouse serial – and followed the character into his titular, seven-issue series from Gold Key (1964-1966) – I, too, was slightly disappointed to see him unmasked at the end of the original Gottfredson newspaper continuity, when I read it over a decade later in the hardcover “GOOFY” volume from Abbeville Press, and again once I was able to collect the (rather expensive for the early ‘80s) redrawn version in Dell’s WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES.

For me, some of the great mystery surrounding the character actually dissipated, once we saw his face.

But nowhere near enough to diminish my decades-old fondness for… (pause for dramatic effect) The Phantom Blot!