Saturday, July 25, 2015

On Sale July 22, 2015: MICKEY MOUSE # 2 from IDW.

How about this great cover by Dave Alvarez!  I've always admired his work on LOONEY TUNES for DC Comics, and I'm very happy to have a shared-work in common with him.  

This one evokes a favorite cartoon of mine, Porky Pig and Sylvester in "Jumpin' Jupiter" (1955), but I digress. 

July, 2015, has proved to be "The Month of the Mouse", as we've seen the first two issues of IDW's MICKEY MOUSE title ship over the a period of 22 days!  

And a fine pair of issues they've been!  You can read about MICKEY MOUSE # 1 HERE - but Mickey isn't about to stay lost in the jungle, as this second issue returns him home to Mouseton and another grand adventure.  

In it, you’ll find "The Sound-Blot Plot", an original 2009 story written by Bruno Enna, with lively art by the great Giorgio Cavazzano, translation by David Gerstein, and dialogue by yours truly! 

The Phantom Blot, by way of a Detective Casey mishap, gives our hero super-sensitive hearing... UNCOMFORTABLE, often PAINFUL super-sensitive hearing!  

Mickey suffers, turns his pain to advantage... and suffers some more in a final showdown with the Blot.  For how this all plays-out, read a copy of MICKEY MOUSE # 2 (Legacy Numbering # 311) to find out.  I've spoiled enough already!  

Some interesting, non-spoiler aspects:

Bruno Enna and Giorgio Cavazzano's Phantom Blot is an interesting version.  All the expected fiendish egotism is there, but this Blot goes the entire story UNMASKED!  

I don't know how common this might be in modern stories produced in Italy, but it did result in adding this detail to the cover... just to er, "cover" ourselves. 

Another wonderfully unusual aspect to this story is the handling of "scene changes".  This may be easier to illustrate than to describe - but there are at least four occasions where one scene transitions to the next that are beautifully carried by Cavazzano!  Perhaps Enna wrote them that way, or maybe it was Cavazzano's own initiative... we'll never know, but they must be seen to be appreciated!  

Here's the only one that does not spoil anything:  

Notice how the sound effect "transitions" Mickey from being blasted by the Blot's device, to waking with a start, in his bedroom two days later!  

This transitions Page 2 to Page 3.  Other such instances are Page 11 to Page 12 (where the scene changes on Mickey and you don't immediately realize it, because there is no caption and you "come in" on a sentence in progress) - one best left unmentioned as it would "spoil something" at the bottom of page 28, and another "sound effect transition" to take us from Page 29 to Page 30!  

Look them up and see for yourself!  Some of you artists out there like Deb or Dan - or even Jonathan Gray (if you're reading this), in particular, let me know what you think of this technique.  Speaking as a writer, I like it very much!  

As to the script, I had great fun writing Detective Casey.  I just think of Detective Harvey Bullock, particularly as he appeared on BATMAN THE ANIMATED SERIES - and "Presto!"  Think of the Bullock voice!  It's a natural for Casey!

This, of course, is odd because Casey PRECEDED Bullock by decades, and I will never shake the feeling that Bullock's creation in the 1980s was "inspired" by the character of Casey - especially as the classic Mickey Mouse tales by Floyd Gottfredson were seriously permeating the public consciousness at or around that time.  ...And let's not even think about who had a "Chief O'Hara" character first, Batman or Mickey Mouse! 

Another thing is that I FINALLY got to write the Phantom Blot!  

But, say you all, didn't you write the Phantom Blot in Boom!'s publication of "The Treasure of Marco Topo"?  (Mickey Mouse # 309 and WDC&S # 720)

Well, yes and no.  For some reason, the editor at Boom! chose to rewrite all of my Blot dialogue!  Nothing else!  Just the Blot!  It was neither better nor worse, as much as it just seemed to be "change for the sake of change", and editorial prerogative.  

Boom! "goes" my Blot dialogue! 
The only two Blot-words left from my original script were "horrific deathtrap"!  So, in some strange tribute to that experience, I made certain to use the phrase "horrific deathtrap" in "The Sound-Blot Plot" - not once, but twice!  

You just don't find information like that anywhere else on the Internet, folks! 

Finally, I believe that Enna and Cavazzano set up and pull off one of the VERY BEST Mickey and Phantom Blot climactic confrontations / showdowns that I've ever seen!  

It runs NINE PAGES, and ends with one of those dynamic scene changes, taking us from Page 29 to 30.  

This is one of the very few images I can show from that showdown that does not spoil anything - except the Blot being surprised! 

You might say that this scene, from Page 21-29 (of the 33-page story) was something I'd been waiting to dialogue all my life!  

I'd like to think I did Enna and Cavazzano proud.  I especially love the moment of verbal exchange when Mickey enters and catches the Blot in mid-muse!  Do let us know what you think.  

The issue is rounded-out by a British one-page Mickey gag from 1933!  Talk about rarities!  Well done, Archival Editor Gerstein!  

We end on another Mickey Mouse comic strip Sunday page, by Bill Walsh and Manuel Gonzales, featuring Ellsworth the Delightfully Sarky Talking Mynah Bird.

Is anyone else thinking "...Pen-goo-ins is prac-tic-cally chickens!" about now?  

So, un-Blot your ears... eyes, nose, and throat!  Limber up those legs - or just warm up the car, and make for the comic book shop to pick up a copy of MICKEY MOUSE # 2 (Legacy Numbering # 311) from IDW!  

As always, once you’ve read the issue, please come back and join the discussion in our Comments Section! 

Just remember, I do not speak for IDW, or anyone in its employ.  I speak strictly for myself as both a long-time fan and as a dialogue creator – and those opinions are strictly my own. 

I’ll meet you back here for another lively comment thread!

...And, so will he!  


Deb said...

My thoughts about this issue: The title of this one made me think of one of Paul Murry's Mickey Mouse serials, "The Moon-Blot Plot", which I read in its entirety in one of Whitman's last Mickey Mouse issues (which doesn't feature the Blot himself, despite the title).

I love how lively Giorgio Cavazzano's artwork is! When you are drawing still images, making them seem like they could be moving is a difficult thing. Cavazzano's characters have a lot of life to them. I also wondered why the Blot spends the entire story unmasked, although it did give Cavazzano a chance to draw some fantastic expressions that wouldn't be possible if the Blot's face remained blotted out. I also liked the fantastic group shot on the last page.

For some reason, I could imagine Kelsey Grammer's Sideshow Bob voice as the Blot's voice in this story.

The sound effect transition thing you mentioned is a unique way to transition from one scene to the next. I can't recall seeing it done elsewhere off the top of my head. It is an effective visual device to keep the story moving.

I really liked the fishing gag, despite the fact that it gave away the ending before the last panel (but this may be because the Mickey Mouse Annuals were written for very young readers). Wilfred Haughton's artwork really captures the early Mickey in a time when you'd see many horribly off-model Mickeys. The title "The W'Angler" doesn't seem to make much sense...maybe it made more sense to British readers back in 1933?

Not too much to say about the Ellsworth gag. Nice artwork, but Ellsworth really hasn't made too big an impression on me yet, but I'm happy to see efforts being made to introduce so many of the less well-known characters to American readers.

Joe Torcivia said...


I read that same Whitman issue of MICKEY MOUSE brand new from the comic shop (I rarely, if ever, bought the Whitman bags), and was disappointed that the Blot wasn’t in “The Moon-Blot Plot”, but I, too, enjoy the similarity-in-title with “The Sound-Blot Plot”. Just as I enjoyed the similarity-in-title between Carl Barks’ “The Treasure of Marco Polo” and David’s and my “The Treasure of Marco Topo”. David came up with the title “The Sound-Blot Plot”, so I’d guess he was thinking similarly.

I’ve become a HUGE FAN of Giorgio Cavazzano, more recently. I once thought his work was too loose and exaggerated, being from the Carl Barks, Tony Strobl, and Paul Murry school of how those characters should look. But now, I REALLY enjoy the liveliness he puts into his work. And, despite my “forever-love” of the Paul Murry look for Mickey, Goofy, and their world, I particularly enjoy Cavazzano's work on Mickey Mouse! These first two IDW issues bear this out more than anything! And, even MORE SO than in Issue # 1, he really outdoes himself here!

NO ONE ELSE could have pulled-off that final confrontation scene like Cavazzano! It may have just become one of my most favorite Mickey / Blot scenes of all time! You’re absolutely correct about the “fantastic expressions” of the Blot's face! That whole sequence is WONDERFUL! I wish I could have illustrated more of it in this post, without spoiling the fun!

If I may be permitted a moment of immodesty, I’d like to think that I scripted that scene as perfectly to Cavazzano's art as could possibly be done. Especially, as I mention in the post, when Mickey cuts-in on the Blot’s egotistical musing – yet the Blot keeps going, momentarily not noticing that he is no longer alone! The sheer expressiveness of Cavazzano's Blot caused me to “up my game”, and do the absolute best I could to help carry that off! I hope most of you will agree.

And, yes.. I also feel that Kelsey Grammer's Sideshow Bob voice would be PREFECT for this Bruno Enna / Giorgio Cavazzano version of the (not exactly “Phantom”) Blot! Though, I’m also partial to John O’ Hurley’s (Mr. Peterman on SEINFELD) version from (the unfortunately not on DVD) DISNEY’S HOUSE OF MOUSE!

Also glad you enjoyed those “scene transitions”! They are indeed unique, and a great device employed by Enna and especially Cavazzano!

I think the Haughton and Ellsworth material were perfect back-of-the-book fillers to round out a wonderful issue! It’s my understanding that we will see more and greater roles for Ellsworth in future issues, though not the two “upcoming Mickey stories” I have in various stages of completion at this time. I look forward to seeing what has been done with this character on a larger scale.

Clapton said...

I'm not in town right now so I can't comment on the issue BUT... for some reason the way Cavazzano structures Mickey's head reminds of Early Paul Murry. It's probably just me but... I dunno any of you fellers see it?

Joe Torcivia said...

Honestly, Clapton, I don’t really see it… unless you mean it in the way “Early Paul Murry” simply had more “energy” in general, over “classic later ‘50s thru early ‘70s Paul Murry” – and especially over “‘70s and ‘80s Paul Murry”. That “energy” is certainly there. Maybe even a bit more “roundness” (for complete and total lack of a better descriptive term) that “Early Murry” employed, and “Later Murry” did not.

Let others weigh in, and see what comes…

I look forward to your more complete commentary, when you return.

Thad Komorowski said...

A reference to Dishonest John in that last panel?

Joe Torcivia said...

Yep! Old DJ was also dressed in black - but with his face showing - just like this Blot!

Elaine said...

I love Cavazzano's art--I can see why it would make you "up your game". I particularly liked Mickey's reference to Goofy's "special kind of logic." As GeoX wrote in his post on "Sky Island": 'I think "goofy" doesn't necessarily connote "stupid," per se, so much as it does "in a completely different mental realm," and the character works best when that's acknowledged.' Goofy's lining his walls with egg cartons was a fine demonstration of his special logic, and the chicks were cute, both there and at the story's end. Though I'm not sure I approve of confusing kids as to whether the eggs they buy at the store are actually potential chicks! :-)

I was pleased by the shout-out to The Great Mouse Detective on p. 26--that reference fit the clockwork ambiance.

As far as the transitions go: the pp. 29/30 whistle transition worked really well for me, as did the pp. 2/3 sound transition. The transition from p. 11 to p. 12 was more confusing--as you say, one doesn't figure out immediately where/when we are. I wonder whether, if I had more experience of such transitions without a narrative box ("later" or the like), I would learn to track them more easily? I'm geared to expect that when there's no narrative box there's continuity in time and place.

I appreciated the key to the cartoons represented by the hats on Amy Mebberson's cool sub cover (that's the one I got) in the comments on your previous post. So now I'm wondering, how many of those hats were worn by Mickey in the pages of comics? I know there have been comic book adaptations of The Three Musketeers, Mickey and the Beanstalk and the Sorcerer's Apprentice. And what would else be on the hat rack if it were all hats Mickey wore in the comics? Besides the fedora? He (not just the Sleuth) wears a deerstalker in some comics stories, right?

Joe Torcivia said...


That “special logic / different mental realm” characterization of Goofy seemed to have gotten lost over the years… and now, it appears to be making a comeback – and I am happy for that!

To that end, whoever said Goofy bought his eggs at the store! Certainly not Goofy, HIMSELF! They may have been from some chicken ranch somewhere, and he was merely trying to make them comfortable in those many egg cartoons, before he repurposed the cartons as sound insulation. …“Special logic”, you know!

As for Cavazzano's art "upping my game", as you know I never “coast”, giving every story my all, but sometimes the material is SO GREAT, I reach back and dial it up all the more! That scene, in particular, was one of those instances! The upcoming Casty story in MM # 6, will be another!

The transition from Page 11 to Page 12 was briefly confusing BECAUSE there was no caption box, and the camera hadn’t “pulled-back” sufficiently to reveal that Mickey was now in another setting! But, once I realized it, I no longer minded the confusion, but marveled at the execution by Enna and Cavazzano that had momentarily “tricked me”!

Though a western hat should probably been included to represent the many westerns Mickey appeared in, I think the Murry-fedora is the most noticeable omission. Goggles from “Island in the Sky” / “Sky Adventure”, maybe? He wore various “costume hats”, including a deerstalker, during his mid-sixties “Walt Disney Theatre” run in WDC&S. Regardless, that’s a VERY WELL DONE cover by Amy M.!

Deb said...

Re-reading The Sound-Blot Plot, I noticed a lot of little "Easter Eggs" sprinkled throughout the dialogue that I missed the first time. A few nods to Batman ("Goat-ham? Yeek!), a reference to the Mickey Mouse short "Mickey and the Seal", nods to Forrest Gump, The Breakfast Club, TV commercials, a couple of DuckTales references (one from TV, another from one of BOOM's comics), Felix the Cat's TV catchphrase, a line from Wile E. Coyote, a bit of an in-joke with the name "Bad Bertram" for one of the criminals Mickey hears, and a reference to John Donne (that Detective Casey mangles slightly, but that seems in character for him) to name all the bits I caught. You and the rest of the scripters seem to be having fun dropping these little extras into the scripts.

Joe Torcivia said...

Great work, Deb! Because that’s exactly what I did, and what we try to do in general – try to give the readers something that’s fun on every page.

Read it once again (imagine if I got residuals on re-reads) and you may find still more!

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a response to your reply to me on the MM1 post (yes, finally), but I figured I'd post it here anyway. I'm definitely glad I got MM1! The alt cover is very nice in my opinion, and the main, although I passed on it, wasn't too shabby either. The content, as IDW continues to affirm, was impeccable as usual. I have one other Eurasia story in a Super Picsou Geant- The Colossus of Rhodes- so I rather like having her origin story, if you will. And a good tale to boot!

I picked up MM 2 the other day, as I can't pass up on a Blot, and the new Uncle Scrooge as well. Based on your recommendation, I'll definitely be going for MM 6 when it comes out- if it's even comparable to Bedtime Story, it has to be excellent. As for the issues in between, I'd love to keep getting all the core four, but it comes down to the monthly cost really. No job as of right now, just an unpaid internship, and college in half a month.
Still, I'll definitely be aiming to pick up whatever I can!

Joe Torcivia said...

I understand your pain, Abe!

Knew you’d enjoy MM # 1 – how could you not?! I hope you’ll enjoy # 2 just as much! Let us know.

And, as long as back-issues exist, you’ll always have a shot at the ones you are forced to miss.

But, do get MM # 6! Based on Casty’s epic story, and my unedited first dialogue draft, it’s gonna be great!

Thad Komorowski said...

On the comment of Cavazzano echoing Murry, I couldn't disagree more. (And not because I'm no fan of Murry's Western work.) Cavazzano's main influence was and always will be Scarpa, whom he worked with. (And Gottfredson, whom Scarpa also obviously studied.) If there is a Murry-Cavazzano connection, it's the increasing standardization of each artist's work in later years. This week, just take a peek at "Siege of Nothing Atoll," which is decades earlier than the Cavazzano art we've seen so far in the IDW books, and you'll immediately see what I mean.

Joe Torcivia said...

I tend to agree with you, Thad – even AS a big Murry fan. But, that sort of differing POV’s are what make comics fandom – and the discussions generated therein – great!

I am very much looking forward to seeing Cavazzano’s and your work in DD # 3!

Clapton said...

That's it Joe! It's the "roundness" early Murray used that made me make the Murray-Cavazzano connection. Other than that their respective artstyles share no other similarities. In my opinion Cavazzano is a much more inspired artist than Murray (though I'm really not a fan if how he draws Scrooge)

Joe Torcivia said...


I had a feeling that the “roundness” might be the commonality between Early Murry and Cavazzano. And, on that, I *do* agree.

However, I don’t think we can truly make the value judgement on Cavazzano being a “more inspired” artist than Murry. If you put their work side-by-side today, of course, it’s very easy to say that.

But Murry worked in a different era, and under what were very likely different rules than exist today. I’m not saying that he WOULD HAVE, but working for Western Publishing in the ‘50s through ‘80s (when ALL their artwork got worse by the decade), I don’t think Murry COULD HAVE done the lively sort of exaggeration that we’ve seen from Cavazzano in IDW’s first two issues of MICKEY MOUSE – even if he WANTED to. I’d also figure his training, under Disney artist Fred Moore, would probably have precluded him from ever thinking THAT FAR outside-the-box!

Think of those great issues of THE PHANTOM BLOT that Paul Murry drew in the sixties. Those are pretty much highly regarded by all. Then, think of the magnificent climactic Mickey and Blot scene Cavazzano pulls-off in IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE # 2. You could NEVER conceive of Murry doing that, and not just because he might have been “less inspired” than Cavazzano (which *could* be true, for all we will ever really know) – but because that sort of thing simply wasn’t done at the time Murry worked.

I always say, judge everything by “its time”. And I maintain that Murry was great for “his time”. And Cavazzano would seem to be excellent for his.

Dan said...

Joe & Co:

Not only did you finally get to write The Phantom Blot, Joe, but you knocked it OUT OF THE PARK. You may have topped yourself with this one, from smart references to the usual expert word-smithing—the comedy and suspense fit perfectly with Cavazzano's artwork. Sly and strong stuff that stands on its own! Just a perfect issue all around, no matter which great covers available to purchase. Congratulations all around!

I found the transitions to be a wonderful device that play around with the standard comic book conventions... especially the connection from pages 2 to 3. It's the type of visual narrative flourish Will Eisner often used in The Spirit in which type or sound effects become dynamic parts of the story—not simply emphasized text floating in a panel.

Not all of the Italian artists "gel" for me, nor the wildly looser style, but Cavazzano uses it with such strong construction and designs that it never feels awkward. He's one of those cartoonists that simply can't make an unappealing drawing! Even his humans, such as his work in Italy's Altai & Johnson have a wonderfuly realistic, yet caricatured quality, similar to Mort Drucker of MAD magazine.

I think several of the wonderful references tucked into the story have been noted here in the comments section. I will note the proper use of Duckburg landmarks like the Audobon Bay Bridge, the Flabbergé Egg from from the now infamous BOOM! DuckTales story arc. Now, as for those airtime-hungry newscasters... gee, I know those names from SOMEWHERE. My guess as to the station number of K-RAT TV-16 is an homage to Dell's Four Color #16? Much like last month's debut of Captain Retro Duck, Count DeCalorie and Bad Bertram sure are antagonists I'd like to see more of in upcoming IDW issues!

The sharp-eyed Elaine spotted the Great Mouse Detective quote, and wise Thad picked up on a nod to Dishonest John... guess that puts Goofy in something of a Cecil role right before he hit that bell! Had he not maintained his vow of silence, all that would have needed was: "I'm comin' Mickey-Boy!" (Ya know, ol' Ceec sure owed a lot to both Goofy and Mortimer Snerd, as did one Bullwinkle J. Moose a few years later)

An unmasked Blot from page one/panel one did make for an unusual choice, but I have to say it didn't bother me in the least. Deb's casting of Kelsey Grammer is an inspired one, I must try to recognize who I subconsciously hear the next time I re-read "The Sound Blot Plot" and Gottfredson's original serial. Though "peng-yoo-wins is prac-tic-ully chicken" I thought the gent who hoped to make quail croquettes of Ellsworth might sound more like Daws Butler's mush-mouthed "Nasty Canasta" in Barbary Coast Bunny!

On a tangential note, this comment is being written on July 27, 2015 which is another landmark day for us cartoon fans: 75 years ago a certain wabbit made his official debut is Tex Avery's A Wild Hare. Ehh, *crunch* so wit' all due respect to dat rodent of respectable repute about which dis post was penned: Happy Boitday, Bugs! – Dan

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you for ALL those kind words, Dan – and for such interesting comments!

First and foremost, I must give credit to where it is unquestionably due – and that would be to “Everyone’s Favorite Archival Editor” David Gerstein for SELECTING such great material for all of us to work on, and to our overall editor Sarah Gaydos for her support of what we do. None of this incredible stuff – truly, in EVERY IDW issue thus far – would exist in the form you see it, without their efforts!

Also, the “DJ” laugh came over as part of David’s original translation. It perfectly fit that version of the Blot, so I wisely left it in. As I’ve noted previously, going forward, I will be doing my own original translations from the Italian, as well as the full American English scripts, for the lead stories in DD # 4 (August), U$ # 7 (October), and MM # 6 (November). Though I will still have the considerable benefit of David's editing, I will miss reading his initial passes at translating – because, even in what should be a “bare-bones foundation text” his natural wit can’t help but manifest itself.

I hadn’t considered a connection with the great Will Eisner in those scene transitions – but YES! And, as I’d hoped in the post, leave it to an ARTIST like yourself, to make such a connection! Well done!

Not to mention, though one need not to be an artist for this one, your “hearing” the Daws Butler “Nasty Canasta” voice for Walsh and Gonzales’ Ellsworth-eating lummox in the Sunday strip reprint. Yeah, that works! And, now that I think of it, any of the many “cartoon-voice representations” of Slapsy Maxie Rosenbloom, would also fit that character very well. For those who may not know Mr. Rosenbloom from old movies and TV, it’s that sort of “punch-drunk” voice that may be most frequently associated with “Muggsy” of the WB animated gangster team of “Rocky and Muggsy”.

That’s what I like most about these discussions… the new and / or additional perspectives I get from all of you!

Yes, Page 16 was an awkwardly-phrased Gerstein-Torcivia hybrid tribute to the first COMIC BOOK appearance of the Phantom Blot – and the one where he was actually NAMED the “PHANTOM Blot”, as opposed to just the “Blot” – not to mention a tribute to the last wonderful 12 years of my life and she who made it so.

I very much agree with Deb's casting of Kelsey Grammer as “The Sound-Blot Plot’s” Blot! And, I’d be interested in any alternative voice you may “hear” – and that goes for ALL of you, out there!

For the Silver Age, Paul Murry Phantom Blot, which was the first one I ever encountered, I “heard’ the voice of “Pruneface” from the 1960s UPA DICK TRACY television cartoon. I thought that was perfect. By the time I read Floyd Gottfredson’s 1939 original tale in the early ‘80s, I’m sure I still heard the “Pruneface voice”. But, that doesn’t work for THIS Blot.

While writing the Blot’s “bragging-muse” sequence on Page 22, I must confess that I “mentally heard” Mel Blanc’s Wyle E. Coyote voice from the all-time classic Bugs Bunny cartoon “Operation Rabbit” - particularly over the “bottom-tier” of three panels. Go back and read it. You’ll see. Though I still feel that Kelsey Grammer fits the story best overall.

And, for what it’s worth, Page 22, Panel 5, just may be my favorite single panel that I ever wrote!

My “Operation Rabbit” reference also offers a great segue into joining you in wishing Bugs Bunny a happy 75th birthday! And many thanks for bring this to our attention! Looks like the events of “The Old Grey Hare” (1944) have finally come to pass!

And, since Mickey and Bugs shared screen time in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, it’s even perfectly appropriate!

Deb said... This just popped up on Twitter, so that could be a good sign for Donald Duck #3 being released this week. *Keeps fingers crossed*

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s welcome news, Deb!

The “New Comic Book Releases List” site also shows DONALD DUCK # 3 up for tomorrow.

If so, I will probably make a special trip to get it this week, even though there will be nothing else from my Reserve List – because it’s Thad Komorowski’s lead feature debut, and I’ve been looking forward to it for some time.

Now, the issue for me is do I create a new Blog post for DONALD DUCK # 3 after I read it – to give Thad a proper TIAH Blog welcome? Or, after this MICKEY MOUSE # 2 post has been up for a while, do I release the post I created over last weekend for the new ARCHIE # 1?

I’m leaning more toward DONALD DUCK # 3 first, as I’d expect ARCHIE # 1 to remain controversial for some time. That’s most likely what I’ll do, unless I find myself in too much of a time crunch to do the Donald post by the end of the upcoming weekend.

…Stay tuned!

Elaine said...

So, I didn't get most of the references Deb got--on my first read, the only ones she lists that I got were Goat-ham, the seals in the bathtub, and the mangled John Donne. And even when the references are mentioned, I don't get them because I'm not familiar with the source material. (Well, I might get the DuckTales refs if they were pointed out, or I might not.) But what this leads me to say is: One of the things I really appreciate about your and Jonathan's scripting is that the many "Easter egg" pop-cultural references do not intrude on the awareness of someone like me who usually doesn't get them (Monkey Island was a rare exception). I do not have the feeling when I'm reading the stories that there are lots of jokes I'm not getting (though there are, in fact, lots of jokes I'm not getting). To me, the dialogue just seems linguistically rich, with interesting word choices, but not bizarre or awkward. That means that you manage to weave those jokes into the dialogue in an unobtrusive way, and that you maintain a consistent tone in each character's dialogue. I think that's just as important as having the Easter eggs for those who can appreciate them!

Joe Torcivia said...


That is one of the highest complements you could possibly give me – and, while I won’t presume to speak for Jonathan, I’m certain he would feel similarly.

There was a feeling I often got when watching Looney Tunes, particularly those from the late ‘30s thru early ‘50s, that there were more jokes contained therein than I might have gotten – but I both knew and appreciated that they were there.

I am not suggesting for a moment that I’m writing over anyone’s head! Heavens to Murgatroyd, no! More like when I watch FAMILY GUY, there are just certain pop-cultural and media-creation references that I am just NOT going to get, because they aren’t necessarily in my knowledge base.

Often, two people could grow up in exactly the same time period, yet have completely different experiences and exposures. No one has my unique storehouse of knowledge, nor does mine mirror anyone else’s – even David’s, Jonathan’s, and Thad’s (all of whom are not from MY “time period”), though we crack each other up all the time when we’re together.

I even did a Blog post on my being “too young” for Looney Tunes, and “too old” for FAMILY GUY – but that doesn’t keep me from loving them both!

And, like Looney Tunes and FAMILY GUY, I want to give my readers the very same sense of fun, strictly in a Disney comics context! It’s nice to know that approach is successful.

Elaine said...

I hope the weekend's workload allows you to post on DD #3! With GeoX still IDW-deprived in Morocco and the Disney Comics Forum temporarily offline, where else can we talk about it?

And, reading over my previous post, I hope it was clear that Jonathan's Monkey Island references in U$ #2 were the exception in that I got them. The way I put it, one might think I meant that they were the exception in that they intruded on my awareness as jokes I wasn't getting.

Joe Torcivia said...


Precisely because this weekend will be busy personally, I made a special trip to the comic shop yesterday (July 29, 2015) to get DONALD DUCK # 3!

I am presently working on my post for DD # 3, and hope to have it up sometime this weekend, leapfrogging the already-completed post on the new ARCHIE # 1. It’s Thad Komorowski’s lead feature debut, and has AWESOME art by Giorgio Cavazzano (who, of course drew “The Sound-Blot Plot”)! So there are two important reasons for getting the issue as soon as possible!

I like what GeoX does (and wish he’d do MORE of it), and tend to avoid “forums” as they can sometimes become unpleasant. (Hopefully, DCF is an exception to this, but I’d tend to doubt it.) But, I REALLY DO enjoy the IDW Disney Comics discussions I host here, and am glad you do as well.

Oh, and I interpreted your previous comments as you intended, and I’d expect others did as well.

Clapton said...

Excellent job Joe! I absolutely loved the "Sound-Blot-Plot". I'll try not to repete what any other commentators have already said but... I have to comend your excellent dialogue, Cavazzanzo's perfectly expressive art and those wonderful transitions. Those transitions gave the story a much more cinematic feel. One thing I realized when I read the opening splash panel is that the Blot's history is very similar to another favorite villian of mine, Prof. Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes. Both charcuterie appeared in only one story by their orignal creators and became reoccurring villains when Gottfredson and Conan Doyal's fans/successors began writing their own stories.

Joe Torcivia said...


A great detective and his most worthy adversary! That’s a very interesting parallel – both for the characters and their respective creators! I never realized it, until now!

It’s also mind-blowing to think of being part of such a talented creative continuum (on the Mickey and Blot side) with Scarpa, Murry, Cavazzano, …and Gerstein and Gray - and other great talents galore!

Huwey said...

but this Blot goes the entire story UNMASKED!
They use that a lot in new Italian stories. In the stories by Paul Murry, the Blot was almost all of the time masked, but to be honest, that doesn't make much sense, because he is even masked on a plane. And how would you find it, if there was a man completely dressed black with a mask on, whily flying to Venice? The funniest thing however was when in a "Kasperl Mickey" story, Mickey is sitting in the same plane as the Blot (fully masked) and he does not recognize him...

Joe Torcivia said...


I don’t believe that Paul Murry, or anyone else at Western Publishing since the Blot was revived in the mid-1960s, ever drew the Blot without his mask. He was always masked and, sometimes in the seventies and beyond was drawn incorrectly with a MOUTH! The addition of EYEBALLS, as Murry did in the sixties was fine, even if it made the Blot seem less “spooky” than good ol’ “blank-eyed Blot”… but the mouth was too much!

After Gottfredson’s original, I don’t think I saw the Blot unmasked again until the ‘80s and Italy’s “The Blot’s Double Mystery”.

Spectrus said...

"Perhaps Enna wrote them that way, or maybe it was Cavazzano's own initiative... we'll never know, but they must be seen to be appreciated!"

I'd put money on the former. Enna is well revered for being "the poet" among the current Italian Disney writers. Cavazzano has drawn scripts by so many different writers and usually you get a distinct feeling of who wrote it. (The Blot's face, for instance, looks slightly different in three different Cavazzano stories I know - written by Tito Faraci, Casty and this one by Bruno Enna. You can see the same thing with Lorenzo Pastrovicchio.) Speaking of Cavazzano Blots... it's still a damn shame that for "Chief Casey's Long Night" (yes, that title is not an error!) the Blot was blotted out in all except one panel, to make him fit with the Egmont "mythology" (which disregards / disrespects the Blot's debut appearance, of all things) of not being a normal human being. You don't mess with Cavazzano's art, and certainly don't pour black ink over a carefully drawn character of his, for Christ's sake!

Speaking of which... "The Sound-Blot Plot", as good as it is, doesn't amount to much compared to the legendary "Casey's Long Night". Sorry to say. Just one of those things again ;-)

(In fact, I've just seen news that - if I interpret them correctly - mean this story will soon see its US debut. If that is the case, you're in for a real treat!)

Also, Massimo De Vita *has* drawn the Blot with a mouth. Just sayin' ;-)

Joe Torcivia said...


Yes, indeed! “Casey’s Longest Night” will be appearing in the USA – with my translation and dialogue! I had a BALL doing it!