Saturday, November 7, 2015

On Sale November 04, 2015: MICKEY MOUSE # 6 from IDW.



If you’re hungry for some wonderfully weird space-adventure, “plan” to “dine” on MICKEY MOUSE # 6 (Legacy Numbering # 315) from IDW. 


In it, you’ll find the epic sci-fi tale we call “Plan Dine from Outer Space”, from the Italian publication TOPOLINO # 2845 (2010) and “New to the USA”, written AND drawn by the great Modern Mouse Master Andrea “Casty” Castellan – with translation and American English Dialogue by yours truly.  


Care to guess which astronaut is from Australia?  

This is a great one, folks!  Casty really pulls out all the stops – beginning with the outrageous concept of the Moon being “stolen” and replaced with an inflatable doppelganging-duplicate. 

Football fans, if you only knew how much I wanted to insert a "Tom Brady joke" here!  The rest of you, please forgive me!  


Enter detective Mickey, along with “Man of Tomorrow” Eega Beeva (“tomorrow” still being 2447, as it was in Bill Walsh and Floyd Gottfredson’s Eega-origin story of 1947).  He takes the case – and takes an unplanned trip into outer space, courtesy of Eega’s eccentricities. 


The Moon’s trail leads to a brave alien civilization, determined to fight off… a gigantic planet-eating worm-creature from an unknown void! 




Naturally, Mickey and Eega get involved (Wouldn’t you be disappointed if they didn’t?), and the battle is on.  Eega and alien commander Iris-One try to thwart the beast at its source, while Mickey rallies a derisive and unbelieving Earth against the threat – which is headed OUR WAY! 


In other issues of IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE title, we’ve been treated to Casty’s writing and his dynamic creation “Eurasia Toft”, in issues such as THIS ONE and THIS ONE.  


But here, Casty really outdoes himself as both writer and illustrator. 


Just look at this! 

So, stand back in awe, as Casty “turns up the heat”!  Indeed, I daresay it’s getting… er, “worm-er” already! 


The issue is rounded out by the introduction of Goofy’s genius nephew “Gilbert” by Bill Wright of last issue’s “The Ghost of Man-Eater Mountain”, and reprinted from DELL FOUR COLOR # 564, from 1954. 


Gilbert will be seen in minor roles not once but twice in IDW December releases so, if you’re not familiar with him, do get to know him here. 


So, do your best to avoid becoming worm-food and pick up a copy of MICKEY MOUSE # 6 (Legacy Numbering: 315) from IDW, and let this cute little bugger “worm” his way into your heart. 


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

Alternate Cover for the issue. Quite a game of "Cat and Mouse"! 

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. 

Then, let’s all meet back here for Comments and Planetary Snacks… I just hope we’re not all inside a vast worm-stomach when we do…   


50 comments:

Clapton said...

Excellent excellent story... the best way for me to talk about how good this story is, is to talk about how bad it could have been. A less talented writer then Casty could have come up with those absurd ideas, but it took Casty's brilliance to make these ideas actually work. Combine that plot with Casty's excellent Gottfredson/Scarpa-esque art style and wonderful dialogue from our boy, Joe and you end with something really special.

Abraham Lincoln said...

Picked up my copy today! I'll check back in once I've read it.

Thad Komorowski said...

It's a story that proves Casty is more than capable of carrying Scarpa's torch, with great posing, staging, and a number of laughs. At times I thought I was reading a vintage Scarpa tale. It makes me wish Casty illustrated all of his stories.

Admittedly the environmental message was a little heavy-handed (just a little), but you did a great job keeping the adventure lighthearted and domestic. Nice one, Joe.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thad:

I’ve become a huge Giorgio Cavazzano fan in recent years, and his three issues of IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE illustrate why. But, when Casty illustrates his own stories, it’s REALLY a cause for celebration!

Set aside (…if it’s possible to do so) how awesome the “worm” was, and look at the comic-energy of the astronauts, or the particularly pleasing design of the one-eyed aliens – simultaneously recalling Bucky Bug, Jiminy Cricket, and the “Giant Ants” from THIS CLASSIC MOUSE TALE... Yet not really coming across as “insect-like” in any way! That’s not easy to pull-off! But, Casty does it!

I looked at the message as kinda “Star Trek-y” (perhaps more “Encounter at Farpoint” than “Devil in the Dark” with elements of both), but tried to make it as fun as possible.

There was no necessity to “diverge” to any degree beyond names of “persons, places, and things”, and occasional character bits, because Casty made this one SO GREAT to begin with! I daresay, this is my favorite “original story” of any I’d been asked to translate or script.

Joe Torcivia said...

Abe:

We'll be waiting for your report...

...Seriously, I have a stopwatch, and it's running! :-)

Joe Torcivia said...

Clapton:

I couldn’t agree more, once I began thinking about this story in other hands.

Consider a story titled “Mission to Planet Zoa”, from Whitman’s MICKEY MOUSE # 209 (…and oddly reprinted AGAIN in # 215!), which was the next-to-last long adventure lead to be produced by Western Publishing for Mickey and Goofy – drawn by Paul Murry and (presumably) written by Vic Lockman. Link HERE

It's "Mickey-unexpectedly-in-space", there's a monster, a noble alien, and environmental issues to deal with. The "ingredients" are all there, just shaken-and-stirred differently. It reads nicely, but straightforward, with none of the "touches" I, or another modern-day scripter, might have added.

Now, it was a “very good” story for its time – but that says far more about the “time” than it says about the story. Still, back then, I found myself wishing that more of the new Whitman comics could be as good as this one was. It might have even been Whitman's single best non-reprint issue of the period. It’s a “space-environmental” tale, like “Plan Dine from Outer Space”, with a few plot-parallels, but different. And if you check that one out, you might see what “Plan Dine” COULD have been like in other hands.

I want to emphasize that I really liked that story, especially in the early 1980s, but any comparison will sure make you appreciate Casty all the more!

To your point, and Thad’s… Casty is clearly the heir to Gottfredson and Scarpa. And long may he be so!

…But, wouldn’t it be fun to see what an unleashed Jonathan Gray could do as well? It could be like having Gottfredson and Scarpa all over again (not that we, in the USA, got to experience them creating new material simultaneously, alas!)

I consider it an honor to have worked on this story, and I hope to get more Casty material to work with in the future.

Elaine said...

Lots of things I liked about this story! The business with the five astronauts' planned show, the music-fueled spacecar, the worminator itself, the character design for Iris-One and Greymatter...and then, lots of little extras in your dialogue: "Iris-One" (the perfect name for her!) and "Eye-Claudius", the names and descriptions of the Eye-planets, the song lyrics, the TV guy enthusiastically touting his disaster coverage full of "unconfirmed and unsubstantiated theories," the headlines in the Mouseton Monitor, the worm turning. Congratulations on avoiding "deflate-gate" references, as well as eye- puns referring to the Apple world (though there *is* talk of a 500-ton apple at one point...).

This story is way over at the cartoon-physics end of the spectrum, and I enjoyed it as such. By sheer coincidence, I (re-)watched "Despicable Me" this morning, and it was fun to compare the two depictions of stealing the moon. Nobody talks about the tides, or all the tide-dependent creatures, or the effect on the global altitude of the ocean if the moon suddenly disappeared! I thought Mickey's remark about lovers was lame, but then it turned out to be a set-up for a later joke. It's interesting that the world of Disney comics allows for wonderful stories with cartoon physics and wonderful stories with pretty serious physics (e.g. Rosa's Universal Solvent, setting aside the cartoony nature of the solvent itself).

A minor cartoon-moment I enjoyed was when the hearts expressing Eega's romantic hope break and he sweeps them up! What was the reference on this esteemed blog to sawdust coming from the sleep-icon of sawing logs? Oh, I just searched, and it's in "Porky Pig and the Safecracking Goat," from your post on Dell Four-Color 410. And it was Chris Barat who pointed it out.

So, lots to like, in addition to the very gratifying fact that the commander of the alien ship is female. I was amused that the main visual signifier of her gender is her long eyelashes--along with the hair bow, that's one of the two indicators of femininity in the Disneycomicsverse. Of course it's the appropriate female secondary sexual characteristic in the Great Eye Galaxy.

Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

Iris-One’s hat does momentarily “pop-off” in the traditional expression of “cartoon-shock” at the bottom of Page 18, so we see that, in some defiance of Disney convention, she is not sporting a hair-bow underneath! Good for her!

I’m very glad you enjoyed “Plan Dine from Outer Space”, as I knew you would.

I worked very hard on coming up with all of those “Eye-Names”, and especially so with “Iris-One”. That name had to be nothing less than PERFECT, in tribute to Casty’s great creation. Show some love for her First Officer “Roddencone”, too, as that’s a “double”. The “rods and cones” of the eye, and a simultaneous and unrelated nod to Gene Roddenberry as well.

Another nod to Mr. Roddenberry is the Trek-Trope tribute line of Galacius Greymatter’s texts being “…required reading at the Eye-Force Academy”, as were the writings of almost everyone who ever crossed the path of Starfleet and either turned bad or became a recluse. …Let’s face it, I really give you a lot for your 3.99! But, when Casty puts such a great product on the page, I can’t help but try to live up to that standard! …Seriously!

And, rightfully giving credit where it is deservedly due, it was Esther who gave me the “…worm has turned” line! I loved it so much, I *made* a place for it!

I feel part of the great charm of this story IS Casty’s use of “cartoon physics”, with regard to the moon-napping. VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA once hinted at the disaster to come once the Moon slowly began advancing CLOSER to the Earth. And, never mind the unspeakable horrors inflicted upon (what might remain of) the Earth if the Moon were blown from its orbit and hurled careening into space, as on SPACE 1999!

In wonderful contrast, Casty just gives us an energetic and audacious opening sequence, to get the main adventure started. And, he sure did a great job with that!

Finally, as to the “song lyrics”, I suppose it would be okay if I revealed the following: In the original Italian-dialogued version of this story I received, the song lyrics used were actual English rock-and-roll song lyrics. Not parodies. I can’t say if that originated with Casty, as original author, or if they were added by TOPOLINO – but, there they were… lettered in the panels, in English.

Now, I mention this for two reasons:

One: On my own, I created tons of “parody song lyrics”, with the knowledge that actual song lyrics could not be used in such a way, even as a “Fair-Use Parody” case. I probably created three or four times the amount of parody song lyrics that were actually used in the story – letting those above me in the “(worm) food chain” select those they deem best. I do that as a matter of practice, sometimes. Submit multiple gags for a single situation, or multiple story titles, etc., and “let the best one win”.

Two: How did this aspect of the story appear when published in TOPOLINO? Also, if and when this story is translated into another non-Italian, non-American-English language, how was this handled? If anyone has seen it, I’d like to know.

PS: Loved Eega’s broken heart manifestation! Another great visual gag by Casty!

Elaine said...

Yup, I liked "Roddencone," too, and I *did* get the Trek reference of the "required reading at the Academy." It certainly would be fun if you got to dialogue Korhonen/Vicar's "Beam Me Up, Mr. Fargone"--I imagine there could be a bunch of those subtle references. Reading that would be *my* preferred way to celebrate Star Trek's 50th anniversary!

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Elaine:

And, if anyone out there wishes to offer me that “Trek” story to dialogue…

scarecrow33 said...

Nobody's mentioned the Rocky & Bullwinkle references, such as starting the story off with "Hokey Smokes!" And later on Iris asks Eega "Does that trick ever work?" which is of course a reference to Rocky's oft-repeated comment "That trick never works!"

I like the team-up of Mickey and Eega--having only read a handful of the original Mickey-Eega stories, I'm pnot as pfamiliar with pthis pcharacter as with PGoofy as a psidekick for PMickey. But they work very well together--and Eega can definitely do things that Goofy can't. They are also similar in size--if you look at the cover illustration, Goofy would have to scrunch down to fit into the space bubble on Mickey's car, but Eega is more or less a perfect fit. Goofy also doesn't always grasp the significance of the situation, whereas Eega has a readier understanding. And if Goofy were to be smitten by Cupid's arrow in the midst of an investigation, it would be all over for him and he would be too love-struck to be of any use, but Eega is still able to function rationally even though fascinated by Iris.

I actually liked the fact that the Worminator was ultimately benevolent in design and purpose--we've seen hostile world-eaters in the Marvel and DC universes so the "take good care of your planet" message to me came as a kind of welcome relief. And Castellan has designed some amazing splash panels featuring this creature.

This story harks back to the days of the serialized comic strip, not only in including Eega Beeva as a main character, but in the overall story structure and the way the plot builds. The moon is an inflatable fake? What happened to the moon? Where has the real moon gone? Who are those strange one-eyed people? Etc, etc. It would be very easy to break this story into multiple installments, because there is a new plot twist on almost every page. Fitting the alternate sizes of the panels into comic strip size would of course be difficult without re-drawing, but I'm actually considering the story itself in this context. It's definitely a comic BOOK story in terms of the layout and drawings, but the story itself could work in the context of a comic STRIP.

Still not sure if Mickey's adventures with Eega are truly to be considered "canonical" as they are a bit of an anomaly in the Mouse-verse--some of Gottfredson's later stories seemed to me more like dream adventures than "actual" Mickey stories--but it's certainly true that sci-fi elements were part of Mickey's adventures since the 30's. Maybe the fact that Eega Beeva was unseen on this side of the pond for many years--seeming like a totally "new" character when Gladstone Comics re-introduced him to American readers in the late 80's. That may be the reason that the flavor of the stories seems unusual to me. Unusual--but (let me make this clear) not at all unwelcome! I really like these wilder Mickey adventures, even when they reach far out into the cosmos as this one does. Great job, Joe--as always!

Joe Torcivia said...

And, great analysis from you, Scarecrow – as always!

Yep! Those are Rocky & Bullwinkle references all right. The second one, from Iris-One, seemed particularly appropriate for the moment.

It’s a funny thing about writing these scripts… In our ages ago mail correspondence, Mark Evanier once told me that the great and fully-realized characters “write themselves”. In effect, a writer can just sit back and let them take over.

Over 30 years later, darned if his words didn’t turn out to be quite true. It has certainly been the case for these Disney comics. I just review the rough translation I prepare from the original language, look at the art panel-by-panel… and let the characters “go”!

And “go”, they do, in a literal “flowing” from art, to synapse, to keyboard – often in rapid, heads-down fashion! At that point, Rocky’s “Does that trick ever work?” line just emerged from that process path – as it were the most natural thing that could be said to fill that particular balloon.

It would be interesting to see if my colleagues work in any sort of a similar fashion.

That’s also great reasoning as to why Goofy would not work in this story, and Eega would! As a writer, I could have or did consider most of the reasons Eega was a “better fit” – but not the “visual” (and literal) one of Goofy just being too darned tall to comfortably fit within the auto’s dome, and thereby upset the composition of the illustrations! That’s what makes a writer / artist a very unique type of talent, and just another reason our respective “hats should be off” to someone like Casty!

Oh, Eega Beeva’s adventures with Mickey are “canonical” around here! It’s just unfortunate that a sequence of events conspired to exclude Eega from the top selling Disney comic books of the early-mid 1950s, just as he was “retired” from the daily Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip. Thus, for persons like us, who’d experienced (“live” or in collected back issues) the vast continuum of American Disney comics, Eega’s long-delayed inclusion in the late 1980s,would cast his presence as a bit more “odd” that it might otherwise have been.

It’s truly… TRULY… unofficial at this point, but I did submit a text intro for a future Fantagraphics “Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gotttfredson” hardcover volume that discusses that very sequence of events – and Eega Beeva’s eventual evolution into a “supporting-star” in his own right. If it sees print as submitted, it may help you (and perhaps others) “pfeel differently toward our pfriend pfrom the pfuture!”

Mark said...

Just finished Mickey #6 and as i expected i really enjoyed "Plan Dine From Outer Space". I don't really have anything to say about it that hasn't already been said. I appreciated the reprint of Gilbert's first appearence since i didn't really know the character. Looking forward to next month's issue of Mickey, i love Christmas and more Phantom Blot is always good.

Joe Torcivia said...

Mark:

A seconding of another’s complement is still a complement, and so I thank you for that!

Gilbert was a fixture of the Goofy comics of the ‘50s and ‘60s and, from the later ‘60s onward, a semi-regular in the SUPER GOOF title. Though, in the last three decades or so, we haven’t seen very much of him – perhaps making his reintroduction something of a necessity.

That’s just another great thing about the overall editorial plan for the IDW Disney comics… introducing, or reintroducing, various characters that are expected to appear in future stories. As noted, Gilbert will appear (albeit in it very minor roles) in both the MICKEY MOUSE issue and the Super Goof story in CHRISTMAS PARADE (both of which I translated and dialogued) for December. And, so it’s important to IDW to not just “drop him in on you”, but (re)work him in naturally for those readers unfamiliar with him. I like that approach.

Also, as mentioned elsewhere, the lead story in MICKEY MOUSE # 7 is a polar opposite in approach to “Plan Dine from Outer Space”, in that it’s a non-fantasy, more-or-less down to earth “police procedural” sort of mystery with Chief O’ Hara getting perhaps the largest role (as Mickey’s actual co-star) as I’ve ever seen him have. I have a feeling you will enjoy it.

Clapton said...

This is the story appearing in next months MM right? : http://coa.inducks.org/story.php?c=I+TL++370-B

Casty said...

Hello everybody!
I'm Casty: I've been told about this blog, so... here I am:-)
I usually don't write on the internet (even my FB page is actually not mine, it's a fanpage) but I've read so many nice and interesting things here on this blog, so I would like to thank you all.

Joe, I have no way to read your translation, but it looks like you have done an excellent work.
The title is lovely, amusing and...pertinent!:-)
Thank you very much for your kind words and for your considerations: it's great, for an author, when you put some stuff in your story and you find people who really understand "why you have done THIS and NOT THAT".

I wish long life to IDW Mickey's adventures and hope many others stories of mine may be published in the US.

Again,
thank you very much,
I'll keep on reading your comments!
Casty

Joe Torcivia said...

Casty:

I am both delighted and honored to have you comment here. (And, I privately thank the person I know is responsible for putting you in touch with this Blog – you know who you are, so take a bow!)

I hope that in reading this post, the others I’ve linked to concerning the Eurasia Toft stories that have appeared in the USA, and the many comments these posts have generated, you gain some small measure of just how much your work is loved and appreciated here!

I’ll say it again, I feel this is the single best story I’ve been given to work with – and I’ve been assigned some very good ones by different authors, as clicking on this link will reveal.

I am most pleased to find that you enjoy my translation – and, if you will comment again with a mailing address and an e-mail address to let you know I received the comment (I will NOT publish that comment in the interests of your privacy), I will personally send you a copy of the issue for you to read in full.

I thank you for dropping by, and also hope your entire body of work is published in the USA by IDW -- and that I get to work on at least some of it!

Joe Torcivia said...

Clapton:

Yes, that is the story that will appear in MM # 7 next month.

scarecrow33 said...

I think one major reason why Gilbert more or less disappeared from the scene for the last 30 years or so was because of Max--it was around that time that Max started appearing as Goofy's son in "Goof Troop", the two "Goofy" movies, "House of Mouse," the "Mickey Mouse Once/Twice Upon a Christmas" movies, etc.

In fact, I've often speculated that if a third Goofy movie were to be created, it should focus on Super Goof, with Max replacing Gilbert as the kid sidekick.

Not that I don't like Gilbert--he was a great character in the comics and a perfect companion for Super Goof. But when Max is present in Goofy's life (and face it, Max is better known to movie-goers and the general public than Gilbert) then Goofy doesn't really need a nephew. Like Gilbert, Max tends to be smarter than Goofy as well as better coordinated--although unlike Gilbert, he does have a few inherited traits that cause him some embarrassment. It would, however, be interesting to see the two meeting up--I can see them becoming rivals right off the bat.

The thing I really didn't care for about Gilbert was that he always wore a mortarboard hat to indicate the genius level of his intelligence--even as Super Gilbert he still wore it. I get the connection between graduating and smartness--but wearing a hat like that every day? It always made Gilbert seem pretentious, which of course he tended to be anyway--so I guess that's why as a character Max gets the edge over him in my book.

Joe Torcivia said...

Scarecrow:

That sounds like a logical argument for Max replacing Gilbert… but for what I feel are a few considerations.

We’ve never really seen the type of coordination or synergy between Disney animation and Disney comics that could result in Gilbert fading on the printed page, much less Max rising in response to his presence in the various products of animation.

And, in “those last 30 years or so of Max”, there haven’t been very many domestically produced examples of Disney comic book material (perhaps NONE with Goofy, since GOOFY ADVENTURES and MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES from Disney itself?). I’m NOT counting anything produced for the Disney Adventures Digest magazine, which was a completely separate publishing endeavor from any American comic book licensee of that period. So, where, outside of Disney Adventures which explicitly did Goof Troop anyway, would Max have appeared?

Perhaps if, as some continue to wish, the center of the “Disney comic book production universe” were located in Hollywood, in some close proximity to the animation division, such an occurrence might not only be possible – but mandated.

However, with various licensed publishers headquartered throughout the world, and with each creating their own original comic book material, such coordination would seem very unlikely.

Let’s set aside that I prefer Gilbert, simply because I’m more “traditionally comic book oriented”, and ask ourselves what impact would there be on comic book continuity as we know it… if Goofy suddenly had a son?

Why it would violate the prevailing Nephew / Niece pillar of the Founding Principles! Lights would go out. Drinking water would stop flowing. Planes would fall from the sky… Oh, waitaminnit… that was Y2K (Anyone remember that? I was one of the computer guys who kept that from happening! You’re welcome, World!)

It would imply a divorced or dead Mrs. Goofy, and that would never do! Not to mention how Goofy would go on all those adventures with Mickey, or as Super Goof, and not be a neglectful parent! I think that if it were merely a matter of “swapping nephews” – Max for Gilbert – it could probably be pulled off, especially if Gilbert were out of the public eye for some time. After all, Woody Woodpecker’s comic book nephew and niece, “Knothead and Splinter” (AKA “Nuthead and Splinter”?), were once both BOYS… so, who’d quibble much over Max supplanting a long-unseen Gilbert?

The “mortarboard hat” was typical artistic shorthand – of THE day, and of TOday. In the more modern Super Goof story that will appear in CHRISTMAS PARADE, he not only retains the “mortarboard hat” , but now sports a pair of glasses as well. And Gilbert was always “pretentious” around his Uncle Goofy… but I felt it more like Lisa Simpson tends to be around her “embarrassing” family members Homer and Bart. Not out of any true meanness of spirit.

But that’s the wonderful thing about comics (and, dare I say, this Blog)… We can have our preferences (You: Max, Me: Gilbert) and articulate those differences in cordial ways that are not common to much of the typical discord of the Internet!

Deb said...

Plan Dine From Outer Space? OW! Oh, the pun! The pun of it all!

Okay, now that I have that out of my system...this was quite a fun issue. Only cartoon sci-fi stories can get away with such silly ideas as the moon being replaced with a giant balloon, or a giant worm supposedly devouring planets. This story wasn't just fun to read, it was a joy to look at as well. The one-eyed aliens, Mickey's souped-up space car, and the most adorable "devourer of worlds" ever. I especially liked the panel where we see the worm's big eyes and goofy grin coming up over the horizon. It was also pnice to psee Eega Beeva pagain, palthough it is a plot easier to pread his pdialogue since you and pother pwriters pdon't overdo phis pspeech pimpediment. Pokay, I'll pstop pthis pnow...it's pgetting pannoying. There. Much better.

The introduction of Goofy's nephew Gilbert was a cute story. Of course, I can't complain about Bill Wright's artwork, and giving Goofy a super smart nephew is a fun idea. But giving Goofy a genius nephew is a bit unfair to Goofy...he may be a bit slow on the uptake and more than a bit peculiar at times, but Goofy isn't stupid. Goofy just has his own way of thinking and doing things. His thought processes are just a bit unusual compared to everyone else (except maybe Donald Duck's cousin Fethry...a story with Fethry and Goofy would be quite the peculiar story!)

It looks like David and IDW have an entire month of supernatural stories planned: Donald and Fethry are back with TNT, and then Donald takes a brief time trip in this month's Donald Duck, Uncle Scrooge runs into Magica DeSpell and Pandora's Box in the next Uncle Scrooge, and Donald runs into space aliens in the next Zodiac Stone chapter in WDC&S.

Elaine said...

I am neutral on the Max/Gilbert question in terms of character; I think they both have their pluses. I am with Scarecrow on disliking the visual shorthand of the mortarboard--it just seems so ridiculous as everyday wear (I know, I know, I accept SPATS!). But I am with Joe on the unfeasibility of introducing a son of Goofy into the comics, for all the reasons he lists. This is precisely why we have the 4th Pillar of the Founding Principles, the Law of Nieces/Nephews. No disturbing backstory of death/divorce. No need to explain where the kid is when the adults go adventuring. I do think that in the world of animated cartoons/movies, it's possible to ignore the backstory in a way that isn't quite as easy when comic stories keep dropping in on the characters' everyday life. And what about all the earlier comics stories which never hinted at any such backstory? While the Disney comicsverse does NOT need or want overall continuity IMO, you really can't completely ignore a former/deceased spouse.

I do greatly appreciate David Gerstein's care in introducing readers to characters we may not be familiar with by presenting their original appearance, rather than having them show up "out of nowhere" in some story where they're taken for granted. We've seen this already with several characters, including Ellsworth, Belle Duck and Eurasia Toft. SO satisfying to have an overall editorial plan at work.

And thank you, Joe, for delivering us from Y2K!

Clapton said...

Joe:
I hope fantagraphics publishes your article! If they don't would you be allowed to release it as a blog post?

Casty:
If you happen to be reading this I'd like to thank you for stopping by here. Just for clarity's sake I'd like to let you know that I'm the fan who got in touch with the guy (or guys, I dunno) running you facebook page, that got you here. I'm only telling you this because here I don't go by my real name (which I used when contacting you).

The story you're teasing on your facebook header looks great! I hope we get it over here soon! (LINK for anyone who hasen't seen this, https://m.facebook.com/133535668837/photos/a.10150703642603838.425574.133535668837/10153700419218838/?type=3&source=48)

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb:

Yes, I suppose PERCY *was* “the most adorable ‘devourer of worlds’ ever.” Greymatter certainly spoke of him in endearing terms. By the end, we probably all did.

I ppromise pnever to “Over-P” Eega Beeva’s dialogue. But, for the text piece I recently wrote on Eega, I did go back to the earliest Walsh / Gottfredson stories to feature him, and he actually underwent something of a “quiet evolution” from 1947 to modern times. Compare “Plan Dine from Outer Space” and other recent (Non-Ultraheroes) stories featuring Eega like “300 Mickeys” form Boom!’s MICKEY MOUSE # 300, with the reprint of Eega’s origin in Gladstone Series One’s MICKEY AND DONALD # 3-4, and you’ll see quite the difference. I prefer him as we see him now. He “fits” better this way.

“Oh, the pun! The pun of it all!”, in response to a space-saga titled “Plan Dine from Outer Space”. Are you channeling the great Doctor Zachary Smith?

Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

Spats, top hats, ascots, hairbows, long eyelashes, black robber-masks, derby hats, glasses, and mortarboard hats… visual shorthand has always been all over these comics. It’s just an accepted part of the art form.

Oddly, the Dell comic book version of the Road Runner (…called “Beep-Beep the Road Runner”) was an actual father of triplet “little Beeps” – but there was also a MOTHER, named “Matilda”, who was identical to Beep-Beep, save the visual shorthand of long eyelashes, and occasionally being accessorized with an apron. We even saw the “three little Beeps” HATCH on panel!

Sadly, Matilda faded away with no explanation, and it was just Beep-Beep and the boys vs. Wile E. Coyote, until the end of the Whitman comics! To this day, I wonder if Matilda divorced Beep-Beep because all male Road Runners “run” around… or (shudder!) if Wile E. was actually successful just once!

Oh, and you’re very welcome for Y2K! …And, sorry about everything that’s happened since! :-)

Joe Torcivia said...

Clapton:

First, thanks for your great service to this Blog and all its readers! Take a (now-non-anonymous) bow!

I’m quite certain the Eega Beeva piece will appear – and largely as I wrote it. That’s been my experience thus far. However, in the unlikely event that it is rejected in total - and not used in any form – I’m sure I’ll find a place for it here.

Clapton’s link teases a coming story titled “What’s Gonna Happen Yesterday”, where Modern Mickey appears to meet ‘30s Mickey! I think Jonathan Gray and David Gerstein would probably fight to the death to dialogue this one… and, if they both off one-another, I’ll be waiting to take the job myself! Hee-hee!

Deb said...

Fans of Mickey's 1950's fedora will be happy to see it in Bill Wright's Goofy story. A bit of a Gottfredson meets Murry look, combining the fedora with the bow tie, tucked in shirt and belt. While not too many people seem to like "Suburban Mickey" as much as "Red Shorts Mickey", I think that it is still an iconic look for newspaper strip/comic book Mickey. Suburban Mickey may not have been as reckless or impulsive as Classic Mickey, but he seemed more in step with the 1950's. We got to see Mickey's playful side again as Band Leader Mickey in the Mickey Mouse Club opening titles and comic book covers, but the fedora, white shirt and slacks really seemed to signify a more adult Mickey (and a fedora, bow tie and sportcoat makes the perfect outfit for an amateur sleuth like Mickey!)

Clapton said...

Another thing I found interusting about the Bill Wright story was that he drew all the extras as humans.

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb:

Thanks for showing some love for “Suburban Mickey” or, as he might alternately be known, “Fedora Mickey”. And, yes… now that you mention it, Bill Wright’s Mickey DOES have a “Gottfredson meets Murry” look to him, doesn’t’ he? I’ve always wished that Bill Wright had a larger body of work on Mickey than he did, because I’ve never failed to enjoy his work whenever I’ve see it.

Even the later stuff he did, when he returned in the ‘70s, had an interesting look to it. To digress, the ‘70s Mickey (more as he was seen in the MICKEY MOUSE title than in WDC&S) fared better than poor Donald, who was saddled with the awful art of Kay Wright and Bob Gregory. Mickey had the “traditional” Paul Murry, the “out-there” Jack Manning, and falling in between them was Bill Wright. I’ve never known why Bill Wright was off Mickey essentially from the Dell FOUR COLOR days until briefly again in the middle-seventies.

Back to “Ages of Mickey” (…which I’ll take any day over “Wizards of Mickey” ! Verily, how that doth still sting!), I also feel that “Murry Mickey” was the adult version of “Gottfredson Mickey”. Gottfredson’s mouse being “teens to twenties”, and Murry’s being in his thirties maybe even leading to 40. “Scarpa Mickey” or (if we wish to broaden it considerably) “Topolino Mickey”, would seem to straddle the two periods, being in his twenties to thirties.

At least that’s how I’ve assembled my “head cannon”.

Joe Torcivia said...

Clapton:

Even as late as 1954, I’d imagine the “rules” for these comics were not fully set. And, “dog-faces” might not yet have been the default setting for extras. Humans generally prevailed in the then-contemporary Warner Bros. comics, and the earlier Walter Lantz comics were all-over-the-place on that – later settling into a default of humans like the Warner comics. Yet, as you saw in the previous month’s MICKEY MOUSE from IDW, “dog-faces” and mice (albeit some odd or unusual-looking mice) were used by Bill Wright in “The Ghost of Man-Eater Mountain” from 1951.

Even Carl Barks used humans, rather strikingly I might add, in “Dangerous Disguise” and, to one extent or another, in certain other DELL FOUR COLOR lead stories from the early 1950s such as “Ancient Persia”, “The Magic Hourglass”, and “Big-Top Bedlam”. The story goes that he was told by his editors not to do that in the future.

But, for some reason humans tended to proliferate as extras in things the Kinney / Hubbard “Fethry” series from the sixties (albeit from the Disney Studio Program and not Western Publishing), culminating in a character I have always felt never belonged in the Disney Comics Universe – “Hard Haid Moe”.

And, there have always been some accepted anomalies like Mad Madam Mim palling around with the Beagle Boys and later Magica DeSpell, and Captain Hook being a villain to Donald and Moby Duck.

So, ultimately… who knows?

Deb said...

As for occasionally reoccuring humans, there was also Witch Hazel, who was a pick-up from the cartoon short Trick or Treat (or more specifically, Barks' adaptation of the cartoon). But as she and Mad Madam Mim were more cartoonist, they didn't stick out as much. Another humanoid character who tended to reoccur is Mickey's Plan Dine From Outer Space co-star, Eega Beeva. Eega is not the standard Disney dogface character. Mickey also got to star with humans in the fascinating yet flawed Super Secret Agent mini-series. Maybe IDW could collect the three issues into a special annual sometime.

Joe Torcivia said...

Deb:

Imagine my forgetting Hazel, what with the Barks classic “Trick or Treat”, the few solo appearances in WDC&S circa 1964, and the great things Pat Block did with her!

As for Eega, by 2447 he could be an evolved mouse, duck, or platypus, for all we know. If humans, or even “dog-faces” or “pig-faces”, evolved into Eega's kind, that would mean they got shorter over the years, as well as amorphically futuristic looking. Gosh, we sure go to some interesting places in these threads!

I would LOVE to see a MICKEY MOUSE SUPER SECRET AGENT collection! And some deserved love for Paul Murry, Dan Spiegle, and Don R. Christensen (who, along with Bill Wright, looks as if he’s becoming a posthumous fan favorite at IDW)! And, hey… Mickey wore the trademark fedora in that series too!

Clapton said...

Joe:
I second your wish that Bill Wright produced more comic book stories. I also forward that notion to Dick Moores and Ken Hultgren, whom I also wish stuck with Mickey a little long. And while we're wishing I wish that when Wright WAS producing comics, he wasn't forced to do so many durn Gottfredson redraws. At least I don't have to wish for his work to be reprinted as that's happening right now. And yes Don R Christensen has become a favorite of mine recently. I would love to see his story "The Ivory Treasure", which we've previously discussed off the blog, reprinted.
While we're talking about western mouse material there's something I've been wondering.Recently on inducks I found a page on the extremely low circulated Mickey Mouse Classics #2 (http://coa.inducks.org/issue.php?c=us%2FMMC+++2). MMC#2 would have reprinted Gottfredson/Walsh's "The Atombrella and the Rhyming Man", Dick Moores's "House of Many Mysteries" (which I'd love to see reprinted) and Murry/Fallberg's "Yesterday Ranch". The inducks page for "Yesterday Ranch" had numerous glowing comments, which per my experince is not the norm when it come to user reviews of Murry stories on Inducks. Is Yesterday Ranch unusually excellent or something?

Dan said...

Joe:

Pwell, you've pdone it again!

Mickey Mouse #6 is truly an instant classic in my book. I've always admired Casty's writing and artwork since we first got some of his stories in the U.S. a few years ago... "Plan Dine From Outer Space" was a fun one with unexpected elements at every turn. I especially admire that "Plan Dine" ran as a full story without any actual antagonist, it was really just a misunderstanding, but one steadily resolved, not a last-minute, contrived deus ex machina. Percy was slyly depicted as a potential menace on the cover (as was the introduction of G. Greymatter) but it was refreshing to have an full-on adventure, minus a true heavy.

The artwork, timing and dialogue shined bright: Eega's commentary on the TV news reports was priceless, and the depictions rang true to modern-day non-stop media coverage. The one bit of dialogue I hoped to decode out was the Sophisticated Song of Planetary Peace and Brotherhood" by the five astronauts—is there was a tune based on those "La-Laaa"s? I tried out a a few, but nothing synced up!

Upon Sparky's release of the planets, Greymatter asks "You like? Good?" Would that have been infused with a touch of Medley's flapjack exchange with Chilly Willy in "Half Baked Alaska"?

There was so much to like here, from the Trek tributes, the "eye" gags, and poor Eega's usual easy-going demeanor (temporarily) cracked by a comely single-eyed galactic lady. His environmentally responsible cleaning-up of broken hearts elicited a laugh and an immediate second reading of that particular page to savor everything!

I wont give it away, but the final page wrapped things up SO perfectly... as good, if not BETTER than the best closing strips of any Gottfredson serial. The perfect capper!

The perfect capper, that is, unless Casty has future plans for Percy? If so, might I suggest... "Closed Lunch Counters of the Worm Kind"?

– Dan

Abraham Lincoln said...

Stopwatch's been running for a while, but checking back in! Just read the issue. (Well, the Casty story, that is, not the Wright.)

I was glad to see that such a glorious title actually did, miraculously, fit the story quite well. I had sort of assumed it had to be a more contrived connection, but a more fitting pun probably couldn't have been found. Really enjoyable story all-around-- some of my favorite art from Casty, and one of the more original space ventures that Disney comics have seen, IMO. For some reason I found the style of Percy to be oddly refreshing-- perhaps simply in contrast to the grim appearances of comparably envisioned creatures in sci-fi, like sandworms in Dune or that horrifying artwork for a Centipede arcade cabinet.

My favorite good ol' Torcivia pun this time around would have to go to Eye-Claudius I think. "Shoot him again, Sam!" was a favorite too, because at the same time as recalling Casablanca it simply sounded full of robust Americana.

Congrats to all involved on a great story!

Elaine said...

I agree with Deb, that the cartoonish looks of Madam Mim and Witch Hazel keep them from registering as regular humans, even though they do not have dognoses, duckbills, or mouse ears. Quite different from the folks in "Dangerous Disguise."

And Hard Haid Moe does not belong in the Disney comics universe OR IN ANY CONCEIVABLE UNIVERSE EVER! (Sorry for shouting, but I feel strongly about this.)

Here's a random and nitpicky question, which I really should have asked in the discussion of one of the earlier issues. What exactly is the point of writing "the" in the dialogue of Mickey and/or other characters as "th'"? Does this come from Gottfredson? I've always found this perplexing, because usually, when there's a variant spelling of a word in dialogue, it's meant to indicate how the person is pronouncing the word in a variant way. But don't we always pronounce "the" before a word starting with a consonant as "th'"? That is to say, as "the" where the "e" is a barely-heard schwa sound? I can't figure out any way to say "th'" that is any different from the way we all normally pronounce it. So the apostrophe just ends up irritating me. (As I say, this is how we pronounce it before a word starting with a consonant; when the following word starts with a vowel, many people like me pronounce it "thee.")

Joe Torcivia said...

Lots of comments to catch up on! Let's go...

Clapton:

Bill Wright, Dick Moores, Ken Hultgren, Paul Murry, Tony Strobl, Jack Bradbury, Jack Manning… Mickey had a wide variety of good artists back in the Western Publishing days.

And Don R. Christensen has always been a big favorite of mine. I wish we could see some of his Warner Bros. work, as he told me he wrote over 300 Bugs Bunny stories – but that will probably never happen. Back in the nineties, I wrote a piece on Christensen’s and Tony Strobl’s 1953 Bugs Bunny story “The Rocketing Radish”, a huge favorite of mine, and how it’s approach differed radically from the Bugs Bunny cartoons that everybody knows. I should reformat and reprint that on this Blog someday.

It’s been such a great number of years since I read “Yesterday Ranch”, I’d have to read it again to be accurate. But, I remember it as a good one.

Joe Torcivia said...

Dan:

“Closed Lunch Counters of the Worm Kind”?!

I have but two reactions:

1: Awesome!

2: To paraphrase Quick Draw McGraw: “I’ll do the punnin’ around here, and dooon’t you fooor-get-iiit!”

The “Song of Planetary Brotherhood” was not intended to be anything-in-particular in the original story, nor did it end up as “anything” in the published version. Though, as in many such situations, there were possibilities that were considered and later abandoned. I’ll just say that, if anyone saw the final scene of the final episode of MAD MEN, it might give you a hint at what I had considered the song might be.

The various Eye-gags were tremendous fun for me to write. One look at our monocular aliens, and they just poured out. Imagine the Square-jokes that would result, if I ever got to write the Plain-Awfultonians!

The name “Percy”, and its associated acronym, were also my doing. Looking at this creature, and the wonderful way in which Casty had rendered him… he just looked like a “Percy”.

Joe Torcivia said...

Abe:

Okay, I’ve “stopped the watch” on Mickey. But now you’re on the clock again to read the Bill Wright Goofy story!

I was very happy with the pun-title for this story. In fact, it was my original thought for a title. Then I considered something else for a time, and changed it back. Glad I did.

As for less appealing counterparts to Percy, we should also consider the creatures from “Tremors”!

“Eye-Claudius” was a literal last minute “conjuring” for an error I’d actually made in keeping my characters straight. David pointed out to me that we needed a different name for that character and, instantly, on-the-spot, I just blurted-out “Eye-Claudius” as the name for that character. …And I liked it a lot too! Gotta love the insider stuff you get here!

Giving credit where it is due, “Blast him again, Sam!” was also David’s. My original line to follow “A bogey from space!” was “Not Casablanca?” I think he had the better line, while still referencing the classic Bogart film as I wished to do.

Now, about that origin of Gilbert… Tick! Tick! Tick!

Joe Torcivia said...

Elaine:

I could not agree with you more on “Hard Haid Moe”! Any and all shouting on this matter of an anti-Moe nature is hereby supported! I once described him as an unpleasant cross between Yosemite Sam and Snuffy Smith, lacking the charms of either. I wish I could trade him for the return of Moby Duck. That way there’d be “Mo Moby, and no mo Moe!” …I guess that also means we’re not “pro-Moe”!

About all I can say about Mickey’s use of “Th” is that it is most likely a nod to Gottfredson. Anyone is invited to share their own thoughts on this.

Clapton said...

You absolutly should revamp that article into a blog post!

ramapith said...

Mickey's lingo—his "th'" and "an'," "gotta," "hafta," "ya" and so forth—is absolutely a nod to Gottfredson... that's why Jonathan and I do it, and why as editor I've encouraged you and others to carry it on as well. With limits: how slangy he gets is often a matter of mood.

Re: Moe vs Sam and Snuffy... for me, and Lars Jensen, and Thad, and Fernando Ventura—just to name a few—Moe has the charms of both! "Great balls o' fire, he's bodacious!" And I wouldn't be averse to occasionally featuring him again in the future, if not often enough to drive you crazy. It's all a matter of balance.

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, no! Mo Moe? Say it ain’t so, sez Joe!

Joe Torcivia said...

Clapton:

I will do that Bugs Bunny post, once things become less busy for me.

Anyone who might go back to my "paper fanzine" days might actually remember it.

Clapton said...

Joe:
Looking forward to it.
David:
Good decision when it comes to the lingo. I cannot image Mickey talkin without his slang.

Elaine said...

OK, David, so indeed the use of --th'-- (I see that writing this in quotes isn't readable in the blog font) goes back to Gottfredson. But do you see my point about it? The other instances you mention are all ones where the spelling reflects the way Mickey is actually pronouncing the word, which is *different* from what you would expect from its formal spelling. But how does --th'-- do that? Don't we all always pronounce "the" before a consonant as --th[barely heard schwa sound]--? Was this different back in Gottfredson's day? Did people speaking carefully pronounce "the" before a consonant in a way that gave it more of a vowel sound? A slightly more prolonged schwa sound, perhaps? While I will say "and", "have to", "got to", and "you" when I'm speaking more carefully, and --an'--, "hafta", "gotta" and "ya" when I'm speaking more colloquially, in either situation I say "the" before a consonant in exactly the same way. Another way to make my point is: How is Mickey pronouncing --th'-- any differently from how the most careful speaker of formal American English would pronounce "the" before a consonant? And if he's not pronouncing it differently, why are we writing it differently?

Geez, I know this is pedantic as all get-out, it's just a detail that bothers me. Now I've got it out of my system, I won't talk about it any more, I promise.

Thad Komorowski said...

Hey, what's all the shootin' fer!?

I'll grant you that Moe doesn't work very well if Donald, HDL, and Scrooge encounter him solo in their travels. Only when Fethry is present does the dynamic—the most obnoxious aspects of the opposite ends of the political spectrum trying to top each other—work. And boy, does it!!

Seriously, what could be funnier than a liberal obsessive who must seek life's answers in every corner of the earth, and thus makes it a life goal to become bosom companions with a trigger-happy, white trash hillbilly that actively tries to shoot him?

Hard Haid Moe is one of those creations, kinda like Fethry Duck, just made for me as a reader. Please, David, do annoy these guys with 'mo Moe!

Joe Torcivia said...

Well, Thad, I have to agree with you on one thing…

Fethry and Moe certainly DESERVE each other! …Too bad it’s Disney, and they can’t both kill one another!

Seriously, knowing you to be a Fox and Crow fancier, I can see how you would enjoy such a pairing. And even I will admit that it’s not the worst thing in the world… not like “Ultraheroes”!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I've really been making bad time here, but this issue's stopwatch can finally rest. I think that clocks in at just around two weeks here. Can't wait for some actual time off with Thanksgiving break in a few days. The Gilbert story definitely rounded out the issue nicely, with some very clean and satisfying artwork from Wright and of course a nice character introduction. Goofy having a nephew seems only logical, as the crew generally seems to.

Which I suppose brings me to the weigh in on the Max vs Gilbert debate. It's hard for me to actually offer a conclusive opinion. Gilbert seems like a more natural piece of the universe-- Max always felt a little too forcefully modern, and an actual son is a much worse idea than a nephew, at least in my opinion. Yet at the same time, Max featured more prominently in my childhood via The Goofy Movie and Mickey's Once and Twice Upon a Christmas, which both serve to give an active emotional attachment to him that isn't really attempted with Gilbert. So I'd have to say from a purely logical standpoint I prefer Gilbert, and I'd rather him be in the comics than Max, but I doubt I'll ever be quite as attached to him.

Stack anyone up against Huey, Dewey, and Louie though, and I hate to say but they're definitely losing out.

Joe Torcivia said...

Abe:

For my money, I think you put it best when you say: “Gilbert seems like a more natural piece of the universe”. At least, that’s how I see it as a near-life-long comics reader.

Okay, the stopwatch is finally off for MICKEY MOUSE # 6, but I’m activating it for the detective story I’ve dialogued for MICKEY MOUSE # 7. No sense waiting until the last moment. And also my Super Goof story for CHRISTMAS PARADE! As mentioned before, Gilbert will have minor roles in both of those, in all his “natural piece of the universe” glory! Tick, Tick, Tick…