Friday, December 4, 2015

On Sale November 25, 2015: Walt Disney's Comics and Stories # 725 from IDW.

Aw, heck… we might as well go for the “Core Four Trifecta” (…or would that be a “quad-fecta”?) for the outstandingly awesome month of November 2015 for the IDW Disney comic books. 

After such an incredible month of:

…Some drop-off was bound to occur, and (quite frankly) WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 725 is something of a lesser issue when compared to the absolutely magnificent efforts with which it shared the month of November.   

But, remember one important thing… WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 725 is an IDW Disney comic, and even IDW’s “lesser” efforts are better than the average of many of the previous Disney licensed comic book publishers. 

As expected, the issue leads off with, and is dominated by, “The Search for the Zodiac Stone” Part Five… though the contents page labels it as “Chapter Six of Twelve”.   I’ve never been much at math, and it COULD be me, but I doubt it. 

Still in all, it must be rough to have to write a “Chapter Six (or five) of Twelve” and have it maintain much relevancy to the core plot.  It’s simultaneously too far beyond the set-up or beginning, and too far away from the wrap-up or the end to be very much more than “time-passage”. 

And “time-passage” is exactly what “Mode Star” is – and of the worst kind, as it contributes nothing toward the overall plot of reconstructing the mystic Zodiac Stone, makes no reference to the “Mouse Character Contingent” of our epic – and, save for a passing reference to the “Virgo” piece of the stone, could just as easily have passed for a stand-alone Donald Duck misadventure. 

What about all this stuff?  
Not just any old romp of a Donald Duck misadventure, mind you, but one that could very well have sprung from the mind of Vic Lockman circa 1969-1970, when his overtaxed imagination veered into an uncharted territory of loopy-ness. 

…Or have you forgotten this sterling example of his 1969 work – the (…all together now) infamous “Bird-Bothered Hero” (from DONALD DUCK # 127 Cover Date: September 1969)!   

As our issue's cover illustrates, Donald overproduces a literal torrent of “Donald Duck Sailor Suits” (even too many for HIM to wear) at Uncle Scrooge’s automated clothing factory. 

After a plot-detouring visit to a fashion designer...

...He is taken into outer space (!) to a planet of militant female fashionistas!

SPOILER WARNING: They fall in love with Donald’s style and take all the surplus sailor togs off Scrooge’s hands for big McDuck profits, leaving Donald in the classically Vic-Lockmanian position of inadvertent hero.  END SPOILER WARNING!

Sheesh!  It’s really not hard to imagine Lockman and his 1950-1960s views of the world creating this story.  

But, once again, it must be something of a grind to write “Chapter Six (or five) of Twelve” of ANYTHING, so I shouldn’t be too hard on it. 

Please note that whatever I might think of this “time-passing hole-plugger of a plot”, it in no way reflects upon the always superb translation and dialoguing work of Jonathan Gray, who still spins gold from… from... whatever this is. 

Better luck – for ALL of us – next time!

The issue is rounded out by a Bucky Bug SILLY SYMPHONIES Sunday strip page from 1933, drawn by classic artist Al Taliaferro (love the baby birds)

And a 1957 Chip ‘n’ Dale story written by animation writer Nick George and drawn by the great Harvey Eisenberg. 

Gotta love Eisenberg’s version of Brer Bear!

And everyone loves new baby chicks.  Seriously… I do! 

I must emphatically declare that THIS is the reason that WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES must always continue to exist.  For Bucky Bug, and Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Li'l Bad Wolf, and Brer Rabbit, and Scamp... and for all the classic features that would not comfortably fit into a regular Duck or Mouse title!  Long may it continue! 

So, avoid receiving citations from a militaristic fashion police, and get yourself a copy of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 725. 

And don’t take my criticisms of the issue too seriously.  Most of that stems from IDW’s overall standards being SOOOO gosh-darned high!   

Remember you could have had issues that looked like this (Shudder!)...

...Instead of this (Alternate Cover)! 

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. 

See you in the Comments Section - fashionable sailor suits optional!  


Mark said...

When i saw John Loter's cover for this issue i thought it was a gag cover so i was surprised it actually had something to do with the story. Yes, 'Mode Star' is clearly a filler chapter but that's kind of inevitable in a 12 part story. The story works for me because of the incredibly silly premise. Quite a lot of space stories recently 'Plan Dine','Mode Star',this week's issue of Donald and the Super Goof story in Christmas Parade next week. Oh and Mickey #7 is out next week, i like Casty's cover for this one

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, I like that cover a LOT, Mark!

HERE is Mark’s link! Go check it out! It’s not the cover we’ve usually seen up to now!

Space is a frequent and convenient subject for such stories. No unpopular, out-of-fashion, or politically questionable elements to contend with (especially as that barometer changes constantly) and ANYTHING can happen!

Unfortunately, “ANYTHING” can cover a LOT of ground. Sometimes you get Iris-One, Eye-Claudius, and Roddencone, and sometimes you get militant fashionista-femmes. I’ll take the former every time!

I like “space fantasy stories” very much – and I expect that you will like the upcoming Super Goof space-story in CHRISTMAS PARADE – but the story in MICKEY MOUSE # 7 will be a straightforward detective mystery, with no fantasy elements added. No, those trees are not alive, despite what the cover might project.

But, I think you’ll like it, too! After all this “space fantasy”, I think we need this kind of a change of pace!

Elaine said...

This issue of WDCS didn't do much for me, either. But that's partly because I already had read the C&D story in an old American comic. I am fond of C&D, and I certainly don't object to an occasional reprinting of a story that's appeared here before, but personally I'd prefer new-to-the-USA C&D stories.

And while I hope I am a feminist with a sense of humor about gender socialization, I was mildly annoyed by the fact that the alien dominant females were most concerned about fashion. Seems to me like it would have been funnier if the dominant females cared nothing at all about fashion, but had to indulge their males who did care hugely about fashion....This would have even fit better with the fact that it's guy-wear they're seeking.

Joe Torcivia said...


That would have been an interesting alternative, and might have had it read less like the way Vic Lockman would have done it in 1970.

I wonder how large a backlog of New-to-the-USA, Non-Rescue Rangers Chip ‘n’ Dale stories there are.

Elaine said...

There are definitely non-Rangers C&D stories that haven't been printed here. For instance, if you put C&D and Joel Katz in the Inducks search, you get 31 stories for which he is listed for plot, and only two of those have been published in the USA, both by the Disney Interregnum (one in Autumn Adventures, one in WDCS). A bunch more were printed in the UK, so English scripts of some sort do exist for them. And that's just from one creator.

If IDW Disney does reprint C&D stories that have appeared here, I'd prefer they pick stories that are very hard/expensive to get in the original version, for instance, stories that originally appeared in a Christmas Parade. But again, that's just personal preference, not necessarily the best editorial judgment for the audience we're seeking. Most of the IDW audience is not going to buy old issues of C&D.

Joe Torcivia said...


In the case of Chip ‘n’ Dale, I’m perfectly okay with reprinting stories form the CHIP ‘N’ DALE Dell title, as I did not collect those. One of those every couple of issues would be just fine, as it was with this one. I’d prefer them to be by Harvey Eisenberg, and don’t need to see the ones from concurrent issues of WDC&S, as I have those. …As long as we’re ordering our ‘munks from a menu.

The Chip ‘n’ Dales by Joel Katz that you mention appear to be “plot only”, scripted by others (new work for us at IDW, perhaps?), and were predominantly from the 1980s. They were from Egmont, so their art would be good.

I do not recall the ones that were reprinted here. Were they any good? Or would they be any good with new IDW-created American English scripts?

Harvey Eisenberg is something of a fan-favorite artist, certainly if you read the YOWP Hanna-Barbera Blog. And I think he would be a much bigger name, if someone would reprint his truly classic TOM AND JERRY comics. (That would be a nice property for IDW to handle, with a mix of Dell and Gold Key era and newer European material!). I’d like to see him get more credited exposure.

Clapton said...

I second your request for an IDW Tom and Jerry Title! And while we're at it let's have a Looney Tunes Classics title that reprints the best of the Western material with the great modern coloring in the IDW disney line! Let's make it happen folks! Please ;)

Deb said...

The Chip 'n' Dale stories are cute. Harvey Eisenberg did a good job with cute animals, like chipmunks, mice and cats. Even nasty old Tom is cute in an Eisenberg comic. Without Pluto or Donald Duck to annoy, the little fellas aren't the "couple of crazy rascals out to have some fun" that they were in the cartoon shorts. But that's not a bad thing. What they lose in smart-alecky-ness (Is that even a word? It should be...), they more than make up for it in cuteness. Cute features like Bucky Bug, Scamp, Chip 'n' Dale and others can balance out the cynicism of the Donald Duck stories or the more serious Mickey Mouse detective stories nicely, giving Walt Disney's Comics and Stories its own identity rather than just more Donald and Mickey. (That said, is there such a thing as too much Donald and Mickey? Not to me, there isn't!) I'm looking forward to the Oswald the Lucky Rabbit story in the next issue!

Joe Torcivia said...


I fear that, as long as Warner Bros. controls Tom and Jerry, we will never see those comics reprinted – not to mention any sort of Looney Tunes comics would that compete or conflict with the incarnation DC has (remarkably) published since the mid-nineties! But, IDW would be the best place for them, if they ever did happen.

Joe Torcivia said...


Don’t look now, but I think you’ve crystalized precisely why WDC&S has been successful over the years – and why I liked Chip ‘n’ Dale better in the comics than in the animated theatrical shorts. Nicely done!

And, no… there is no such thing as too much Donald and Mickey. And when their titles were bi-monthly (and sometimes even quarterly) it was WDC&S that took up that Duck and Mouse slack while we waited patiently for the next issue.

One more funny thing, because I primarily associated Harvey Eisenberg with The Flintstones and Yogi Bear (on which he did some of his greatest out-of-the-box work, just before he passed away in 1965), I didn’t necessarily associate him with “cute” – but yeah! Jerry and Tuffy… and remarkably even Tom! Not to mention Boo-Boo, and Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm.

And that’s the reason I like HIS Chip ‘n’ Dale so much. That “cuteness”. Now, bring on Oswald!

Pan Miluś said...

I know this is super off topic (don't destroy me) but here are some cameos/refences I found in one of new Issue of Polish Donald Duck pocket books, I think you shall find very interesting. In the story Donald and the boys find a lost dog and try to return him to his owners. Gyro's machine makes him super smart and...

[it's just few examples, the story makes multiple homages but outside of that it's pretty generic - still, cute accent]

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s very interesting, Pan! …And no one gets “destroyed” around here for providing something interesting! …Aw, no one gets “destroyed” around here – period.

I can also recall, in a French comic from the ‘80s or ‘90s, a Goofy and Ellsworth story in which they don disguises that make them the image of Tweety and Sylvester – and, if I recall correctly, they even play out some T&S scenarios!

I have a feeling, under the current, complex, and copiously cautious licensing situations; we are unlikely to see either one, alas.

HERE, HERE, and HERE are the links to Pan’s discovery.

CAUTION: These links invite you to download something – and I DO NOT advocate downloading ANYTHING, the nature of which is not completely clear. If you do not heed my warning, and unexpected consequences occur… then YOU can go ahead and “destroy” our pal Pan for providing these links.

That said, the Donald story images in them are DEFINITELY worth seeing. They are a really interesting homage to a very popular comic strip property. Go travel with caution!

Come to think if it, one COULD get “destroyed” around here for making me create three links in one comment… so beware! :-)

I love the interesting places these comments go!

ramapith said...

Some may disagree, but I don't think "cuteness" is much of a strength. In the world of family entertainment as a whole, cuteness has far too often been used as an excuse for a weak plot or characters. What's more, add too much of it (Care Bears, anyone?), and you risk turning away any reader older than five.
I chose "Defective Detectives" not because the art was cute, but because—as ever with Eisenberg—it was appealing; and because on top of its art, it had plenty of funny slapstick and wit. And rather than being interchangeable cutesy cyphers, Chip and Dale had a little bit of the old vinegar and sibling rivalry in them.

Meanwhile, what's with all the outer space? You're seeing the orbiting particles of what was once to have been an almost entirely space-themed November... until I learned that IDW prefers its Christmas comics to come out in the December shipment, so "Spaced-Out Christmas" and "Sinister Space Santa" got warped ahead a little. That's the way the Wookiee crumbles.

Pan Miluś said...

I don't now how create links in comments :( (If I know, I would do it and save you some trouble) So I risk potential destruction by providing non link\add versions [which is fix, for some odd reason the version above moved 90 degree]

BTW -> The story is super recent, as it doesn't have a INDUCKS entry yet (possibly Poland was first place it got publish)

I guess in Europe we can get away with licenses more.

Years ago there was story where Donald, Gyro and Italian character named Bum Bum Ghigno get transported to Belgium by accident (long story) and meet Tintin and the rest of his main cast : (pictures) (link to actual story)

For odd reason while Tintin [named "DenDen" here], Captain and the twin detectives where drawn in "human form", the character of professor Calculus was a duck. They even remembered to give them all squarer speech bubbles Hergé style, which was nice touch.

Vicar once did an Donald/Asterix crossover

(but to be fair, it was a part of "Asterix and friends" book, which was created as homage to his author Uderzo and had different short stories (1-3 page long) by various European artists. It's actually ironic that when Donald and Gyro bring Asterix and Obelix to modern day Duckburg, everybody (Scrooge included) know who he is and celebrate him for his popularity, cose as far I know Asterix is pretty much unknown character in the USA.)

And in
Donald travel to inside of TV, and while jumping from channel to channel transforms into various characters (including Homer Simpson, Ash from Pokemon) and at one point as he in "anime world", two girls from Miyazaki's Totoro makes an appearance for few panels.

Joe Torcivia said...


Putting links in these comments is a process that’s a little time-consuming – and I have to work with a special template that I created just for that particular process. But it’s something I do for the convenience of my readers – because this Blog is just one of the gosh-darned nicest and reader-friendliest places you’ll find in the whole vastness of the Internet.

Oh, and I was just joshin’ about doing you any ill for making me create three links for your previous comment… WHAT? There are SEVEN LINKS in THIS COMMENT? Howlin’ crashwagons!

If you ever see me coming, and have a chance to duck down a dark alley full of Terrible Beagle Boys accompanied by The Phantom Blot, Peg Leg Pete, The Rhyming Man, Magica De Spell, Flintheart Glomgold, Emil Eagle, and the team of Dangerous Dan Mc Boo and Idjit the Unpleasant Derby-Wearing Little Person… take your chances with the alley! Snarl!

Here are Pan’s links by Number. They really are worth seeing, and we’ll probably not see the actual stories for reasons mentioned earlier.








Joe Torcivia said...


I think the key to the whole "cuteness" thing is that Harvey Eisenberg’s Chip ‘n’ Dale stories were "cute" long before "cuteness" was mandated for this type of entertainment. They also, as you point out, have their moments of good humor. And that’s what separates good "all ages" entertainment like this from (Shudder!) “Care Bears”!

In any event, let’s see more of Eisenberg’s Chip ‘n’ Dales (preferably from their own Dell title, and not from prior issues of WDC&S) as the situation allows. Reaction, including mine, would seem to be quite favorable!

I did not know that “space” was once planned as a “Theme Month” for IDW.

Now, knowing that the "Space Fashion Police" installment of "Zodiac Stone" would see print in November 2015, did you actually PLAN for "Plan Dine from Outer Space" in MICKEY MOUSE # 6 to ALSO do so as far back as when you were plotting-out WDC&S for a year of "Zodiac Stone"? And same for "Spaced-Out Christmas"? Perhaps even Super Goof’s "Sinister Space Santa"?

If so, that’s some intricate planning.

ramapith said...

Joe sez: "Now, knowing that the 'Space Fashion Police' installment of 'Zodiac Stone' would see print in November 2015, did you actually PLAN for "Plan Dine from Outer Space" in MICKEY MOUSE # 6 to ALSO do so as far back as when you were plotting-out WDC&S for a year of 'Zodiac Stone'? And same for 'Spaced-Out Christmas'? Perhaps even Super Goof’s 'Sinister Space Santa'?"

Why so surprised? It wasn't so hard to say "Hmm, I've got one wacky outer space story... why not find a few more?"

Not too different from planning a month of Christmas- or Easter-themed issues for any other time in recent memory... so yeah—I actually owe the specific choice of "Plan Dine" in MM, as opposed to some other Casty or Eega Beeva story, to the fact that "Mode Star" was concurrently running in WDCS.

Deb said...

Another suggestion for Walt Disney's Comics and Stories filler is some of the Silly Symphonies one-shot material, like The Three Little Kittens or other such pieces of Disney history. Stuff that'll make the long time fans say, "I remember that!" and introduce new readers to the world of Classic Disney beyond Mice, Ducks, Bugs, Wolves, Puppies and Chipmunks.

Joe Torcivia said...


You write: “I actually owe the specific choice of "Plan Dine" in MM, as opposed to some other Casty or Eega Beeva story, to the fact that "Mode Star" was concurrently running in WDCS”.

Wow! Then, maybe I oughtta like “Mode Star” a lot more! You’re forgiven, Fashionistas! Oh, and thanks for PERCY and Iris-One!

Joe Torcivia said...


Nice idea, on more “Silly Symphonies”. But, you never know what those tricky licensing deals will and will not allow. Things were so simple when there was just one publisher – and they could run pretty much anything. (Sigh!)

HERE’S Deb’s link for all to visit. And, thanks for making it only ONE link, Deb! (Puff! Pant!) :-)

Pan Miluś said...

If all the villains you mentioned will ever attack me in an alley, this is the only way I want to go :


Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Pan! And the same to you!