Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Like Mickey's plant, we’ve just fully digested our Thanksgiving turkeys, and you know what that means? 

Yes, it’s time for some CHRISTMAS comics! 

And this week, TWO of them will feature my dialogue work - MICKEY MOUSE # 7 and MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE # 1 from IDW!

In MM # 7, Mickey and Chief O’Hara (and Detective Casey) try to solve the mystery of “The Christmas Tree Crimes”…

And Super Goof takes on “The Sinister Space Santa” in CHRISTMAS PARADE!

While we’re at it, let’s not forget last week’s “Spaced-Out Christmas” in DONALD DUCK # 8, translated and dialogued by Thad Komorowski – in which Retro-Thad treats us to retro-this!  Retro-Yay! 

Hopefully, we’ll have some Merry Blog Posts coming up!  


Deb said...

I just finished Mickey Mouse #7. It's a very good issue, especially for fans of the classic Mickey Mouse detective stories. The plot about stealing only a certain kind of trees made me think of an early Adventures of Superman episode where Lois Lane and Clark Kent stumbled onto a group of smugglers who would buy and destroy cheap statuesl. I never would have guessed the villain in this one, although the pattern should have been a tip off. It was a nice plot twist on the part of the Barossos. As usual, I love Scarpa's artwork. While we have been seeing more of his Duck stories lately, in my opinion, Scarpa is one of the top Mickey Mouse artists.
"While We Were Waiting" was a fun backup story, showing a more comedic side of Mickey and Pete's hero/villain dynamic. The Goofy short was good for a chuckle, and it was a treat to get to see another of Wilfred Haughton's Mickey Mouse Annual pieces from England.

I loved last week's Donald Duck issue as well. Between both of those issues and the Christmas Parade that I haven't read yet, December is looking like a good month for Disney Comics. Keep up the good work!

Joe Torcivia said...


I am flabbergasted that you bring up the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN episode “The Mystery of the Broken Statues”, for reasons few would suspect.

For the Phantom Blot issue of Fantagraphics’ magnificent Floyd Gottfredson hardcover series, “Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot” (2014), in addition to the text feature “The Cast: The Blot”, purely on spec I wrote an additional text piece comparing that very episode of THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN to Gottfredson’s original 1939 Blot mystery and why, at that particular time in the 1950s, the similarities COULD have been something more than coincidental.

I’d hoped there would be room in the book for this additional insight. Alas, there wasn’t. And so it has languished on a thumb drive since the latter part of 2013.

I figured I would someday turn it into a Blog post (…Because, if there’s one lesson I learned from all my years of watching Irwin Allen’s sci-fi TV shows, it’s “Never throw anything away, when it can be used again later!”) – and now you’ve given me new impetus to do exactly that.

Depending on how the week plays out I may do it before – or after—the full post on MICKEY MOUSE # 7.

I also have the fun of reading CHRISTMAS PARADE ahead of me. Where I mentioned that November 2015 was the first month that what I term as “The IDW Disney Creative Core Four” (David Gerstein, Jonathan Gray, Thad Komorowski, and myself) each had an issue’s lead story, MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE would seem to be the first BOOK to which “The IDW Disney Creative Core Four” all contribute scripts!

I will also openly state that waking-up on a day where not one but TWO of my contributions would go on sale made me both extremely proud and extremely happy! And there’s nothing like a huge dose of “extremely happy” to counteract an otherwise bothersome, if not outright stressful, day-job workday!

It’s a unique and unparalleled type of “high” that’s sometimes difficult to articulate – particularly to those outside the comic book or other creative realms. But it never gets old – and anyone who doesn’t feel it should move out and onto something else, because it’s an honor and a privilege to be able to do this… and to see your name on such wonderful stuff!

I can say, without doubt, that this applies to each of “The IDW Disney Creative Core Four” - and, to me, it shows in every issue we contribute to!

scarecrow33 said...

Is anybody going to mention "The Adventure of the Six Napoleons" by Arthur Conan Doyle? I think the later writers must have drawn inspiration from this Sherlock Holmes story.

How wonderful that all of you guys contributed at once to "Christmas Parade"! It's great just having a new "Christmas Parade" issue to anticipate! I remember the annual excitement of finding the latest "Christmas Parade" on the stands. I savored every issue as it came out--only ones I didn't have as a kid were #1 and #2, but naturally I have remedied that long since. (It's the Gold Key era I am referencing, of course.) And I am SO glad it's CHRISTMAS and not the more PC HOLIDAY Parade! (I don't know of any holiday called "Holiday" by the way--seems a bit redundant to me.) So it's great that the Disney characters are once again permitted to celebrate Christmas, and that Disney comics fans can look forward to a treat. Can't wait!

Joe Torcivia said...


I have little doubt that it all goes back to Doyle, up to and including “The Christmas Tree Crimes” (…which actually dates back to 1962 Italy, by the way) and beyond. But, in a Mickey Mouse context, most everything goes back to Gottfredson – as clearly does this story. I even had one line tying “The Christmas Tree Crimes” to “Mickey Mouse Outwits The Phantom Blot” that failed to survive one of the levels of editing.

As a Dell and Gold Key traditionalist, I also enjoy seeing the book once again titled “Christmas Parade”.

Those Gold Key “Christmas Parade” issues you refer to (and that I had too) featured some of the earliest American Carl Barks reprints, before they would later begin in earnest. I first saw the classics “Christmas on Bear Mountain” (introducing Uncle Scrooge), “Christmas for Shacktown”, and “The Golden Christmas Tree” in issues of Gold Key’s “Christmas Parade”.

…And, isn’t it funny how those stories continue to be referred-to in Duck Christmas stories of later vintage. That’s the sign of true classic status.

Joe Torcivia said...

Other Important Business:

Everyone drop what you’re doing and go read the Thad Komorowski Translated-and-Dialogued story in “Christmas Parade” titled “Christmas Clubbing”! It is his best effort seen in the pages of IDW, even topping last month’s UNCLE SCROOGE!

Just sit back and enjoy Thad’s version of the feuding Donald Duck and Gladstone Gander, because the (verbal) "hits" just keep on coming in grand laugh-out-loud-fashion! He really did Old Don and Gladdy proud! And, there are tons of other pop-cultural references to boot. It’s as good as it gets, folks. And I still have Jonathan’s contribution to this issue waiting for me to enjoy! …It’s gonna be fun to eventually review this issue!

Also, David points out that he actually DID mention the ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN episode “The Mystery of the Broken Statues” and my drawing a connection to “Mickey Mouse Outwits The Phantom Blot” on the “Acknowledgements Page” of that very Fantagraphics Floyd Gottfredson Library hardcover volume.

Indeed he did, and a fine acknowledgment it was… even mentioning “Super Goof” just to further make my day. He’s just that way, you know! …And may he always be!

But, the full essay has still never managed to escape that aforementioned thumb drive, and will eventually emerge as a Blog post here.

Deb said...

Disney's in-house comics publishing effort did indeed have two issues of "Walt Disney's Holiday Parade", even though the majority of the contents were Christmas stories. I'm not going to open that can of worms about whether it is PC or not to title the book Christmas Parade...we'll leave that argument to everyone else on the internet. I'll just enjoy the mix of "Barksian cynicism" and holiday cheer that inhabits the pages of Walt Disney's Mickey and Donald Christmas Parade. I imagine that adding "Mickey and Donald" to the title "Walt Disney's Christmas Parade" was a marketing decision, much like the earliest Silly Symphonies were billed "Mickey Mouse presents Silly Symphonies" to boost sales to exhibitors. Hopefully, there will be more 64 page specials like this one and the Walt Disney's Comics and Stories 75th Anniversary issue. They remind me of Gladstone and Gemstone's prestige format issues, but, interestingly, with a lower price. Maybe they could use the format to print one of the longer Scarpa or Casty stories all in one book as a Mickey Mouse (or Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge) annual. Just a thought...

Joe Torcivia said...


Having no taste for “cans of worms” either, my own view on the title matter is (as noted above) strictly as a Dell and Gold Key traditionalist.

And, if there’s one unexpected negative to the format, it’s that it cannot lie flat on the surface of my scanner. Therefore, any illustrations for future Blog posts may be limited to those on the outer perimeter of the pages. Otherwise, IDW should keep ‘em coming!

Clapton said...

I wonder if the price is lower because they don't have to churn out these 64 page giants monthly. I really hope WDC&S (and ONLY WDC&S) is eventually promoted back to prestige format.

Deb said...

I haven't finished Christmas Parade yet (I'm reading it a little bit at a time...this is one of those books I don't want to rush through), and so far, the first two stories have been fantastic. The Blight Before Christmas feels like an old Dell Comics one-shot, between the artwork and the story. It seems a bit gimmicky to bring so many Duck and Mouse regulars (and a few not-so-regularly seen folk, like Ludwig Von Drake and Gilbert) together in the same story, but it works.
Similarly, Christmas Clubbing is a story that I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not reading a Barks reprint (although lines like "Hey, Hey, Hey! It's Saaaint Nicolas!" and references to Ren and Stimpy help to put it back in perspective). While Barks homages and imitations appear so often that sometimes it's hard to stifle a yawn while reading yet another one, this story gets it right and does so in a lively way, like the best Daan Jippes and Fred Milton stories from Gladstone's run did. Many of Barks' Christmas stories are referenced one way or another in this tale, most notably A Christmas for Shacktown, with brief nods to A Letter to Santa and Christmas on Bear Mountain. Kirsten de Graaf and Mau Heymans know their Barks, and manage to turn out something that feels familiar yet is still new enough to keep the most jaded Barks fan interested. Heymans' artwork really makes this one feel like a classic as well. This story wouldn't have worked as well if it were drawn like the one-page parking meter gag, as it would have pulled you out of the Barksian feel of the story.
Now I still have another one-page gag and a Super Goof story left to read. This book is one of those issues that is so good that it feels like it's too short...

Joe Torcivia said...


Nooooooo! If WDC&S became a prestige squarebound format book once again, it would be impossible to put through my scanner for these blog posts! It’s gonna be tough enough trying to scan panels from MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE without having to do that on a more regular basis.

Gosh! If that’s the biggest objection I could have, it’s not very much of one…

Seriously, I like the format just as it is. It’s “classic”, but expanded and with great printing and paper. And, something we’ve come to take for granted (spoiled brats that we are), NO ADS spread thoughout every part of the issue, to act as land mines waiting to “detonate disruption all over our reading experience”!

And, WDC&S, more than any other title, should take full advantage of the expanded page count to do what it has always done best – Duck-start, Mouse-end, and lots of goodies in between!

Joe Torcivia said...


Just like you, MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE “… is one of those books I don't want to rush through”. Though, thus far, I’ve taken a slightly different path.

Naturally, I read the Super Goof story first. It was my dialogue, and I’m always eager to see how stories that I work on emerge in their final form, as I’ve see them in various stages of production and editing.

Honestly, I’ve heard so much internal buzz about Thad’s contributions to “Christmas Clubbing” that it was a “next-up must read” for me. And, as you can see by my comments, it has more than lived up to the hype.

“The Blight Before Christmas” looking, as you say, “…like an old Dell Comics one-shot” is a perfect desert to close the issue (though it is also a perfect “opening” – even though it didn’t work out that way for me), with the pair of one-page gags to act as after dinner mints.

One point I was saving for the eventual “main post” on MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE, but I might as well loose it here, is that David has that uncanny knack of picking and assigning stories that best suit us as “translators and dialogue-writers”.

The super-hero / sci-fi elements, and misconception of the Christmas spirit (not to mention the bickering couple) of the Super Goof story best suited me. The squawking contentiousness of “Christmas Clubbing” best suits Thad. And the overall classic “gang’s all here” quality of “The Blight Before Christmas” best suits Jonathan. (If you ever got to know us, you'd see how true this is!) I notice this "matching of translator personality and story" appears to be a constant in many of the stories we three are assigned.

Every story in this issue was probably better than it might otherwise have been, directly due to David’s choices and overall editorial guidance! …And it’s something the average reader would never notice!

Clapton said...

Just read Christmas Parade and it's good, really good. I'll refrain from any further comments until your blog post on Christmas Parade but I will say that so far December is actually topping November as my favorite month this year for the IDW line. I didn't think it could be possible but after reading Mickey, Donald and Christmas Parade it may be! Don't let me down Unca Scrooge and WDC&S!

Joe Torcivia said...


I dunno… November was a pretty amazing month! However, December IS off to an outstanding start, and is only further enhanced by the addition of the truly excellent MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE!

I haven’t read UNCLE SCROOGE yet (won’t be able to pick it up for at least another week), but its revisit to Bear Mountain makes it a likely contender. And, WDC&S will present David’s wonderful Oswald the Lucky Rabbit story (I’ve seen it long ago!) meaning that December’s “movin’ up fast”!

This has also become a horrifically busy period for me that is expected to stretch into early to mid-January… but I promise that posts on some of the December books are coming. Certainly MICKEY MOUSE # 7 and MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE, if not more. So, everyone please bear with me.