Monday, January 18, 2016

Cover Me, I'm Going In!

I've been an officially credited dialogue creator for these comics since 2006 and, peripherally to one small extent or another, a minor party to the process longer than that.  In view of this, I must say that finding my name on the cover of issues I've contributed to, with the coming of IDW, is both a new and flattering experience.  

So, when something happens that in any way modifies this, I find it worth noting.  

This past Saturday (January 09, 2016), to mark the first signs of the passing of my (all together now...) "horrifically busy period", I picked up the three Disney comic book titles from IDW.  

They were previously thought to look like this...

But, instead, they looked like this!  

Let's "compare a pair" of these covers, shall we?  

Oddly, the IDW logo has become SMALLER.  

But, in comparison, the issue number, and the legacy issue number have become considerably larger.  

Now, I don't know about diminishing the size of your publisher branding - especially when a publisher has AS MUCH TO BE PROUD OF as IDW.  Golly, it's not as if they were Charlton, or sumpthin'!   

But, I DO like the greater prominence of the issue number.  In a world where alternate covers abound, the issue number becomes all the more important when rifling through a back-issue-bin for that one issue you missed.  You may not recognize the cover but, with this large an issue number, you'll know immediately if it's an issue you need... or already have!  

The CREATOR CREDITS have also moved - from the upper left side beneath the IDW logo, issue numbers, and price, to the TOP CENTER of the cover!  ...Above the name of "Walt Disney", in fact!  Though in a smaller font.  

Now, this would seem to allow for a greater number of creators to be listed, as you can see the names of Carlo Chendi, Lars Jensen, and Francisco Rodriguez Peinado have been added to the DONALD DUCK cover...

...And Wilfred Haughton, Jack Bradbury, and Yours Truly have been added to the MICKEY MOUSE COVER! 

Yet, strangely, the name of Bob Ogle was not added to the cover of WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES -- and Tony Strobl, who WAS on the earlier version, is omitted from this one!  

Ogle's absence is a particular shame, as I believe he was only credited in one American Disney comic prior to this - Disney Comics Album # 8 "Super Goof: The World's Silliest Super-Hero", the text introduction for which just happened to be my own first professional credit!  

Click to enlarge text excerpt and credits.  

Another thing... apparently sometimes, as in the case of this Alternate Cover to MICKEY MOUSE # 8, the creator credits are MOVED TO THE BOTTOM of the cover! 

At least we're a bit more properly positioned in relation to the name of Mr. Disney!  

The fact that is is an alternate (or "Sub Cover") is also more clearly identified.  

The only mystery remaining is why this did not apply to UNCLE SCROOGE # 10 - also a January, 2016 release.  Wouldn't you have expected ALL releases for the month to exhibit this change in cover format?  

So, what say you all about the new covers?  Our Comments Section is always open!  


Deb said...

I think that it looks nice. The other names over Walt's is a bit weird, and I wouldn't be surprised if eventually Disney nixes the practice, but by now I think that everyone knows Unca' Walt not only didn't write and draw all these comics himself, but also has been dead for years. (No disrespect is meant to Mr. Disney with that comment, by the way.) My local Comic shop got shorted on the Walt Disney's Comics and Stories issue, but they're going to get it for me they said. A shame, because I wanted to read that Tony Strobl story as well as the next Zodiac Stone chapter. A bit off topic, but here's a sketch I drew of Mickey napping, which hopefully you'll get a chance to do now that you're past your (all together now...) "horrifically busy period".

Joe Torcivia said...


You will enjoy the Bob Ogle / Tony Strobl “Planet X Mystery”, once you finally get to read it. As I keep saying, it was that rare comic book story that “got” the difference between Ludwig Von Drake and Gyro Gearloose, and turned them loose on poor Donald in the same story!

I think that, if this is IDW’s new cover format across ALL their titles, they will probably retain it. Though, they have shown that we creators can be shifted to the bottom of the cover, in the event of objections.

I didn’t see a link to a napping Mickey drawing… but that could be because *I* am so tired. :-) Not enough catch-up sleep yet, but there WILL be a new LONG post on IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE # 8 coming by the end of the week! Look for it! Super Goof will be there too!

Deb said... Oops! Forgot the link...

Joe Torcivia said...


And, since posting your last comment, I did catch a nice long (and needed) nap! So, with the link, and with the nap, all is (at least for the present) right with the world! ...Of course, it's back to the day-job tomorrow! (Groan!)

HERE is Deb’s link. Everyone go there to see what Mickey is dreaming of. It’s not Minnie, it’s not besting Pete or The Phantom Blot, and it’s not even being the leader of the club that’s made for you and me!

It’s also not about IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE # 8, but you can read LOTS on that right here, later in the week! It’s also not about shamelessly plugging your future Blog posts, because Mickey would never do that!

Go on, after all this, aren’t you curious to see what he’s dreaming about?

top_cat_james said...

This bit in your "Super Goof" text intro caught my attention -

A long-held taboo in writing for Western was that a character could never get an effect by eating or drinking anything.

Uhh...Popeye? How about Underdog? Super Chicken? Captain Nice? All four gained their powers by ingesting a substance, and all four published by Western ( the last two however briefly).

Your misrepresentation is a (phantom) blot upon the integrity of The Dork Knight. Is it too late for a retraction? I demand a refund!

Joe Torcivia said...


It is always a pleasure to see you around here! Seriously, what’s up with you… You never call, you rarely write! :-)

That quote, as the excerpt indicates, was from my lengthy mail correspondence (and occasional visits) with long-time Western comic book writer Don R. Christensen. He was alive then but, alas, cannot defend his quote today, so it will have to stand. I figure he was there, and I wasn’t, so I go with his version.

Honestly, I *did* think of Popeye, as the Sailor Man was published by Dell, Gold Key, and Whitman, with breaks at King and (unfortunately) Charlton. But, I figured Popeye was grandfathered (…or, would that be “grand-pappyed”) in.

Let’s say we overlook Super Chicken and Captain Nice because, as you note, combined they probably appeared less than five times overall.

I don’t have any of the Gold Key UNDERDOG comics, as they were published at a time I was “out of comics”, and just never caught up with the back issues. I’m curious if any of them actually depicted Underdog taking the “Underdog Energy Pill” (?) that he kept in his ring. The ring, BTW, that we never saw at any time in the cartoons, other than when he needed the pill.

I also suppose that’s why there never was a Roger Ramjet Gold Key comic. I mean REALLY, they did pretty much EVERYTHING ELSE, back in 1965! Why not “The Heee-roh of Our Naaa-shunn”?

And, to close the Super Goof argument, I also declined, out of sheer politeness, to ask Mr. Christensen why it would have been okay for Goofy to swallow the peanut SHELL AND ALL! Wouldn’t that have been a choking hazard? Today’s “me” would have done it! Darn my propriety, anyhow!

If you can remember the comics retailer you bought the Super Goof album from in 1991, I’d agree you’d be justified in requesting a refund. Tell him the author of the questionable text piece sent you! :-)

Seriously, I hope you’re enjoying the new IDW comics – because I am having the GREATEST TIME working on them. And, in them, I’ll promise to keep the “questionable positions of logic” to a minimum, unlike in the Super Goof text!

Joe Torcivia said...

Blog-Keeping Notes!

Today, I added new labels for Romano Scarpa, Casty, and Super Goof! So, you can now isolate posts which refer to them.

Just for the record there 31 posts with the "Romano Scarpa" label.

5 posts with the "Casty" label. (I certainly hope to have more!)

7 posts with the "Super Goof" label - including this very post.

This is in addition to recently added labels for "David Gerstein", "Jonathan Gray", Thad Komorowski", and "Paul Murry".

"Improvement" is one of our many middle names around here, though I haven't created a label for it yet.

top_cat_james said...

Seriously, what’s up with you… You never call, you rarely write! :-)

I'm in the middle of a (all together now...) "horrifically busy period".

Honestly, I seem to always be two months behind on my "Core Four" comics pile, so I am unable to comment on current issues. I usually only have opportunity to read at bedtime, so with your books, plus my other regular titles, and the strip reprint collections, its difficult to catch up.

I did try downing some Super Goobers in a attempt to speed-read, but I turned the pages so fast, my books caught on fire. Would you please ask David to send me some "review copies" for the November issues? Thanks.

Joe Torcivia said...


Well, if there’s one thing I can relate to it’s a (…all together now) “horrifically busy period”! May yours come to a happy conclusion soon!

The only regular reading time that I can count on is also just before bed. That, and sitting in the car at lunch hours. But, over the (…all together now) “horrifically busy period”, there have been no lunch hours. Once they finally resume, I’ll probably use them to catch up on reviewing the Uncle Scrooge “bicycling” script that is soon due.

I’ll beat you to it and say reading my books at bedtime, probably helps you to get to sleep all the faster. At least you don‘t read them in the bathroom! …Or, do you?

Happily for you, being two months behind very likely has you ready to enjoy MICKEY MOUSE # 6 and the great “ Plan Dine from Outer Space” contained therein! It is a superlative effort from Casty, and my favorite of all the IDW comics I’ve worked on to date.

But the great thing about most IDW “Core Four” Disney comics is that (with certain exceptions, of course) you don’t have to read them in any strict order! So, you can read MM # 6, or skip to MM # 8 right now and be ready for the big post on MM # 8 later in the week! Either way, I predict good times!

…Oh, and when you read MM # 7 next month, you can celebrate Christmas in February, while the rest of us are just shoveling snow! Some guys have all the luck!

Sergio Goncalves said...

Interesting change. I'd say it's a mixed bag, in which not all the nuts are goobers. I like the larger issue numbers and the indication that a particular cover is an alternate cover. I don't like the fact that the IDW logo is smaller, though that may be an effort to keep IDW from overshadowing Walt Disney. If so, it's understandable. I'm really not sold on moving the author names to the top or the bottom of the page. Somehow, they seem less conspicuous that way, maybe because they seem further removed from the action in the cover. Then again, maybe it has more to with the font size than with where the names are. In the old format, the names were in bold, and were therefore more noticeable. In any case, I do hope IDW makes the names more prominent again somehow. Of course, having space to credit more authors is a good thing. But it looks like they don't always credit more people now. In the case of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #727, fewer people are credited! Like I said, it's a mixed bag. At least y'all are credited, unlike Carl Barks. Now that just wasn't right.

Joe Torcivia said...


There are definite pros and cons, however you look at it.

Remember that I do not speak for IDW. That said, I’d say this is just a line-wide change in cover format that all publishers do every now and then.

It’s just one of those things that are fun to note among fans!

Carl Barks should have had some type of credit on his original work. So should Paul Murry, Tony Strobl, and all those folks! I’m glad they did eventually get it, even if it came far too late!

Horace said...

Hello! I've just started collecting MM so I'm a bit behind, but I love your work so far, and the whole team's efforts. I'm not sure if you check old posts so I've just commented here.

At the risk of sounding unintelligent, I do love "The Sound-Blot Plot" in MM #2, but I'm a bit confused as to the plot from roughly page 14-17. I'm not too sure what exactly happens here? It would be great to understand it a bit more when I re-read it again.

I would love to join the discussion however my backlog of comic knowledge is limited; this is my first collection! However I know the Mickey characters well and I LOVE Goofy's characterisation of a "different" kind of intelligence. Well done.

Joe Torcivia said...


Welcome aboard, and thank you for the kind words on my work – and that of IDW! It’s a great team to be on!

As I employ “Comment Moderation” for this Blog, I would see every comment I receive, regardless of how old a post might be. So, yes, I would see the comments and respond. Other readers and commenters might not look back on older posts, but rest assured that I will.

Anyway, please feel free to comment on any post – new or old.

On Pages 14-17, the Blot essentially misleads Mickey and Chief O’Hara, in order to embarrass them – and discredit Mickey’s standing with the police and with his friends.

Don’t be concerned about any “limited backlog of comic knowledge” around here! Everyone is welcome to ask about, or comment on, anything. If I have an answer, I’ll certainly give it.

Unlike certain other places on the Internet, we have fun around here, and you’re welcome to join it.

Joe Torcivia said...

And, for Sergio (above) and anyone else who might be interested, HERE is a post on the various logos of DC comics – and how they’ve changed over the years. Much more dramatic than IDW’s recent changes.

Pan Miluś said...

Isn't that evil profesor with big "Z" on the cover base on similiar character from Belgian "Spirou" comics?

Joe Torcivia said...

I honestly wouldn’t know that, Pan.

I only know him as Dr. Zantaf, and was introduced to him via working on the story in DONALD DUCK # 9. Though, I understand that he became a recurring villain in some European stories.

I’ll leave it to any other aficionados reading this to elaborate further.

Horace said...

Ah thankyou! Upon rereading I found that piece of the puzzle I was missing - that the Blot was misleading Mickey with the cover of the flabbergé egg... outwitting Mickey and leading him on a goosechase. This definitely makes sense now, and actually adds so much to the story. I love it!

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Horace! Do return with more comments, when you can!

Adel Khan said...

I’m glad that the “horrifyingly-busy week” has come to a close for you, Joe. :)

I prefer the current layout with the artists and writers name spread apart rather than it be relegated to the corner. The current configuration with the IDW logo and issue number, makes me wax nostalgic for the Gold Key era.

There is a great sense of acknowledgment when you see the fantabulous artwork of the artists, and look at the inside credits for who the illustrator is. I wanted to point out to you, and everyone here IDW’s preview of Disney comics in
April. It will also be one year since the first issue of “Uncle Scrooge” IDW released.

The contents for “Donald Duck” and “Uncle Scrooge” are appealing. The story in “Donald Duck” is a funny title. The name of the villain you came up for that story has an essence of what Carl Barks and Michael Maltese would have done. The long story “Scrooge’s Last Adventure” sounds intriguing with all of his foes against him. Every once in a while it’s nice to see Scrooge in an emotional wringer, where everything is going wrong.

It’s great seeing Van Horn and Branca in the pages of Disney comics after a while. I read David Gerstein’s post about the later Gemstone issues, it’s nice to see the material planned for those will be released.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thank you, Adel!

The busy period may have come to an “official” close, but the residual effects will linger on for a while longer. The majority of this last weekend was spent shoveling snow (both days), when I’d hoped to have prepared another Blog post. Then, there’s the next few weekends crammed full of everything I was unable to do during the busy period. And I have another Super Goof script to do! Can’t wait to begin tackling that!

Thanks, also, for the April IDW Previews! Every month, IDW just keeps delivering such amazing stuff! I say this not as a contributor to the line, but as a life-long fan! Most often, I decline even a peek at upcoming material when David offers it to me because I want to enjoy this stuff to the fullest when it is released!

You write: “The name of the villain you came up for that story has an essence of what Carl Barks and Michael Maltese would have done.”

You could not have complemented me more if you erected a statue and marshalled a marching band parade!

It may be corny to have “heroes” in this day and age, but Carl Barks and Michael Maltese are MINE!

Each produced some of the very best work their respective fields have ever seen, and each was incapable of producing bad work. And that’s just speaking of them as WRITERS where I, as a writer, appreciate them on the most personal level – never mind Barks as an all-time best comics artist! Even the lesser works of these two historically great creators was never anything less than enjoyable!

And it’s funny that you bring both of them up in relation to “Two-Wheel McHeel”, because my creation of the name does actually take both of them into consideration. It’s a Barksian-sounding name, and it has the same general cadence as “Quick Draw McGraw”.

David called me in the middle of (day-job) work one day, and asked me to offer up a name for the bicycling villain of a story I’d be assigned. He sent me one representative panel featuring said “villain” (…though I’d call him more of an obnoxious egotist – and leave the “villain” tag for Rockerduck), and I just blurted-out “Two-Wheel McHeel” on the spot! He was all for it, so “Two-Wheel McHeel”, it was!

Also, David gave me the title of “Vicious Cycles”, so credit him for that! It’s a blessing to have someone like him as an editor – and it’s clearly reflected throughout the entire line!

Comicbookrehab said...

I like the cover layout change because it displays the price in an easy-to-read font on the front. Call it a pet peeve, but I didn't care for the clerks at the comic shop flipping/sometimes bending the spine of the copy I'd picked out to check the price after making sure I had picked a nice-looking copy to purchase.I've barely stepped out of the shop and it goes through more rough-handling than someone flipping through it on crowded public transportation! :)

Joe Torcivia said...

I can't say I blame you there, 'Rehab!

You would think that anyone servicing a customer base that, as a whole, is concerned with condition, would take proper care! But, noooooo!