No, that's not a little blue SMURF on the cover of MICKEY MOUSE # 8 (Legacy Numbering # 317) from IDW! Though I certainly can understand some confusion among the uninitiated.
Meet ATOMO BLEEP-BLEEP (Don't look at me, I didn't name him!), a child-human sized sentient ATOM complete with electrons orbiting his head, pal to Mickey Mouse, and one of the more wonderfully bizarre creations to spring from the wonderfully bizarre imagination of the great Italian Disney comics creator Romano Scarpa!
...Yep, Romano Scarpa even had to "one-up" the also wonderfully bizarre Bill Walsh and his strange and quirky (but now generally accepted as part of canon) creation of "Man of Tomorrow" EEGA BEEVA, with a walking talking ATOM!
Eega and Atomo... sure makes GOOFY seem completely normal, eh?
Anyway, for those who wouldn't know our little blue friend, er... "from atom", (pardon) his origin story first appeared in the United States in Gemstone's MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES # 11, in Scarpa's story titled here "Mickey Mouse in the Delta Dimension".
Look really closely, and you'll see it's PETE firing that formidable atomic cannon dingus!
Oh, and meet Atomo Bleep-Bleep!
Now that we've met him, we can all enjoy him in "The Chirikawa Necklace" (Part 1 of 2), originally from the Italian publication TOPOLINO # 230 (1960), written and drawn by the great Romano Scarpa. Brought to us via translation by everyone's favorite Archival Editor David Gerstein, and dialogued in American English by Jonathan Gray and the aforementioned Editor Gerstein!
Indeed, David and Jonathan thoughtfully offer a quick recap of Atomo's origin, for those who've never read MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES # 11 - or those like myself, who felt a need to revisit it, before tackling this story.
So, strap in and let's go! Or, dare I indulge myself by saying "ATOMO Batteries to Power! Turbines to Speed!" ...No, I won't do that! Oh, wait... I just did! Sorry!
Anyway, it's a really nice day for Mickey and Atomo...
...Until something strange comes over Mickey!
Atomo decides to take Mickey to his Aunt Melinda's farm for some needed rest... leading to one of my major pet peeves!
Shouldn't Mickey's Aunt Melinda be a MOUSE?
|Um... "Little Mick-Mick"?! That's PURE Jonathan Gray!|
Perhaps she is, old and worn with her ears bobbed under all that gray hair - but I don't think so.
While Casty's more contemporary creation Eurasia Toft may not have the pronounced ears, she still looks like a mouse - and she's not even a relation!
And, let's see... While Mickey is resting at Aunt Melinda Mouse's(?) farm, there is a series of strange robberies.
Nice reference by Jonathan to the Mickey Mouse cartoon "Symphony Hour" (1942), one of the better Mickey color cartoons!
We find PETE in jail, and are introduced to his main squeeze "Trudy Van Tubb"...
Though this is the introductory story for Trudy, we've seen her previously in THIS STORY!
It seems that, long ago, Aunt Melinda once had a unique looking necklace...
Mickey was kidnapped as a baby...
|Digression: I guess Aunt Melinda looked more like a "Mouse" when she was younger?|
|Aw, ain't he the cutest Li'l Mick-Mick, though?|
Lot's of weird stuff like this (What? You expected different from Romano Scarpa?) makes "The Chirikawa Necklace" (Part 1 of 2) a MUST READ! I can't wait to see where this goes in Part Two!
Golden Age British creator Wilfred Haughton gives us (but not Mickey) a break when the "Rent Man" comes calling. As it's 1935, it's probably not unusual that even Mickey is in arrears.
Seeing this, I can't help but recall the futile pursuits of "Percy the Rent Man" in the (also) British comic strip ANDY CAPP.
We close with (Ta-Dah!) SUPER GOOF in "Polar Opposition" (1972), writer unknown, penciled by classic Disney and funny animal comics artist Jack Bradbury, inked by Steve Steere, translated by our own David Gerstein, and titled and dialogued by perhaps the greatest Super Goof fan on the planet - Yours Truly!
Though the issue's credits page states this story's first publication was in Brazil, it actually originated with the Disney Studio Program in Burbank, CA - also known as an "S" Coded story.
As such, it is typically straightforward, moving its characters from "Point A" to "Point B", without much of the funny and outright weird stuff associated with the Italian product.
That means it's all the more incumbent upon me to make it read as lively (and, hopefully funny) as I can. I had particular fun with the CAPTIONS, purposely over-dramatizing and gagging them up whenever possible.
For instance, I'll NEVER TELL what Super Goof's amazing last mission was... 'cause, if I do, I'll probably have to kill... me!
This issue is just chock full of characters you've seen before, but probably don't remember where! First Atomo Bleep-Bleep then maybe Trudy Van Tubb, and now Dr. Dunk - who, in our story, freezes the oceans solid!
The Dunk-debut was in the aptly-titled "Super Goof meets Mad Doctor Dunk"...
...in Gemstone's MICKEY MOUSE MEETS BLOTMAN special of 2005.
In freezing the oceans, Dr. Dunk also traps Super Goof, now reverted to plain old Goofy - for some fun with overwrought captions!
And here's something I've ALWAYS wanted to do...
After all, it's difficult enough to wait a month for the conclusion to "The Chirikawa Necklace", much less having ME do it to you too!
And, does anyone remember the over-dramatic narration from MIGHTY MOUSE cartoons: "What a mouse! WHAT A MOUSE!"? Well, here it is - Super Goof style!
One thing you can say for Doctor Dunk, he keeps up with other villains!
After all, if DC Comics can have at least FIVE "Freeze-Villains" (Mister Freeze, Captain Cold, Icicle, Killer-Frost, and Chilblain), why can't WE have the same!
David gave me a little present here! My first named "Freeze-Villain" was originally "Dr. Tempo" from this classic early issue of SUPER GOOF. It certainly seemed apt.
But, he did me one better by (Ahem!) "freezing Tempo out" and adding Prince Penguin, from Disney Comics' MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES # 11-14 (1991)
The other two "Freeze-Villains", "Old King Cold and The Ice-Spy" were my own inventions, so don't scour you long boxes looking for them.
Needles to say, eventually even Super Goof figures it out - leaving Doctor Dunk in quite the funk
So, don't let the cold of January (...or, of Doctor Dunk) stop you from picking up MICKEY MOUSE # 8 (Legacy Numbering # 317) from IDW! 'Cause things are "heating-up" for Mickey and Atomo Bleep-Bleep! (Honest, I had nothing to do with that name!)