Sunday, June 24, 2012

Time Flies – Even When You’re NOT Having Fun… Our Final (and I do mean FINAL) Installment!

Finally, and to my most bitter disappointment, it’s been over a year since even THIS!   

STILL, nobody has done a damn thing to change it! 
…And, by now, I’ve begun to believe this may be the actual death of the American Disney classic character comic book!  

Say what you will about the admittedly good DARKWING DUCK title, and the fiasco that was DUCKTALES, what *I* define as the American Disney comic – the “Core Four” of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES, MICKEY MOUSE, DONALD DUCK,  and UNCLE SCROOGE – have been “done and gone” for over a year!
…And there is not one infinitesimal hint, or ray of hope, that these titles will return. 

The fact Disney itself outright OWNS the largest publisher of American comic magazines (Marvel), and nothing has emerged in the year since the release of WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 720 is most indicative of the future – more accurately, the LACK of same – of these titles.  Titles, I might add, that have endured, through a string of publishers, since 1940! 

Miracles sometimes happen, however, such as the successful new POPEYE comic book!  Perhaps a similarly, right-minded licensee may step forward to do what Disney/Marvel shows no interest in doing  -- continuing these titles… because they DESERVE to be continued! 

Until that happens, I’ll leave you with the final line I wrote for Mickey Mouse as what,  alas, remains the final original line of dialogue for WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES…
Here’s to the GREATEST bunch of characters I know!” 

That’s not just Mickey talkin’ folks… It’s ME too! 


ramapith said...

We went FOUR years without Disney comics before, Joe (start of 1999-start of 2003). I have no inside knowledge, but I honestly think they'll be back.

Joe Torcivia said...

BUT, David… VERY BIG DIFFERENCE… In ’99 to ’03 we were assured from the beginning – by no less than Steve Geppi – that the comics WOULD be back. And, he did certain things during the “dark period” to back up his assertion.

Here and now, there is NOTHING! NOTHING, from ANY source, to make us believe it could happen.

Adding to this, the market for the physical comic book is worse than ever… general recession, digital versions (which I have no interest in), etc.

No one is stepping forward with as much as a rumor. It’s DIFFERENT now!

Then again, you’re more optimistic by nature – and I’m more pessimistic.

Or, as I’ve long felt… You’re Mickey and I’m Donald! …Wak, wak, wak!

Chris Barat said...

Joe and David,

At the moment (a key qualifier, it must be admitted), I'm leaning towards Joe's interpretation of events. There is nothing KEEPING Disney from restarting a "classic" Disney comics line, AFAIK. Thanks to the agreement with Marvel, the infrastructure is in place. And still, there is no indication that Disney is all that interested in a "classic" comics initiative.

It just may be that Joe's "last words" really WILL be such!

(Or perhaps I should be more optimistic, albeit in a kind of mindless, hope-springs-eternal way... if Joe is Donald and David is Mickey, then I can certainly be Goofy, right?)


Joe Torcivia said...

Chris is correct – I am expressing thoughts that are strictly “in the moment”, one year after the last of the “Core Four” titles was released.

Disney could have made any transition from Boom! to itself virtually seamless. If they wanted to, they could have even worked with the unpublished material that was still intended for Boom! I’m certain that David or Chris B., or Chris M. would have been ready and willing to transition that material for them.

But, if there is nary a whisper – after a year – my feeling is that they are not particularly interested. It’s their right, of course. But, it’s also a shame.

As for Chris being “Goofy”… well, you ARE the tallest of us three! Even without the high-hat.

scarecrow33 said...

When Disney comics are done right, they can be the best on the market. The whole concept of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories is a delight--as everyone reading this blog knows, they could usually guarantee an excellent Donald Duck story, an intriguing chapter of a Mickey Mouse serial, plus adventures of lesser-known Disney characters such as Scamp, Li'l Bad Wolf, Daisy's Nieces, Ludwig von Drake, Mad Madam Mim, etc. When you think about it, it's a great mixture! Over several decades, it adds up to a Disney library of top-notch stuff (and a lot of so-so stuff as well, admittedly, but hey--it's Disney)!

Most kids today will never know the excitement of discovering a new Disney comic book on the rack of the local grocery or drug store, or the hours of laughs and thrills to be savored in the perusal of said book.

It's a shame kids aren't reading as much these days--they are missing so much, and they don't even realize what it is they are missing.

Stuff I learned in Disney comics actually helped me connect to my school lessons--there are so many connections to so much of the world outside--different historical eras (Gyro Gearloose's time travel machines), ancient coins (as collected by Uncle Scrooge), the Egyptian pyramids (several references, such as the adventure the Beagle Boys had with Mad Madam Mim), etc, etc. And my vocabulary wouldn't be half what it is today if I hadn't first encountered a wide variety of words through reading (primarily) Disney comics.

So let's hope that someday soon somebody wakes up and realizes what a loss it is not to have the classic Disney characters available in comic book form. This truly could signal the end of an era.

Joe Torcivia said...

Magnificent, Scarecrow!

There isn’t a word or thought I would not echo!

I also learned many things from those comics – words, concepts, historical events – long before I learned them in school. In fact, I was reading BEFORE beginning school, thanks to the comic book! That’s a value few folks speak of – yet many have experienced.

The decline in reading is sad in too many ways to count – but I feel the most significant factor in the apparent demise of these comics is, as you note, the inability to “…discover a new Disney comic book on the rack of the local grocery or drug store”! Or, for the ability of a parent to do the same – at the type of local retail establishment that a parent would patronize. ...That does not mean “comic book shops”.

If my grandmother had not casually found my first issue of WDC&S at a local store in Brooklyn, NY, would we be having this exchange today? Perhaps not.

And that’s why, today, the readers of these comics are primary adult. Because new kids have no way to “get in”. The Disney comic book is not easily found, or discovered, in neighborhoods anymore.

Indeed, that might apply, beyond just Disney, to the comic book as whole.

If we ever do get them back, my advice would be – unless the quality is atrocious (…and, alas, that is not beyond possibility) – to embrace them… and quickly! Do not wait! Tell your comics retailer – explicitly – how glad you are to have them back… because it is HE or SHE who does the ordering of future issues! Show the publisher your support, and introduce others to the product! Introduce them to KIDS! (I did with my Gemstone and Boom! stuff!) Maybe we can create in them what others have created in us!

Ryan Wynns said...

Woah, woah, WOAH ... though I wish that I were Scrooge, I respectfully defer: by no means does Chris = Goofy ... goshdarnit, Chris is Scrooge!!!!!

(There's a bunch more points in this thread that have inspired thoguhts on my part, but I felt it a priority to address this matter!)

-- Ryan

Ryan Wynns said...

(Er, "is" should have been given the emphasis in the first paragraph's last sentence, not "Scrooge".)

Joe Torcivia said...


Chris = Scrooge?

Was it because, as a youth, he once chipped the mud off a Delaware ditch digger’s boots?

Maybe, his legendary camaraderie with Teddy Roosevelt? (…If TR had a Blog, would it be called “Cyber Bully”?)

Or, perhaps his penchant for scamming the local diner out of a cup of coffee?

Oh, I know… It must be because he’s smarter than the smarties, tougher than the toughies, and he’s made all of his Blog posts “square”!

Really, you’ll have to come back and tell us more…

Ryan Wynns said...

Joe, and definitely Chris, et al:

I asssure you, I made such an assessment based on points 1 (chipping the mudd off...) and 4 (being "smarter than the smarties...."), and not points 2 and 3!

-- Ryan

Joe Torcivia said...


Yes, but would you post a similar assessment on Teddy Roosevelt’s Blog? :-)

Chris Barat said...


Well, I've been known to nurse nickels and pinch pennies on more than one occasion, so Me = Scrooge?? Possibly...

Joe (and by extension Scarecrow),

Since I didn't start reading or collecting Disney comics until my graduate school days, my reason for sticking with the genre is probably the simple fact that DISNEY COMICS ARE GOOD COMICS (to swipe a phrase from Dell). Good storytelling, good artwork, good characterization, (usually) no complicated continuity to muddy the waters... what's not to like? As Herge said of his TINTIN stories, the Disney comics are enjoyable for everyone from 7 to 77.


Ryan Wynns said...


Ah, but that's the "ornery miser" aspect of Scrooge. He's vritually my favorite fictional character, so it follows that I see him in the light of his heroic qualities(i.e., "I made it by being tougher thant he toughies, and smarter than the smarties -- and I made it SQUARE!"). So when I like someone to Scrooge, I mean it in a positively and complimentarily. :)

-- Ryan

Joe Torcivia said...

Say, Ryan… In all this “casting talk”, who would you see yourself as?

While we wait for Ryan’s reply – and his other thoughts, promised in his first comment – I’ll take the moment to paraphrase Mickey and say to all of you:

“Here’s to the GREATEST bunch of Blog-commenters I know!”

Thanks for making these posts so much fun!

Anonymous said...

Some of Barks' successors overdid the "ornery miser" aspect of Scrooge, and neglected his good qualities. So one's impression of the character may depend on which stories you've read. And comparing someone to him could be an insult or a compliment, depending on how it is intended. So, as the Virginian would say, "If you call me that-smile!"

Anonymous said...

The comics medium may be dying out, because it is obsolete. TV and video games have replaced comics as the popular media for kids' entertainment. And for Disney comics, there is a catch-22. The few kids who read comics are adolescent fanboys who want grimdark super heroes. They wouldn't be caught dead with a "funny animal" comic. And the kids who know and love the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on the Disney Channel are preschoolers who are too young for comic books. (If you're old enough to read and understand "Return of the Phantom Blot," then you're probably old enough for Batman. Maybe not the Dark Knight, but at least the Brave & Bold version.) That leaves us nostalgic geezers, and there are probably too few of us to support a monthly publication. (Please don't execute me, I'm just the messenger.)

Joe Torcivia said...

I wouldn’t dream of executing you, Anon! I’d be out too many interesting Blog comments!

I think you really have it there, my friend.

“If you’re old enough to read and understand ‘The Return of the Phantom Blot’, then you’re probably old enough for Batman.”

So right, you are! It was just over a year between them for me, back then.

Conversely, if you’re NOT old enough for (at least SOME version of) Batman, you’re probably never going to “get” the great stuff found throughout Barks, Gottfredson, Rosa, Van Horn, the ‘50s and ‘60s Donald Duck adventure tales and Mickey Mouse serials, the best of Egmont, etc.

You’re certainly not going to “get” the “Vic Lockman dialogue tribute” I made of Gyro Gearloose’s “When Posty Met Patty” (U$ # 362), the various political and pop-cultural references strewn throughout “The Pelican Thief” (U$ # 403), and dialogue references to some of the classic Disney comic book stories that pop up all over “Donald Duck Finds Pirate Gold Again” (Donald Duck # 366).

Can’t speak for any of the great talents I list above, and I’m certainly not intending to draw associations between them and myself – but *I* sure didn’t write for anyone who was not “…old enough for Batman.” I’m not even sure I’d know HOW to do so.

And Batman IS there, available in many different levels and versions, to satisfy that need.

Still, despite your unassailable logic, I’d like to see the Disney comic make one more comeback before conceding defeat. The current POPEYE comic, after two issues, shows the kind of spirit – and awareness of its heritage – that I’d like to see in a Disney line.

Shifting gears… Maybe Ryan views Chris as “The DuckTales Scrooge”! Not nearly the “ornery miser”, he’s been portrayed elsewhere! …Me? I’m happy to remain Donald! :-)