Thursday, July 2, 2015

On Sale July 01, 2015: MICKEY MOUSE # 1 from IDW.

This Independence Day Weekend, the REAL fireworks are found in the pages of MICKEY MOUSE # 1 (Legacy Number # 310) from IDW! 

In it, you’ll find "The Lost Explorers' Trail", original story by the modern Mouse master Andrea ("Casty") Castellan, with perfectly attractive art by the great Giorgio Cavazzano, and translation and spirited dialogue by the equally great Jonathan Gray! 

Casty, Cavazzano, and Gray introduce the American audience to Casty's superb addition to the Mickey Mouse cast - spirited (did I just use that word above?) explorer and adventurer "Eurasia Toft" - whom we first see like this...

...But who, to the chagrin of the uncharacteristically (but only initially) chauvinistic Mickey, quickly transforms to this!

In short, she's quite the addition to Mickey's cast, and will be appearing in future issues! 

I won't further spoil this grand adventure, but for a few specific observations...

Though she's clearly a unique character in the Disney Mouse Universe, at times - at least for me - Eurasia conjures up the image of Dot Warner of TV's ANIMANIACS!  
Eurasia and Dot... Separated at Mirth? 
And, while we're on Eurasia's "genetics", as it were, here's a pet peeve of mine in the realm of funny animal characters...

Here's Eurasia and her UNCLE PANGAEA TOFT.  

Um, she's a MOUSE (with bobbed-ears?) and he's a quasi-human!  How can they be related?  ...Okay, maybe she's adopted!  

Finally, on Independence Day, we cheer the Red, White, and Blue... but, let's also cheer the Gray!  Jonathan Gray, that is! 

Above, he comes up with a magnificent double-pun that has even ME green with envy!  Good one, my friend!  Excellent! 

And, maybe he can explain the strange notion of "Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)" by the Eurythmics playing (in Mickey's head?) while our heroes face, and are bypassed by, a charging lion!  Maybe, they should take away his credit cards? 

...And while we're at it, what's "Bone Tractor" from DONALD DUCK # 1?  Huh? Still waitin' to hear about that!  

Jonathan also references the STAR TREK currency "Quatloos", and repurposes the classic Mickey story title, "The Miracle Master" to good effect!

Now, allow me to take the er, "liberty" to quickly survey the balance of the issue! ...I promise I'll do it "justice" (for all)!

A six-page Pluto story by classic Western Publishing creators Don R. Christensen and Paul Murry from 1953...

...And two Mickey Mouse Sunday newspaper strips by Bill Walsh and Manuel Gonzalez, that introduce "Ellsworth" the wise-guy mynah bird, round out the issue.

Both will ensure your "independence and freedom" from the boring weeks when there are no new IDW Disney comic books to buy!   

...And get a load of what's COMING NEXT! 

So, go um... "fourth" and make like a (bottle) rocket to your local comic shop - though keep it under 1776 MPH for safety's sake, and pick up your copy of MICKEY MOUSE # 1 (Legacy Number # 310) from IDW! It's a real "sparkler"! 

48 interior pages of pure comics fun, for only 3.99 "George Washingtons"!  ...But, it's worth its weight (and then some) in "Benjamins"!  

As always, once you’ve read the issue, please come back and join the discussion in our Comments Section! 

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. 

I’ll meet you back here for another lively comment thread! Eurasia's chiming-in already! 


ramapith said...

"Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)" was intended as a snarky singsong from Mickey as he prepared to put the lion to sleep with his tranquilizer darts—where else would sweet dreams come from?

Jonathan will verify that he and I confabbed on this: he originally had "say goodnight, Gracie," but we needed a piece of snark long enough that Mickey could distract himself with it; because he had to be surprised when the lion unexpectedly rushed on past. There was also the issue (for me as editor!) of whether a 1980s pop culture ref mightn't be better than a 1950s one—if only to grab new readers in this first issue.

(Of course, we did have some genuine 1950s backup features. You can't win 'em all.)

Joe Torcivia said...


Ah, I see…

Since Mickey’s facial expression didn’t look like he was saying (or singing) anything, I didn’t get that.

And the “eyes open wide in surprise” as the lion passed didn’t convey singing (especially of the snarky variety) either. Even though the song-balloon WAS connected to Mickey’s naturally suitable “question mark”, the song itself seemed as if it were free-floating, and permeating the very air.

As it was at the bottom of a “right-side page-turn”, I expected to see a *reason* for this unexpected musical interlude once I turned the page! When I did not, I began to wonder what it was all about. Now, I know.

Never mind “Sweet Dreams” or “Say goodnight, Gracie” (my preference, BTW)… Be glad you didn’t ask me to do this, because I would have come up with: “In the Jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight…” – or some parody thereof.

Elaine said...

I, too, enjoyed "The Lost Explorers' Trail" very much. I've wanted to read a Eurasia story ever since I first heard about her, and I'm not disappointed! She loves a good adventure, she has many useful talents and attainments, but she's not the sort of "perfect role model girl" who often appeared in media for kids in the 1990's. Which is a good thing--the PRMG is not relatable, not real, and not funny. The Cockney accent was a good choice by the localizers to give her specificity--it seems to fit with her self-assurance, and it adds humor. I'm pleased to hear that Casty created her out of awareness of the need for more solid female characters in Disney comics. And I'm glad we'll get to see more of her in just a few months!

And as long as we're on the subject of gender representation, I was pleasantly surprised by how the Pluto story plays out on that score. Pluto may imagine being "a knight of old, protecting his lady fair," but it turns out that Pluto and Fifi have to work in partnership to defeat the crow. She's not just a damsel in distress, after all!

And Joe, I have ordered myself a used copy of the complete "Ballad of Halo Jones"!

Just one question about Eurasia Toft and Mickey.... On the cover, the colorist gave her and Mickey and Goofy all pinkish-tan facial skin, while in the story, all three are white-faced. Personally, I prefer the white faces in the comics, because I think that keeps the characters more racially neutral; it's the pinkish-tan facial coloring that slots them as Caucasian. Does anyone know the thinking behind the coloring on the cover and in the story? Is Mickey generally going to have the pinkish-tan face on covers and the white face in stories?

Joe Torcivia said...

To all our readers:

Elaine and I thought it best to duplicate her comments, left for the previous post, and my response to them, here in the post more specific to MICKEY MOUSE # 1:


Completely agreed on the PRMG and the refreshing lack of it in Eurasia. I’ll have to ask if the “Cockney accent” was Jonathan Gray’s own invention, or if it was always Casty’s intent. I never thought about that, just accepting it as part of the characterization, but you never know. Now that I’m doing full translations from the Italian, I find that there can be more gaps (of all sorts) to fill in, than when I worked off of a supplied initial translation.

And, really great point on the Pluto story! Imagine such a message in a Western Pub. story from 1953. That may be the difference between Don R. Christensen and Vic Lockman. I’ve mentioned that I got to know Don in his later years, and he always seemed to be a more enlightened sort.

I just figured (without any actual fact to back it up) that the “pinkish-tan facial skin” was a carryover from the color cartoons – and that the Dell and Gold Key comics left the area white merely to save on additional coloring. That seemed to hold until Disney (interregnum – shout out to you, Elaine!) Comics got hold of the license and utilized the additional coloring on covers and interiors.

As for how IDW handles / is going to handle the coloring, is not for me to answer. But, keep coming back, because all sorts of interesting information seems to find its way into our Comments Section.

Do let me know how you like “The Ballad of Halo Jones”! You may get me to dig it out and read it again too!

Joe Torcivia said...

Oh, and to return to the matter, at the top of this page…

Davis writes: “Jonathan will verify that he and I confabbed on this: he originally had "say goodnight, Gracie," but we needed a piece of snark long enough that Mickey could distract himself with it; because he had to be surprised when the lion unexpectedly rushed on past. There was also the issue (for me as editor!) of whether a 1980s pop culture ref mightn't be better than a 1950s one—if only to grab new readers in this first issue.”

Once I thought about it, here’s how I’d handle it – as if that’s worth anything…

I’d have had Mickey do “Say goodnight, Gracie!” in the upper balloon, connected to the lower balloon which (instead of the question mark) would have Mickey saying: “Wha?!”

I think the “Wha?!” would better connect the initial “snark” to the sudden “dismay” in the space of a single panel.

Of course, aren’t we ALL “armchair editors” now and again? (Sigh!) If only I had an armchair. :-)

Caballero said...

It seems that Micky Mouse #3 will include something by Floyd Norman! I'm hoping it's one of his Mickey strips, and not one of the S-code comics he did.

Joe Torcivia said...

My belief is that it will be a strip continuity. But, if what I’ve heard is true, there may be more to it than that. Can’t say, but, let’s wait and see.

Clapton said...

I really hope MM#2 is still set for this month so I won't have to wait to two months to find out if there is "more to it" regarding the Floyd Norman stuff. ( Did the find missing scripts and artwork for that last unfinished newspaper serial? Omigish, if they did, that would make me so happy! ) Regarding Norman, I was kind of bummed that the library of American chose to do an Al Taliaferro library. Don't get me wrong I like Taliaferro's work it's just that all of serials from the 90s Mickey adventure strip revival could have been collected in one boom Then the years long Taliaferro work could be collected. Oh well, Maybe when Fantagraphics finshes the Gottfredson Library they'll do an additonal volume of Norman's Mouse or maybe by then IDW will have reprinted all of Norman's serials in comic book form.

Joe Torcivia said...


I *also* hope that “MM#2 is still set for this month”, because I want you all to be able to read “The Sound-Blot Plot”, and, quite frankly, I wanna see it in print, too! :-)

That admittedly self-serving statement (with a smiley) said, I’d like to see as much Floyd Norman material as possible, because he is seriously under-represented as a comics creator. But, Al Taliaferro is a “historic” creator in the realm of Disney comics, and he should be represented by a book series. Taliaferro *has* gotten his share of due, over the years, unlike Norman, but never in any sort of meaningful chronological collection – and that will be welcome.

I’m hoping that we will see much Floyd Norman material reprinted, because it simply has not gotten the exposure it deserves. Let alone the “curiosity value” of modern era Mickey continuity, or quasi-continuity, strips. As for what may be coming in MICKEY MOUSE # 3, I’ll leave that for others to expand on, because (as I so often say) I do not speak for IDW.

Clapton said...

MM#2 is currently scheduled for July 22nd. Yay! (

Joe Torcivia said...

That’s great news, Clapton! Thank you!

HERE’S Clapton’s link, for greater clicking convenience!

Just one question for PREVIEWS… To paraphrase Harley Quinn in the wonderful BATMAN ANIMATED episode “Girls' Nite Out” (1998)… “When did I become – VARIOUS?” :-)

Elaine said...

At the moment, PREVIEWSworld is listing July 22 as the release date for MM 2, U$ 4, AND WDC 722! If that comes to pass, THAT'll surely be "a great day at the comic book shop"!

(Of course, WDC 722 *should* come out on 7/22!)

Joe Torcivia said...

All 3 of them at once, eh? I may have to take that day off!

It’s gonna be a busy week of Blogging, that’s for sure!

Clapton said...

I just realized that we'll probably see more of Norman's Mickey serials when the IDW line is consistently selling well. I came to this conclusion when I realized that any Norman serial that IDW may publish would have to be remounted and recolored. While IDW has recolered some 2 page stories the Norman serials would be longer running somewhere in between 10 to 20 pages once remounted. Now that I think about it I don't believe the Murray story scheduled for MM#3 has any modern coloring already either so maybe it's the remounting thats expensive. Then again in this day an age of Handy Dandy computers maybe NEITHER recoloring or remounting is expensive. Your thoughts Joe and/ or anyone who knows more about this stuff than I do? (BTW when I say "IDW" I'm referring to the Disney Comics line editorial staff. I don't actually think the higher ups at IDW have meetings debating the little details of their publications as major Financial decisions.)

Joe Torcivia said...

I plead the fifth… sixth, seventh, eighth, and bottom-of-the-ninth on this one, Clapton!

...Meaning your guess is truly as good as mine!

Clapton said...

I just realized that the October issue of WDC&S will be the titles 75th anniversery. As for comic releases Previewsworld currently has DD#3 listed as "TBD". I hope they get it together so it can come out next week since I have business to attend to which will prevent me from being able to get the July 22nd issues until the 30th. I want my new Disney Comics fix before I go ;)

Joe Torcivia said...


I’m sure glad it’s IDW handling the 75th, anniversary of WDC&S. Recall the horrors of Boom’s WDC&S # 700, and you’ll know why! …At least they “saw the light” by issue # 715 – but the once-in-a-lifetime milestone of # 700 is forever polluted by a truly misguided editorial policy on the part of the previous licensee.

Not that I’d want this to happen *every* month but, since it looks as if THREE books will be out on July 22, why not ALL FOUR? Just ONCE, though.

Of course, that would make a frightfully busy week of Blogging for me!

Caballero said...

No new William Van Horn comic will be published at least until October. :( Why? He is one of the greatest Disney comic artists of all time, and publishing his 18 comics that have never been printed in English before should be top priority for IDW.

Other comics I'm hoping they will print sooner or later:
- every Mickey strip by Floyd Norman
- Treasure Archipelago by Marco Rota (D 2004-066)
- Beowulf Duck by Marco Rota (D 2013-124)
- King Scrooge The First - the Daan Jippes version (D/D 2004-013)
- Scrooge vs. Scrooge by Arild Midthun (D/D 2005-035)
- Scrooge's Wedding by Jan Gulbransson (D 2013-132)

Joe Torcivia said...

I’d like to see more Van Horn too, Caballero. And, remember, I don’t speak for IDW, but I’d guess that, after the long absence, there are many things that they wish to publish, and I expect they will get to everything we want over time. I can’t imagine any Disney line would go too long without representation from a popular creator like William Van Horn

I have no input on what material they select but, looking over the issues we’ve seen so far – and certainly the ones I know that are coming up – you can’t really argue with the great job they’ve done thus far.

Hopefully, your suggestions will be seen and noted. Nice to see that Floyd Norman is getting a lot of love around here!

Abraham Lincoln said...

Been an absence from the blog here from me for a bit, but I've been keeping current on the IDWs. Still sticking mostly with the main covers, but I picked up the alts for Donald Duck 2 and MM1. Very happy to see a Rota one for US3. I actually haven't read MM1 yet, but as for all the others, still loving IDWs work.

Soon I'll have to be narrowing down which one's I'll be consistently getting. I love Blot stories so I'll definitely be getting the next Mickey Mouse, but I probably won't be buying it monthly. Not really sure on WDC&S at the moment. As usual, I'll probably be following Uncle Scrooge regularly, and if the content in Donald Duck stays at the level where it is that could very possibly be my other main.

I'll update again once I've read MM!

Joe Torcivia said...


I am certain you will enjoy MICKEY MOUSE # 1. I can’t remember when I’ve seen such a unanimous show of support for an issue of MICKEY MOUSE. Probably when Gladstone Series One had begun to reprint Gottfredson! That speaks VERY WELL for IDW’s inaugural effort.

MM # 2, later this month, will be a great one too – especially if, like me, you are partial to Blot stories! The art is very lively, and here’s something you’ve probably never thought about – because I’ve never thought about it either… but some of the “transitions from one scene to the next” are outstanding! I’m sorry if I can’t describe it better that that, but you’ll see what I mean. You don’t see stuff like that every day! …And I finally, truly get to write the Blot’s dialogue. At Boom!, in those last two issues, much of it (oddly, only the Blot's dialogue, little else) was rewritten by the book’s editor.

After that, I REALLY hope you’ll be back for MM # 6! Assuming all goes as expected, this is, in my opinion, the BEST modern Mickey story I’ve seen in the last 25 years – since the “Phantom Blot Bedtime Story” of 1990! It’s by Casty, so you know it’s good, even if I didn’t push it!

And, in DONALD DUCK # 4, you’ll get the delightfully unusual “The Perfect Calm”, so stick around at least until then.

Hopefully, we can continue to entertain you to where you’ll be here for the entire “Core Four” each month.

Do come back and let us know what you thought of MM # 1.

Ryan said...

That's a real shame that Boom cut your original Blot dialogue. As pretty much everyone has already mentioned, it's a good thing that Disney Comics are in better editorial hands. (Unless your original Blot dialogue was horrible, then that would have been a good decision, BUT judging from your other localizations I highly doubt this was the case)

Joe Torcivia said...


I think it was just a matter of that particular Boom! editor wanting to write *his own* Blot dialogue – and, no matter what I might think of the situation, it falls under “editorial prerogative”.

And, he says trying not to show too much ego, I think we can all operate under the assumption that my original Blot dialogue was far from “horrible”. What still strikes me as bizarre, to this day, is that *only* the Blot dialogue was rewritten in “The Treasure of Marco Topo”! Everything else was left pretty much intact, with only the usual minor editorial tweaking that occurs all the time! …And, the replacement dialogue didn’t seem to make any difference in the overall tone of the story. It was just “arbitrary change for the sake of arbitrary change”.

Well, that’s the comics biz (and, very likely, ANY kind of writing) for you.

One additional note: Quite literally, the only two words that remained of my Blot dialogue in “The Treasure of Marco Topo”, were “horrific deathtrap” and, perhaps precisely because of this, I made sure to include the words “horrific deathtrap” in the dialogue for “The Sound-Blot Plot”!

Julian H said...

Just read the German version of the story (knew all subsequent Eurasia stories already) and the dialogue is quite different, but funny as well (there is a pun with hair dressers ("Friseur" in German) and animal tamers ("Dompteur") in the pic with the lion)...

Joe Torcivia said...


Always glad to see good puns! One inescapable truth to “translation and dialogue”, especially as it applies to Disney comic book stories, is that different versions will exist for different languages and specific local cultures – no matter how much certain self-proclaimed fan-purists may rail against it.

As someone who has had the honor of preparing translations and dialogue scripts for these comics for over ten years, I say this is a wonderful thing… as long as the translator / scripter KNOWS the characters well, and understands the workings of this particular – and wonderful – universe!

My own scripts are known for their puns and (as one friend put it) their “obsessive wordplay”. And such a livening-up technique could not possibly reflect the original language the story was written in, if said language was not English. Germany had one of the greatest individuals to ever do this type of creative work in Dr. Erika Fuchs… and SHE was performing her magic on CARL BARKS’ stories!

…It’s tradition, and I’m proud to be a part of it!

Julian H said...

One of the things that made Dr. Erika Fuchs' work so important was that she managed to transfer the US comics into something that didn't alienate German readers, by replacing some text backgrounds - e.g. Halloween was unheard of back then and so she turned it into a Carnival sort of thing, if I remember correctly.

Then there's Don Rosa, whom I hold in very high regard, but who insisted on all his stories being translated as exactly as possible. So we had already read some brilliant and funny translations by Peter Daibenzeiher (I think) and the new versions were far less engaging. I don't think DR is aware that if Carl had exerted such a rule, maybe Disney comics would have not become nearly as popular here...

By the way: In the German version, Eurasia doesn't have any kind of accent, though you could say she uses slang expressions every now and then. She's definitely one of my favourite characters of the Mouse universe...

Joe Torcivia said...


What you describe Dr. Fuchs as having done, is exactly the sort of thing I believe in, and support, in my own view of translation and dialogue The matter you cite of “Halloween”, and how it was changed to better serve the German audience, is a great example of what I strive to do for the American audience, whenever possible.

I have always meant to ask Jonathan Gray if Eurasia was originally written with an accent, or if that was his addition. If the former, I suppose it would be easy for a translator to ignore the accent, even if it were there, for the sake of expediency.

That’s one of the things I like about IDW! We ALL go the extra mile (you’d be surprised at how much we do behind the scenes) to make these comics the absolute best they can be! Mostly because all of us are lifelong readers and fans ourselves, and appreciate the comics all the more when they are done right!

Julian H said...

Did I mention I liked Goofy's "C-note"? Wonderful (and I'd like to think what Casty thinks of that gag).

On the topic of colours - I've noticed something quite weird (well, at least to me...): One of the lost explorers was apparently re-coloured for the IDW version! You can see it on the first page - in the German version (and also, according to the Inducks scan, in the Italian original), they all have the same colour --- so somebody must have gone through the trouble of making this one character's skin darker in every panel featuring him...!

I guess this is somehow an effort to make the story more 'racially representative'...?

The transitions in "The Sound-Blot Plot" - yeah, great stuff (the foghorn, the whistle). This is what Italian Disney creators are capable at their best. And generally, you can't go wrong with Cavazzano's Mickey stories, particularly those written by masters like Bruno Enna, Silvano Mezzavilla (here's a tip!) or Tito Faraci (another tip!). Some of those stories (also some that appeared in X-Mickey or the legendary Mickey Mouse Mystery Magazine) are really deep and poetic. One very recently published was written by Roberto Gagnor, who's managed to reach Casty's usual level of greatness. Beautiful stuff.

Joe Torcivia said...


“On the topic of colours”, you are quite correct in your assumption. It’s something David sees to and is very proud of.

My only exposure to Roberto Gagnor, was that wonderful story with Walt Disney and Salvador Dali, for which I was honored to do the translation and dialogue. I would really like to see more!