Saturday, May 14, 2016

Going Dark for a While!

Ever see those Blogs that don’t get updated for weeks, maybe months, and sometimes even a year or more? 

Of course, you have!  We all have.  Some of them are even operated by very good friends of mine. 

Well, since beginning this Blog in August, 2008, I would strive to never let that happen.  And, until very recently I’ve been successful at honoring the commitment between Blogger and Readers. 

But, circumstances have become such that I can no longer provide the “level of service” that the readers of and visitors to this Blog have both become accustomed to – and truly deserve.  So, for the foreseeable future, and rather than “let you down” or keep you wondering as to this Blog’s operation, I will (hopefully, temporarily) suspend all such activity.  

Rest assured the primary reason for this suspension is that old culprit “Horrific Busyness”, primary caused by the Day Job becoming more complex and all-consuming almost by the day – added to certain other life circumstances that have also contributed to the tumultuous mix.

Know that, whatever those circumstances, it is nothing harmful or injurious to me, to Esther, to our health, property, or relationship.  It is merely a multitude of events conspiring to severely limit my time at the computer.  Something (actually, MORE than any one thing) had to go and, unfortunately, this was it. 

Do know that, while the Blog may be in blackout, you will continue to find me in the pages of the IDW Disney comics and Fantagraphics’ series of Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse hardcover books.  Please continue to support both these worthy endeavors, as this is one golly-wower of a time to be a Disney comics fan!     

I have every intention of returning to this Blog.  I enjoy it – and especially your support of it – too much to walk away!  It may be weeks, or months, or for the remainder of the year.  I cannot honestly predict, but we will return to resume our regular merriment.  I thank ALL of you for the many years of support.  It has given me great joy! 

We’ll close (for now) with a few less-somber items…

As I said, you will continue to find me in the pages of the IDW Disney Comics…

MICKEY MOUSE # 13: “The Twelve Buttons of Napoleon”.  Long lead story by Romano Scarpa with with Pete, Trudy, Morty, and Ellroy (who you met in Issue #12, courtesy of Scarpa and Thad Komorowski).

WALT DISNEY’S COMICS AND STORIES # 733: “Night of the Living Text” written and drawn by the great Casty!  An amazing, outlandish, genre-parodying adventure that goes where few, if any, comic book stories have gone before – and I’ve read a lot of ‘em, folks!  

I’ve just seen the first lettered proof of it, and this may very well be one of my favorite comic stories of all time!  Certainly of this modern era, at least!  I cannot say enough about what Casty has done with this, and I’m honored to have helped bring this story to the United States!  If you liked “Plan Dine from Outer Space”, you will LOVE “Night of the Living Text”!

MICKEY MOUSE # 16: “Rain, Rain Go Astray” Another short Super Goof back-up drawn by Jack Bradbury – with a somewhat different version of “Dr. Dunk”. 

And, in some stage of completion, a wonderfully bizarre team-up for Mickey, Donald, and Goofy… with two utterly amazing “guest stars”.  Giorgio Cavazzano really pulled-out all the stops for this one!  I don’t exactly know where this will appear, but I suspect it’s destined for a future issue of WDC&S.

Over the next two Fantagraphics Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson releases, I will discuss the introduction of Eega Beeva into the strip – and his decades-delayed entry into American Disney comic books, as well as his lasting impact since that entry.  And, a wonderfully bizarre Outer Space Adventure for Mickey and Eega – courtesy of the limitless and fantastic imagination of the strip’s writer Bill Walsh, with some great cartooning by Gottfredson to pull it off! 

I hope you'll be there for all of it!  

And finally, some DVD recommendations…  

Remember how utterly fantastic the LOONEY TUNES GOLDEN COLLECTION DVDs used to be?  Few, if any, animation DVDs have lived up to that standard since – especially lately! 

However, there is a new series of DePatie/Freleng Enterprises theatrical animation DVDs that come as close to that grand old GOLDEN COLLECTION feeling as any new animation DVDs are ever likely to come!  

Imagine commentaries on individual cartoons, and special documentary features, with respected animation historians such as Jerry Beck, Greg Ford, and our very good friend Mark Arnold! 

There will be sets for every non-Pink Panther theatrical DFE series, and I suggest you get them all! 

And, although it’s been out for several months, any fan of LOST IN SPACE must get the 50th Anniversary Blu-ray set – even if you have the earlier season-volume sets of a decade ago. 

Beyond episode transfers far in excess of the previous, sorta-inferior ones, there are episode commentaries and features with surviving cast members, certain episodes optionally offered as their initial CBS network presentations with bumpers and mid-sixties era commercials inserted, promos from both the original run and years of syndication, the Hanna-Barbera animated pilot, a 2000s era animated pilot test sequence, the Jonathan Harris segment of the A&E TV series BIOGRAPHY, and more than I can even think of at the moment!   

This is the ultimate, Holy Grail for any LOST IN SPACE fan! 

And, there’s a new LIS comic out that has just released its second issue!  Gotta love THAT!    

It’s been a tremendous amount of fun (though bittersweet) preparing this final entry – and that makes me want to continue!  So, we will return. 

Meanwhile, thank you all for making this such a great time!   

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We're Still Here!

Very sorry for the uncharacteristic and prolonged absence from Blogging, but I'll bet everyone's lives have had periods that are just like Donald's in this great William Van Horn cover -- and this has been one of mine!  

My usual designation of "Horrifically Busy" doesn't begin to describe it, but know it's nothing personally horrible or injurious... just busy.  

The "day job" has totally dominated the last several weeks, there have been things to write for IDW and Fantagraphics (that's the GOOD part of being "Horrifically Busy"), and even domestic and personal obligations have run at a much higher pitch than normal as of late.  

I haven't even been to the comics shop for more than a month, so most of you are caught up on comics I still have not seen, much less written about.  

But, I *do* expect to finally go this evening, when DONALD DUCK # 12, with my dialogued "Vicious Cycles" is out - even if I have to force the time to do so.  

There are unpublished comments that I will also get to soon, but don't let that stop you from sending more.  Indeed, they will cheer me up and help get me back into the groove. 

Anyway, I hope to have a post on DONALD DUCK # 12 soon - if, for no better reason than I've ALREADY read it, and that'll save me some time!  

Oh, and look for a cameo by two unexpected characters in "Vicious Cycles", and we'll see you soon!

UPDATE:  Wednesday evening, I did go to the comic shop and picked up a month-plus of comics - including DONALD DUCK # 12.  

Then, I did a rare thing!  It was a PERFECT day in New York, and so, rather than go straight home, I pulled into a McDonald's, ordered some food, that included some perfectly hot and fresh fries, sat in my car with all the windows open and read "Vicious Cycles" while eating those perfect fries and some small burgers!  

It was wonderful, and exactly what I needed to help shake off the "Horrifically Busy Blues"!  

I'd also like to thank everyone who has welcomed me back, and know that I will get all the backlog of comments published, with my usual responses, over the next 2-3 days.  

...Then, we'll be caught up and can move forward again!  Thank you all for your patience! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Good Luck and Bad(?) Luck for Gladstone Gander.

Looking at the current cover of IDW's WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES... anyone reminded of this cover from Disney Comics' DONALD DUCK ADVENTURES? 

Hmmm... I wonder if, at least according to the visual evidence of the cover image, is this REALLY "The Day Gladstone's Luck Ran Out"?   

Yes, he's slipped on a banana peel and is destined to fall down a manhole... but, if not for that, the SAFE, improbably flung from an undisclosed great distance, would have otherwise killed him!  

Maybe, once he enters the manhole, there's even a ladder or other hand-hold for him to grab on to, so he doesn't hit the bottom, or splash into some icky, dirty water.  ...Or even a discarded mattress floating by down there for him to land on!  

And, to boot, Donald is even going to lose a delicious PIE while observing the incident!  

Oh, and one more thing, as Columbo might have said; Who or what, in the "American Disney Comics Universe" circa 1991 would have the power to throw a safe like that?  Some villain who stole Super Goof's goobers?  

Maybe he's off to catch the safe - but won't be in time to save Donald's pie!  

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Happy Easter, 2016!

Gotta love a cover like this!  

Notice the Nephews are each wearing YELLOW SHIRTS, but all are of different designs!  

Monday, March 21, 2016

On Sale March 16, 2016: UNCLE SCROOGE # 12 from IDW.

The UNCLE SCROOGE title from IDW completes its first year's worth of issues with a real BLAST!  Blast-Off into space, that is!

But, before we begin... I love the cover, but can anyone who's been around these comics for a while look at it and not think of this one?

Still, we have Donald, a somewhat rare cover appearance by Gyro Gearloose, and other key elements of the lead story, so I have to give it to the new cover by Giorgio Cavazzano, over the "Carl Barks Cover" (quotes for emphasis) fabricated by Gladstone's Bruce Hamilton.

And, speaking of the issue's lead story, we have "Ten Little Millionaires", originally published in TOPOLINO 2984 (2013), written by fan favorites Pat and Carol McGreal, with art by the great (...You know him... You love him... You've seen his name in our previous paragraph...) Giorgio Cavazzano!

Scrooge undertakes an enterprise that, as a child of the sixties, I thought might have been readily available to me in my middle age - but, alas has not been thus far... a SPACE SHUTTLE to a LUNAR RESORT!

While I will never get to take that long-imagined commercial space flight, apparently such jaunts are far from common even in this comic book universe, as only millionaires can afford it!  TEN of them, to be exact, in keeping with our story's title - and (most likely) the murder mystery the title was based upon!

To digress, one set of well-heeled passengers are somewhat reminiscent of "The Blurfs", from the DuckTales episode, "Bubbeo and Juliet"!

What "NOSE" could he be referring to?  
With all ten passengers safely aboard, launch is GO!  Check out this great sequence by Cavazzano!

Of course, Cavazzano has displayed excellence with flying craft before, as seen in IDW's DONALD DUCK # 3!

En route, Donald has his job to do!

And, Cavazzano certainly "does HIS job", getting them there with an equally impressive landing sequence!

Speaking of "impressive", check THIS out!

Makes you wanna "Oooh and Aaah", just reading the comic!  ...And, hey, there's Scrooge's POSE from the cover!

But soon, there's "trouble in Luna-dise", as our ten millionaires fall victim to a string of mysterious thefts!  I guess it had to be THEFTS, 'cause we can't do murders in a Disney comic.

And, Scrooge makes like his favorite detective in order to crack the case.  I'll spoil nothing except to say that this is a nice little mystery story, that you will all enjoy!

And who IS Scrooge's favorite detective?  Nope!  Not this guy!

Nor this guy with the same name!

Nor these two, who have both laid claim to the mantle of "The World's Greatest Detective"!  

Nor even this guy from a completely different universe!

Aw, now... I'm just being silly, and having fun with my stock image gallery!  Sorry!

Before departing "Ten Little Millionaires", I must point out that all of our favorite "McGreal-isms" are here - as they are in so many of their other stories!   ...And, wouldn't you miss them, if they weren't!

"Pickle Me and Call Me Dill!"

"Great Tesla's Coil!" 

And the ever-popular "Cushlamacree!"  

Most of this panel is cut off, so as not to spoil the mystery!  

And least the McGreals never used THIS expression - thankfully!  

Ultimately, Scrooge decides upon a different direction!

Could it possibly lead to a CROSSOVER I've been dreaming of all my life?

I CAN dream, can't I?  

It's not like they haven't shared a PUBLISHER before!

But, while we begin our long wait ( least MY long wait) for Scrooge and Donald to meet Admiral Nelson and Captain Crane, we move on to our issue's backup story...

"Gem Scam Jam", originally from ALMANACCO TOPOLINO # 92 (1964), is written and drawn by the great Romano Scarpa, with translation and dialogue by Yours Truly.  Yes, the credits have it slightly wrong... I have "Translation and Dialogue" on this one.  

And, 1964?  It's utterly mind-blowing to consider that, when I was reading this issue as a kid...

...that Romano Scarpa was writing and drawing a story I would would be working with in 2016!

Back to our story, Scrooge makes a bet with Jubal Pomp who, over this first year of IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE, we've seen in both ISSUE # 1... 

...And ISSUE # 3.   

And now, in ISSUE 12, the bet is on!  Hope you've enjoyed this year, Jubal!  

Even if Jubal hasn't, for the rest of you who have enjoyed this first year of IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE, there are two little treats to be found in Pomp's mumblings and musings!  

 It's "been done" in UNCLE SCROOGE # 7, to be precise!  

Has Pomp been reading UNCLE SCROOGE # 11?  

Pomp and Donald join forces...

...And, with some cheesy disguises, challenge Scrooge to yet another Contest of Wealth! 

What, indeed?  

I think you've just answered your own question, Scrooge... Because they're TRADITION! 

Well, I'll not reveal how either the contest or the Big Bet turns out, but I will say what a great first year of IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE we've had!  

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.

Then, let's all meet back here in the Comments Section to discuss another great issue from IDW - or the ENTIRE FIRST YEAR of this title!

While I'm at it, I'd like to thank Jonathan Gray, Thad Komorowski, Gary Leach, David Gerstein, Sarah Gaydos, and the original writers and artists of every story that has appeared, for a truly wonderful first year of IDW's UNCLE SCROOGE!  

And, as an EXTRA BONUS FEATURE, here are all 12 of the "Regular Covers" for this wonderful first year!  ...Enjoy!  

UPDATE: As discussed in our Comments Section, in this issue we have Scrooge reading a mystery novel titled "Larceny on the Orient Express".  

However, there's at least one prior instance of Scrooge reading an "Orient Express" mystery novel.  It's called "Onslaught on the Orient Express"!  More detail on this to be found in the Comments Section.

Go there and read it, lest you become "dis-oriented", and are unable to tell "Dis Orient Express", from "Dat Orient Express"!