Friday, January 22, 2016

On Sale January 13, 2016: MICKEY MOUSE # 8 from IDW!

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?

...And the price for his return was the necklace!  

Aw, ain't he the cutest Li'l Mick-Mick, though?
But, guess who's wearing the necklace today?  

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"... 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!) 

It's the first issue of MICKEY MOUSE with IDW's new cover format!  

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 - and, hopefully, avoid spitting in each other's faces when we do!  

...Only little blue atom-guys are able to get away with that!  


Elaine said...

I loved the captions in the narration boxes in the Super Goof story--both the untold adventure (a noodle incident, perhaps?) and the "to be conclu--", which was way funnier because it was in the same issue as Part One of a two-parter.

As to Melinda's species: I suppose you could say she has a long mouse nose drifting down at the tip rather than pointing up. But she doesn't have the facial framing of Mickey and Minnie (not to mention the ears), and though she wears gloves, her arms and neck are not black--except the wrists in panel 4 of page 5!. So even if her facial skin were left white in the comics pages, she wouldn't be Mousey. Your comment made me notice that big-ear-less Eurasia has the Mousey facial framing, but it's drawn as if that's hair, which is not the case with other Mice that I know of. Also has the black skin everywhere but the face. With Eurasia's design, I was glad Cavazzano got away from the common character design of sticking hair onto a Mickey/Minnie-like head, which I always think looks like a mouse wearing a wig. But as for Melinda's species, I'll be interested to hear other people's ideas of what she's supposed to be. I checked the character page on Inducks (Aunt Topolinda), and she appears to be colored the same way in the Italian original.

Also, Melinda has neither hairbow nor eyelashes, so she is arguably not Disney-female! Though she does have a bun and a dress. Speaking of clothes...I was amused to see that Trudy actually lifts weights wearing dress, necklace and heels!

In terms of Melinda's relationship to Mickey, she could be an aunt by marriage, the wife of his uncle, but there's no indication at any point, even in the flashback, that she was/is married.

We have seen, in Rota's "Night of the Saracen," that some Italians have no problem mixing species within one family, since there the duck love interest has dognose grandparents (see Duck Comics Revue's post on this story for discussion).

Technical question: Does the original artist always indicate which parts of the drawing are filled-in black? Or would that be done by the inker or colorist? Are the black wrists on p. 5 a mistake of Scarpa, Cimino or the colorists? This question may be relevant to the issue of determining species.

Deb said...

"No, that's not a little blue SMURF on the cover of MICKEY MOUSE..."
But it COULD be...Art project!

ramapith said...

I plead innocent! Atomo Bleep-Bleep was "Atomino Bip-Bip" in Italy, and then the Brit translators gave him his English name in the early 1980s. I liked it because it sounded like the Muppets' "galley-oh-hoop-hoop," so decided to use it here too.

(...Well, maybe not THAT innocent.)

Joe Torcivia said...


The “Join us next month for the exciting conclu—” gag was one of those things I had saved-up for a long time, just waiting for the right place to use it. The fact that it FOLLOWED AN ACTUAL month-to-month cliffhanger (…particularly one to which I’m truly awaiting next month’s installment) was pure serendipity!

I’m betting Super Goof’s great untold adventure was most likely one with the Cosmically Galactic Heroes, a member of which he was revealed to be, in MICKEY AND DONALD CHRISTMAS PARADE of last month. …Say, come to think of it, when’s the last time we’ve had Super Goof stories in TWO consecutive months? Super good for us!

The “facial framing of Mickey and Minnie”, as you so perfectly put it, may be exactly why I question Aunt Melinda’s… um, “species integrity”, for complete lack of a better term! It also serves to emphasize just how brilliant the design for Eurasia Toft is!

Even Iris-One (from Casty’s great story in MICKEY MOUSE # 6) had “long eyelashes” -- make that “long eyeLASH” -- so Aunt Melinda fails that test, too.

And, even if Melinda were “an aunt by marriage”, it still falls into my “species integrity” pet peeve. Like Eurasia’s father, in MM # 1! Then again, I guess this sort of thing goes all the way back to Pete lusting after Minnie – dispensing with which is as good a reason as any for having Trudy around. Since she DOES lift weights, Pete better walk the straight and narrow, at least in this one regard!

I have no internal-process-knowledge that would answer your question, but I will say that I have a few full-size original art pages of a Paul Murry Mickey serial from the late sixties – which I presume were penciled, inked, and lettered by Murry – and the facial and body-black on Mickey and Goofy, Goofy’s vest, and all shadowing is blacked-in by Paul Murry on that original art.

…Maybe David has an answer to this.

Hex said...

I thought all S-coded Disney Studio stories originally were in English? Or is the original dialogue lost, as it needed a translation (from Brazilian Portuguese?). According to inducks the original title for this Super Goof story is "The Big Freeze".

We’ve had some other S-coded stories where the dialogue is completely rewritten because the original one is lost. Like "Stinker, Tailor, Scrooge and Sly" in Uncle Scrooge #1 (405) and "The Photonic Muffler" in Mickey Mouse #290.

Thad Komorowski said...

Auntie M is clearly of the "large schnozzola" mouse design, one concocted for Mortimer and subsequently used by Gottfredson for the one-off Aunt Marissa (and others?). Scarpa just made it more prominent and has her hairdo obscure the ears. Don't over-think this shit!

Joe Torcivia said...


It’s an interesting thought… Atomo and the Smurfs.

I just checked our “real-world equivalent to the Jr. Woodchucks Guidebook, Wikipedia”, and it says:

“ The Smurfs (French: Les Schtroumpfs) (Dutch: De Smurfen) is a Belgian comic and television franchise centered on a fictional colony of small blue creatures who live in mushroom-shaped houses in the forest. The Smurfs was first created and introduced as a series of comic characters by the Belgian comics artist Peyo (pen name of Pierre Culliford) in 1958, where they were known as Les Schtroumpfs.”

Okay… 1958. Europe. It’s certainly possible that the little blue guys could have crossed Scarpa’s path. “Mickey Mouse in the Delta Dimension” appeared in 1959. Perhaps the timing was close enough for Scarpa to be influenced by Peyo. Particularly, as The Smurfs had (presumably) not yet become a worldwide phenomenon, and such an influence could sneak-by unnoticed?

Of course, this theory falls apart if Atomo was not originally colored BLUE in TOPOLINO.

Um… Maybe David has an answer to THIS, too.

Joe Torcivia said...


Well, “Atomo Bleep-Bleep” is certainly a decent enough English translation of Scarpa’s “Atomino Bip-Bip”. Out of character for me to say perhaps, but it’s nice that they didn’t “gag-up” his name. All I can say is “Bip-Bip Hooray”! …There, I did it FOR them! I can't help myself!

The odd thing is that it took from 1959 to the early eighties for Atomo to appear anywhere in the English language?

Um… Maybe David has an answer to THIS, too. Even though he answered the larger question about Atomo. I ask so much of him! :-)

Joe Torcivia said...


Can’t say for certain, but I think it required translation from Brazilian Portuguese. This may be another case, as you suggest.

Joe Torcivia said...

Thad writes (and this IS most likely the case): “ Scarpa just made it more prominent and has her hairdo obscure the ears. Don't over-think this shit!”

But, Thad… after peppering scripts with puns, over-thinking this shit is what I do best! :-)

Elaine said...

But Mortimer has the facial framing, doesn't he? And so does Minnie's Aunt Matilda (Gottfredson). Don't know about Aunt Marissa. Scanning Inducks' character list, it looks as though some Mouse relatives have been created without the framing, but Gottfredson seems to have kept it. Also (probably) the black skin everywhere except the face inside the framing. I may well be wrong on this, though--I have a notoriously bad visual memory.

Obviously this design owes its nature to Mickey's origin in b&w cartoons...but it's interesting that when we keep the Mouse design in comics, that means characters who are all-over black-skinned (including, when we see them uncovered, their hands and feet!), with the exception of the framed part of their face, which had to be white to allow for features. And as I've said before, I'm glad we usually keep the faces white (as in, white-white, not Caucasian "white") in the interior of the comics, as that makes for a more ethnically-neutral look.

Joe Torcivia said...

And Bill Wright did some unusual looking Mouse characters in “The Ghost of Man-Eater Mountain”, reprinted in IDW’s MICKEY MOUSE # 5. Check some of those out!

scarecrow33 said...

I notice on page 13 a little cross-reference box referring to Mickey Mouse 256. It seems these have been popping up occasionally in the IDW Disney comics, similarly to the cross-referencing that is provided frequently in the Marvel and DC comics, and it makes me realize just how BIG the Disney Comics Universe is! As anyone who has followed my comments knows, I am a huge fan of continuity, and I tend to look for it or even make it up where it doesn't exist.

Touches like these, as well as expanding Mickey's world with characters like Atomo and Eurasia Toft (or Aunt Melinda) add more of a sense of past history to Mickey's ever-enlarging biography. At the same time, it would probably be next to impossible to construct a "Life and Times of Mickey Mouse" as Rosa did with Scrooge McDuck, because of all the many varied adventures in which Mickey has been involved, especially when there was a comic strip running concurrently with the comic book adventures, and if you incorporate his film career as well as his career in print, it would very quickly prove a daunting and unwieldy task. If someone did manage it, it would of necessity run to several dozen volumes and even then would not do complete justice to its star character.

Yet even without constructing an official "Mickey Timeline" or biography or anything like that, there still manages to be a Mickey universe that contains its own level of continuity, as evidenced by the cross-referencing in this issue.

I'm loving the Pirates of the Caribbean covers--my biggest wish regarding them is that some day we can get a story that goes along with them! The Disney characters visiting the Disney Theme Parks is another of my favorite comics occurrences.

ramapith said...

Joe, if Wikipedia is our Woodchuck Guide, it sort of explains why we can't put sleepless dragons to sleep—or locate nearby Yetis—or even catch greased pigs! Any source of "facts" that can be impartially edited by Glomgold, Fethry, Melvin X. Nickelby, and Dr. Dunk isn't worth the bandwidth it's served on!

Joe Torcivia said...


I love that IDW is expanding the overall Disney comics universe by introducing or, in the case of characters who have appeared infrequently, or have been dormant for a while, reintroducing them!

Considering that the first IDW issue (UNCLE SCROOGE # 1) had Brigitta MacBridge and Jubal Pomp, and the most recent one (MM # 8) had Atomo Bleep-Bleep, Trudy Van Tubb, and even Doctor Dunk, I’d say that we probably never go more than a few weeks (in this wonderful first year of IDW) without coming across such great characters as Eurasia Toft, Eega Beeva, Ellsworth, Gilbert, Rockerduck, Belle Duck, Grandpa Blackheart Beagle, and Uncle Gideon!

Continuing this, UNCLE SCROOGE # 11 will see the return of obnoxious nerdy but ruthless coin collector “Melvin X. Nickelby”, who was the antagonist in the first Uncle Scrooge story I ever dialogued back in 2007. I believe there will be a caption box to remind readers that Melvin first (and last) appeared way back in UNCLE SCROOGE # 367.

And, just my opinion, if you’re going to refer back to a scheme Pete pulled in MICKEY MOUSE # 256 (as you note above), you should at least refer back to Atomo’s origin in Gemstone’s MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES # 11.

Trudy and Doctor Dunk are easy enough to figure out without previous citation. Indeed, I wonder if anyone would even remember that Doctor Dunk appeared previously in the USA, if they didn’t read this Blog post. But, a creature as uniquely offbeat and strange as Atomo – particularly, if there WAS an origin story published in the USA – should have such a footnote.

The Theme Park covers are fun, but I’ve just never seen ANY of them in person, save January 2016’s use of them as the “regular alternates”.

Personally, I feel that David Gerstein and Jonathan Gray could do a fabulous “Life and Times of Mickey Mouse” – and Jonathan could DRAW it, too! If anyone could bring together all of the desperate elements that make up the comics Mickey into one coherent whole, it would be them. It would be an amazing piece of work… and, if they wished to consult someone on “The Paul Murry Years”, I think I could manage to make myself available!

Joe Torcivia said...

David writes:

“ Any source of "facts" that can be impartially edited by Glomgold, Fethry, Melvin X. Nickelby, and Dr. Dunk isn't worth the bandwidth it's served on!”.

I dunno, David… Doctor Dunk IS an acknowledged author of “Weather Survival Self-Help Books”. That is, when he’s not freezing the oceans or otherwise wreaking havoc upon planet Earth. He’s just not a very good author, or he wouldn’t need to blackmail the planet into buying his books! Heck, even “Ultraheroes” probably sold better than Dunk’s books!

…But that DOES go a long way toward explaining that entry that states that Flintheart Glomgold is the World’s Richest Duck! Hmmm…

Joe Torcivia said...

By the way, expanding on my comment above… Does anyone else like the notion that Doctor Dunk became a villain “because he’s a frustrated author”?

I know I did, because it was somewhat unique, and offered me the opportunity for some extra gags in what I described in the post as a straightforward story. Just gauging reaction, in the event that future… er… “DunkTales” come my way. After all, with Doctor Dunk around, life would literally “…be like a hurrr-iii-caaane!”.

Either way, this “author” promises not to become a villain in response!

Elaine said...

Yup, I liked the villain's motivation of authorial frustration. I've read a couple of ghost stories where the ghost's motivation to haunt was the fact that no one was reading her/his book, but I don't believe I've seen that used anywhere else as a character's motivation to imperil-the-planet villainy.

Joe Torcivia said...

Authorship can be quite the motivating force, Elaine!

As I approached the story, this is what made a completely generic villain a slightly more interesting – and humorous – one!

TheKKM said...

Regarding Aunt Melinda's species, and purely as a curiosity, just happened to find this great post on the blog of the couple of Radice and Turconi- a husband and wife combo that make some of the best stories in Disney Italy right now, IMO - showing the design work they did for their adaptation of Treasure Island, which includes an Aunt Melinda (or Topolinda) that DOES look distinctly more mouse-y.

Joe Torcivia said...


Aunt Melinda certainly looks more “mousey” in those illustrations! I’d say the BONNET helps maintain the notion that she possesses the proper “ear-age”!

HERE’S the link, for all you Melinda-philes out there!