Mickey Mouse Comic Book by Gladstone

As a teenager, I collected hundreds of comic books, most from the Marvel comics company (now owned by Disney). Although I dabbled a little in DC titles I never did pick up any Disney or other cartoon comics. So the Gladstone company is a new name in comic books to me.

The Mickey Mouse comic book I am featuring here is from 1989 and contains reprinted stories by Floyd Gottfredson. The main story is from 1941 and is entitled The Land of Long Ago:

Gladstone Cover

Front Cover

Monetarily valueless but rich in content these reprints are a wonderful way to see and read old strips that are out of print and too expensive to buy in original editions.

This issue has some interesting features:

Gladstone Letters

Letters Page

I always used to love the letters page of a comic book. Reading what other readers had to say about the characters and the stories made me feel more a part of the comic book community. The above edition contains a complaint against Carl Barks (of Donald Duck fame) for being anti-German. Yikes!

Gladstone Advertising

Subscribe or Buy an Album

An integral part of any comic book are the advertisements for more comic books! The original up-sell.

Gladstone More Advertising

More Stories by Floyd Gottfredson & Carl Barks

Now let’s start our story:

Gladstone First Page

The Land of Long Ago: Chapter 3

Suffice to say that Mickey, Goofy, and a professor have landed in a world of cavemen and have been captured. It’s up to Mickey to free everyone, which he does!

I found Mickey to be a bit more aggressive and callous than he is today, which wasn’t uncommon in Mickey’s earlier days.

Gladstone Page Spread

The Goof in a Loincloth

And how did Mickey get his loincloth? He rigged up a trap and stripped it off a passing caveman, leaving him naked behind a bush! You see, I told you Mickey was a bit more aggressive back in the 1940’s.

This reprinted edition also had a two-page strip with Mickey and Minnie and this one-page strip starring Pluto:

Gladstone Pluto Strip

Foiled Again!

The advertising doesn’t stop with the inner ads, but continues on the back cover:

Gladstone Back Cover

Bonus Donald Duck Strip

I hope you enjoyed viewing this great old comic book! For more Mickey Mouse comic strips, you can read my review of the book entitled Color Sundays of Mickey Mouse or see a Donald Duck comic book in a famous Norman Rockwell painting.

Gladstone Publishing was an American company that published Disney comics from 1986 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1998. Reprints of classic Donald Duck stories by Carl Barks and Mickey Mouse stories by Floyd Gottfredson were the foundation of their output. Although Gladstone is no longer an active publisher, it continues to offer its back issues through its website.

ILLUSION OF LIFE Plugged on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life is a book by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Disney Legends of animation counted among the famous group of Walt Disney’s  Nine Old Men. The book topped the list of “best animation books of all time” in a poll at AWN, and is still used as a reference for inspiration on character animation.

Illusion of Life Cover

I have this book and can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants to better understand the animation process. After reading it, my own drawing skills improved noticeably!

In 1980, they appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to plug the book and chat about animation. Here they are on stage:

Illusion of Life On Stage

During the interview, Carson mentions that they are almost unknown, despite the fact that they had worked on some of the most famous animated films of all time. They replied that they liked it that way!

Illusion of Life Frank

Frank Thomas

They mentioned that when they would sit in a theatre to watch their films with children, they would almost die. Why? Because children could be so cruel! No wonder they preferred to hide back in the studio.

Illusion of Life Ollie

Ollie Johnston

Carson asked about the rumors that Walt Disney was a cold man and hard to work for, among other things. Both men answered that he was all of those things. However, they clarified that it was also a great pleasure to work for Walt because he was so inspiring, albeit awfully tough! Perfection was expected at all times.

Carson next marvels at how animators are able to give life to even inanimate objects, so Frank and Ollie pulled out the following drawings to illustrate the point:

Illusion of Life Sad SackIllusion of Life Happy SackIllusion of Life Nosey SackIllusion of Life Tickled Sack

And last but not least:

Illusion of Life Tired Sack

Who Wouldn’t Be?

It was great to see these Disney Legends chat about their passion for animation. But it almost wasn’t to be! Frank wanted to be a landscape artist and Ollie was heading towards a career in magazine illustration. But Disney put out a casting call and both answered, arriving at the studio to become lowly In-betweeners before rising in the ranks to full-fledged animators.

Illusion of Life Wrap Up

The Interview Ends

Look to the left in the above picture and you’ll notice another Disney Alumni, Suzanne Pleshette (January 31, 1937 – January 19, 2008). You may remember her for her roles in The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard’s Ghost, and The Shaggy D.A.

Also, if you look to the far right in the above picture, you can see Carson holding up the book in question (blurry though it is).

For the full interview (5:54), please take a listen. It’s well worth it:

Frank and Ollie on Carson

To learn more about these two animation greats, and the rest of Disney’s Nine Old Men, check out my review of the book Walt Disney’s Nine Old Men.

Lady and the Tramp II – Scamp Lithographs from The Disney Store

Here we have another direct-to-video sequel of a Disney classic. Scamp’s Adventure centers on Lady and the Tramp’s only son, Scamp, who longs for freedom from house rules and desires to become a “wild dog”.

Adventure ensues, as the title suggests, with a happy ending for all. In case you’re wondering, Lady and the Tramp had four puppies, named Annette, Collette, Danielle and Scamp.

Let’s have a look at the lithographs released by The Disney Store to commemorate the release of this movie:

Scamp Folder Cover

Both Sides of the Tracks

I vaguely remember this movie but do remember that I wasn’t particularly impressed. Most direct-to-video releases seemed to be rushed and merely produced to generate revenue, not memorable stories.

What is worth remembering is this beautiful folder:

Scamp Folder Unfolded

Which Side Are You From?

This is a basic grass-is-always-greener story with dogs. I guess we could say that Scamp has a strong urge to piddle in someone else’s lawn!

Of course, there is a love element to the story, as seen in the recreation of the iconic spaghetti scene from the original classic:

Scamp Print SpagettiScamp Moonlight BarkScamp Escape from PoundScamp Togetherness

The Plot in 4 Lithographs

My recommendation would be to skip this effort. But if you could pick up a set of these lithographs, that would be worthwhile!

Scamp Folder Back

Back of Presentation Folder

I also have a great set of Disney Store lithographs featuring the original cast of Lady and the Tramp. Definitely worth a sniff!

Lilo & Stitch Lithographs from The Disney Store

Disney’s Lilo & Stitch was a surprise hit when it debuted in 2002. The little blue ‘dog’ found its way into everyone’s heart, but most of all into the heart of a girl named Lilo.

With a story that features the value of family, this movie became an instant classic! The Disney Store released a wonderful set of lithographs to commemorate the release of the film on video:

Stitch Folder

Like some of these releases, this one featured an inventive cover folder. When opened, it yields a nice Hawaiian panorama.

Let’s lift the first flap:

Stitch Folder Open

Lifting the first flap reveals a beautiful pastel sky and a surprised Stitch being kissed by Lilo. Now there are two flaps that open sideways. Below is how the folder looks from the back when fully opened:

Stitch Folder Back

And next we see how the folder looks from the front when fully opened:

Stitch Folder Front

Surf’s Up!

The prints tuck in behind the sand in the middle. And now for a look at the prints themselves:

Stitch Print OneStitch Print TwoStitch Print Three

Did you enjoy Lilo & Stitch when you first viewed it? Has it become one of your Disney favorites?

For more fun with Lilo and Stitch, check out a WDCC figurine featuring Stitch, and a Disney Animator’s Collection doll featuring Lilo.

Winnie the Pooh Lithographs from The Disney Store

I’ve gone on record to state my dislike of sequels. Direct-to-video being the worst offenders. And even though Walt Disney himself didn’t like them, or repeating himself (“You can’t top pigs with pigs.”), I have come to realize that a business like Disney (the company) must do what it has to in order to remain in the black. And so we have ended up with a series of lackluster outings into The Hundred Acre Wood. The one featured here is known as Winnie the Pooh’s Grand Adventure: The Search for Christopher Robin (released August 5th, 1997).

Winnie the Pooh Folder

Front of Folder

The Disney Store released a nice set of four lithographs to coincide with the video release. Each is on archival stock paper and presented inside an amazing folder.

Winnie the Pooh Folder Back

Back of Folder

Sometimes, The Disney Store provides a fun package for the prints, and this release is certainly a good example. Let’s begin to open the folder:

Winnie the Pooh Folder Open

Top Flap Opened Upwards

Winnie the Pooh Folder Map

Close-up of Map

Winnie the Pooh Folder Long

Folder Opened Completely

I haven’t seen this movie in years and so don’t remember if it managed to capture the magic of the first series of Shorts. But here is a brief synopsis of the storyline: The story begins on the last day of summer. Christopher Robin is unable to tell his friend Winnie-the-Pooh some sad news, that he is going off to school and won’t be around as much. Pooh doesn’t understand the absence of his friend and goes to Owl to get a note, left by Christopher Robin to explain, interpreted. Owl deduces that Christopher Robin has been taken to a distant, mysterious and dangerous place called “Skull” against his will, to a cave where the monstrous “Skullasaurus” resides. Owl equips the group with a map and sends them into the “Great Unknown” of the Hundred Acre Wood. There are mishaps aplenty until Christopher Robin returns from school and finds them. They return home, and that evening, Christopher Robin says he will return to school the next day. Pooh declares that he will always be waiting for him.

Whether the movie was good or not, the prints in this set are excellent! Let’s have a look:

Winnie the Pooh Print ThreeWinnie the Pooh Print OneWinnie the Pooh Print TwoWinnie the Pooh Print Four

All’s Well That End’s Well!

This adventure of Winnie the Pooh and his friends would definitely appeal to the younger Disney fan!

Can’t get enough Pooh? Then eat more fiber and check out these posts featuring the little yellow bear in pewter, egg form, and all lit up.

Well, tut tut, it looks like the post is finished. Oh, bother!

Snow White Lithographs from The Disney Store

We’ve covered some of the other Princesses in an earlier post, and now it’s time for the original, the fairest of them all, to have her turn. In this post we have Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (what can I say, they go everywhere together!)

I am featuring two different lithograph releases. The first has four prints:

Snow White Set Folder

Regal

The envelope that contains the prints is made of a very heavy museum-quality paper with a nice texture. The prints are also rendered on better quality paper than some Disney Store lithographs.

And speaking of lithographs:

Snow White Set 3Snow White Set 2Snow White Set 1Snow White Set 4

‘Hi Ho’ and there you go! Even though Snow White was released back in the 1930’s it still contains some of the most breathtaking imagery of any Princess movie!

Snow White Set Folder Back

Above is the back of the folder which sports a very famous fruit.

The set above was released in 2001 to commemorate one of the many re-releases of this most classic of classics. The single lithograph below is an earlier release from 1994. Neither release coincides with a major anniversary of the film:

Snow White Single Envelope

Over-sized Envelope

Unfortunately, this lithograph has been damaged by moisture. However, it is unique in that it’s one of the few releases to be bigger than the 8×10 format of most other Disney Store prints.

Snow White Single LithoSnow White Single Litho Back

Lithograph & Back of Frame

So when asked which lithographs are the fairest of them all, I think you will agree that these ones, featuring Snow White, are certainly the front runners!

Princess Lithographs from The Disney Store

The Disney Princess. Iconic and controversial all at once, but still a marketing juggernaut, these ladies turn heads for whatever reason! And so do these stunning lithographs from The Disney Store.

We have a lot to see, so let’s get right to it:

Priness Envelope SBPrincess Print SBPrincess Frame SB

Sometimes The Disney Store releases multiple lithographs in a set, with either 4 or 6 prints. But this one only has the one print.

Princess Envelope CPrincess Print C

Cinderella also gets the one-print treatment for her video re-release.

And now we move on to a more modern era Princess with a set of 4 prints from Beauty and the Beast:

Princess Folder B&BPrincess B&B Print 1Princess B&B Print 2Princess B&B Print 3Princess B&B Print 4Princess Folder Back B&B

And these lithographs will live happily ever after in my media collection! As will these lithographs featuring The Little Mermaid.

For more Princess fun, check out how they use the stairs on a Disney Cruise, and how they would be described by today’s Paparazzi.

Pixar Lithographs from The Disney Store

I wish I had a complete set of lithographs representing the entire Pixar catalogue of films, but at least I have these three. The Disney Store did a great job with the selection of prints.

Let’s have a look. First, we have the original Toy Story from 1995:

Pixar Envelope Pixar Print Pixar Frame

This lithograph would have been released for the 1996 video release. The above pictures show the protective envelope, the lithograph itself, and the back side of the lithograph frame.

Next, we have a wonderful image from A Bug’s Life (1996):

Pixar Envelope Pixar Print Pixar Frame

Again, this lithograph would have been released in 1999 to commemorate the release of the film on video.

Last, but not least, is Toy Story 2 (1999):

Pixar EnvelopePixar PrintPixar Frame

This was released in 2000.

And that concludes my incomplete collection of Pixar lithographs from The Disney Store.

If you have a bit more time and would like to see more of my Pixar merchandise, check out these keychains and minis figurines.

Flubber Lithograph from The Disney Store

Who remembers what Flubber is? Well, it can make Model T Fords fly, basketball players jump higher, and in the 1997 reboot, it can even dance! In this version, Robin Williams stars as the renamed Prof. Philip Brainard.

But Flubber first appeared in The Absent-Minded Professor, a 1961 Disney live-action film based on the short story ‘A Situation of Gravity’ by Samuel W. Taylor. The film stared Fred MacMurray as Professor Ned Brainard, the accidental inventor of Flubber.

The film was a huge success at the box-office, and two years later became the first Disney film to have a sequel, 1963’s Son of Flubber. But the lithograph in this post promotes the 1997 remake called Flubber:

Flubber Back of Lithograph

Flubber Cover SleeveFlubber Cover Back

Front and Back of Envelope & Rear of Lithograph

This is the only lithograph I have from The Disney Store that is lenticular. And what is ‘lenticular’ you ask? Lenticular printing is a technology in which lenticular lenses (a technology that is also used for 3D displays) are used to produce printed images with an illusion of depth, or the ability to change or move as the image is viewed from different angles.

The latter part of the definition applies here. Look at the lithograph one way and the Flubber couple are dancing:

Flubber Dance

Getting their groove on!

Turn the lithograph slightly, and the Flubber couple are in a full dip:

Flubber Dip

Gutsy move!

While this makes for an interesting print, it makes it a lot harder to photograph! It’s quite possible that Disney put a little more tech into this lithograph because of the scientific nature of the movie.

Who knows, maybe these little green blobs will bring back Disco. But let’s hope not!

For more on the star of the original movies, Fred MacMurray, please read my post entitled Top Five Live-Action Disney Actors.

101 Dalmatians Disney Store Lithographs

Today’s post has really gone to the dogs, quite literally! We are sharing six Disney Store lithographs that were offered to promote the video release of 101 Dalmatians.

101 Dalmatians Front Cover

101 Dalmatians Back Cover

This envelope has a nice synopsis of both the film and the film-making process on the back. The 1961 animated version was the first to use the Xerox process for copying the many spots needed to render the 99 puppies and two adult dogs in the film.

The six lithographs from this set are among the few I’ve seen with captions describing the scenes. Let’s have a closer look. We begin with the announcement that Pongo is going to be a father:

101 Dalmatians Happy Couple

“After all, dogs were having puppies long before our time.”

We then skip to the birth where there is a slight problem:

 101 Dalmatians Lucky

“Nanny! Fifteen! We still have fifteen.”

Here we see the reviving of the last puppy born, whom Roger saves, and so gives the name of ‘Lucky’. Life resumes as we see the proud parents watching some quality television with their puppies:

Fan Favorite TV

“Ol’ Thunderbolt’s the greatest dog in the whole world.”

But things don’t stay tranquil for long after Cruella De Ville arrives with her own reason for loving the puppies:

101 Dalmatians Cruella

“Yes… yes, I must say… such perfectly beautiful coats.”

Jumping ahead we rejoin the story after the puppies have been stolen and the dogs of the city are using the Twilight Bark to relay the message that help is needed:

101 Dalmatians Pet Shop

Peg, Bull, and the Twilight Bark

In this scene, we are treated with guest appearances from Peg and Bull from another animated Disney film about dogs, Lady and the Tramp.

Later the puppies are found, but now there are 99!

101 Dalmatians Escape

“This way, children, around this way.”

All’s well that ends well as the farm animals help free all of the puppies. In the end, all 101 Dalmatians live together on a big farm in the country. The end!

This was the 17th feature-length animated film released by Disney and it did very well at the box office. After all, who can resist 99 cute little puppies?

For more fun with the 101 Dalmatians film, check out our earlier post entitled Could This Be Cruella De Ville’s Real Car? which shows a vintage 1929 Auburn 8-120 automobile that just may have inspired the animated copy.