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.

Scrooge McDuck Ceramic Figurine with Cane

Everyone knows Donald Duck. Some might even know Professor Ludwig Von Drake. But only those who have added comic books to their Disney collections will likely remember Scrooge McDuck:

Scrooge McDuck Front

What is he going to do with that cane?

Scrooge McDuck lives up to his namesake in that he is definitely a miser when it comes to money. So he is probably going to hit someone for trying to take it… or for perhaps asking for a loan.

This character was created in 1947 by Carl Barks and is an elderly Scottish Pekin duck who is portrayed as speaking with a Scottish accent. He is named after Ebenezer Scrooge from the 1843 novel A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens. Scrooge is a wealthy business tycoon.

Scrooge McDuck Back

Nice spats!

Within the context of the fictional Duck Universe, Scrooge is the world’s richest person with a “Money Bin” that rivals the vaults of Jack Benny!

Scrooge McDuck Side

Top Hat and Tail Feathers

In the comic books, Scrooge was initially characterized as a greedy miser but in later appearances he was often portrayed as a charitable and thrifty hero, adventurer, explorer, and philanthropist. This version of the character could be seen best in the television series Duck Tales (1987-1990).

Scrooge McDuck Bottom

He is the maternal uncle of Donald Duck and the grand-uncle of Huey, Dewey, and Louie. This figurine stands approximately 5″ tall and is made of some sort of ceramic material. It was manufactured in Japan.

COOL FACT: In tribute to its famous native, Glasgow City Council added Scrooge to its list of “Famous Glaswegians” in 2007.

Donald Duck might not have the business sense of his uncle but he has brokered some impressive deals over the years. Check out his big Orange Juice gig by clicking the link.

Scrooge McDuck isn’t the only member of the Duck Universe to have a link to famous authors or artists. Check out Huey, Dewey, and Louie’s brush with Norman Rockwell by clicking this link.

To see Donald together with his mischievous nephews check them out as they play a Wacky Wigwam game!

Rocketeer Bend-Em Figure from JusToys

The Rocketeer is a 1991 American period superhero film from Walt Disney Pictures. It starred Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Alan Arkin, and Timothy Dalton. The film is based upon the character of the same name created by comic book artist and writer Dave Stevens. Don’t be ashamed if you’re a Disney fan but don’t remember it! It was good but didn’t rock the world at the time of its release.

Set in 1938 Los Angeles, California, The Rocketeer tells the story of stunt pilot Cliff Secord who discovers a rocket-powered jet pack that enables him to fly without an aircraft. His heroic deeds soon attract the attention of Howard Hughes and the FBI, who are hunting for the missing jet pack, as well as Nazi operatives. I was hooked at ‘jet pack’!

So naturally I’ve tried to collect whatever memorabilia I can depicting this great character. And I’ve just recently added another piece to my collection:


Thank you Just Toys!

This is another rescue from an Antique Mall in Michigan. It is complete in its original packaging and has only a little bit of damage caused by the price tag.


Dynamic Packaging

I will be leaving this little guy in his package prison because I think it makes for a better display that way.

For more on the Rocketeer, check out my post on the Comic Book, and to see what else I own, please read the earlier post showing a Tin Sign which features our vintage superhero. Wonder what the movie was like? Read my review!

Pacific Presents 'The Rocketeer' by Dave Stevens

I love The Rocketeer even though the 1991 movie could have been better. I think Disney handled the character fairly well but if only they had used him more extensively! Can you imagine him as a walk-around character in Tomorrowland? Too awesome that would be!

Also awesome is this comic book from 1983 that I found recently:

The Rocketeer Comic Book 002

So what do I have here? Here is a not-so brief history of The Rocketeer in comic form from Wikipedia: The Rocketeer’s first adventure appeared in 1982 as a backup feature in issues #2 and #3 of Mike Grell’s Starslayer series from Pacific Comics. Two more installments appeared in Pacific’s showcase comic Pacific Presents #1 and 2 (the issue you see above). This fourth chapter ended in a cliffhanger that was later concluded in a special Rocketeer issue released by Eclipse Comics. The story was continued in the Rocketeer Adventure Magazine. Two issues were published by Comico Comics in 1988 and 1989; the third installment was not published until 1995, six years later by Dark Horse Comics. In 1991 comics artist Russ Heath illustrated the graphic novel The Rocketeer, The Official Movie Adaptation, based on Walt Disney’s 1991 feature film The Rocketeer.

So what I have is the fourth installment of Dave Stevens original treatment of the character, printed before Disney did the movie. Now that’s cool!

Dave Stevens

Dave Stevens – 1982

Let’s have a look at the artwork:

The Rocketeer Comic Book 003

The Rocketeer Comic Book 004

Stevens definitely has a unique style that is fitted to the type of material. The major difference between his original version and Disney’s cleaned-up movie version is found in the depiction of Cliff Secord’s girlfriend Betty. In the comic, at least the issue I have, she is drawn completely nude in every panel. She is this way because she is in the habit of posing for ‘art photos’ to pay her way in the world. Of course, Stevens is careful not to show the naughty bits, but the images are too provocative to show here!

As was the case with the first two appearances of the Rocketeer he has to share the book with another character story, this time a weird one called The Missing Man by Steve Ditko:

The Rocketeer Comic Book 005          The Rocketeer Comic Book 006

You may remember Ditko from his ground-breaking work on the original Doctor Strange comic book. The Missing Man features his unique style of artwork but in a story and with a character so offbeat one wonders why he bothered!

The story features wife and child beating and truly horrible dialogue which just goes to show that even comic legends can produce bad content.

In conclusion, I have a rather funny bit of business to finish this post with:

The Rocketeer Comic Book 008

A Betty Look-alike contest?

The only way to determine if a girl looked like Betty would be to compare her to the artwork in the comic. Artwork that only shows Betty… in the nude! So presumably a boyfriend would have to convince his sweetheart to strip down and pose for a photograph with ‘a clear image of the facial features’, according to the rules. I guess it was OK if her naughty bits were blurry.

I’m joking as it is obvious the publishers only wanted a head shot. Or… did they?

Finding a vintage issue of the source material for a Disney movie was a nice surprise, as I didn’t realize that the comic was that old when I bought it!

Book Review: Stan Lee's Marvelous Memoir



A Marvelous Memoir

For those unfamiliar with Stan Lee, all three of you, this is called a ‘marvelous memoir’ because Stan the Man brought a comic book company named Marvel to fame and prominence while doing quite well for himself along the way. He created, along with a team of talented artists, heroes like Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, and at least a few others.

If you attend super hero movies then probably you know him as the man who shows up in a cameo role. He looks like Hugh Hefner. He’s always smiling. He pretends to be full of himself. And he is one of the truest characters left in entertainment today.

Front Cover          Back Cover

Front and back sleeve art

This book is kind of his life story so far rendered as a comic book. Funny that a real comic book is actually a magazine and this memoir is actually a comic book. But I digress. But so does Stan in his memoir, so I feel justified!

This book sold for $30 US or $36.99 CAN but I got it for just $10 CAN on clearance which should in no way reflect on its quality and value unless you’re a nit picker and consider the fact that the book only came out on November 3rd of 2015 and thusly it is a bit early for such a deep discount. But I digress. But so does Stan in his memoir, so I feel justified!

As I said, this book is presented in comic book form:

Pages 2

Pages 1

It starts with Stan appearing at a convention to tell his life story. He does so in his signature bombastic style with lots of dramatics and regressions. So he digresses. But so do I in this post, so he’s justified!

The artwork is entertaining without being too realistic, or realistic at all. It harkens back to a simpler time when comic art had energy and pizzazz in every panel.

The book is definitely a highlights-only volume with no new insights offered. We’ll probably have to wait until The National Enquirer does an expose to learn the real truth about this comic book icon. Did you know that Stan has also penned stories for Marvel’s arch rival company DC Comics? Did you know that ‘DC’ stands for ‘Detective Comics’ so when you say ‘DC Comics’ you’re actually saying ‘Detective Comics Comics’? But I digress. But so does Stan in his memoir, so I feel justified!

Stan Lee

What Stan Lee really looks like

I’d give this memoir a 3 out of 5 Stars for the general public as they are unlikely to appreciate or understand Stan’s writing style and self-aggrandizing fakery. But for die-hard Marvel Comics fans I would give it a 5 out of 5 Stars and say that if you are one of them and haven’t bought and loved this book yet then you should turn in both your MMMS membership card and every issue of FOOM magazine that you have.

E X C E L S I O R !

‘Nuff Said!

Starlord Tsum Tsum

The title of this post probably sounds like a foreign language to some readers, but to fans of the Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy, it indicates their leader: Starlord

Starlord Tsum Tsum 001

Tsum Tsum

Of course, the above repetition of words might be harder to understand! Here is the official description from the Disney Store: “Join the craze that began in Japan! Our “Tsum Tsum” Plush Collection is full of the fluffiest friends, and is now on mugs, dishes, iPhone covers and more!

There are three main categories of Tsum Tsums: Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel. The last category is where our Starlord example comes from.

Starlord Tsum Tsum 002     Starlord Tsum Tsum 003

Not the handsomest Tsum Tsum out there!

I have resisted jumping on the Tsum Tsum bandwagon until recently when I saw this example on sale for just $1.49 at a local Disney Store (regular price is $5.95). For that discounted price, I felt I would temper my aversion to the craze and buy one. But only one!

This product line joins Trading Pins, Vinylmations, and countless other character-based gimmicks in Disney’s ongoing attempt to part us from our money by turning us all into obsessive collectors.

With that in mind, it didn’t take Disney long to capitalize on the popularity of the Tsum Tsum by releasing medium versions ($12.95), large versions ($24.95), mugs ($12.95), iPhone covers ($39.95), a clothing line, and also vinyl versions.

Starlord Tsum Tsum 004     Starlord Tsum Tsum 005

Detailing is quite well done

One problem I see with this line of merchandise is the size of these mini plush versions. Take a look at what happens when the labels are added:

Starlord Tsum Tsum 006     Starlord Tsum Tsum 007

Am I buying Starlord or labels?

Four labels for such a small product seem excessive, especially when two of them basically say the same thing: Marvel.

I guess I felt kind of sorry for the little galactic hero, sitting in his discount bin, without a friend in the world. And now I can say I own at least one Tsum Tsum. But only one!

Top Five Distinctive Artists of Marvel Comics

Many artists have rendered our favorite superheros over the years, some with greater success than others. Some artists, though, have just captured a character with such a distinctive style that we will forever see that character in their hand. Some images have become truly iconic!

Here is my Top Five list of the most distinctive Marvel artists, and the characters they made famous:



McFarlane Spiderman

‘The legend begins anew’ indeed! Dig that crazy webbing and the contortionists posing made famous by this modern-era artist.

Todd McFarlane (born March 16, 1961) is a Canadian artist, writer, designer and entrepreneur, best known for his work in comic books. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he became a comic book superstar due to his work on the Spider-Man franchise.

Not with Marvel for very long, McFarlane did reinvigorate the Spiderman character almost solely based on his unique drawing style. His webbing has become iconic almost in its own right.



Ditko Dr. Strange

Drawing the first 38 issues of Spiderman and other pivotal characters like Dr. Strange, there is no mistaking the style of Steve Ditko. I think the most striking feature of his work are the hand positions, a dead giveaway. Also, he is right up there with Jack Kirby for strange and wonderful backgrounds!

Stephen J. “Steve” Ditko (born November 2, 1927) is an American comic book artist and writer best known as the artist and co-creator, with Stan Lee, of the Marvel Comics superhero Spider-Man, and as creator of Doctor Strange (pictured above).

Not the most realistic artist, but for some of the titles he drew, it’s hard to image anyone else behind the pencil.



Romita Spiderman

Some of the most famous storylines for Spiderman were drawn by this artist. But Romita had a hand in shaping most of the main characters in the Marvel cast.

John V. Romita Sr. is often credited as simply John Romita (born January 24, 1930) and is an American comic-book artist best known for his work on The Amazing Spider-Man. His style was more realistic than many with simple clean lines and just enough detail to put the scene over. But his distinctiveness lies in his layout and dynamic posings.

It should also be mentioned that his son, John Romita Jr., also drew Spiderman in a similar style. Some find it hard to tell the work of this father and son team apart!



Bryne Wolverine

This is a rare case where the artist and inker worker together to create the finished look. John Byrne and Terry Austin made a dynamic duo that no one could approach artistically during their X-men run.

John Lindley Byrne (born July 6, 1950) is a British-born American comic-book writer and artist. Since the mid-1970s, Byrne has worked on many major American superheroes. Byrne’s better-known work has been on Marvel Comics’ X-Men and Fantastic Four.

Hyper-realism was the hallmark of this team and looking at their work could make up for any lack in the story. Not that this was a problem with Chris Claremont’s writing!



Kirby Thor

Jack Kirby was a major force in the creation of the look of Marvel early on. His style of bold exaggeration was perfect for Thor (above) with backgrounds that could bend your mind!

Jack Kirby (August 28, 1917 – February 6, 1994), born Jacob Kurtzberg, was an American comic book artist, writer, and editor widely regarded as one of the medium’s major innovators and one of its most prolific and influential creators.

Kirby is a prime example of how a particular artists style can come to represent a character.



Steranko Nick Fury

Psychedelic  man!

James F. “Jim” Steranko (born November 5, 1938) is an American graphic artist, comic book writer/artist, historian, magician, publisher and film production illustrator. His most famous comic book work was with the 1960s superspy feature Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. in Marvel Comics’ Strange Tales and in the subsequent eponymous series (above). Steranko earned lasting acclaim for his innovations in sequential art during the Silver Age of Comic Books, particularly his infusion of surrealism, op art, and graphic design into the medium.


So there is my list of my favorite artists from Marvel Comics. Would you have added another to the mix? You have to admit, it is very easy to identify the distinctive work of these men! Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, and let the debate begin!

Please check out my other Marvel Comics post entitled Top Five Marvel Superhero Costumes by clicking the link.

Top Five Marvel Superhero Costumes

How can we pick just five superhero costumes? It all has to do with the focus. I’m not just concerned with how cool it looks, although that will be a factor. Instead I will focus on how well it reveals the hero’s character and powers, as well as how it would hold up to modern interpretation in movies.

With those things in mind, I will likely leave your favorite superhero costume off this list. But take heart True Believer, I have left many of my favorites off too!

You will also notice that there are no female superhero costumes on this list. This is because, indefensibly, most female costumes are designed to show off a exaggeratedly toned body with lots of cleavage, and usually has little to do with the characters powers. With some, there isn’t enough of a costume to rate. So on behalf of stereotypical males everywhere, I’ll just say that every female superhero costume is awesome!

That leaves us with a list of the Top Five male superhero costumes from the Mighty Marvel Universe:




This one is for me! Havok has always been one of my favorite characters based almost solely on his cool costume. You can’t go too far wrong with basic black and silver! But his costume also contains functional technology designed to contain his power. The three bands on his head reflect well the percussive waves that emanate from him when he unleashes his power. And visually, any artist has to love how good the character looks when the circles of energy leap from his chest!

This costume was not done too well in the X-men movies but because of its basic design, it could transfer very well into live-action.



Could Hank Pym be the man of a thousand superhero identities? OK, he actually only assumed four in total, but that’s more than any other person! He started out as Antman, moving on to Giantman, then Goliath, and ended with Yellowjacket. This last costume captured the real nature of the insect it was patterned after:

Real Yellowjacket

Making more sense than most superhero costumes, this one is functional, giving Pym the power of flight. Also, the vibration of the wings generates a sting, which shows that the costume is technology, not just spandex.




Not number one you say? Nope. But an iconic costume to be sure! Spiderman doesn’t need any assistance from his costume to be super, as a radioactive spider provided him with everything he needed (with or without webshooters, depending on which origin story you prefer). The webs are an obvious clue to his power, and the colors are even based on actual spiders:

Black and Blue Spider

Sorry you had to see that! The movies have stayed very true to the original design with only minor tweaks, proving just how great this design is. Thanks Steve Ditko!



Bob Layton Ironman

Bob Layton gave us some of the most iconic images of ol’ Shellhead, such as the one above. In this case, the colors aren’t important beyond stroking Tony Stark’s ego, and have changed depending on the armor version. But the red and gold variant with the circle electromagnet is the one that most resonates with fans.

Again, this design transferred perhaps the best to the big screen with Robert Downey Jr. rocking the suit. It looks like metal, has gadgets and tech out the wazoo, so… what’s not to love?



Captain America

Jack Kirby gives us an outstanding Captain America pose. Seeing this iconic costume, you’d have to be from the moon not to know which country the wearer represented. In this case, again, the costume doesn’t do much to protect Cap but does a lot to identify him and his ideals.

This costume was also easy to transfer to live-action with Chris Evans carrying off the look with ease.



Silver Surfer

Yup. He’s naked. So “what costume?” you ask. Whatever it is that covers the Silver Surfer, perhaps the Power Cosmic, it definitely protects him out there in Space. And makes him the coolest looking superhero ever!

With his trusty surf board (a superhero with a surf board? Only at Marvel!) he traverses the Galaxy looking for a tasty snack for his master, Galactus. Of course, he’s since given up that gig and become a more contentious hero.


So do you like the costumes on this list? Who would you add and for what reason? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

And please check out my other Marvel Comics post entitled Top Five Distinctive Marvel Comics Artists by clicking the link. It will be live as of April 12th.

The Parent Trap Comic Book

The Parent Trap was released in 1961 and stars Hayley Mills (in her second of six Disney films), Maureen O’Hara and Brian Keith in a story about teenage twins who try to reunite their divorced parents.

Parent Trap Movie Poster

The screenplay was based on the 1949 book Lottie and Lisa by Erich Kästner. The movie was nominated for two Academy Awards, was broadcast on television, saw three television sequels (The Parent Trap II, made in 1986, starred an adult Hayley Mills), was remade in 1998 with Lindsay Lohan, and, back to 1961, was made into a comic book by Dell:

Parent Trap Comic Book 002

Dell Comics was the comic book publishing arm of Dell Publishing, which got its start in pulp magazines. It published comics from 1929 to 1973. At its peak, it was the most prominent and successful American company in the medium. In 1953 Dell claimed to be the world’s largest comics publisher, selling 26 million copies each month.

At 15 cents per copy, at least they were affordable! Dell Comics was best known for its licensed material, most notably the animated characters from Walt Disney Productions.

Let’s have a look inside the book:

Parent Trap Comic Book 006          Parent Trap Comic Book 007

Above and on the left is the inside cover featuring stills from the film covering the main plot points. Above and on the right is the first page which sets up the story with the arrival of the twins at Miss Inch’s Summer Camp for Girls.

Parent Trap Comic Book 009

The girls finally realize they are twins!

Parent Trap Comic Book 010

The infamous ‘sock in the eye’ scene between the parents

As was typical of Dell Publishing, the writer and artists don’t get any credit, so it is likely that they used staff artists and not Disney animators. Although  other Dell titles, usually depicting animated characters, sometimes did use Disney staff for the artwork.

This comic has two more unique features. First, on the inside back cover there is a nice spread explaining how twins were viewed and treated in the past:

Parent Trap Comic Book 012

“A sure cure for colic in an animal was to have a twin kick it seven times.” Boy, I’m sure glad that practice never made it into modern pediatrics!

The second unique feature is on the back cover. Instead of advertising (which this entire comic book is void of) there is a one-page gag strip based on The Parent Trap twins:

Parent Trap Comic Book 003

The only drawback of reading the comic book over viewing the movie is that you don’t get to hear the great songs written by Richard and Robert Sherman which included “The Parent Trap”, “For Now, For Always”, and “Let’s Get Together”. “Let’s Get Together” (sung by Annette Funicello) is heard playing from a record player at the summer camp with the tune being reprised by the twins when they restage their parents’ first date.

The title song was performed by Tommy Sands and Annette Funicello, who were both on the studio lot shooting Babes in Toyland at the time.

So I guess in the end, everyone was able to ‘get together’ to make this film magical!

Green Lantern’s Coupling

Tradespeople are heroes too. Don’t believe me? What about the last time a plumber showed up to unplug your toilet one hour before that big party you’d been planning for weeks? Come on: You felt like carrying that guy around on your shoulders didn’t you?

Why? Because he saved the day! Superheroes do that. Green Lantern does that.

Green Lantern

Green Lantern is a character from DC comics. Each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants them a variety of powers. The ring’s abilities have two consistent traits: It grants the power of flight and its effects are accompanied by a green light. The signature power of all Green Lanterns is the ability to conjure “constructs:” solid green objects that the Green Lantern can control telekinetically. These can be anything, such as a disembodied fist to beat a foe, a shield to block an attack, a sword to cut a rope, or chains to bind a prisoner.

Fans of this superhero know well his famous oath:

In brightest day

and blackest night,

No evil shall escape my sight!

Let those who worship evils might,

beware my power:

Green Lanterns light!

Now, you’re probably wondering what’s up with the plumbing reference at the beginning of this post. Well, it has to do with where I work and something I saw recently that resembled this shape:

Symbol     Ring

Symbol, or signature shape, of the Lantern and power ring

This is a pretty distinctive shape used to identify the Green Lantern Corps. While working with a plumber in the building that I manage, we had to turn off the water to the entire building (which I guess makes us the villains of this whole thing). The shut-off valve was right next to what I now affectionately call Green Lantern’s Coupling:

Green Lantern's Coupling

Look familiar?

Come on, it’s even green! I’ve worked at my present job for almost two years and have been in this room dozens of times, but never made the connection between the shape of this coupling and the famous lantern of Hal Jordan, the Green Lantern!

From now on, whenever I need energy to complete my day, or power to fix yet another water leak, I’ll come to the Green Lantern Coupling and chant the famous words:

In yellowest day

and brownest night,

No leak shall escape my sight!

Let those who worship pressures might,

beware my power:

Green Lanterns coupling!