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!

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.

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 – Stan Lee’ss Marvelous Memoir

AMAZING     FANTASTIC     INCREDIBLE

Book

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!

Walt Disney’s 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!