Tuesday, November 18, 2008
H-A-P-P-Y B-I-R-T-H-D-A-Y, M-I-C-K-E-Y
Today is the big day it all started with a Mouse (well, at least today's the anniversary of the day Steamboat Willie made it's debut in 1928, making this Mickey's official birthday). To celebrate here's a special ("A Golden Special") issue of Walt Disney Comics Digest. This edition—Number 40, to be exact—was issued not to celebrate Mickey's birthday but as part of the year long celebration of Walt Disney Productions' golden anniversary in 1973. (I mentioned this celebration a few months back here.) Along with the classy "50 Happy Years" logo (a clever melding of Mickey's head with the then-ubiquitous "smiley" or happy face) and a nice nostalgic image of the vintage, button-eyed Mickey, this "Special Edition" of the by-then bi-monthly feast of classic comics offered a real treat for Disney comic strip/book fans: three Mickey Mouse comic book serials, all reprinted from the long-running flagship title, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories. Included were "The Monarch of Medioka," adapted from the classic 1937-1938 comic strip continuity by Floyd Gottfredson, and redrawn for its 1950 Comics and Stories run by Bill Wright (appraently to "update" Mickey's look) and also a classic Paul Murry-drawn serial, "The Idol of Moaning Island." Best of all was the reprint of Gottfredson's 1940 continuity, "The Bar None Ranch," one of the best of all the great Gottfredson stories run in the strip—and consquentialy serialized in 1942 in Comics and Stories just two years after that classy, classic comic book started its run in 1940—and then rerun in this pictured issue Walt Disney Comics Digest. There aren't many better ways to salute Mickey's long and varied career of eight decades than to recall some of the highlights of his sterling appearances in the comic medium—especially as perfected by not only such solid if secondary talents as Bill Wright but also the great Paul Murry and especially the superlative Floyd Gottfredson.