I didn’t have the good fortune of growing up with Carl Bark’s classic Duck stories (like many others I discovered those much later in life) and the process of compiling a respectable collection over the last 6-7 years has been a real joy. And now I’m enthusiastically working on Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse stories as well given that Gemstone has been releasing an awful lot of his own classic material over the last couple of years. The stories are nearly timeless, often hilarious, and chock full of character (something that Mickey has sadly been accused of lacking on occassion). So, keep a lookout for the Walt Disney Treasures collection Mickey Mouse: In Death Valley in the weeks to come, and check out WDC&S #698 for the first part of Gottfredsons “Mickey Mouse, Boxing Champion!” which just shipped last week to get started on your own collection. More on the issue from The Scoop:
Bong! The champion’s in town! And we might be referring to Minnie’s super-athlete cousin, Ruffhouse Rat, but we’re also talking about fan favorite “Mouse Man” Floyd Gottfredson! Our beloved Mickey creator is back this week in Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #698, Gemstone’s latest $7.99, 64-page Disney trade paperback. But Floyd’s Mickey isn’t all you get…
We’re starting things up this month with “Donald’s Bay Lot,” a Carl Barks classic. When Donald Duck escapes from the winter cold at a beachfront cottage, a peaceful vacation is the last thing he gets. Plagued by unpredictable tides, vicious snapping turtles, and even floating mines, this is the getaway we’d like to get away from!
Thinking better of his beachfront trek, we find Donald in two other winter getaways this month, too. In “Fouled-Up Fairy Tale,” by David Gerstein and Daniel Branca, Donald babysits Daisy’s nieces, April, May, and June, at Daisy’s backwoods cabin. But they aren’t expecting a visit from escaped Beagle Boys—especially not disguised as innocent forest animals! Then, in “Fizzy Pop Fiend,” Donald’s plan to win a soda company sweepstakes runs aground when he drinks too much of the product. Becoming a little obsessed, our boy soon lands at a sugar addicts’ rehab clinic!
Favorite Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories supporting players are also back this issue. In Lars Jensen’s “Useful Things (And How to Use Them),” Lady and the Tramp’s Scamp and Jock try to identify a machine that dogkind has never seen. And in Frans Hasselaar’s “Comeback Kids,” Brer Rabbit and Brer Terrapin teach Brer Bear some facts about echoes that you’ll never learn in science class!
Oh, all right, now for our piece de resistance: the 19-page first half of Floyd Gottfredson’s “Mickey Mouse, Boxing Champion!” When Mickey sees a tall, sneaky looking rodent holding Minnie’s photo, he figures his old foe Mr. Slicker is back and quickly knocks him out! But Mickey has actually decked Minnie’s cousin, visiting athlete Ruffhouse Rat, and the easy knockout proves Ruffhouse isn’t the boxer he thinks he is! Suddenly Mickey is drafted to train this champion back to greatness. But he’ll have to be quick! For fiendish, barrel-chested challenger Creamo Catnera is also coming to Mouseton, and there will be a battle!
First published in 1931, “Mickey Mouse, Boxing Champion” sees its first ever North American reprint now, and it’s looking better than ever, remastered from original negatives by Ron Stark and S/R Labs and colored by Fernando Ventura. You owe it to yourself to catch this one of a kind knockout!
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