- Series: Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse (Book 1)
- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (June 14, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781606994412
- ISBN-13: 978-1606994412
- ASIN: 1606994417
- Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 1.1 x 10.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 36 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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WALT DISNEYS MICKEY MOUSE HC VOL 1: RACE TO DEATH VALLEY Hardcover – June 14, 2011
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“Great lover, scholar, soldier, sailor, singer, toreador, tycoon, jockey, prizefighter, automobile racer, aviator, farmer. Mickey Mouse lives in a world in which space, time, and the law of physics are nil. He can reach inside of a bull’s mouth, pull out his teeth and use them as castanets. He can lead a band or play violin solos; his ingenuity is limitless; he never fails.”
- Time Magazine (1931)
“Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Race To Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson will be warmly received by comics aficionados but should also intrigue Disney animation buffs who aren't necessarily plugged into comic strip history…. I have a feeling that this book, crafted with such obvious care, will earn Gottfredson a new legion of admirers.”
- Leonard Maltin
“The stories are dense, packing plenty of dialogue into the strips ― and the themes are darker than the bright-eyed, factory-sealed tales of today. Mickey is multi-dimensional in the first volume.... This dynamic look is a revelation in the life of the character who started it all for Disney.”
- Alex Carr, Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)
“Floyd Gottfredson... created an enduring classic and the most fully-formed depiction of Disney’s most important character…. Gottfredson had an animator’s knack for storytelling, and his layouts remain clear no matter how busy they get. Much of the humor is stilted by modern standards, but you’ll be too enthralled by the exciting plots and likable characters to care.”
- Garrett Martin, Paste
“…[I]t’s not just a great Mickey Mouse comic, it’s one of the best comics of all time.”
- Chris Sims, Comics Alliance
“We’ve already seen the gorgeous treatment that Fantagraphics has given to books like Peanuts... so there’s no doubt that Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse will get the same. Kudos to them for bringing the work of a legendary artist back to today’s readers in a way that will honor his memory and contributions to the medium.”
- David Wolkin, Comics Alliance
“Mickey Mouse is one of the most important and revered characters in pop culture, and no other creator has written him so human, so interestingly, so uniquely fun and vibrant as Floyd Gottfredson has. The cover price is too little to ask, as the stories in this book are a treasury of the highs sequential art can hit.”
- Rafael Gaitan, Comics Bulletin
“I was astounded to discover that once upon a time, Mickey Mouse comics were really good! And exciting!... Plenty of good background material puts it all in context for the new reader, previously unaware of this strip or Gottfredson’s skill. I haven’t had a better adventure read this year, in sheer 'I don’t want to put this down!' desire to find out what comes next.”
- Johanna Draper Carlson, Comics Worth Reading
“Can you believe that the tapioca-plain Mickey Mouse was… once a high-spirited adventurer...? He was in the original comic strips... It's one of the classics.”
- David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
“...[O]ne could not have asked for a better presentation, with the reproduction about as good as it gets for 80-year-old comic strips, and a veritable plethora of extras.... To sum up, anyone who likes Disney, cartoons, or comic strips will find tons of things to love about this.... A terrific book, highly recommended.”
- Sean Gaffney, A Case Suitable for Treatment
About the Author
Hired as a short-term replacement on the fledgling Mickey Mouse daily strip in 1930, Floyd Gottfredson (1905–1986) went on to draw the feature for the next 45 years. He created the most famous Mickey tales ever told in print. He is a Disney Legend and was inducted into the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame in 2006.
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The Sunday color comics are a dramatic departure from the adventure of the dailies. Most of them are standalone gags and many are legitimately funny. The gags often involve the relationship of Mickey and Minnie which is far more dysfunctional than most would ever imagine. Mickey is a relentless prankster with Minnie often the victim of his jokes. She even angrily breaks up with him on several occasions. I really enjoyed this take on Mickey as opposed to the safe and predictable Mickey from the dailies. The first adventure of the book takes our hero out west and suddenly he transforms back into the hero from the dailies and seems to mature several decades. The story involved cattle rustlers who were laying a brand over other brands to produces a design that looked like their own. I don't know if this was a common crime in the 30's and 40's but I think I've read at least a half dozen stories from Disney with the exact same storyline.
Artwise, Gottfredson is without peer. I don't believe there has ever been another Disney artists and perhaps no other funny animal artist that can match Gottfredson. His art is about as close to flawless as I have ever seen in a comic. I can't say what the color looked like when originally published in newspapers but here they look absolutely pristine.
So far this is my favorite volume. It's the most fun, the most visually appealing and Mickey is cast as a much more interesting character. The extras in this volume as are amazing as ever and I loved the article about the sweat that continually pours off of Mickey. I never even noticed that in almost every image of Mickey drawn by Gottfredson there are a handful of sweat droplets flying from his head. From the cover to the binding to the comics and all the extras this is a high quality production and the reader most definitely gets their money's worth. There is so much here to enjoy and you just can't help but love Disney for producing these comics.
The first storyline featuring Gottfredson's talents was `Mickey Mouse in Death Valley' upon which this book is named. Walt Disney himself wrote the first third of the story and let me just say that Disney may have been a brilliant businessman but as a writer he was lacking. Disney's Mickey seemed to only talk in puns and stale jokes and the story was all over the place. When Gottfredson took over writing he initially emulated Disney and it wasn't until the second story, `Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers', that Gottfredson began to find his own style and by the time `Mickey Mouse Boxing Champ' rolled out Gottfredson had made the character his own. He slowed the stories down to a pace more appropriate for a daily comic and his art style improved to the point where it was just off the charts magnificent. Whereas the first story felt hokey, frantic and dated Gottfredson changed the series to feel funny, well paced and edgy. Hard to believe that Mickey could once be described as edgy but for a pipsqueak he could dish out (and take) some punishment. The town bully actually snipped off the end of Mickey's tail and tied his nose in a knot. That's pretty hardcore.
I am a HUGE fan of Elzie Segar's Popeye but the character was never intended as a role model. Mickey on the other hand was a legitimate good guy who was resourceful, brave and big hearted but Gottfredson to his credit didn't make him perfect. When Mickey believes that Minnie is in love with another *ahem* rat he attempts to commit suicide... repeatedly. Mickey is not above using alcohol to get one over on an enemy and even pulls out a pair of pistols in order to motivate the "heavy light weight champ" to train harder. Like Popeye, the early Mickey Mouse was a product of the depression era and lived a simple small town life. From starting a war with the town bully to fighting a local boxing tough guy Mickey's adventures generally kept him close to home and I liked that. With every story I read I enjoyed this book more and more and Gottfredson's art style is some of the most aesthetically pleasing ever to grace a comic strip.
I have yet to purchase a collection from Fantagraphics that wasn't top notch quality and this one is no exception. From the cover to the binding and the additional material on Gottfredson this is a fantastic book and one that will look lovely on a bookshelf. My ONLY issue is that the comics themselves are shrunk a bit and I occasionally had some difficulty reading text. Most of the time it's not an issue and the images look terrific. I can unreservedly recommend this book to fans of comics in general and or fans of Disney. As long as Fantagraphics continues to produce these Mickey comics by Gottfredson I'll continue to purchase them.
"Case of the Vanishing Coats" with Mickey and Donald is a small-scale mystery, fun, but with suspense. Donald is a less developed character than he became with Carl Barks, but I turn to this story more often than to the more sophisticated Phantom Blot.
"Dr. Oofgay's Secret Serum" is one of Gottfredson's real classics. It's a star turn for Horace Horsecollar, and for my money Gottfredson never did anything funnier.
The rest of the book is good, but these two stories are the best, and worth the price by themselves. Note too: this book is well-made. Three of these stories are featured in Another Rainbow's Gottfredson book of 20 years ago, but the limited edition is far too pricey and the trade edition has a weak and fragile binding. This Fantagraphics volume is much better made and will stand the test of time.
No one ever did Mickey like Gottfredson, and Gottfredson's best Sundays are here.