- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: Gemstone Publishing; Anniversary ed. edition (August 8, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1888472375
- ISBN-13: 978-1888472370
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #579,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Walt Disney Treasures - Disney Comics: 75 Years of Innovation Paperback – August 8, 2006
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There's quite a variety of characters presented throughout the included comics, and again, a lot of them are pretty little-known. There are a few stories with well-known characters like Mickey, Donald, Uncle Scrooge, and Goofy, but there's a far greater number of comics starring less-obvious characters, ranging from Brer Rabbit and José Carioca to the Li'l Bad Wolf and Gremlins. Most of these characters only star in one or two comics each throughout this entire collection, and it's these shorter stories - usually only a few pages long each, if even that many - that make up a vast majority of the book's contents.
I have to admit that as a big fan of Mickey Mouse comics, I was disappointed that even though Mickey is on the front-cover illustration, there are only three comics he stars in within the whole collection, and only two of those involved the legendary creator of Mickey comics - Floyd Gottfredson - at all, despite his name being advertised on the cover as well. To make things worse, the back cover mistakenly advertises the story "A.K.A. Cormorant Number Twelve" as a Mickey Mouse story, but as is seen in the table of contents(and in the comic itself!), the stars are instead Goofy and Ellsworth(and it may as well be listed as only 'Ellsworth'; he gets the most 'screen time' while Goofy has only a fairly minor role), and doesn't include Mickey at all.
So for those of you looking for a collection filled primarily with hard-to-find Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge adventures, this isn't the book for you. Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad if all of the stories included were engaging and adventurous like many of the epics created by Floyd Gottfredson and Carl Barks, but very few comics in this book are adventurous at all, and mostly it's composed of shorter, less interesting gag stories. The long adventure stories that fans of Gottfredson and Barks are used to reading are barely touched on at all, and the few examples that are included aren't really the best examples of what the legendary comic creators were capable of. In fact, the few included longer stories have already been reprinted in different anthologies anyways, so purchasing this book just to have them in your collection isn't really necessary when you could just get them bundled with more interesting stories instead.
To wrap things up, this is an oddball collection of lesser-known comics, most of which wouldn't honestly be too interesting to fans that prefer the exciting, long stories that Disney comics are best known for. If that doesn't concern you, though, it's an interesting look at some of the near-forgotten strips that are pretty much impossible to find otherwise. The comics that ARE included in the book are all colored and in great quality, but the overall contents do leave something to be desired.
Absolutely great, what? You bet, until in one of a string of bloomers the proprietary Disney Company snatched back the license and made a botched effort at doing its own comics (this sort of thing was legion at that time and stirred Roy Disney to make a website called Save Disney). Now for the good news: the entire Gladstone run is still available, and some have even been combined into larger albums including two to four of the original oversize full-color comic albums.
"Disney Treasures", of course, refers to the lavishly packaged metal-boxed DVD sets of cartoons and other retro Disney shows. It's a brainstorm to lay this book out in that format and it holds up quite well, since this brief overview samples the American and European comics from the 1930s to the present.
David Gerstein contributes an invaluable two page essay for this book in which the comics are otherwise presented without comment. He alludes, ever so briefly, to the '50s book, Seduction of the Innocents, which started a crusade against comic books on the grounds that they were too violent and graphic in the gory sense. The result of that was the Comics Code, which was on every Gold Key and thus Disney comic. Dell had its own version of the code, and assured parents that "Dell Comics are Good Comics," thus assuring free access for kids.
Gerstein repeats the old saw that until then comics weren't for kids, and that graphic novels have brought back the pre-code days with a vengeance. I merely retort that the very idea of comics in this era fashioned them for youth and that this innocence brought out the best in Disney and other artists and made Gold Key comics the good part of being sick, since you'd inevitably get the latest adventures of the Junior Woodchucks or Mickey VS the Phantom Blot.
When the license went from Dell to Western Publishing the printing quality declined, but Gladstone later lifted it to a level of archival quality with its beautiful volumes. The general view is that in terms of the silver screen cartoon shorts, Donald was a much more interesting protagonist than Mickey, but in the comics, I think fans of Carl Barks' duck comics (translated well to TV in DuckTales) will enjoy discovering Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse.
So what is the relation of Gemstone to Gladstone? Gerstein assures me that it's the same crew. Whatever the reason for the name change, Steve Geppi, a close friend of the late Bruce Hamilton, founder of Gladstone, is now carrying the torch. The many great cartoons now available on DVD make this a new Golden Age for animation, and more good news: Gladstone/ Gemstone are now leading a comics revival.
Why not more Carl Barks'and Fred Gottfredson's creations ? The more recent titles (with one or two honorable exceptions)are well below Bark's and Godfredson's levels.
Please Gemstone and Dark Horse rerelease your titles in hardback. The quality is unacceptable. Please don't buy the product until you see a hardback edition is offered. As for me I"m trying to collect the Gladstone comic books instead. And now I have a real tacky looking magazine holders on my bookcase. Thank-you Gemstone and Dark Horse!