- Age Range: 8 and up
- Grade Level: 2 - 3
- Series: Walt Disney's Comics and Stories Archives (Book 1)
- Paperback: 160 pages
- Publisher: KaBOOM!; Original edition (July 5, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1608866572
- ISBN-13: 978-1608866571
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.5 x 10 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,076,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Walt Disney's Comics and Stories Archives Volume 1 Paperback – July 5, 2011
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Seen today, the chief attraction in these first two issues is the heavy amount of reprinted "Mickey Mouse" newspaper strips by the Floyd Gottfredson staff. The famous "Island in the Sky" storyline is reprinted intact (and if my counting is correct, this particular reprint is only the third time it's been reprinted as such in the U.S.); chunks of other Gottfredson stories appear throughout. There is also a lot, maybe too much, of Al Taliaferro's "Donald Duck" strip, as well as text stories based on Disney short cartoons. As time went on, the newspaper material would gradually be scaled back in favor of new stories generated specifically for the magazine. Within three years, new Donald Duck short stories by Carl Barks would become the leading feature of the periodical, helping to propel it to a reputed three million copies in sales per issue.
Compared to those later issues, these first two, with the exception of the Gottfredson material and some of the Taliaferro strips, seem rather stodgy and maybe even relentless in their promotion of all things Disney. But they also offer a priceless view of pre-WWII Disney comics and marketing, as well as an idea of the "anything goes" humor offered without the least disclaimer or apology.
Physically, this book is everything a softcover reprint should be: faithful to the original printing and large enough (though not exact size) to be legible. Original covers and interior advertising are included, and the pages are numbered for easy reference. The only quibble I have is with the preface pages, which are printed against a brown, textured background. The closing pages are printed against this too, but they are legible, whereas the opening pages seem to be printed in a smaller or lighter typeface and are more difficult to read. Among the bonus features in the back is a reprint of a Gottfredson painting and a poetry parody from "Mickey Mouse Magazine" No. 3.
"Walt Disney's Comics & Stories" No. 1 is a landmark of comics publishing, of Disney comics, and Disneyana in general. If you're not among the few who can find (and afford to buy) an original copy, then this volume is a must-have, and certainly rates as one of the best and most important archival volumes published this year.
As to the quality of the printing, the publishers were going for accuracy when they decided to use a faded and offset coloring. While this may be distracting to some, I felt it served the material well; however, it was odd to see that the same strips had apparently been recolored for use as a cover background. In addition, the introduction and afterwords were a bit difficult to read, as they consisted of brown ink on sepia backgrounds. Overall, this was a nice and affordable release, and I'll certainly grab the upcoming Disney's Four-Color Adventures Volume 1, but I believe that's the last one scheduled, as the Disney license is now moving to Marvel. I doubt the series of books initiated by BOOM! will continue, and that's a shame, as they've done such a good job with it. Gentlemen, it was fun while it lasted. I salute you.