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Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: "Race to Death Valley" (Vol. 1) (Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse) Hardcover – June 15, 2011

4.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“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)

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)

“It should go without saying that Fantagraphics has done their usual stellar job in regards to editorial presentation and design... [O]ne of the Great Comic Strips Of All Time.” (Patrick Markfort - Articulate Nerd)

“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)

“…[I]t’s not just a great Mickey Mouse comic, it’s one of the best comics of all time.” (Chris Sims - 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)

“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))

“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))

“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.

David Gerstein is a comic book writer/editor and animation historian specializing in the Disney Standard Characters. His books include Mickey and the Gang: Classic Stories in Verse and Walt Disney Treasures―Disney Comics: 70 Years of Innovation. He lives in New York City, NY.

Gary Groth is the co-founder of The Comics Journal and Fantagraphics Books. He lives in Seattle.

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Product Details

  • Series: Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (June 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606994417
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606994412
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #486,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a must-have item for anyone interested in comic strip reprints, Disney history, or just plain good-times!

I am a collector of comic book reprint hardcover material - of which there has been a great number lately. They vary in quality and it really comes down to three things:

1) do you like the character/comic?
2) is the artwork complete, reproduced well, and authentic?
3) are there any value-added materials in the book - such as essays, photos, etc?

If you are reading this review - then I must assume you have some interest in Mickey Mouse and/or Gottfredson's artwork - so #1 is a given.

As for #2 and #3 - wow. Just wow.

This book does an excellent job of printing the material on a nice, heavy, white paper that makes the art look fantastic (and it is fantastic art to start with). The paper is matte, so there is no glare, but it is quality paper that is crisp and doesn't fade or "smudge" the work. It looks wonderful.

As for #3 - this is where this book may be the best comic strip reprint book I've ever seen.

The essays and photos are top-notch and enlightening. I am especially impressed with the short essays introducing each "chapter" or story that the volume holds. You really get context and interest as you embark on the next pages. There is some material that I haven't seen reprinted since "The Censored Mouse" - a very short-lived comic in the 80's (2 issues?). I am glad to see some of that material here - where it can be treated as part of a cultural heritage, in the context of the times it was created with appropriate information and essay explanation.

This book is just rich in material - both reprinted strips and supporting information. I cannot think of a better example of what a strip collection could be. It's fantastic and I look forward to every published volume finding its way into my collection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ah, Mickey Mouse; that vacuous smile, that soulless laugh. His silhouette is literally a corporate logo. When I was young I used to watch Popeye and Warner Brothers cartoons after school because Disney didn't syndicate. Even when Disney started producing new cartoons for syndication in the late 80's Mickey Mouse was always conspicuous by his absence. The Disney Corporations intention may have been to protect their most famous property but in my mind it made Mickey seem snobbish. However in the first three decades of his existence Mickey was extraordinarily accessible in cartoons and the newspaper dailies. The cartoons were fun if a bit repetitive and shallow but the newspaper comics were where Mickey was really given the opportunity to develop as a character and Floyd Gottfredson was the man who made it all happen.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm really just stunned at the quality of newspaper comic strip reprint collections coming along these days. It seems that all of the publishers have stepped up their game to make these collections the best they can possibly be. Fantagraphics has outdone themselves with "Race to Death Valley." The book itself is a beauty, just the right size without being too large or too small. Some might complain that the strips (3 to a page) are too small, but to my eye they appear just about right, emphasizing Floyd Gottfredson's art to the best advantage (and the reproduction quality is outstanding). The stories are just great, movie serial, pulp style adventures. In addition to the comics themselves, Fantagraphics has again gone one step beyond in providing a wealth of background material, including essays on the genesis of the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip, Floyd Gottfredson, analysis, appreciations and more, with lots of color illustrations from the Disney archives. Each story sequence has it's own introduction, and there's an additional section at the end of the book that reprints the very first sequence of the comic strip (by Disney himself and Ub Iwerks) from just before the arrival of Floyd Gottfredson and "Race to Death Valley." In fact, there's so much background material crammed into this book, I'm not sure Fantagraphics can maintain this level through future volumes (but I hope they can). If you've loved these strips before, this is a collection you'll absolutely want to have on your shelf. If you've never read Mickey Mouse's "Indiana Jones" style adventures before, this is a great opportunity to dive in and see what you've been missing. With Amazon's price, it's beyond a bargain and a worthy addition to the growing library of quality newspaper strip reprints.
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