Saturday, July 24, 2010

Floyd Gottfredson's Mickey Will Be Ours (Except On Sunday)

Who'd have thunk, there's an actual comics announcement from the San Diego Comic-Con. (Well, they have to happen every once in a while to fill time in between big network TV show panels.) And this announcement happens to be a very good one: Fantagraphics is going to bring out reprints of Floyd Gottfredson's "Mickey Mouse" comic strip. They're only going to print the dailies for now, with the Sunday strips -- which told separate stories -- possibly held over for later; here's an interview with Fantagraphics' Gary Groth where he talks some more about the project.

I've said it before, but I can't think of another case where the comics spinoffs improved the characters quite as much as they did for the Disney stars. Normally even so-so cartoon characters are watered down for the comics, where there were more restrictions on things like violence (at least for cartoony, kid-friendly characters). Casper the Friendly Ghost was arguably more successful as a comic book star, but I think he had slightly more of an edge to him in the cartoons. But Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck were much more interesting characters outside of animation, under Gottfredson and Barks respectively, than they were in their films, even with all the added (theoretical) advantages of being able to move and talk.

1 comment:

Griff said...

While I would by no means place it in the same class with Barks' Duck and Gottfredson's Mouse work, something of a case could be made for the long-running DC series based on Columbia's The Fox and the Crow cartoons in terms of a comic-book adaptation better developing and more cleverly dramatizing the characters, basic situation and conflicts than most of the theatrical shorts ever did. [I exempt the initial short in the series, Tashlin's terrific THE FOX AND THE GRAPES, from this assessment.] The shorts, mostly directed by Dave Wickersham, aren't bad (and the three final shorts, helmed by John Hubley at UPA, are quite stylish), but the comic-book stories are simply very funny and sharply scripted. The comics outlasted the shorts for good reason; kids really liked them.