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WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #133

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Old Man
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WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #133

Postby Old Man » Thu Dec 10, 2009 3:32 pm

Since I've been reviewing books here in the Review Club threads, I've been thinking and wondering even more than I usually do about what kinds of comics I like or don't like, and why. WDC&S #133 helped define it better for me.


I bought this old comic at the Mid-Ohio comic book convention in early October for, I think, $2. It's a very beat up copy, with the center 3 double pages torn free of the staples, and the cover is also loose from the staples. Just the book to curl up with on a blustery and cold winter day (except that it won't be winter for another 11 days; temperature here at noon today was 14 degrees F/-10 degrees C).

WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #133, Copyright 1947, 1948, and 1951 by Walt Disney Productions. 10 cents. Published by Dell, which was officially know as K. K. Publications, Inc.

The cover says "52 pages * ALL COMICS". That's not quite true, but close enough. It's 52 pages counting the cover, but the back cover is a subscription ad. Additionally, 2 of the interior pages are used for a text story with 2 illustrations. All the rest of the pages are short stories and mini stories. Most of the pieces in this comic have copyright information on each piece; the ones that do not, I'd assume, are copyright 1951. Many are untitled.

Inside front cover - Donald Duck; 1948
Page 1-10 - Donald Duck; Donald's nephews skip school; 1951
Page 11-18 The Li'l Bad Wolf; Big Bad Wolf's son stops dad from being bad; 1951
Page 19-26 Grandma Duck; circus lion escapes to Grandma's farm; 1951
Page 27-28 Mickey Mouse; each page has 1 story: 1948
Page 29-31 Donald Duck; half-page stories, 4 or 5 panels per story; 1947, 1948
Page 32-33 Grandma Duck; text story; The Arithmetic Lesson
Page 34-38 Donald Duck; half-page stories, 4 or 5 panels per story; 1947, 1948
Page 39-49 Mickey Mouse; The Mystery of the Robot Army
Inside back cover - Donald Duck; 1948

Text stories were included in comics at the time because of regulations required to maintain 3rd Class Mail subscription rates.
The Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse shorts and minis are, I believe I've read, reprinted from newspapers. They are have the additional information of "Distributed by King Features Syndicate".

There is not a bad story in the bunch. The story of Huey, Louie, and Dewey playing hookey from school has one of the kids asking why they had to go to school, and another replying, "Because some old fogeys made up a law sayin' we have to! That's why!" Then they skip school, but find themselves always landing right back into the lap of authority, finally giving up on skipping school as too much trouble. Excellent lesson for young kids to read.

The Grandma Duck story is just silly fun, with one character ending up down a well, and the lion trapped on the roof of Grandma's barn. All the shorts are basically gag strips, and fun in their own way, for the most part. In these, Donald Duck is always a jerk, and unfortunately, women come off as lesser characters, something that doesn't happen in most of the longer stories.

The best 2 stories are the Mickey Mouse and the Li' Bad Wolf. Mickey Mouse always seems to get mixed up with unsavory characters, always winning in the end. Mickey is a hero character. This is the first part of a continued story. (I bet you thought Marvel invented the continued story in the 1960s.)

My favorite story is Li'L Bad Wolf. The basic story in every Li'l Bad Wolf story is that Li'l has to stop his dad, The Big Bag Wolf (Zeke), from doing bad things. Ofter those things involve Dad trying to eat the son's friends. In this untitled story, Son meets Merlin the Magician, is amazed and delighted by the magic, and tells Dad about it. Dad goes to Merlin's place and steals a magic book. Mis-using the magic causes the conflict of the story, with Brer Bear innocently becoming involved.

I've always enjoyed the Li'l Bad Wolf stories whenever I've come across them. They are fun little stories where the bad guy (Dad) always gets his comeuppance. But recently, the comic has taken on a new texture for me. You see, Li'l always calls his Dad "Pop". It occurred to me that there is another cultural icon who was always called Pop. Fred G. Sanford of Sanford and Son.

So when I read these stories now, I hear the voice of Redd Foxx (Sanford) as Pop, the voice of Demond Wilson, who played the "Son" of Sanford and Son (Lamont), and, in this story, the voice of Whitman Mayo (Sanford's friend Grady) as Brer Bear.

In Sanford and Son, Sanford was all about one thing...making things better for Sanford. His son Lamont was always trying to rein in his dad, and Grady seemed to be constantly bewildered about the goings on.

Here is a sample of dialogue from one page of this story. See if you can hear the voices as I do.
---
Li'l Wolf/Lamont: Pop! You weren't planning to trap some poor, li'l creature,were you?

Big Bad Wolf/Sanford: Sure, I was! An' incident'ly, where have you been all afternoon?

(later in the story)

Brer Bear/Grady, entering the room: How de doody, Li'l Wolf! What's your pop cogitatin' on?

Li'l Wolf/Lamont: He's studyin' magic tricks, Brer Bear!

Brer Bear/Grady: Ziggity! I jet' loves to watch magical tricks!

Big Bad Wolf/Sanford: I ain't doin' it to entertain anybody...I'm tryin' to pull rabbits out of a hat...for eatin' purposes!

Brer Bear/Grady: Man! I like to see that!

(and even later in the story)

Li'l Wolf/Lamont: Pop! Now look what you've done! I told you that book was dangerous to fool with!
---
I'm tellin' ya, it's like a Sanford and Son episode.


So this is the kind of comic I like to read. And I'd like to read it again in a year or two. It's not that the characters are Disney characters, nor that they are cartoon characters. This very well could have been a western comic or a superhero comic. What I find so attractive about it is the quality. Even the least story was fun. All were well drawn. All were written by people who wanted to tell a story, not by people who wanted to be famous or rich or adored by internet denizens.

These were created by writers and artists who valued their profession, and wanted to create the best stories possible. That they succeeded in doing so month after month, year after year, shows how good they were, and how mediocre some of today's creators can be.
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Postby Starlord » Fri Dec 11, 2009 9:13 pm

Not only a great review but a wonderful insight into what you enjoy, Old Man.

And here I thought you were just all about Bendis. ;-)
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Postby Old Man » Fri Dec 11, 2009 10:09 pm

I have pretty much every WDC&S since Gladstone took over the franchise, which Overstreet shows me was 1986.

Walt Disney's Comics and Stories is properly shortened to WDC&S, for some reason.

I realized this morning that I didn't give it a numerical grade. I've never been disappointed by any WDC&S issue. And the quality has varied in the last 5 years, as more and more "modern" changes were made.

If I had to sell everything I own except 10 series, this would be one I'd keep, along with Usagi Yojimbo.

I'd call the series as a whole a 9.5, but I realize that superhero fans might not rate it that high. This particular issue would get a 9.
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Postby Punchy » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:26 am

The way you analyse and think about comics is alien to me, but I support your odd perspective.

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Postby 3MJ » Sat Dec 12, 2009 8:55 am

I just can't see your point of view on comics at all. The comics like the ones you've just mentioned seem to be poorly written stock comics which could be done anywhere. I imagine the writers writing them didn't care about them at all.

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Postby Starlord » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:08 am

Jubilee wrote:I just can't see your point of view on comics at all. The comics like the ones you've just mentioned seem to be poorly written stock comics which could be done anywhere. I imagine the writers writing them didn't care about them at all.


I don't think so at all. Many of us grew up on Disney comics as well as Archie, Richie Rich, Wendy, ect... Heck, my little boy still reads Scooby Doo comics as well as Archie.

If there's people out there who enjoy reading them, I'd bet you a Canadian dollar that there are people who have a desire to write them as well. I don't think everyone wants to write for just the big 2.
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Postby thefourthman » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:30 am

around the time this book was published it was still one of the most circulated comics in the world, a little after its hey day, but still one of the most successful comics in the world. Stock it probably wasn't and drawer stories weren't always throw aways anyhow... much of what now gets published as six issue mini-series would have been used in the past to fill in a gap when a book was going to be late... that level of professionalism is gone across the board in comics.

Just because you aren't familiar with a book or interested in reading it doesn't mean that it is poorly written or a throw away.

Disney had for a very long time some of the best artists and writers in comics. Dell was a top notch publisher that has books across the board that fetch more than common prices for their time period. These were popular books that sold well and are still highly regarded to this day by collectors and comic historians.
Last edited by thefourthman on Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Punchy » Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:33 am

starlord wrote:I don't think so at all. Many of us grew up on Disney comics as well as Archie, Richie Rich, Wendy, ect... Heck, my little boy still reads Scooby Doo comics as well as Archie.

If there's people out there who enjoy reading them, I'd bet you a Canadian dollar that there are people who have a desire to write them as well. I don't think everyone wants to write for just the big 2.


That may be true now with creators like Don Rosa or Jeff Smith who are heavily influenced by Disney Comics, but probably wasn't when this book was created, apart from Carl Barks, they were all pretty standard creators.

Twigg's dismissal may be a cultural thing, in the UK we've never really had Disney Comics, they are massive in the continent, but for some reason not in Britain. We grew up with The Beano and The Dandy.

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Postby Old Man » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:32 pm

Jubilee wrote:I just can't see your point of view on comics at all. The comics like the ones you've just mentioned seem to be poorly written stock comics which could be done anywhere. I imagine the writers writing them didn't care about them at all.


Keep in mind that I am a crotchety Old Man, and

GET OFF MY LAWN!!!!
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Postby Jess Nukem » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:47 pm

starlord wrote:I don't think so at all. Many of us grew up on Disney comics as well as Archie, Richie Rich, Wendy, ect... Heck, my little boy still reads Scooby Doo comics as well as Archie.

If there's people out there who enjoy reading them, I'd bet you a Canadian dollar that there are people who have a desire to write them as well. I don't think everyone wants to write for just the big 2.
You have no idea how badly I want to write for Archie. I'd crawl on broken glass to do it.
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[center]To the left, to the left.[/center]

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Postby thefourthman » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:07 pm

I don't think it is indicitive of younger readers by any means, because there is a guy at the shops who is 24 who knows as much if not more about Batman than me, but for some reason Punchy and Twigg have this really skewed perspective on the history of comics. I have wracked my brain trying to figure it out. They seem to have a nice outline history for their age and I am impressed with some of the reading they have done, but there is almost this weird if it happened before blah blah blah date with them it can't possibly be good mentality about them and while I understand the enthusiasm for their favorites, I am kind of shocked that they are unable to grasp that some of us have some of the favorites we are passionate about or that there would be writers that would be passionate about those concepts as well.

I have fond memories of Archie books when I was a kid. I remember Disney books being fun too. But it was Spidey and Batman that fueled my passion and keep me excited about comics. Two concepts that they think have been done to death are what make me the most excited. Although, it would behoove them to remember that I am one of the few Batman fans that wishes Bruce would stay dead.

I don't get their mentality or the whole mentality to shit on other's likes and dislikes. I know I have been known to do it here or there, but I like to talk comics so it happens, I try to be positive. I mean it is fairly well known that I dislike the Marvel Cosmic things but I don't try to persuade people who like that they are wrong. At Ultimate Comics we have a saying "Every Comic is someone's favorite" Although my brother adds a snarky "Except for that Superman Confindential, no one liked that shit" but that is because it is impossible for him to be truly positive.
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Postby 3MJ » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:11 pm

thefourthman wrote:I don't think it is indicitive of younger readers by any means, because there is a guy at the shops who is 24 who knows as much if not more about Batman than me, but for some reason Punchy and Twigg have this really skewed perspective on the history of comics. I have wracked my brain trying to figure it out. They seem to have a nice outline history for their age and I am impressed with some of the reading they have done, but there is almost this weird if it happened before blah blah blah date with them it can't possibly be good mentality about them and while I understand the enthusiasm for their favorites, I am kind of shocked that they are unable to grasp that some of us have some of the favorites we are passionate about or that there would be writers that would be passionate about those concepts as well.

I have fond memories of Archie books when I was a kid. I remember Disney books being fun too. But it was Spidey and Batman that fueled my passion and keep me excited about comics. Two concepts that they think have been done to death are what make me the most excited. Although, it would behoove them to remember that I am one of the few Batman fans that wishes Bruce would stay dead.

I don't get their mentality or the whole mentality to shit on other's likes and dislikes. I know I have been known to do it here or there, but I like to talk comics so it happens, I try to be positive. I mean it is fairly well known that I dislike the Marvel Cosmic things but I don't try to persuade people who like that they are wrong. At Ultimate Comics we have a saying "Every Comic is someone's favorite" Although my brother adds a snarky "Except for that Superman Confindential, no one liked that shit" but that is because it is impossible for him to be truly positive.


I don't actually mind people liking other comics, I just wish moer comics were published in a style I like.

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Postby thefourthman » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:14 pm

Jubilee wrote:I don't actually mind people liking other comics, I just wish moer comics were published in a style I like.

I don't think you actually do mind people liking other books... there is a way you and Punchy both talk about books that makes it sound like you do. I wish I could put my finger on it. Sometimes you two just piss me off. But I love you both to death, you are like family.
Pull list: Afterlife with Archie, Bodies, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Coffin Hill, Dead Boy Detectives, The Fade Out, The Goon, Harley Quinn, Hinterkind, Iron Fist: The Living Weapon,The Maxx Maximized, Miracleman, Ms. Marvel, Multiversity, Rasputin, Rocket Raccoon, Sandman: Overture, Silver Surfer, The Walking Dead

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Postby 3MJ » Sat Dec 12, 2009 4:19 pm

thefourthman wrote:I don't think you actually do mind people liking other books... there is a way you and Punchy both talk about books that makes it sound like you do. I wish I could put my finger on it. Sometimes you two just piss me off. But I love you both to death, you are like family.


I literally am never not exagerating on this site. I try to be overblown and hyperbolic, just like comics are, because it gets the most attention.

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Postby Old Man » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:23 pm

http://www.newsfromme.com/archives/2009 ... tml#018233

WDC&S used to sell 3 million copies a month.
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