Thursday, September 8, 2016


OC stands for Old Comics and what I have for you today is the first installment of an occasional series of bloggy things. Going through my Vast Accumulation of Stuff, I often come across old comic books I want to write about. I don’t always remember from who or where I got these comics. I just have them. So, I figured, why not write about them?

Although I’ll concentrate on old comic books in this new series, I won’t always be writing about them. Sometimes I’ll write about old books, magazines, movies, TV shows or anything else that strikes my fancy. The one rule for this series...I will only be writing about comics and stuff that came out prior to Halloween, 1972, the day I started work at Marvel Comics.

Leading off the series is Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #90 aka Volume 8, Number 6 [March 1948]. I do know where I got this comic. It was a gift from my friends at Stormwatch Comics in West Berlin, New Jersey. I’ve been buying comics and other stuff from this fine store for many years and they frequently toss something cool like this in with my orders.

The cover is by the legendary Walt Kelly of Pogo fame. All credits, unless otherwise noted, come from the Grand Comics Database. It’s a veritable font of comic-book information.

There will doubtless be SPOILERS AHEAD.

The inside front cover reprints in duo-tone a full-page Donald Duck Sunday strip [12-28-41]. Each of the nephews in turn go to the same house to try to sell the owner brushes, a carper sweeper and books on raising hogs. Then Donald knocks on the door. He is selling “no soliciting” signs for a quarter. The strip was written by Bob Karp and drawn by Al Taliaferro. There are a lot of comic strip reprints in this issue, most of them running half a page.

Donald Duck gets the issue’s lead spot in a ten-page story by Carl Barks. Here’s the GCD synopsis:

Donald and the nephews are rival telegram messengers. Donald sends the nephews out with a phony telegram so that he can get the good jobs and big tips.

This is a typically wonderful “Donald versus the nephews” tale. I love how Barks could bring such variety to these “versus” stories. Donald even won occasionally.

Bucky Bug is next in an eight-page story drawn by Ralph Heimdahl. The insect town of Junkville is terrorizes by:

There are footprints the size of roofs,
That must be made by giant’s hoofs!

Welcome to a series where captions and dialogue are always written in rhyme, though not always very good rhymes:

We’re on the trail of some huge thing,
That’s threatening our town, by zing!

The “giant” is a chipmunk with boots. The insects drive him off by making him think there are hunters in the forest. Their scheme is a clever one, but, for me, the rhyming got old fast.

The Li'l Bad Wolf stars in an eight-page story drawn by Don Gunn. After his dad destroys their dinner by trying to juggle eggs, Li’l Bad goes to the new neighbors to borrow more eggs. Along the way, he mees the youngest of said new neighbors: a young laughing hyena who doesn’t know how to laugh. Li’l Bad and the Three Little Pigs try to help the sad young fellow, but it takes nature in the form of fluffy cottonwood blossoms to bring the laughs.

Next: five pages of half-page Mickey Mouse gags by Dick Shaw with art by Floyd Gottfredson (pencils) and Dick Moores (inks). All of them are newspaper strips from 1943.

“Have a Heart” is a two-page text story featuring Mickey, nephews Ferdie and Morty, and Minnie. Trying to raise money to give their classmates valentines and to give Aunt Minnie a special valentine,
the boys break federal law by going door-to-door with their extra valentines and charging neighbors a ten-cent C.O.D. charge for the cards. I blame Mickey.

Donald Duck appears in the one-page “Daddy Duck,” a gag story told in rhyme. That one’s followed by a one-page Pluto story - “The Bone Bandit” - also told in rhyme, Don Gunn drew both tales. Gunn has a long career in comics and you can learn more about him here.

Next is a page of half-page Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strips by Shaw, Gottfredson and Moores. The strips are from 1943.

That page is followed by six pages of Donald Duck newspaper comics by Karp, Taliaferro and inker George Waiss. These strips are from 1943 and 1944.

Mickey Mouse stars in the six-page “Goofy and Agnes,” the finale of a five-issue serial by writers Karp and Shaw, penciller Gottfredson and inker Bill Wright. The story is from the Mickey daily strips that ran from 5-4-42 to 8-15-42. I’m guessing those dates encompass all five chapters of this serial. Here’s the recap from the first page of this final chapter:

Mickey and Goofy try to give Agnes, Goofy’s pet lion, to the zoo, with no success. To make matters worse, the city has passed a law against adult lions being kept by private citizens. However, the new law does not quite cover the case, as Agnes is now the mother of two little cubs!

This was a fun story. I always got a kick of these Mickey serials in WDC&S, but, since I didn’t buy the title regularly, I seldom got to read an entire story. I would definitely be up for any ongoing comic book series reprinting entire serials.

The inside back cover of the issue has another Donald Duck Sunday strip by Karp, Taliaferro and Waiss. Refusing to pay the high price for trees and landscaping, Donald goes to a theater’s going-out-of-business sale and buys prop trees for his front yard. The strip is from 6-20-43.

The back cover of this 52-page comic book has a full page house ad hawking subscriptions to Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories. A one-year subscription costs a buck and, with each subscription, you get a free, full-color pin-up picture approximately 6.5 by 9.5 inches. Other subscription deals:

A two-year sub is $1.75 with two free pin-ups. A three-year sub is $2.50 with four free pin-ups. A five-year sub is $4 with six free pin-ups. One current issue of IDW’s continuation of the title will set you back $3.99. But it’s still a great comic book.

That’s all for today. I’m thinking tomorrow will be an installment of my July 1963 series, but that depends on how much progress I can make on the script I’m writing.

© 2016 Tony Isabella

1 comment:

  1. This is one of the best comic book series ever published. It is still being published, currently by IDW as you mentioned. I got a great jump on learning to read with early '50s issues.

    I'm a lover of variety and anthologies and was in heaven with each issue bought as a child. When the Gemstone series came out I had daughters in high school and college and I worked nights at a factory-like postal facility.
    I bought almost all of the Gladstone/Disney/Gladstone/Gemstone run and fell asleep each morning in Duckburg, Mouseton or some other place peopled by classic Disney characters.

    The Mouse serials and Duck 10-pagers were the draw but the range of other critters made the book special.

    I was also, and still am, a fan of the little critters-in-the-larger-world stories in comics and theatrical animation, Chip 'n' Dale in toy cars and airplanes, Mary Jane and Sniffles in the Looney Tunes comics, cartoons of Sniffles at a newsstand, toy shops coming to life at night.

    So I always really wanted to like Bucky Bug and June and their fellows in the junkyard. But those forced rhymes did grow old quickly. Even as a child I felt how badly a stretch was needed in language to keep it up. As an adult I've rarely read them at all.