Sunday, August 8, 2010

Comics Review: WALT DISNEY'S COMICS AND STORIES #709 (July 2010, Boom! Kids)

The "secret" behind the existence of Quandomai Island is finally revealed in this third installment of Casty's latest gem, and -- not entirely surprisingly -- it turns out to be more "bizarre science" on the order of the elusive "World Equation" that was supposed to create "The World to Come." If anything, we're asked to take an even higher "leap of faith" to hurdle the notion of an "Eon Vortex" creating an isolated "cylinder" of frozen time. How does one "open a tunnel" into what amounts to an incorporeal force field, anyway? (The tunnel through the crater where the Vortex is centered makes sense, but wouldn't one have to penetrate the Vortex itself at some point?) And if the Vortex ceased to operate, wouldn't anyone inside at the time be thrust back into whatever present reality existed on that spot, as opposed to being "trapped inside" the world created by the Vortex in the first place? The phrase "too clever by half" comes to mind. In that off-the-wall spirit, it's entirely fitting that Our Gang's real enemies turn out to be murderous, shape-shifting, bug-like creatures from "the future" (Eega Beeva is starting to look mighty attractive right about now) who have managed to wormhole their way into this geometrically precise bubble of generated past reality. Somewhere, Bill Walsh is smiling broadly. The aliens -- sorry, I can't buy the notion that these guys represent our future; maybe they're "Newcomers" like the creatures in Alien Nation -- appear to have taken inspiration for their plans from MICKEY MOUSE ADVENTURES' Wiley Wildbeest and Prince Penguin. With Pete and Duke Hight's scheme thus turned back against themselves, "forced cooperation" between good guys and bad guys is now the order of the day... and that almost always works out great. If "World to Come" is any indication, however, the "Eon Vortex" will be a casualty of the battle.

If Minnie really is "Running Out of Time" in the backup story, she seems decidedly casual about the fact. After preventing a car crash (that heap big cliffhanger from last time, remember?), she walks about in a self-congratulatory mood. Umm... Attempting to reinstitute the natural laws of physics isn't imperative at some point? Before Minnie does the deed -- whatever that might be -- it appears that she's going to revisit "Time Teasers" territory, preventing a bank robbery. I assume that WDC&S #710 will feature the end of this story to coincide with the conclusion of "Quandomai Island," but the last panel of part three contains a "To Be Continued" box instead. I imagine that's a misprint. Time can't stand still forever, can it?

... Say, what's this? A THIRD story at the back of the book... a two-pager complete in this issue? I haven't been this shocked since the flight attendant gave me a second bag of "savory mix" to enjoy with my thimbleful of soda. "A Goofy Look at UFO's", written by Jos Beekman, dialogued by David Gerstein, and drawn by Michel Nadorp, is a charming call-back to the days of GOOFY ADVENTURES. It's especially likable because, unlike some of the lengthy "costume tales" we got during the second incarnation of Gladstone comics, it makes its obvious point and gets off the stage. Kudos to David for including a reference to Pinky and the Brain that almost made up for the lame concluding gag (which didn't originate with David himself). The formatting of this story is unusual, more like the current DARKWING DUCK comic than any of the Italian material we've been getting in other Boom! books. Was it originally produced that way in Holland, or is this a Boom! original? If the latter, then, by all means, let's have more, please.


ramapith said...

Produced that way in Holland—glad you liked it!

Anonymous said...

I notice you that in the american version they cut a page merging two pages into one. Now I'll explain you why. The italian version was published in two parts. Americans decided instead to publish it in four parts. Since the end of the first part (italian version) happened at page 5 of the third part (american version) they cut three cliffhanger panels generating suspence at the end of the first part and the title panel of the second part. This is my (imperfect) translation of the three cliffhanger panels:
-first panel:
--Who is threatening Peg Leg Pete and co.?
--Trudy: There is someone else in the valley!
-second panel:
--who is hanging over Minnie and Goofy?
--Minnie and Goofy: Noooo...
-third panel:
--and which terrible mysteries, in fine, are hidden by this man?
--Barraquater:... the only survivor of "Eon Vortex" project!
--The answers to every question... in a week's time!
--End of the first part.
Since these cliffhanger panels would have been published at page five of the third part (and not at the end of a part), they are right to cut them. However I'd prefer that the translators would have made the final of the first part (italian version) and the final of the second part (american version) to overlap. In this way they could have used the cliffhanger panels in order to generate suspence in the american version too, changing only "in a week's time" into "in a month's time".

About the publication of "back up stories": why they don't publish better stories than "Minnie runs out of time"? For exemple "Pippo e la fattucchiera" (litterally "Goofy and the witch", 1960, 30 pages). In this story Witch Hazel tries to convince Goofy that she is a witch but Goofy doesn't believe her despite her magic tricks. This is the first of many stories about Goofy and Hazel. I think this story should be published in the USA because the fact she tries to convince Goofy that she is a witch is one of the main features of Hazel!

Sorry for my (imperfect) english, but it's difficult to write in a non-native language! I have lesser difficulties to understand written english (the spoken one is almost unintelligible for (or to?) me! My sensation is that native speakers speak too fastly!).

Anonymous said...

>>Produced that way in Holland—glad you liked it!

So David Gerstein can speak both italian and dutch! He is a polyglot!!

Faster, Harder, More Challenging GeoX said...

Here's my very serious question: are we EVER AGAIN going to see, oh, I don't know, a DUCK story in WDC? You know I'm gunning for that unpublished-in-the-US Van Horn stuff, but CRIKEY, even just some random Vicar-drawn shorts would be like manna from Heaven at this point. What's the deal, Boom!-people?

Chris Barat said...


It's the Edna St. Vincent Millay syndrome: burn the "Casty candle" at both ends until you run out of wick. At the very least, Boom! should consider a DONALD or $CROOGE back-up for the next Casty-fest.

This week's UNCLE $CROOGE (the first Boom! issue with an August cover date) includes the official announcement of the cancellation of HERO SQUAD and WIZARDS OF MICKEY. It's pretty much the happy-talk you'd expect, but I am surprised that they don't seem to be keeping the door open at least a crack for the future use of ULTRAHEROES and WIZARDS material in existing titles. Has the bloom fallen THAT far off the rose for what are described as "successful" concepts?