Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #275 (August 1963)
"Necessity May Be the Mama of Invenshun..."
George Stallings-Dick Moores
Pencils - Nat Edson
Doug: Totally out of my comfort zone today, friends! A couple of weeks ago as I was continuing the Great Purge that has been the reduction of my collection, I came across three comics that I'd forgotten I had -- primarily because I was given them only several years ago and cannot recall from whom! They never made it into my longboxes, but had been stored separately. So here is some new fodder for today, and maybe for future Monday reviews. And by the way, this has shaped up to be a "Buried Treasures" week, with three more posts in this category to follow. Enjoy your visit to your hosts' archives!
The Grand Comics Database was a wonderful resource to find out a bit more about this comic. While credits for the entire book's contents are incomplete, it did help to answer some basic questions. My first query was about the Ducks story -- and yes, it was by Carl Barks. It's a 10-page farce with Donald trying to make a million and failing miserably... until his nephews bailed him out and saved the day.
The second tale is 4-pager starring Lil' Bad Wolf, the Big Bad Wolf, and of course the 3 Little Pigs. It was a cute little story featuring a plot by Lil' Bad Wolf to thwart his pop's plans to eat the Piggies. In the end, the Big Bad Wolf is saved by the Piggies from being eaten by a gator!
After a one page text story featuring Mickey Mouse, we come to the first of two stories I'll feature today. I chose this one simply on the grounds of Disney's ban on the sale of Song of the South - to my knowledge, it was released on VHS in the 1980s and/or '90s but has never been pressed to DVD. Presently, it is available on YouTube. I recall seeing it in the theater as a child, and when my kids were little we had a Disney Sing-a-long Songs videotape that featured Zippity-do-dah. In later years Song of the South has come under heavy scrutiny for its use of racist stereotypes. The 2-page story below (read across the two scans - there are three full rows of panels in the story) features characters from that film. Personally, I found about as much enjoyment reading the dialect in this story as I did attempting to read Tom Sawyer in high school (which would be none!). But overall I don't see anything racially offensive in this strip (no Tar Baby... yikes!). Note: all scans used in today's post were enhanced with photo software. The comic book from which the scans were made is pretty faded!
I also decided to include the full 5-page Zorro story. When I found the book and saw Zorro on its cover, I had hoped that I might stumble upon an Alex Toth production, but such was not the case. But the story was good, with an ending we've seen before and with quite a bit of action squeezed into such a short space. In a modern comic, this would have filled a six-issue arc and would be packaged as a trade paperback!
Below is a series of gags that readers could submit. This page immediately followed the Zorro yarn. While there aren't any knee slappers, there are a few in there that made me smile as if I was a little kid. But then, that's the mindset one may have to have when reading a comic like this. And when I could remind myself to do so, I had a pretty good time. It was good enough to make me want to, at some point, dig into the other issue of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories and the issue of Bugs Bunny that were "found" alongside today's book.