By Sam King
This series is basically the result of bringing Italian Disney comics to America. This is a pretty cool comic for major Disney fans like myself, but even I found a couple things kind of interesting about this that I wasn’t expecting. If you love Disney, knock yourself out and pick it up. If not, you’re probably better off with some of the other Disney titles that are out there depending on what you like. Each Walt Disney Showcase issue so far is a republishing of a foreign story that American audiences are now getting the opportunity to enjoy. There is no real continuity here as each seems to be a stand-alone story you can pick up and enjoy without reading prior issues.
This issue tells the story of Mickey and Goofy going out west as a result of family history. Goofy and Mickey’s ancestors were bounty hunters out in the west. They were known as Six-Shot Goofy and Mickey the Kid. I like wild west stories and spaghetti westerns, so I thought this issue was pretty fun. Goofy and Mickey head to Gold City because a museum there is seeking information about a steam-powered horse that one of their ancestor’s foes defeated. Goofy and Mickey get into some silly antics and help stop a robber that has been bothering the museum around the time of their arrival. They make some friends, try to relive some history, and overall it is a fun story. The story itself is around 30 pages and it is one story, so the fullness of the western tale that you get is pretty good. The main thing I noticed that may bewilder American fans such as myself, is the style. Particularly where Mickey and Goofy are concerned. They are easily recognizable and are what you would expect, but the coloration is pretty different from what we get here. Both of their faces are ghost white instead of cream toned like the rest of the characters present and Goofy’s eyes aren’t nearly as expressive and animated as they usually are. The rest of the story has bright colors and is very straightforward.
Walt Disney Showcase #2's The Secret of Gold City is really just a fun story and I think that people who really like Disney stories will get lots of enjoyment from it. I like westerns and southwest environments, so I really liked the setting of the story and the historical elements casually laced in. I found this to be really interesting, since the Italian creators opted to have a very American setting, which I suppose would give it a more exotic feel for their audience overall. Being that not everyone in America lives in a southwest area or very small town, I think this could also be a bit of an exotic read for American audiences. One of the coolest things about this though, is that it provides the chance to see a window into the comics of another country and culture. Mickey Mouse and Goofy have been around for a long time and they have become pop culture icons, so it is really cool to see how another country’s artists and writers handle such beloved characters. I would like to see an animated version of this story, because it is just really fun in a relaxed, simplistic way. It has a classic look to it overall, which makes it refreshing compared to the more “modern” Mickey Mouse series that was based on the shorts aired on Disney Channel by Paul Rudish that had a less smooth art style. This one feels more like it would be a predecessor to the Castellan Mickey Mouse series that IDW had also been running, before its hiatus to focus on the consolidated Donald and Mickey series.
Issue #1 also featured a character named Fethry Duck. He was slightly an American creation, but he has predominantly been in the Italian comics and has never been in any of the animated features produced by the Disney company. This series introduces characters that are fresh for American audiences and that even hardcore fans are unfamiliar with. Fethry is an interesting pair to have with Donald, but he is only in a single panel strip at the end of issue 2. He is predominantly featured in issue #1 alongside Donald, so anyone interested in him should try to get a hand on the previous issue in this series. The last issue was focused on Donald Duck and featured Scrooge McDuck, so this title is not just focused on Mickey or Goofy, but a range of the core characters in new adventures.
I really just want to take the opportunity to highlight this series for people interested in seeing another viewpoint of characters that many of us have seen for many decades in just a few styles. Also, this is the first time some of these stories are becoming available to American audiences, as they were published first in an Italian comic digest called Topolino. This particular story was published in 2008, but Topolino has been creating Disney comics since around 1932. Topo Lino means “little mouse” and this was what the original editor changed Mickey’s name to before he secured publication rights. Eventually rights were secured so Disney comics were published with the appropriate names ever since. The publication has a really neat history that hardcore Disney or even comic fans might be really interested in reading up on, so even if every issue is not reviewed, at least one is worth showcasing and discussing. I’m a hardcore Disney fan, so this is something that I really appreciate and the story itself was enjoyable for what it was: a short, yet satisfying, Mickey Mouse and Goofy comic.
Walt Disney Showcase #2