Mickey Mouse Comic Book by Gladstone

As a teenager, I collected hundreds of comic books, most from the Marvel comics company (now owned by Disney). Although I dabbled a little in DC titles I never did pick up any Disney or other cartoon comics. So the Gladstone company is a new name in comic books to me.

The Mickey Mouse comic book I am featuring here is from 1989 and contains reprinted stories by Floyd Gottfredson. The main story is from 1941 and is entitled The Land of Long Ago:

Front Cover

Monetarily valueless but rich in content these reprints are a wonderful way to see and read old strips that are out of print and too expensive to buy in original editions.

This issue has some interesting features:

Letters Page

I always used to love the letters page of a comic book. Reading what other readers had to say about the characters and the stories made me feel more a part of the comic book community. The above edition contains a complaint against Carl Barks (of Donald Duck fame) for being anti-German. Yikes!

Subscribe or Buy an Album

An integral part of any comic book are the advertisements for more comic books! The original up-sell.

More Stories by Floyd Gottfredson & Carl Barks

Now let’s start our story:

The Land of Long Ago: Chapter 3

Suffice to say that Mickey, Goofy, and a professor have landed in a world of cavemen and have been captured. It’s up to Mickey to free everyone, which he does!

I found Mickey to be a bit more aggressive and callous than he is today, which wasn’t uncommon in Mickey’s earlier days.

The Goof in a Loincloth

And how did Mickey get his loincloth? He rigged up a trap and stripped it off a passing caveman, leaving him naked behind a bush! You see, I told you Mickey was a bit more aggressive back in the 1940’s.

This reprinted edition also had a two-page strip with Mickey and Minnie and this one-page strip starring Pluto:

Foiled Again!

The advertising doesn’t stop with the inner ads, but continues on the back cover:

Bonus Donald Duck Strip

I hope you enjoyed viewing this great old comic book!

Gladstone Publishing was an American company that published Disney comics from 1986 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1998. Reprints of classic Donald Duck stories by Carl Barks and Mickey Mouse stories by Floyd Gottfredson were the foundation of their output. Although Gladstone is no longer an active publisher, it continues to offer its back issues through its website.

ILLUSION OF LIFE Plugged on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson

Disney Animation: The Illusion of Life is a book by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, two Disney Legends of animation counted among the famous group of Walt Disney’s  Nine Old Men. The book topped the list of “best animation books of all time” in a poll at AWN, and is still used as a reference for inspiration on character animation.

I have this book and can’t recommend it highly enough for anyone who wants to better understand the animation process. After reading it, my own drawing skills improved noticeably!

In 1980, they appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to plug the book and chat about animation. Here they are on stage:

During the interview, Carson mentions that they are almost unknown, despite the fact that they had worked on some of the most famous animated films of all time. They replied that they liked it that way!

Frank Thomas

They mentioned that when they would sit in a theatre to watch their films with children, they would almost die. Why? Because children could be so cruel! No wonder they preferred to hide back in the studio.

Ollie Johnston

Carson asked about the rumors that Walt Disney was a cold man and hard to work for, among other things. Both men answered that he was all of those things. However, they clarified that it was also a great pleasure to work for Walt because he was so inspiring, albeit awfully tough! Perfection was expected at all times.

Carson next marvels at how animators are able to give life to even inanimate objects, so Frank and Ollie pulled out the following drawings to illustrate the point:

And last but not least:

Who Wouldn’t Be?

It was great to see these Disney Legends chat about their passion for animation. But it almost wasn’t to be! Frank wanted to be a landscape artist and Ollie was heading towards a career in magazine illustration. But Disney put out a casting call and both answered, arriving at the studio to become lowly In-betweeners before rising in the ranks to full-fledged animators.

The Interview Ends

Look to the left in the above picture and you’ll notice another Disney Alumni, Suzanne Pleshette (January 31, 1937 – January 19, 2008). You may remember her for her roles in The Ugly Dachshund, Blackbeard’s Ghost, and The Shaggy D.A.

Also, if you look to the far right in the above picture, you can see Carson holding up the book in question (blurry though it is).

For the full interview (5:54), please take a listen. It’s well worth it:

Frank and Ollie on Carson

Attractions: Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum

One thing I love to do on this site is cover places that I visit. There are so many attractions in and around my area that spotlight many unique forms of creativity that it would be a shame if anyone missed them. So if you are ever in Michigan be sure to visit Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum.

If you’re not planning to be in this State anytime soon, then this post is for you!

31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI

What can one say about this place? It’s weird. Weird but wonderful at the same time! And as the first exhibit (pictured below) will show, it draws its inspiration from some pretty solid places:

Fine Inspiration Indeed!

Marvin Yagoda, the museum’s founder, had been collecting the items that populate the 5,500-square foot building for some 50 years. He was a recognized expert in the field of mechanical and electrical game apparatus and was involved in the appraisal of such items for the television series American Pickers. We lost Marvin on January 8, 2017 at the age of 78.

But the eclectic showroom he started so long ago still operates and is open to the public seven days a week.

Let’s have a look at just some of the oddities you can expect to find:

Instant Physical Exam for just 75 cents

You will find a huge collection of coin-operated animatronic dummies, mechanical games and other oddities here. The doctor above is just one of dozens of examples on display. If you plan on investing your money on this doctor’s diagnosis, prepare to be insulted!

Where to look first?

Walking in for the first time can be overwhelming! There isn’t a bare piece of wall or ceiling in the place.

“Vibratory Doctor”? Is that even legal?

Many of these vintage machines would have been on boardwalks or in sideshows, at a circus or freak show. I wonder why?

Beautiful Neon

There are several examples of neon signage as well, with my favorite example being displayed above.

Advertising Signage

Marvin was an equal opportunity collector and so also added vintage advertising to his collection.

Disturbing!

This museum is definitely a Home of the Weird as the above image shows. A 3-breasted Gypsy, anyone?

The Lighter Side

The museum also has many pieces to make you smile too. Such as the two Sailor Puppets above.

Hungry or Thirsty?

We are about half way through our tour, so if you’re getting a bit peckish, why not stop at the food stand and ask Humpty Dumpty for something to eat or drink?

Your Weird Hosts for This Post

What would a fun place be without a warped mirror?

On the Road

I need to get me a truck like this when I go searching for things to add to my weird and wonderful collection!

Now all good things come with a price:

Electric Donations

There is no charge to visit this museum but, as you can see above, donations to cover the cost of electricity are gratefully received! Also, almost all of the displays are fully operational and can be enjoyed for between 25 and 75 cents a play. This includes vintage arcade games (like Asteroids and Pac-Man), carnival games, pinball machines, and ‘Peep Shows’ (clean, of course!).

So please be sure to leave some of your hard-earned money behind!

COOL FACTOR: 5/5

I was thrilled to find such a unique and strange place among the attractions of Michigan! It won’t be for everyone, especially if you’re easily creeped out. But if you’re a student of history and a fan of early examples of coin-operated art and like to walk on the wild side at times… make your way to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum!

An Exhibit at The Henry Ford: Modern Glass Gallery

The Henry Ford Museum has a varied collection of artifacts. Truly something for every taste. In one small corridor just off to the side you can find The Modern Glass Gallery exhibit.

Therein one can find examples of glass artistry. Here are a few of the things on display there:

Wrapped Target: Robert Willson – 1992 to 1994

This expressionist-like sculpture caught my eye because of the striking colors.

         

Settling In: Richard Jolley – 1998

This artist works with figures and loves larger works but also does smaller, more whimsical pieces like the one above. It is fabricated like a totem pole with three golden dogs climbing to the top, where presumably, they will find their master waiting.

Scarlet Macaw, from Parrot Series: Noel Hart – 2002

The colors are spot on but one has to look a little harder to see the bird within the colors.

Skeptical: Dan Dailey – 1994

Here we have an abstract offering the seeks to depict an emotion with minimal cues.

Sunset, from Between World Series: Binh Pho – 2010

The color is glorious and beautiful but this piece really came alive for me due to the details. And that it has an very oriental structure.

All-Night-Take-Out: Emily Brock – 1999

Who doesn’t like old-time diners? The level of detail in this piece is amazing, even down to the trash in the garbage can outside.

         

The first piece above is titled Floating Golden Botanical (2001, artist unknown) and the second piece was on display outside the exhibit. It had no title but was listed from the Relationship Series of 1997. The Artist is Richard Royal.

I hoped you enjoyed a sneak peek at just a few of the beautiful pieces to be found in this exhibit!


1957 Walt Disney’s Fantasia Soundtrack LP

And this is why I still own a record player. Every once in a while I stumble across something truly special. Although Fantasia (released in 1940) was a critical success it was a box office disappointment for Walt Disney. His dream of re-releasing the film with new segments wouldn’t be realized until the far-off year of 2000, and again with critical acclaim but limited box office returns.

These facts in no way diminish this film’s historical and artistic significance! So when I found a mint condition copy of the soundtrack for Fantasia from 1957 I was ecstatic!

Album cover

Being as this LP was released 17 years after the movie I wondered if it was the original soundtrack or if there was one released earlier. Although Walt did want to release an earlier version, it never happened. So what I have found is the first soundtrack release for the film. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the release history for Fantasia:

Disney considered releasing the film’s soundtrack around the time of the film’s roadshow release, but this idea was not realized. The soundtrack was first released as a mono three LP set and a stereo 8-track tape in sixteen countries by Disneyland and Buena Vista Records in 1957, containing the musical pieces without the narration. A stereo edition LP was issued by Buena Vista Records in 1961. Disney was required to obtain permission from Stokowski, who initially rejected its sale unless the Philadelphia Orchestra Association received a share of the royalties.
The Kostal recording was released on two CDs, two LPs and two audio cassettes by Buena Vista Records, in 1982.
In September 1990, the remastered Stokowski soundtrack was released on CD and audio cassette by Buena Vista Records. In the United States, it debuted the Billboard 200 chart at number 190, its peak position, for the week of November 17, 1990. Two months after its release, the album was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for 500,000 copies sold in the United States. In January 1993, it was certified platinum for sales in excess of one million copies.
For the film’s 75th anniversary, the Stokowski and Kostal recordings were released on two LPs and four CDs as the fifth volume of the Walt Disney Records: The Legacy Collection. The set includes Stokowski’s recording of the deleted Clair de Lune segment, and a recording of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Peter and the Wolf with added narration by Sterling Holloway.

What really stands out about this LP are the notes and artwork. The packaging is basically a 26-page booklet with three vinyl records. Here are the inner pages:

The above pages outline the goal intended for the recording quality. It is worth a read if you care to enlarge the picture!

Both Walt and Leopold Stokowski make good arguments for why Fantasia was a worthwhile project. Again, it is worth a read!

As you can see, each section of the film has a two-page spread dedicated to it. On the left there is an introduction to the original musical piece followed by a description of how it was handled in the film. On the right is a beautiful piece of concept art from the section in question. I’ll say it again, it is worth enlarging the pictures to give these pages a read!

The final pages contain more of the concept drawings from the film:

    

As noted earlier, this was a Buena Vista Records release. It may never have been released as Stokowski and later his estate tried to block the sale of any Fantasia soundtrack unless monies were shared with Stokowski and the orchestra that played the music. Obviously, things were worked out:

I was amazed to find that the vinyl records themselves appear unplayed! There is no dust, wear, or scratches. Considering this release is over 60 years old, I consider finding such a pristine copy unprecedented!

This will now be the cornerstone of my Disney record collection.