Funnies: Book Review – Color Sundays (of) Mickey Mouse

I love reading about the history of things. When I was a kid, up until I was a young man, I collected comic books. Superhero stuff mainly but I always dabbled in comic strips as well. Sunday Funnies were a particular favorite and really the only part of the newspaper I ever read.

So when I saw this book entitled Color Sundays Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse, I knew I had to buy it!

History and Funnies!

Publisher: Gary Groth & Kim Thompson (Distributed by others)

Type: Hardcover

Pages: 280

ISBN: 978-1-60699-686-7

Year: 2013

Floyd Gottfredson (May 5, 1905 – July 22, 1986) had a long association with the Disney company.  He was an American cartoonist best known for his defining work on the Mickey Mouse comic strip.

He has probably had the same impact on the Mickey Mouse comics as Carl Barks had on the Donald Duck comics. Two decades after his death, his memory was honored with the Disney Legends citation in 2003 and induction into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006. Both well-deserved honors!

Color Sundays is the second volume to cover this talented mans contribution to Mickey’s Sunday outings. As such, it picks up from 1936 and covers until the end of his run as a substitute to the strips in 1961.

The book is divided into too many sections to list in this review. To start though we are given a little history on the man and how he came to the assignment of the Sunday Funnies.

Next is the first section of actual strips:

Guess who’s coming to dinner!

We start with Mickey as the plucky hero who has to fight against the bigger foe to win the day or the heart of his true love, Minnie. No matter how hard he tries, something always goes wrong!

Next is a Robin Hood adventure, a section focusing on gag strips with Goofy as the main guest star, Sheriff of Nugget Gulch which puts Mickey and Goofy into the Wild West, and then:

Service with a devious smile

Mickey starts to show his mischievous side in this section as he isn’t above a little skullduggery to get his way, as seen in the picture above! The book stops every now and then to give us a look at some miscellaneous examples of Gottfredson’s artwork:

Goofy’s Inventions

After the above look at a panel from Mickey Mouse Magazine #59 (1940) we go back to a section highlighting an adaption of one of Mickey’s most famous Shorts:

Next we have a section dedicated to Gottfredson’s later years when he was only filling in on the Sunday Funnies. It’s mainly a collection of short gag strips.

Gottfredson mainly focused his work on the adventures of Mickey Mouse, but he did handle a long list of guest stars as well, such as:

Guest stars included Donald Duck, Lambert the Sheepish Lion, The Seven Dwarfs in a solo adventure, a Sleeping Beauty adaption, and a 101 Dalmatians tale (and yes, I did that on purpose).

Lastly we are treated to an archival section:

This section treats us to some original concept artwork, original cover reproductions, full-page paintings, and:

Some very nice looks into some of the characters Gottfredson worked with. The book ends with a brief visit with the heir to Gottfredson’s work on the Sunday Funnies, namely, Manuel Gonzales.

COOL RATING: 5/5

As a huge fan of both Mickey Mouse and comic strips this publication was a welcomed addition to my library. The book has a nice balance between informative back story and just page after page of funnies.

It was enlightening to learn about another man behind the mouse!

I purchased this book for the purpose of this review

OUTLAND Comic Strip featuring Mortimer Mouse

In the immortal words of Monty Python: “And now for something completely different.” In other words, if you’re easily offended, please scroll down to an older post (actually, it’s not that bad!)

One of my hobbies as a self-professed Amateur Disney Historian is to find odd bits of Disney minutia wherever they may be found. And in whatever form they may take. Even if that form is a little… out there:

Does anyone remember Opus, the puffin?

How about Bill, the cat? These characters are well known (in some circles) for their political satire and biting commentary on… just about everything. So it isn’t surprising that Disney would come into the crosshairs, which it does in the first collection of the Outland comic strip:

    

The Mortimer Mouse story (sort of)

The joke is that Disney is going to sue Outland for using Mickey Mouse without permission, so these two pages are supposed to explain that it is actually Mortimer Mouse being depicted, and not Mickey. And it also purports to tell just how Mortimer left Disney to join the gang over at Outland.

Innocent enough fun but also a bit edgier than Disney would ever be!

But being a fan of animation, comic strips, and such, I just couldn’t leave this book on the shelf once I noticed a Disney reference. And two things really made me sit up and take notice:

A credible pic of Walt Disney

I thought the artist did a great job of not only doing a great rendering of Walt himself, but also of making an image that could come from 1938.

The Earful Tower!

I just can’t get enough of this Disney Icon! I hope Disney’s Hollywood Studios starts to give this neglected wonder some of the love it deserves.

In my defense (for writing such a post) I direct your attention to an interesting article called The Blogging Food Groups: A Well-balanced Diet of Content by Jason Miller. There he postulates that a blog should have a variety of content to maintain the interest of a readership. This post would (or may) fall under the heading of a ‘condiment’ in that it contains content that provides ‘a bold statement with a strong point of view.’ Or it may be ‘meat’, but you’d have to click on the link, read the definitions, and decide for yourself.

In any event, this Outland strip caught my eye, and for what it’s worth, I present it to you.