Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Classics - Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (Vol. 20) #3

   One of the things older collectors like to do, when tracking down old reading copies at comics conventions, is find the comics thy read when they were very young.

   But I've long since accepted that it's just not going to happen - mostly because I can't remember what some of those issue were - especially the ones based on beloved cartoon characters.

   I read quite a few issues of Donald Duck, Bugs Bunny and their pals when i was a child - but the covers were generic and rarely connected to the story within, so it's tough to remember which ones I read.

   And the numbering systems are pretty wonky - you have to be a dedicated fan to sort out some of the systems.

   As an example, here's an issue of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories I picked up at a comics convention this summer.

   It's issue #3! But wait, it's Volume 20. Published in 1959 with a cover price listed as "Still 10¢," it's a terrific deal! It's in rough shape, but complete and perfectly readable. The cost: $1.

   It includes a funny story that places Donald (and his nephews) in a new position as a Night Watchman at a horrific wax museum. Disaster ensues as wax figures disappear - and a costume party springs up next door! Oh, and it's a Carl Barks story. There are no credits, but there's no mistaking the Duck Man.

   The second story stars Scamp, the son of Lady and the Tramp, as he gets into mischief with a couple of kittens next door. It's cute, and the art is lovely.

   The third story features Chip 'n' Dale (long before they became Rescue Rangers). They're freezing as winter moves in, so they go in search of warmer lodging.

   The final story is a Mickey Mouse adventure (co-starring Goofy), and what's most interesting to me is that it's a continued story! WDC&S carried these serials that would run for many months - I don't know that I ever saw a complete story run as a kid. But they kept them simple, and a paragraph at the beginning brings you up to speed quickly. They're ingenious! This time around, Mickey is trying to track Black Pete down to his secret lair, but is having no luck - but he has a plan! It's a fast and fun adventure.

   Toss in a one-page gag and a text story, and you have a lot of value for your dime (or dollar)! I don't think I read this one as a kid, but happily, these comics are still lots of fun for those of us who are just overgrown kids at heart.

Grade: A-



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