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July 7

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July 7, 1898 – Publisher and Disney Legend Paul Winkler is Born

“When it comes to comic books published in France, Paul started it all.” – Roy E. Disney

On July 7, 1898, Paul Winker was born in Budapest, Hungary. After graduating from the University of Amsterdam, he moved to Paris, France, and opened a press agency called Opera Mundi; this agency sold articles to newspapers all across Western Europe. Eager to bring the popular Mickey Mouse to French audiences, Winkler was able to sell King Features comic strips to the French press, and developed the first French Mickey Mouse comic magazine, Le Journal de Mickey, in 1934. At its prime, the magazine boasted a circulation of 400,000. In 1940, after Paris was invaded by Nazi troops, Winkler and his family emigrated to New York, where he then opened the Press Alliance, which featured articles from the top writers of the era. Winkler also became a foreign political columnist for the Washington Post, and co-wrote anti-Nazi books with his wife, including Paris Underground, which became a film in 1945. After World War II ended, Winkler returned to France and moved back into Disney publishing ventures, including the comic book Hardi, Presente Donald in 1947, and the reissue of Le Journal de Mickey in 1952, which sold over 650,000 copies a week. Winkler passed away on September 23, 1982, in Melun, France. For his efforts in bringing Mickey Mouse comics to France, he was posthumously awarded as a Disney Legend in 1997.

January 10

January 10, 1932 – The First Mickey Mouse Sunday Comic is Printed

“Here’s something you’ve never seen before – something new under the old overworked sun – MICKEY MOUSE in a full page color comic!”

On January 10, 1932, the first color Sunday comic of the Miceky Mouse series premiered in newspapers across the United States. The Mickey Mouse comics burst on the scene on January 13, 1930, and became a smash hit almost overnight. The comic syndicate King Features had been eager to feature a full-page color comic, but artist Floyd Gottfredson and inker Earl Duvall hadn’t had the time to devote to such an ambitious undertaking. Once Gottfredson and Duvall had Al Taliaferro and Ted Osborne on their team, the team then had time to bring the color comic to fruition. The appeal of the color comics is interesting to note, as at that time, Mickey’s appearance on the silver screen was still black and white (Mickey’s first color cartoon wouldn’t be until 1935’s The Band Concert). The first color comic was done by completely by Duvall, trying to mimic the slapstick that had worked so well in the short films; Gottfredson would take over soon after. The pair were able to create a new kind of gag strip storytelling through their adaptation of Mickey Mouse short films and the creation of new stories.

September 26

September 26, 1947 – The Character Eega Beeva First Appears in the Mickey Mouse Comics

               Image courtesy of D23

“We can use my interdimensional travel ring to go watch!”

On September 26, 1947, the character Eega Beeva, known as a “highly evolved human,” made his first appearance in the Mickey Mouse comic strip; he was featured in the storyline Mickey Mouse and the Man from Tomorrow. He was originally proposed to premiere in a 1947 ad campaign which tried to introduce the character on Mickey’s twentieth anniversary (although this was erroneous, as Mickey was first introduced in 1928), but was simply introduced as part of a new storyline. Eega’s real name is Pittisborum Psercy Pystachi Pseter Psersimmon Plummer-Push, and he was a tech guru from 2447 that accidentally stumbled into Mickey’s era and life. He was created by Bill Walsh and Floyd Gottfredson, and they completed working on his story until 1950. Although he’s considered a rare character in the American comics, Eega Beeva found great success in Italy, and ended up starring in his own comic; his backstory changed, however, as they claimed he was from 2000 and was an alien.

September 18

September 18, 1932 – Mickey’s Nephews Ferdy and Morty Premiere in the Mickey Mouse Comic Strip

“Just wait’ll I catch those kids! I’ll make ‘em wish they hadn’t!”

On September 18, 1932, the twin characters Ferdy and Morty, Mickey’s nephews, officially premiered in the Mickey Mouse comic strip (although in this first appearance, Ferdy was spelled “Ferdie;” the spelling was subsequently changed). They first appeared in the comic Mickey’s Nephews, where the twins are left with Mickey and cause havoc for their poor uncle, until he ties them to the bed and reads them a bedtime story, which he has been told calms them down. The characters only made one appearance in an animated short film: the 1934 short film Mickey’s Steam Roller.

July 24

July 24, 2009 – Stan Lee’s Time Jumper Motion Comic is Released

“‘Time Jumper’ is more than a typical superhero. He’s a trend-setting breakthrough across all media; a hero for today’s digital age and tomorrow’s multiplatform entertainment.” – Stan Lee

On July 24, 2009, the motion comic Stan Lee’s Time Jumper premiered online. A partnership between comic creator Stan Lee and Walt Disney Home Entertainment, the series follows secret agent Terry Dixon, who works for the government organization HUNT, while using a cell phone/time machine created by his father to search for his missing brother Sam. Each section of the comic was a five-minute episode, complete with music, voice acting, and fast-paced storyboarding.

October 31

October 31, 1955 – The Scamp Daily Comic Strip Begins

On October 31, 1955, the first Scamp daily comic was published. Scamp was the offspring of the characters Lady and Tramp from the animated feature film Lady and the Tramp, and began being featured in the Treasury of Classic Tales Lady and the Tramp comic starting July 10; it was soon decided that Scamp was popular enough to lead his own daily comic. The comic was drawn by Dick Moores, with Ward Greene, script writer for the animated film and author of the short story “Happy Dan, The Whistling Dog” on which the film was based, providing the text and story. Greene would also go on to write a novelization of the film that was released two years before the film was released. The Scamp comic would run until June 19, 1988.

October 16

October 16, 2003 – Eleven Inductees are Honored as Disney Legends

“Today, the Walt Disney Company will celebrate, recognize and reward those who have contributed their creativity and imagination to the Disney heritage in the 2003 Disney Legends ceremony.”

On October 16, 2003, eleven members of Disney history were inducted as Disney Legends. Among those honored were comic publisher Al Taliaferro; Disney representative to New Zealand, Neil Beckett; actor Buddy Hackett; director Richard Fleischer; wife of Disney and supporter of the Disney Company, Edna Disney; advisor and trustee of the California Institute of the Arts, Harrison “Buzz” Price; former Vice President of Engineering, Design, and Production, Orlando Ferrante; composer and co-founder of Disneyland Records, Tutti Camarata; comic strip artist Floyd Gottfredson; voice actress for Cinderella, Ilene Woods; and last but not least, Lillian Disney, who performed many behind-the-scenes acts to keep the company, and her husband’s legacy, alive. Among the eleven honored, only five were alive at the time of the ceremony: Richard Fleischer, Harrison Price, Orlando Ferrante, Tutti Camarata, and Ilene Woods.

December 31

December 31, 1932 – The First Issue of Topolino is Published

Topolino

On December 31, 1932, the first issue of Topolino, a weekly newspaper for kids featuring stories about Mickey Mouse, was published in Italy. It was started by editor Mario Nerbini, who ran into trouble shortly after the first publication when Disney’s representative for Italy found that Nerbini didn’t correctly purchase the rights to Mickey Mouse. The title, which is the Italian name for Mickey Mouse, was changed to Topo Lino and featured stories about a mouse named Lino. Nerbini eventually bought the publication rights and changed the name back to Topolino. The magazine briefly stopped publication in 1942, when fascism refused publication of American stories; they resumed publication of translated Floyd Gottfredson stories in 1945, after World War II had ended.

November 10

November 10, 2004 – The First Issue of The Incredibles Comic is Released Through Dark Horse Comics

The Incredibles

“But one day things take an unexpected turn when Bob is contacted by a mysterious woman who recruits him for some top-secret hero work…”

On November 10, 2004, the first issue of the four-part comic series based on Pixar’s sixth animated feature The Incredibles is released through Dark Horse Comics. The book was written by Paul Alden, with Ricardo Curtis as the penciller, Ramon Perez as the inker. The comic was sold for $2.99.

August 29

August 29, 1905 – Comic Artist and Disney Legend Al Taliaferro is Born

Al_Taliaferro

“Al was dying for his own comic strip. He was a pretty ambitious guy, hard working, and a fast worker, too…Al thought [Donald Duck] would be a great character for him to develop for the comics.” – Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson

On August 29, 1905, Charles Alfred Taliaferro was born in Montrose, Colorado. As a young man, his family to Southern California and, after graduating from Glendale High School in 1924, he took correspondence art courses and studied art at the California Art Institute. In 1931, he scored a job at the Disney Studios as the assistant to comic strip artist and fellow Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson, who was working on the Mickey Mouse daily strip and the Sunday strips. During Taliaferro’s tenure, Donald Duck made his Disney premiere in the Silly Symphony The Wise Little Hen. Once the Silly Symphony made its way to the Sunday strips, Taliaferro realized the commercial potential for Donald Duck, and lobbied to give the character its own strip. Although there was some resistance to give Donald his own strip, Taliaferro prevailed and on February 7, 1938, the Donald Duck strip premiered. Working with colleague Bob Karp, the strip proved to be a huge success. Taliaferro found more success in the creation of three new characters: Donald’s nephews Huey, Dewey, and Louie. They proved to be so popular that a short film was created for them: Donald’s Nephews, which was released on April 15, 1938. Taliaferro passed away on February 3, 1969. He was posthumously honored as a Disney Legend in 2003.