On sale date: June 15, 2011
One of the most eagerly-anticipated projects in comics.
Today everyone knows Mickey Mouse as the cheerful ambassador of all things Disney. But back in the 1930s, Mickey gained fame as a rough-and-tumble, two-fisted epic hero — an adventurous scrapper matching wits with mobsters, kidnappers, spies, and even (gulp!) city slickers! And Mickey’s greatest feats of derring-do took place in his daily comic strip, written and drawn by one of the greatest cartoonists of the 20th century — Floyd Gottfredson.
For its first quarter-century, Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse was a rip-roaring serial: the most popular cartoon-based comic of its time, a trendsetting adventure continuity aimed at both kids and grown-ups, and the foundation on which all later Disney comics grew — including the adventures of Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge by Gottfredson’s Disney colleague Carl Barks.
Glimpses of Floyd Gottfredson’s masterpiece have been reprinted over the years, most famously in Bill Blackbeard’s classic Smithsonian Collection of Newspaper Comics. But the whole strip has never been comprehensively collected in English — until now! Fantagraphics Books is proud to bring this classic Disney creation to a 21st-century audience in its entirety, starting from the strip’s 1930 launch. Relive Mickey’s race to a gold mine with Pegleg Pete hot on his heels; Mickey’s life on the lam after being framed for bank robbery; even Mickey’s ringside battle with a hulking heavyweight champ! The premiere volume features a dozen different adventures starring Mickey, his gal Minnie and her uncle Mortimer, his pals Horace Horsecollar and Butch, the villainous Pegleg Pete, and the mysterious and shrouded Fox.
Gottfredson’s vibrant visual storytelling has never been more beautifully reproduced; we promise the best reprinting the strip has ever seen, with each daily lovingly restored from Disney’s original negatives and proof sheets. “Death Valley” also includes more than 50 pages of fascinating supplementary features, including rare behind-the-scenes art and vintage publicity material from the first two years of the strip. Critics, scholars, seasoned Disney archivists, and fellow cartoonists provide commentary and historical essays on the strip’s creation and execution.
Walt Disney often said that his studio’s success “all started with a Mouse” — Walt himself wrote the Mickey Mouse strip before turning it over to the able hands of Gottfredson — and today Mickey is among the world’s most recognizable icons. Now it’s time to rediscover the wild, unforgettable personality behind the icon: Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse.
“Great lover, scholar, soldier, sailor, singer, toreador, tycoon, jockey, prizefighter, automobile racer, aviator, farmer. Mickey Mouse lives in a world in which space, time, and the law of physics are nil. He can reach inside of a bull’s mouth, pull out his teeth and use them as castanets. He can lead a band or play violin solos; his ingenuity is limitless; he never fails.” — Time Magazine (1931)
“Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse: Race To Death Valley by Floyd Gottfredson will be warmly received by comics aficionados but should also intrigue Disney animation buffs who aren't necessarily plugged into comic strip history…. I have a feeling that this book, crafted with such obvious care, will earn Gottfredson a new legion of admirers.” — Leonard Maltin
“The stories are dense, packing plenty of dialogue into the strips — and the themes are darker than the bright-eyed, factory-sealed tales of today. Mickey is multi-dimensional in the first volume.... This dynamic look is a revelation in the life of the character who started it all for Disney.” — Alex Carr - Omnivoracious (Amazon.com)
“Floyd Gottfredson... created an enduring classic and the most fully-formed depiction of Disney’s most important character…. Gottfredson had an animator’s knack for storytelling, and his layouts remain clear no matter how busy they get. Much of the humor is stilted by modern standards, but you’ll be too enthralled by the exciting plots and likable characters to care.” — Garrett Martin - Paste
“…[I]t’s not just a great Mickey Mouse comic, it’s one of the best comics of all time.” — Chris Sims - Comics Alliance
- Black and white
- 10.6" × 8.8"