Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Race to Death Valley

Mickey Mouse has long been known as the adorable mouse-hero, mascot of the Disney Media Corporation, a sweet, wholesome, safe and secure icon for kids and parents alike. For forty-five years however (1930 -1975) the daily Mickey Mouse strips portrayed a somewhat skewed version of the beloved character. Floyd Gottfredson, who wrote and illustrated these strips but was never allowed to sign his own name, depicted Mickey as a hero still of course, but also a bizarre and dynamic personality which was fully capable of misanthropy, socially irresponsible behavior, planning and executing dangerous ideas, and wrapping himself up in bizarre and potentially violent situations.

Only a small handful of Gottfredson's collected works have been published and most are out of print. He pioneered a trendsetting style of adventure comics, though in his lifetime remained largely unrecognized. His contributions to the Disney landscape were not made public until his identity was discovered by a fan in the mid 1960s, and even so it would not be until 2006 (twenty years after his death) that he would be honored, inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame.

Fantagraphics has kindly republished a bit of the Gottfredson Mickey run in their new book "Race to Death Valley," beautifully restored, repackaged and of course on display in Green Apple's main store as well as the annex. 'Bout time.

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