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Mickey Mouse (comic book)

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This article is about the original Mickey Mouse comic book. For the comic based on the 2013 Mickey Mouse TV series, see Mickey Mouse (2013 comic book).

Mickey Mouse (titled Mickey Mouse and Friends from issues #257-303) is a long-running comic book series starring Mickey Mouse, first appearing in 1941 as part of the Four Color one-shot series. It received its own numbering system with issue #28 in 1953, and is currently being published by IDW Publishing.

The book emphasizes stories with Mickey and his supporting cast: Goofy, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, Pluto and Mickey's nephews Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse. Mickey's perpetual rival is the criminal Peg-Leg Pete (sometimes "Black Pete", "Sneaky Pete" or "Big Bad Pete"). Other adversaries have included Emil Eagle, Eli Squinch, Sylvester Shyster, the team of Dangerous Dan McBoo and Idjit the Midget, and the Phantom Blot. Two major artistic influences on the appearance of Mickey in comics are Floyd Gottfredson, who drew the Mickey Mouse daily newspaper strip from 1930 to 1975, and comic book artist Paul Murry, who drew Mickey stories from 1950 to 1984.

Early development

In the mid-1930s, original Mickey comic book stories were being produced in Italy and the United Kingdom for local consumption. Publishing Mickey comic book stories in the United States was pioneered by the third Mickey Mouse Magazine series (19351940). Initially published by Hal Horne, it had artwork by John Stanley and text pieces by Irving Brecher. By mid-1936, Horne turned over the magazine to Kay Kamen who oversaw merchandising for Disney. Kamen the following year recruited Western Publishing to handle production and publication. Western added reprinted Disney comic strips to the book's lineup beginning with the July 1937 issue; these included Gottfredson's Mickey daily strips re-formatted and colored for serialized magazine publication. In the words of historian Michael Barrier "Reprinted newspaper comics were never more than a minor part of its lineup until the very last issue, dated September 1940, when they suddenly took up half the pages." But Barrier has also judged the strip reprints "stood out by virtue of their crisp professionalism". The successor title, Walt Disney's Comics and Stories (or WDC&S for short), described by Barrier as a true comic book, began publication with the October 1940 issue and had the Gottfredson serials as a prominent feature.


The comic's second issue, originally published as Four Color Comics #79, featured "The Riddle of the Red Hat", the only Mickey Mouse story written by famed Donald Duck writer Carl Barks.

In the 1940s, Mickey's adventures appeared in a series of Four Color Dell Comics one-shots with the name "Mickey Mouse" prominently displayed on the cover. In 1953, these one-shots evolved into a regular series titled Mickey Mouse, starting with issue #28 and lasting through 1990.

Although other magazines called Mickey Mouse were available in many countries, they often were less like the American title and more resembled WDC&S, acting as the flagship Disney title for its circulation area and thus containing stories of all the major Disney characters as a function of its anthology format.

Publishing history

Western Publishing

The American Mickey Mouse title experienced changes in artists, publishers, length, cost, and printing quality over the years. A unique experiment deviating from the norm occurred in 1966: Inspired by the James Bond spy mania of the period for three issues (#107-109) the comic was titled Mickey Mouse, Super Secret Agent with stories of Mickey and Goofy becoming international spies and interacting with human characters in realistic settings. While Mickey and Goofy were drawn in the usual "cartoony" style by Paul Murry, the other characters and backgrounds were done by Dan Spiegle in a realistic manner. Comic book historian Michael Barrier dubbed it an aesthetic failure in a contemporary review.

By the 1970s, contents of the Mickey Mouse title mostly consisted of the reprinting of earlier stories, sometimes from Walt Disney's Comics and Stories or other Disney publications. The average paid circulation between September 1969 and September 1970, when the comic was published six times a year, and cost 15 cents, was 223,396, whereas in 1960 the figure stood at 568,803.


MickeyMouse issue 244

Gladstone published issue #244 as a special 100-page issue for Mickey's 60th birthday.

Gladstone Publishing assumed publication of Mickey Mouse in 1986, still publishing reprints, primarily of story arcs from the newspaper comic, but which were recolored, taking advantage of more modern inking and printing techniques. Stories from foreign Walt Disney comic books were also translated and included. Issues contained a description of the source of each story, and gave credit to the writers and artists by name — which had not previously been done. Letters to the editor often provided additional story background.

Although the circulation of Mickey Mouse had declined for years, especially compared to Uncle Scrooge, in 1987 Gladstone said it had become their top-selling title. Even so, in late 1987 Gladstone announced they were cutting all their publications back to eight issues per year (because comics sell less well in fall and winter). The cover price went from 75 cents to 95 cents in 1987. Gladstone published many of Gottfredson's Mickey stories that had never been reprinted since the 1930s or 1940s.

Mickey Mouse ceased publication in 1990, with issue #256, when Gladstone lost their license to publish Disney comics. When Gladstone obtained the license again in 1993, they oddly did not resume the Mickey Mouse title.

Publication hiatus

Main article: Mickey Mouse Adventures

From 1990 to 2003, the regular Mickey Mouse comic was not published in the United States. However, from 1990 to 1991, a similar comic book, Mickey Mouse Adventures, was published by Disney's then-new comic book imprint, Disney Comics; however, the title only lasted 18 issues before being cancelled due to the Disney Comics Implosion.

In the summer of 1992, a new 3-issue Mickey Mouse comic arc, titled "Space Mickey and the Throgg Ray Wars", was printed in consecutive issues of Disney Adventures from July to September of 1992. The next year, just a few months after Disney Comics was shut down, a two-part Perils of Mickey adventure, "Return to Blaggard Castle/Shadows of the Past", by writer David Cody Weiss and artist Stephen DeStefano, was published in two consecutive issues of Disney Adventures in August and September. This story was a direct sequel to the 1932 Floyd Gottfredson story, "Blaggard Castle", and featured a return to the classic Mickey Mouse art style. The story was reprinted in Mickey Mouse: The Floyd Gottfredson Library - Volume 2: Trapped on Treasure Island.


MickeyMouseAndFriends issue 269

Issue #269 (September 2004) featured the first (and currently only) American printing of the Runaway Brain comic adaptation.

In 2003, Gemstone Publishing was granted the license for Disney's classic comic book characters. Mickey Mouse, after thirteen years off the market, was relaunched under the expanded title of Mickey Mouse and Friends, continuing the original numbering from #257. The printing of Mickey Mouse and Friends was now in high quality, and the cost was $2.95. Similar to Gladstone's practice, most advertising in the issues was for Gemstone's own products.

Gemstone also took over publication of Mickey Mouse Adventures, converting it to a digest, and announcing that it was the first "Disney-controlled" comic publication in Disney comics' 55-year history that had not been not licensed to other publishers such as Dell, Gold Key and Gladstone.

In 2006, Gemstone ceased publication of both Mickey Mouse Adventures and Mickey Mouse and Friends (along with several non-Mickey titles), leaving WDC&S as the only outlet for Mickey Mouse comic book stories in the United States for the next few years.

Boom! Kids

In October 2009, Boom! Studios, who had already been publishing monthly comics based on The Muppets and the Pixar films, assumed the comic book license for Disney's standard cartoon characters and resumed publication of both Mickey Mouse and Friends and Walt Disney's Comics and Stories under their Boom! Kids imprint (later renamed Kaboom!), continuing the original issue numbering. The comic would contain recent stories originally created in Europe and translated to English.

Boom! began their run of Mickey Mouse and Friends by serializing the multi-part Italian Wizards of Mickey epic in issues #296-299. According to a Boom! Studios press release, their first issue of Mickey Mouse and Friends sold out immediately upon release. However, Boom! then put the series on hiatus after issue #299 for several months and spun the Wizards saga off into its own title, which lasted only eight issues. (To date, there have been many Wizards of Mickey sagas produced and published in Italy, most yet unpublished in the USA.) After the cancellation of the Wizards title, the 300th Mickey Mouse and Friends issue was finally published in September 2010, at which point the series returned to featuring a mixture of new-to-the-US and vintage stories set in Mickey's everyday life.

Boom!'s first five issues of Mickey Mouse and Friends, like their other Disney titles, each came in at least three different variant covers. Likely due to it not helping sales, each issue from #301 onward was only printed with a single cover design, with the exception of issue #304. The comic also reverted to its original title at issue #304.

Unfortunately, in 2011, due to their earlier acquisition of Marvel Entertainment, coupled with The Incredibles comic book having been cancelled on a cliffhanger the previous year, Disney opted not to renew their license with Boom! Studios, resulting in all of Boom!'s Disney comics, including Mickey Mouse, ceasing publication. Boom!'s final Mickey Mouse issue was #309, which printed the first half of Romano Scarpa's "The Treasure of Marco Topo" (the second half of the story was printed in Boom!'s final Walt's Disney Comics and Stories issue, published just a week later).


Mickey Mouse Comic 1 Cover 3

IDW's first issue had a special variant cover by Derek Charm, celebrating Disneyland's 60th anniversary. (Pictured here is the solicited version; the finalized version can be seen in the gallery linked below.)

On October 8, 2014, IDW Publishing announced that they would be bringing Disney comics back to print in 2015.[1] It was later announced that their first issue of Mickey Mouse would be published on June 3, 2015; however, it was then pushed back to July 24th and was eventually released on July 1st.[2] Like with Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck, IDW's issues of Mickey Mouse uses a dual-numbering system that counts both how many issues IDW itself has published and what number issue it is in total for the series (for instance, the first IDW-published issue was billed as "#1 (#310)"). As with IDW's other Disney books, each issue also has at least two different covers, with at least one cover for each issue being themed around Disney theme park attractions.

Under IDW, the Mickey Mouse comic is currently taking another temporary hiatus from July to October 2016, during which IDW is publishing a four-issue mini-series adapting Paul Rudish's Mickey Mouse TV shorts.

Publication history summary

Publisher Run Issues published
Dell Comics 1941-July 1962 #1-84
Gold Key Comics November 1962–February 1980 #85-204
Whitman April 1980–1984 #205-218
Gladstone Publishing July 1986–January 2, 1990 #219-#256
Gemstone Publishing September 18, 2003–December 2006 #257-295
Boom! Studios September 30, 2009–June 15, 2011 #296-309
IDW Publishing July 2015–present #310-

Cover gallery

Main article: Mickey Mouse (comic book)/Cover Gallery


  1. IDW Publishing news: IDW to Produce Carl Barks Uncle Scrooge Artist's Edition and Other Landmark Editions
  2. IDW news: Monthly Disney Comics are back, from IDW!

Further reading

  • Barrier, Michael. "Mickey Mouse, Super Secret Agent." Fantasy Illustrated #6 (Sept. 1966); reprinted in Duckburg Times #16 (1982)
  • Torcivia, Joseph. Mickey Mouse Checklist. 1983, privately printed. Distributed as a supplement to Duckburg Times #17/18.

See also

External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Mickey Mouse (comic book). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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