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.
About the Author
David Gerstein is a comic book writer/editor and animation historian specializing in the Disney Standard Characters. His books include Mickey and the Gang: Classic Stories in Verse and Walt Disney TreasuresDisney Comics: 70 Years of Innovation. He lives in New York City, NY.
Gary Groth is the co-founder of The Comics Journal and Fantagraphics Books. He lives in Seattle.
What People are Saying About This
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.