Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Color Sundays Volume 1: Call of the Wild
After putting out four volumes reprinting the historic Mickey Mouse newspaper strip, focusing on the black-and-white daily adventures of the spunky mouse, Fantagraphics begins collecting the color Sunday comics in Call of the Wild. (Note that back then, in the early 1930s, the Sunday comics ran different stories from the dailies, so the books can be separated in this fashion.)
As is typical of their archive projects, there’s a good amount of historical information available here, from an introductory foreword explaining the history of the Sunday strip to an appreciation by artist Kevin Huizenga. Each major section of the comic has its own introduction putting what we read into context, and the back of the book has rare comics and art samples.
I enjoy the black-and-whites a bit more than these, since I like the adventures and outrageous escapism. The comics here are sillier, more focused on comedy, with more slapstick gags (probably to make them more like the early cartoons). Mickey shows off for Minnie or fools around with his dog Pluto. He tries to outwit the dogcatcher or babysits his troublesome nephews (an activity that often frustrates him so much he ties the kids up!). He visits a dude ranch with Clarabelle, Horace, and Dippy Dog (later to become Goofy); the gang also goes camping. Later on, Donald makes an appearance, dragging Mickey into more trouble.
The lighter approach makes this book a better choice to share with your young ones. They should love the timeless highjinks of the mouse and his friends. And anyone can appreciate the skilled cartooning and astounding art, so well-done it almost seems to move on paper. (The publisher provided a review copy.)