Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #672
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Deep Un-Pact and other stories
Donald Duck and Neighbor Jones’ feud goes to new heights of destruction.
Writer: Daan Jippes, Byron Erickson, F. Gottfredson, M. DeMaris, Pat & Carol McGreal, Bill Walsh, Gil Turner, Pat & Shelly Block
Art: Daan Jippes, F. Gottfredson, B. Wright, Tito Santanach, Paul Murry, Dick Moores, Gil Turner, Noel Van Horn, Santiago Scalabroni
Restoration “Love Trouble”: Ron Stark & S/R Labs
Colors: Egmont, Kneon Transitt, Marie Javins, Michael Kraiger, Barry Grossman
Letters: Willie Schubert, Todd Klein, Jon Babcock, Susie Lee
Cover Art: Daan Jippes
Publisher: Gemstone Comics
With a whopping seven stories this issue, Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories is giving us a lot of bang for our buck. Most of the stories, fortunately, are definitely strong entries in the Disney canon.
First up is Daan Jippes’ “Deep Un-Pact” (with English dialogue by Byron Erickson). Donald Duck’s eons-old feud with Neighbor Jones gets ratcheted up this issue when Donald finds out Jones’ land is sitting over a long-lost bomb, and the slightest tremor could set it off. Donald gets caught between continuing his fight with the neighbor and trying to protect both of their homes. Neighbor Jones has never really reached the popularity of villains like Pete or Magica DeSpell (at least not in America), but I’ve always enjoyed his stories as featuring Donald at his purest. He’s temperamental, over-the-top and just funny – as Donald should be. This issue is a great example of that.
Next is the third and final installment of Floyd Gottfredson’s “Love Trouble” serial, taken from the Mickey Mouse newspaper strips of 1941. When Minnie began dating Montmorency Rodent in an effort to make Mickey jealous, he retaliated by taking up with the new socialite in town, Millicent Van Gilt-Mouse. The two couples are fated to meet at the party of the year, and each has plans for the other. This is a really strong story, funny and very much in keeping with the classic feel of the characters. This last batch of strips didn’t suffer as badly from the repetition of the newspaper format as the second installment did, which makes for a smoother read. The story concludes in as satisfactory a fashion as it would had it been intended as a self-contained story rather than a sequence in an ongoing newspaper strip. Overall, it’s a good strip.
Following in the love theme, Donald and Daisy star in our next story, Pat and Carol McGreal and Tito Santanach’s “A Date With Daisy.” Tired of being taken for granted, Daisy makes up an imaginary suitor to make Donald jealous. Her plan backfires, though, in a pretty amusing romantic entanglement.
“Onerous Odor” is a decent – if not memorable – Panchito one-pager by Bill Walsh, Paul Murry and Dick Moores, and it’s followed up by a Gil Turner Lil’ Bad Wolf story, “Lamb Chaps.” Panchito’s date preparations gone awry and Lil’ Bad’s newest effort to teach his father a lesson are both just okay.
“Reverting Raptors” by Pat and Carol McGreal is a good follow-up to a Mickey Mouse story from the Gladstone Comics days. Mickey visits a scientist friend and a pair of vegetarian Velociraptor clones that are about to launch into a new modeling career. When the raptors appear to begin reverting back to their carnivorous ways, though, Mickey’s got to reign them in. The story is good and the artwork, by Noel Van Horn (son of the Disney legend William Van Horn) is just dandy.
The issue ends with the very cute “Believe!”, a Donald story by Pat and Shelly Block and Santiago Scalabroni. Donald gets frustrated with the boys as they try to chase a rainbow for the pot of gold at the end, blurting out that there is no such thing. His sourpuss attitude puts him under the gun when a real fairy shows up to prove to him that magic exists after all.
The Neighbor Jones story and the Gottfredson strips stand out as the best of this issue’s offerings, but it’s pretty strong overall.