Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse

Of all Mickey Mouse comic strip artists, Floyd Gottfredson is certainly the best-known and most influential. He drew the daily newspaper strip from 1930 to 1975. The early years are now being published by Fantagraphics Books (who are also busy with bringing us The Complete Peanuts and The Complete Carl Barks Library) at a rate of two approx. 280-page volumes per year. The final number is not known at this point. At the time of writing, five have been published, with a sixth announced.

I have read the first two volumes, Race to Death Valley and Trapped on Treasure Island. I must admit that I struggled at first. The early stories aren’t very refined, and the pacing (since it is a newspaper strip, the first panel often recaps what has happened the previous day) is slow until you start skipping over the recap. I went through the second volume much quicker than through the first, and thoroughly enjoyed Mickey the Mail Pilot, my favorite story contained in these two books.

The production (paper, printing, and additional material) is top-notch, and the price of approx. US$30/€25 is very fair, especially when compared to many comics with much lower page count. The slow pace of two volumes a year makes it easy to keep up without taking a second mortgage.

In my opinion, this series is a must-have not only for Disney enthusiasts, but for anyone with a serious interest in comic strips. This is one that defined the genre.