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Scott’s Classic Comics Corner: Showcasing Some Disney Bargains

One of the titles I completely ignored as a young lad was Walt Disney Showcase. That was a shame, as I later learned that this series contained some wonderful material, including some Golden Age rarities, many of which can be found for under $5. In this column, I highlight some of the real hidden gems.

Of all of the books I will feature here, Walt Disney Showcase #28 (April, 1975) will probably cost you the prettiest penny. As you likely know, Song of the South is no longer available and, as a result, it seems that all things linked to that film are in high demand. This particular book is still a little under the radar, so the price will likely be reasonable if and when you find it. Aside from the Brer Rabbit story, there is also Bucky Bug story originally published in 1945.

Dell published some amazing adaptations of the Disney animated feature films, and many of them were reprinted in this series. You would do well to start with the Pinocchio adaptation in Walt Disney Showcase #48 (January, 1979). Why this one? Well for starters, the 35 page adaptation was drawn by none other than Walt Kelly back in 1946. In addition, there’s also a Jiminy Cricket solo story from 1960.

Not every issue of this series was a reprint, as many of Disney’s live action films were adapted for the four color world. Walt Disney Showcase #14 (April, 1973) is a fun example of these adaptations. The World’s Greatest Athlete is a silly, silly movie starring a super young Jan Michael Vincent as a Tarzan clone. Who better to draw this feature than Dan Spiegle, as he had plenty of experience in the world of ERB, drawing Korak, Son of Tarzan. There’s plenty of Spiegle magic sprinkled throughout this series.

Alex Toth fans take note: Walt Disney Showcase #34 (February, 1976) reprints the Paul Revere story from Four Color #822 (August, 1957). This is 32 pages of Toth gold. I truly feature that much of his best work was done for Dell during the 50s, and this is no exception. The original is still relatively inexpensive, but the reprint seems to be readily available for a few bucks.

Carl Barks fans take note: there’s a good sampling of the Duck Man’s stuff in this series. Walt Disney Showcase #30 (July, 1975) is a prime example. I always find these early references to the ‘Collectors’ market to be quite fascinating. This book features The Midas Touch from Uncle Scrooge #36 (December, 1961) and Ten Cent Valentine from Walt Disney Comics and Stories #258 (March, 1962).

The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is one of the best remembered of any Disney live action production. When the DVD was released a few years ago, it sold out in a matter of weeks. Gold Key produced an adaptation in the 60s, and the first issue is reprinted here in Walt Disney Showcase #52 (November, 1979). There is more great Dan Spiegle artwork here, and the issue includes a Tales of Texas John Slaughter back-up story from 1959.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. There’s plenty of more high quality stuff in this series so keep your eyes open next time you are flipping through a bargain bin. You never know what treasures might be in store. For more comic book chit chat, visit my blog at Seduction of the Indifferent

7 Comments

Man, I’d forgetten all about Magica de Spell. She was awesome.

And yeah, Walt Kelly on Pinocchio? That’s pretty darned tempting.

Long time no see in these parts Scott!
I love your suggestions.
Spiegle, Toth, Barks, Kelly… great creators all.
I wish i own that Scarecrow dvd set.
It’s one of the most pricey of the WD Treasure collection.
I wish we could see another printing of that dvd set (not going to happen I know…)
Or better yet, a complete set with all episodes (I think the DVD set had only 3 episodes!)

These are quite nice – I think there’s an all Gyro Gearloose issue all done by Carl Barks as well which can be found at reasonable prices. And I’m finding myself really wanting that Paul Revere issue…
The Showcases also bring to mind Gold Key’s Walt Disney Comics Digests; the earlier issues from the late 1960s usually go for rather hefty prices, but recently I discovered that many of the editions from the mid-1970s can be found rather inexpensively (if you don’t need them to be in pristine condition). About 2 months ago I found a copy of #44 (featuring four classic Donald Duck stories by Barks) for little less than $5.

Travis Pelkie

July 13, 2011 at 7:00 am

Edo brought up the Digests, which are something I have a bunch of that my dad and his brothers had when they were kids in the 60s and 70s. I grew up reading those, and that’s great stuff.

That Paul Revere’s Ride issue is a massive nostalgia rush. I remember owning that as a six year-old in 1976 in the middle of the American Bicentennial hype which was palpable then, even for a Canadian growing up in a suburb outside Toronto!

I never heard of the Scarecrow of Romny Marsh but if the movie is anywhere near as cool looking as that comic cover it must be awesome. I’m going to look for it.

Disney used to do some great live action stuff, especially in movies, but now it seems like they just do really bad MTV-style tween franchises.

Dark Satanic Hayley Mills

July 15, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Great suggestions … this is one of my favourite columns.

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