Nov 3, 2016

Mickey and Goofy, the Gay Couple of "Walt Disney's Comics and Stories"

Way to feel old.  In 2016, I bought the 75 Anniversary Edition of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, the flagship of the Disney comics empire.

I bought the 50th Anniversary Edition in 1991.

And I was five years old when the 25th Anniversary Edition was published in 1966 (I bought it much later).

When I was a kid, I loved the Disney Donald Duck and Uncle Scrooge titles, with the ducks adventuring in exotic locales, in search of the Mines of King Solomon or the lost crown of Genghis Khan.

But I had no use for Walt Disney's Comics and Stories.

There was always a Duck cover, and the first story starred Donald Duck, but it was a slapstick comedy, not an adventure.

Then several stories involving minor Disney characters adapted from movies that came out before I was born:

1. The Little Bad Wolf, a "Casper the Friendly Ghost" who butted heads with his single father, Zeke, aka the Big Bad Wolf from The Three Little Pigs (1933).  Neither father nor son expressed any interest in girls, so that was a glimmer of gay subtext, anyway.  But also:

2. The patois-speaking Indian from Little Hiawatha (1937).  Offensive even for a 10 year old in 1970.

3. Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio (1940).  Who?

4. Scamp, the son of the two dogs who got together in Lady and the Tramp (1955).  He was rascally, adventurous, a gender-stereotyped "boy," with sisters who were gender-stereotyped sissy "girls."  Offensive even for a 10-year old in 1970.

Then a text story, unreadable, just so they could ship the comic books at book rates.

But the worst was the last feature, a serial by artist Paul Murray (1911-1989) that paired Mickey Mouse and Goofy.  They were usually detectives trying to solve a crime with science fiction elements, though there were also outer-space and historical stories.

The problem was, I never could read a serial straight through.  Buying comic books was always a gamble, based on what Schneider's stocked, what was left by the time I got there, and how much money I had.  There was never an opportunity to buy the same title several months in a row, so instead I always arrived in media res, or in time for "the ghost was really your disgruntled assistant" Scooby wrap-up.

November 1968: "The River Pirates," Part 3.
March 1969: "The Secret of Shipnabber's Cove," Part 1.
September 1970: "The Sign of the Scorpion," Part 1.
February 1971: "The Mystery of the Counterfeit Masters," Part 3
September 1971: "The Viking Stone Mystery," Part 3
July 1972:  "Message in a Nutshell," Part 3
April 1973: "The Case of the Talking Tooth," Part 3.

There weren't a lot of women in the stories, that I could see, so you could read Mickey and Goofy as a gay couple.  But I never made the leap.  Goofy was too tall, gawky, and dopey to be a fantasy romantic partner when I could get Tarzan, Johnny Quest, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., David Cassidy, Peter Brady....

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