The “Real” First Issue of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories

In the summer of 1935, Mickey Mouse Magazine began publication (there had been two previous giveaway titles bearing this name).  This magazine contained comic strip reprints, text pieces, games, puzzles and a lot of other fun content.  This title ran for 60 issues until volume 5, number 12 was published in September of 1940.

Mickey Mouse Magazine #1

In October of 1940, the month after Mickey Mouse Magazine ceased publication, the first issue of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories appeared on the newsstands.  This title was published by Dell and Gold Key into the 1980’s and by other publishers thereafter. 

Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #1

Although Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories originally contained mostly reprint material from the newspaper comic strips, issue #31 started a regular run of new Donald Duck material by Carl Barks.  The Donald Duck stories by Barks became a favorite of the readers and a mainstay of the title for many years.

Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #31

As noted above, most collectors don’t think of Mickey Mouse Magazine as a true comic book, and point to Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories as the first true continuously published Disney comic book of the Golden Age.  While it’s true that most issues of Mickey Mouse Magazine were not comic books in the true sense of the word, many collectors fail to recognize the significance of the final issue of this series.

Mickey Mouse Magazine #60

By the fall of 1940, there had been a comic book explosion of new titles of superhero and other genres.  Comic books were proving to be excellent sellers, so it made sense that Disney would convert Mickey Mouse Magazine to a comic book format.  They did just that with the final issue of the run; number 60 (volume 5, number 12) in September of 1940.  This issue had the same format as Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories #1 that came out a month later.  In this regard, Mickey Mouse Magazine #60 is in many ways the first issue of the new comic book that became Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories with the next issue.  While the first issue of the new title is highly sought after by collectors as the first issue of the run, the last issue of Mickey Mouse Magazine does not come very close in terms of value.  To be fair, issue #60 of Mickey Mouse Magazine commands a much higher price than any of the later issues of the title, but in my opinion it is under-appreciated as the first true Disney comic book in the style of Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories.

Posted in Golden Age Comics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Eisner’s 100th Birthday

The great Will Eisner would have been 100 years old yesterday, March 6, 2017.  Eisner was a comic book pioneer during the Golden Age of Comic Books and is known as the father of the graphic novel.  He is certainly one of the most important comic book creators.  Eisner created a large volume of work, but is best known for his creation of The Spirit (Denny Colt) who began appearing in weekly Sunday newspaper funny sections on June 2, 1940.  We covered the Spirit in the 12th episode of the Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast (audio to be uploaded soon).

Will Eisner at his drawing board

Posted in Golden Age Comics | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast Rewind – Episode 58

Now that I’ve been able to restore some of the podcasts (with the rest to come!), I thought I would periodically feature a previous episode.  So, here’s a podcast rewind to Episode 58 where I discuss the Superman and Batman team-ups from the Golden Age.  Enjoy!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Posted in Golden Age Comics | Leave a comment

Podcasts and Facebook for the Golden Age of Comic Books

It has been several years since I have updated the Golden Age of Comic Books Blog and produced any new podcasts.  As often happens, life gets in the way and other priorities push other things to the back burner.  This blog was been simmering back there, but not forgotten.

The Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast

Recently, I have received quite a few emails and messages asking about the old podcast recordings and whether they are still available.  Unfortunately, I ended my Libsyn account a long time ago, and this resulted in the feed being removed and the shows no longer available on iTunes and elsewhere.  The good news is that I have all of my original recordings backed up in the same format as when they were uploaded between 2005 and 2009.  I’ve given this a lot of thought, and decided to sign on with a new syndicator and re-post the old shows.  As you may recall (and as you can see from the Show Index tab), I did a total of 65 Golden Age of Comic Books episodes, all varying in length and file size.  I thought most of these shows had a lot to offer about the history of some really great Golden Age characters and titles, so I am glad that I can again share them on this blog and through iTunes.

So, starting in March of 2017, I have restored episodes 52 through 65 of the Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast.  You can simply go to the Show Index in the tab above and click on the link to any of these episodes.  The individual pages for episodes 52 through 65 have been updated with the new audio link.  You can listen to the episode from that page, or download it.  I have also re-registered the podcast with iTunes, so it should be available now.

My plan is to re-upload the remaining episodes over the next several months, depending on the monthly storage capacity of the syndicator.  I’m pretty sure I should have all episodes available by the middle of summer.  I’ll post to the blog each time I upload another batch of shows, so check back for more info.

Please note that the pages for the episodes that have not yet been re-uploaded are not updated and contain broken links to the audio feed and images.  I will repair each page as I get the episodes uploaded, so please pardon the mess on those pages while this remains a work in process.

A New Facebook Page for the Golden Age of Comic Books

I’m friends with many of you on Facebook and have always used my personal Facebook page to post about the blog and podcast happenings.  To make things a bit easier, I have created a Facebook page devoted only to the Golden Age of Comic Books Blog and Podcast.   As I plan to do some additional posting on the blog, and perhaps re-share some of the earlier podcasts and blog posts, the Facebook page will automatically receive these posts.  So, if you “like” the new Facebook page, you will also get notification every time I update the blog.  These updates will now also go out over my Twitter Feed, @goldenagecomics

As time goes by, I hope I will be able to find some time to post some interesting and enjoyable content on the blog.  I’m not making any promises as to the frequency of posts, but I would like to continue to share information about the Golden Age of Comic Books.



Posted in Golden Age Comics | 4 Comments

2017 Vintage DC Comics Calendar from Asgard Press

Once again, I am pleased that Asgard Press has asked me to be a part of the creative team for the 2017 Vintage DC Comics Calendar.   As in past years, the 2017 offering has some really terrific Golden Age and Silver Age DC Comics covers.  In addition to the covers, I have penned the monthly cover descriptions, which contain a lot of great historical information about the titles and characters. 

These calendars are environmentally friendly, having been printed on recycled paper with soy ink.  Each cover is perforated for easy removal from the calendar and suitable for framing.  They are perfect for your comic book themed room!

Asgard Press has a large number of other cool items on their website, including a 2017 Marvel Comics Calendar, so check out all they have to offer!  You won’t be disappointed.

Posted in Golden Age Comics | Tagged , , | Leave a comment