Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #191: Mickey's Craziest Adventures by Lewis Trondheim and Nicolas Keramidas

Let's say there was a little-known Disney comic: Walt Disney's Comics and Stories: Mickey's Quest, which was published somewhere obscure for most of the 1960s and entirely forgotten since then. And let's say there was a serial in that comic, called "Mickey's Craziest Adventures," a single page a month for almost that entire decade, with an ongoing story of a crazy caper involving Mickey and Donald and their supporting casts.

We can say all of that.

It's not true, though it seems like it could be. Writer Lewis Trondheim and artist Nicolas Keramidas are telling that story here -- "re-presenting" the "surviving" forty-four of the original eighty-two pages of that serial. But Mickey's Craziest Adventures is actually by the two of them, it was actually created new this century, and all of the "missing pages" are gaps because this is the way they wanted to tell and present the story.

Telling roughly half of a story that's already designed to be madcap and full of random zany adventures does make it even faster-paced and more random, obviously. That would be the point. Trondheim and Keramidas want to make some moments, and vaguely sketch the larger shape of an already pretty shaggy-dog plot, and not worry about how it all fits together and whether any of it makes sense.

So Pegleg Pete and the Beagle Boys team up, first to steal a new shrink ray that Gyro Gearloose has invented, and then to use that ray to shrink and steal Uncle Scrooge's fortune. (This all happens off the page, and is discovered afterward -- even in the "full" version of the story that doesn't exist. Trondheim is making this an story that bounces from one moment of high action or comedy to another, and then leaving out half of those moments.) Mickey and Donald set out after them, through jungles and oceans and deserts and snowy mountains and the moon, usually being chased by something large and hungry. In the end, they retrieve the fortune and capture the villains -- without a lot of fuss, and mostly by happenstance.

What we have here are forty-four comics pages, full of running around crazily, with funny dialogue and cartoonish monsters, drawn lovingly by Keramidas and given a pseudo-aged Ben-Day dots look by colorist Bridgette Findakly. Every page is zany and fun.

If you're hoping for a single coherent story, though, you will be disappointed: that's not what Mickey's Craziest Adventures is here to provide. If you want forty-four crazy pages of Trondheim and Keramidas, you are in luck.

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