One of my favorite memories from growing up is sitting around the house watching cartoons and classic Disney cartoons were always part of the mix (granted, that’s what I still do now as an adult, but that’s not the point). Of course, pound for pound, Looney Tunes were easily the funnier of the two, but the more innocent Disney shorts always had its fair share of hilarious episodes that still make me laugh today. The essence of those shorts have made a perfect transition to comic book form for decades now, and IDW is doing its part to bring Disney comics to us from other countries so that we can enjoy them when we otherwise probably never would have. They are collected in the ongoing Walt Disney Showcase series and the most recent issue, #4, focuses on our favorite anthropomorphic dog, Goofy… but the word “focus” maybe a bit of a stretch.
Split into two separate stories originally appearing in Italian comics in 2003 and 2012, both appear in English for the first time ever. Of the two, the second story is easily the better one. Both include Goofy’s ridiculous cousin, Arizona Goof (an obvious riff on Indiana Jones), but the first story focuses almost exclusively on him and a weird alien named Eega Beeva (yeah, I don’t know either) while leaving Goofy himself sidelined for most of the story. I don’t know about you, but when I read a Goofy comic book, I want to read about Goofy, not his annoying cousin of whom I know nothing about. Eega Beeva is not a great character either as he starts every other word with the letter “P” for some reason and it makes reading his dialogue confusing and frustrating. The story itself revolves around Arizona and Eega flying through space in an attempt to figure out what’s wrong with Eega’s pants’ pocket. No kidding; that’s what it’s about.
The second story is much better and it reminds me of the episodes I used to watch. It has Arizona Goof in it, but he only makes a couple appearances as the comic consists mostly of the video that he’s watching on Goofy’s social media account, which is called Mousebook, of course! Now, that alone gives this story higher marks for me. It’s a bit surreal to imagine Goofy having a social media presence, but it’s also perfectly hilarious. The video that’s being watched is centered around Goofy telling a story about his quest for some peace and quiet, his inability to find it, and his horror as he realizes he locked a poor squirrel in his attic before he left town. We get some great sight gags in this one as well as an appearance of some classic Disney characters. The entire comic turns out to be a comedy of errors and it evokes the essence of those wonderful Disney shorts that used to come on the Disney Channel before they decided to only air execrable live action garbage.
If the entirety of Walt Disney Showcase #4 had consisted solely of the second comic, then it would get much higher marks from me, but both comics do, unfortunately, suffer from one sticking point and that is that Goofy plays the straight man in both stories. Goofy is a great character, but one thing he is not is the most level headed guy (dog?) in the room. However, in this issue, he is the only character that displays any competence. When Goofy is the clearest thinking guy in your comic book, then you’ve missed the point of Goofy just a little bit.
Artwork is just fine, but that’s really it. Both stories are illustrated by different individuals, but they are very similar and I would have assumed it was the same artist had I not known better. Characters and backgrounds are severely stylized, even for a comic based on a cartoon, and I would have liked a little more restraint and attempt at the classic Disney design aesthetics.
Well, if you’re reading this, then you’re probably, like me, a big classic Disney cartoon fan. I love the idea of IDW’s Walt Disney Showcase and I can’t wait to read more, but this issue was a let down. It failed to capture the essence of the characters properly and it focused too much on characters we don’t know (or care) that much about. The second story saved the whole thing from being a total loss, but I’m hoping for better all around for issue #5.
For what it’s worth though, one of Goofy’s videos on his Mousebook page is entitled “Crimes of Passion.” I REALLY want to know what the heck that is.
- The Second Half of the Book
- Goofy Has a Social Media Account
- Charmingly Nostalgic
- The First Half of the Book
- Side Characters Take Center Stage
- Goofy Plays the Straight Man