Walt Disney's Comics and Stories
|Walt Disney's Comics and Stories|
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #699, Boom! Kids
Gold Key Comics
Boom Kids! (Boom! Studios)
|Publication date||1940 – present|
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories, sometimes abbreviated WDC or WDC&S, is an American anthology comic book series featuring an assortment of Disney characters, including Donald Duck, Scrooge McDuck, Mickey Mouse, Chip 'n Dale, Li'l Bad Wolf, Scamp, Bucky Bug, Grandma Duck, Brer Rabbit, Winnie the Pooh, and others. With more than 700 issues, Walt Disney's Comics & Stories is the longest-running Disney comic book in the United States, making it the flagship title, and it's regarded as one of the best-selling comic books of all time.
The book was originally published by Dell Comics (1940-1962), and there have been many revivals over the years, continuing the same legacy numbering. The revivals have been published by Gold Key Comics (1962–1984), Gladstone Publishing (1986–1990), Disney Comics (1990–1993), back to Gladstone Publishing (1993–1999), Gemstone Publishing (2003-2008), Boom! Studios (2009-2011) and IDW Publishing (2015-present).
The precursor to WDC was Mickey Mouse Magazine, published in several incarnations from 1933 to 1940. WDC itself was launched by Dell in October 1940, and initially consisted of reprints taken from the Disney comic strips Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony reformatted for comic books and colored. The first original story created for WDC was The Flying Gauchito illustrated by Walt Kelly in #24 (Aug. 1942); the story was adapted as a cartoon short included in The Three Caballeros, released in 1944.
While the issues are now referred to with sequential numbers, the format for the first ten years of the comic was to use the volume and number. For example, issue #100 (Jan 1949) was labeled "Vol. 9 No. 4". The title started using whole numbers with issue #124, in January 1951.
The comic's anthology format usually began with a 10-page story featuring Donald Duck and for most of the run ended with a serial or single story featuring Mickey Mouse. The most popular issues featured the Donald Duck 10-pagers written and drawn by Carl Barks, who began the run with issue # 31 (April 1943). Barks stopped producing original stories after issue #312 (September 1966), but his stories have been continually reprinted up to the present. Almost all of these stories co-starred Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie, with frequent guest appearances by Barks' creation Uncle Scrooge, as well as the Beagle Boys, Gyro Gearloose, and Gladstone Gander.
Bucky Bug stories began in issue #20 (May 1942) with a series of newspaper reprints from the Silly Symphony comic strip; original Bucky stories started later, in issue #39 (December 1943). Bucky stories were monthly through 1950; were not seen for several decades, then returned on an occasional basis from 1988 to the present, with a mixture of old and new material.
Li'l Bad Wolf stories began in issue #52 (January 1945) and remained a regular feature for more than ten years, continuing to appear in the majority of issues even after the continuous run stopped. Carl Buettner (1945–1946), Gil Turner (1948–1956), and Dick Matena (2005–2008) are generally regarded as the most notable Wolf creators featured in the title. More recently (2003–present), Big Bad Wolf has often supplanted his son as title character of the stories.
Many 1940s issues featured Mickey Mouse serials by Floyd Gottfredson which were reprinted from newspaper daily comic strips; later Paul Murry took over drawing original Mickey Mouse serials, with stories written by Carl Fallberg and Don Christensen among others. The 1980s saw numerous Murry reprints; the 1990s and more recent times have seen new Mickey Mouse stories written by Noel Van Horn and drawn by Cesar Ferioli, as well as some Gottfredson serials not previously anthologized in comic book format.
By the mid-1950s the title was the best selling comic book in the United States, with a monthly circulation of over three million. Mark Evanier describes the high circulation as the product of "an aggressive subscription push."  Various premiums were offered for new subscribers, including a mini-poster attributed to Walt Kelly advertised on the back cover of WDC&S #100 from January 1949.
In many 1980s issues, as well as scattered issues from 2006 onward, new Daan Jippes and/or Freddy Milton Donald Duck stories lead off the title. Issues #523, 524, 526, 528, 531, and 547 (all 1987–1990) featured lead-off stories drawn (and usually written) by Don Rosa, while most issues from 1993–2005 featured lead-offs by William Van Horn.
Walt Disney's Comics and Stories has been the longest running Disney-based comic book in history, making it their flagship title. After reaching its 600th issue, it converted to prestige format and remained that way until the end of Gemstone Publishing's run at issue #698.
Boom Studios published the title from 2009 until 2011 (issues #699 to #720).
IDW Publishing began publishing the comic in July 2015, continuing the number sequence from #721. IDW's last issue of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories was #743, published in September 2018. At that point, IDW renamed the title to Disney Comics and Stories, restarting the numbering from #1, but also keeping the legacy numbering (#744), which appears in the indicia in the contents page . Some of the title's run has been collected in the Timeless Tales collection. IDW has been publishing the new title on an approximately bimonthly schedule, with #7 coming out in September 2019.
The publishers of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories have been:
- Dell Comics (Oct 1940 – Aug 1962) #1–263
- Gold Key Comics (Sept 1962 – 1984) #264–510
- Gladstone Publishing (Oct 1986 – April 1990) #511–547
- Disney Comics (June 1990 – July 1993) #548–585
- Gladstone Publishing (Aug 1993 – Feb 1999) #586–633
- Gemstone Publishing (June 2003 – November 2008) #634–698
- Boom Kids! (Boom! Studios) (September 2009 – June 2011) #699–720
- IDW Publishing (July 2015 – present) #721 - present
The first issue of Walt Disney's Comics and Stories sold 252,000 copies. By issue #23 (August 1942), the comic was printing 1,000,000 copies per issue. They reached 2 million copies by issue #66 (March 1946) and 3 million by issue #131 (August 1951). The magazine hit its peak at 3,115,000 copies of issue #144 (September 1952).
- Disney comics in the USA (general overview)
- Notable Disney comics titles in the USA:
- De Wolf, Arthur. "The popularity of Disney comics and magazines around the world". Disney Comics Worldwide. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Disney Comics History, 1930–1984 by David Gerstein
- "Walt Disney's Comics and Stories #100". Inducks. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Miller, John Jackson. "Where did comics numbering come from?". Comichron. Retrieved 2 August 2019.
- Willits, Malcolm. "Interview with George Sherman". Vanguard 1968, reprinted in Duckburg Times #12 (1981).
- "Christmas Comics". Newsfromme.com. Retrieved 2011-08-01.
- Stephen Gerding (21 January 2015). "IDW KICKS OFF NEW MONTHLY DISNEY LINE IN APRIL WITH "UNCLE SCROOGE" #1". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 23 January 2015.
- Preview of issue #1(744)
- "Disney Comics and Stories #7". ComiXology. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- "US: Walt Disney's Comics and Stories". Inducks.org. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
- Munsey, Cecil (1974). Disneyana: Walt Disney Collectibles. NY: Hawthorn Books. p. 151. ISBN 0801521386.