One of the titles I completely ignored as a young lad was Walt Disney Showcase. That was a shame, as I later learned that this series contained some wonderful material, including some Golden Age rarities, many of which can be found for under $5. In this column, I highlight some of the real hidden gems.
Of all of the books I will feature here, Walt Disney Showcase #28 (April, 1975) will probably cost you the prettiest penny. As you likely know, Song of the South is no longer available and, as a result, it seems that all things linked to that film are in high demand. This particular book is still a little under the radar, so the price will likely be reasonable if and when you find it. Aside from the Brer Rabbit story, there is also Bucky Bug story originally published in 1945.
Dell published some amazing adaptations of the Disney animated feature films, and many of them were reprinted in this series. You would do well to start with the Pinocchio adaptation in Walt Disney Showcase #48 (January, 1979). Why this one? Well for starters, the 35 page adaptation was drawn by none other than Walt Kelly back in 1946. In addition, there’s also a Jiminy Cricket solo story from 1960.
Not every issue of this series was a reprint, as many of Disney’s live action films were adapted for the four color world. Walt Disney Showcase #14 (April, 1973) is a fun example of these adaptations. The World’s Greatest Athlete is a silly, silly movie starring a super young Jan Michael Vincent as a Tarzan clone. Who better to draw this feature than Dan Spiegle, as he had plenty of experience in the world of ERB, drawing Korak, Son of Tarzan. There’s plenty of Spiegle magic sprinkled throughout this series.
Alex Toth fans take note: Walt Disney Showcase #34 (February, 1976) reprints the Paul Revere story from Four Color #822 (August, 1957). This is 32 pages of Toth gold. I truly feature that much of his best work was done for Dell during the 50s, and this is no exception. The original is still relatively inexpensive, but the reprint seems to be readily available for a few bucks.
Carl Barks fans take note: there’s a good sampling of the Duck Man’s stuff in this series. Walt Disney Showcase #30 (July, 1975) is a prime example. I always find these early references to the ‘Collectors’ market to be quite fascinating. This book features The Midas Touch from Uncle Scrooge #36 (December, 1961) and Ten Cent Valentine from Walt Disney Comics and Stories #258 (March, 1962).
The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh is one of the best remembered of any Disney live action production. When the DVD was released a few years ago, it sold out in a matter of weeks. Gold Key produced an adaptation in the 60s, and the first issue is reprinted here in Walt Disney Showcase #52 (November, 1979). There is more great Dan Spiegle artwork here, and the issue includes a Tales of Texas John Slaughter back-up story from 1959.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks. There’s plenty of more high quality stuff in this series so keep your eyes open next time you are flipping through a bargain bin. You never know what treasures might be in store. For more comic book chit chat, visit my blog at Seduction of the Indifferent