IDW has been publishing Disney comics from Italian creators since April 2015. The new line is from the French publisher Glenat and will feature French creators' takes on the classic characters, with Mickey Mouse being the most prominent.
The first title is "Mickey's Craziest Adventures," by Lewis Trondheim and Nicolas Keramidas, which is billed as a purported "lost" American Mickey Mouse comic that was produced in the 1960s and scuttled because it was "a little too crazy to publish," according to David Gerstein, the co-editor of the series. In fact, the comic was just released last month in France -- with the same English title. It will be published in September as a full-color, 48-page hardcover, with a 9" x 12" trim size, for $14.99.
Trondheim is the creator of "A.L.I.E.E.E.N." and "Tiny Tyrant" (both published by First Second) and "McConey" (Fantagraphics), and the co-creator, with Joann Sfar, of "Dungeon: Monstres" (published by NBM). Keramides is the artist for "Luuna," which won the youth prize at the 2004 Angouleme International Comics Festival; several volumes were published in English by Tokyopop in the late 2000s.
Trondheim grew up with the work of classic Mickey Mouse cartoonist Floyd Gottfriedson, Gerstein told CBR.
"He [Trondheim] took the approach of creating a mythical, lost 1960s story as a means of recapturing a nostalgic ambience and a classic-style big-adventure flavor," Gerstein said. "But as Trondheim said in a recent interview, 'at the same time, the art [in "Mickey's Craziest Adventures"] is clearly that of Keramidas, and it's my style of writing -- with my way of being a little cynical at times.'"
"I'm pleased to say that 'Mickey's Craziest Adventures' lives up to its name as a rip-roaring, genuinely exciting adventure," Gerstein said. "This is still the Mickey who can plunge breathlessly through a steaming jungle and go mano a mano with Peg-Leg Pete like no one else. But the story is more than 'just' an adventure: as conceived by Trondheim and Keramidas, it's also an experimental work. Still pretending that it's a long-lost 1960s tale, 'Craziest Adventure' comes to us with parts of the storyline 'still missing' -- for a disjointed flavor that itself affects the plot."
While no other titles have been announced yet, the French comics are very different from the familiar Disney fare currently available in English, Gerstein said. "There's an overwhelmingly cinematic flavor to the Glenat Disney comics: a feeling of thoughtful pacing and introspection, of dialogue drifting in and out at leisure; and I think all of this is entirely possible due to the extended length of the stories," he said. "That's a luxury that very few traditional American and Northern European-produced Disney comics have had since World War II."
"In my experience, only Italy has experimented with cinematic flavor and extended length to this degree, and largely in stories that have never been published stateside," Gerstein continued. "So this kind of content from Trondheim and others will seem even fresher to us than it does in Europe."
More details on IDW's latest Disney initiative is set to be revealed today at 4 p.m. at ECCC's "IDW: Kids Comics & More!" panel.