Mickey's buddies

jeanmarcbano jean-marc.bano at wanadoo.fr
Fri May 7 14:20:36 CEST 2004

One of the differences between the characters who populate Duckburg and on the other side Mickey is that the stories of the first ones are more oriented towards the personalities, the stories of Mickey are more focused on the intrigues (in general).
Here are some (not exhaustives) considerations about three Mickey's buddies: Floyd Gottfredson, Romano Scarpa, Paul Murry: 
Romano Scarpa and the Gottfredson alchemy: the Scarpa's story called 'l'ongle de Kali - Topolino e l'unghia di Kali 1958 - takes its roots from the phantom blot story: a mysterious villain steals a certain kind of records whereas in Gottfredson this is cameras; but the story of Scarpa pushes the envelope further by introducing some different elements: in 'Kali' the villain is already present at the very beginnning of the story and we already know his identity; this is not the case in the phantom blot where the villain is unmasked only at the end of the story; an another story which is inspired by Gottfredson is 'Mickey et la dimension Delata - Topolino e la dimensione Delta 1959 - the story is reminiscent of 'L'île volante aka Island in the sky' where we first meet Pr Mirandus alias Einmug alias Pr E.nigme, but the plot is different here; in fact the first half of the story is one of the best mysteries which has been written for Mickey; the second part (once the solution has been given away) is more conventional; the talent of Scarpa is to have created, in the first part of the story, an outstanding mystery by multiplicating the fake issues cleverly.
2 - 'Back to the past': treatment of time in 'Mickey empereur de Calidornie - Topolino imperatore della Calidornia 1961 - : an another important (and ambitious) story of Scarpa is 'Mickey empereur de Calidornie' -  Topolino imperatore della Calidornia: this story plays with the impossibility of a character to be what he seems to be (a perfect double, an accurate image of the infamous Kid Mickey) for many reasons: it can't be more than one Kid Mickey in the present in the town called 'Phantom-Ville' (curiously the name of the city is not Mickeyville -Mousetown - but Phantomville in the french translation of the story published in 1966 in Mickey Parade 723 bis); secondly the double of Kid Mickey is too perfect, even wearing the same three old beard than the original; the time in this story is structured in three parts: the first part takes place in 1880: this is the part of what has already been done, the nostalgia page of a past event; the part of the present is the part of the introspection: the investigation lead by the main characters (Mickey and Atominus aka Atomiinus) is going to re-build the past (but imperfectly)of what has already been done: this is the part of awareness of the past due to the events which take place; the third part: at the end of the story the time is lived by the protagonists in its rapidity (the burlesque end of the story when Mickey has just a few moments to live as an emperor of Calidornie); the the time is precious and assimilated to a rapid pace in the center of the city with its clock of the church town in the style of the 'Back to the future' movie; Scarpa drew very well the atmosphere of this middle town at night; the story ends as it began : Mickey burst out of joy when he knows he is emperor of Calidornia; all that lead to the main issue of the story, the central question in fact, the masked core of the plot, unexplained at the end: a touch of family? So since the beginning, due to many elements, there has always been a doubt about the fact of knowing whether Mickey really is a descendant of Kid Mickey; some points are not clear in  the plot (only in the french translation? I don't think so); we don't exactly know if when Chief O'Hara spread the rumor that Mickey is a late member from the Kid Mickey's family tree, all the friends of Mickey (except for Goofy, but Goofy doesn't play an important part in this story, as bizarrely in many important Scarpa's stories: Topolino e la collona chirikawa, Delta, Calidornia, in these three stories the real friend of Mickey is Atomiinus) reject him by feigning or if they sincerely think he is a real descendant of Kid - paranoia is a key element of the story, previously to this scene there was an another one where Mickey is identified by some witnesses as the real Kid and putting in jail by Chief O'Hara who think he is really guilty.
One word about Paul Murry for concluding: i read a few stories of him, his stories are worthing being read (one of my favorites is The marvelous magnet 1955); here this is a different Mickey, sweeter with his astonished eyes, assisted by the inseparable Goofy; that's all folks.
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