Other old Disney Comics writers.
David A Gerstein
David.A.Gerstein at williams.edu
Sun Feb 27 20:50:19 CET 1994
Chris Lawton commented that:
"Last night I reread Roger Rabbit #1. Tonight, I'll move on
to #2... :) When I was finished, I realized I didn't really know what
it was that caused the 'Fall of Disney Comics'."
When you get to Roger Rabbit #4, in which the main story, like
many others after it, is completely incomprehensible, and then to #6,
in which the art begins going downhill (reaching a low, I find, in
#13), you will see what caused that fall. The stories become very
bizarre, with the villains' motives meaningless and contrived, and the
drawings of characters are woefully unexpressive. Roger in
particular. In one issue (#13 again) Roger is so grotesque he's
uncomfortable to look at!
There are things not to like in the earlier, better issues,
too: they obviously felt that the coloring had to be garish since the
stories revolved around a "toon". As a result, any type of subtlety
There ARE some excellent RR stories in the series, though:
I'm referring to the *backup* stories, usually by Doug Rice and Bill
Langley. These stories, such as "Hare Apparent," "Gym Dandy," and
"The Candy Caine Mutiny," are really Roger as he should be in comics.
The main stories in the issue usually draw Roger as the ugliest damned
thing I've ever seen, while these backup stories, with beautifully
smooth linework and a magnificently realized version of Roger, are
Unfortunately, Disney didn't realize that the good sales were
(apparently) due to Rice and Langley, because when that team stopped
doing regular backups around #10, the series' sales began dropping
quickly! A testament to this is the RR 3-D special that was done
in summer '92 (quite hard to find, IMO), long after the regular series
ended. It was composed of reprints, and ONLY Rice and Langley stories
were considered to be worth reprinting.
There are good stories in the TOONTOWN series as well,
although the Roger openers could have been better. However, the
stories with Jessica and the others are superb. Unfortunately, the
fate of this series was sealed even before it had a chance to be a
It's very, very notable that the most successful stories done
with RR -- those early backups -- were the only ones in anything like
the classic Disney comic style... or at least closer to it than the
other RR comic book material. Everything else was done in an
approximation of the Marvel style. It was the attempt to imitate
Marvel that, I find, alienated most fans of Disney comics as they had
been until 1990.
<David.A.Gerstein at Williams.edu>
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