Disney comics in Egypt
David A Gerstein
David.A.Gerstein at williams.edu
Thu May 5 04:43:09 CEST 1994
A few months ago we were discussing _Miki_, the Egyptian
Disney weekly, which mostly featured D- and S-coded stories according
to whoever had it (I'm sorry, but I don't remember who this was).
Apparently in the early 1970s, Egypt made its own stories as
well. According to a book about Arab comics that's just reached my
school, 1972 saw "Mickey and Red Cat in an Adventure on Mars." Sounds
suspiciously like the first ITALIAN Disney story, although it takes a
completely unique stance:
MM leads a group of scientists (!) as well as "two children"
(presumably Morty and Ferdie) on a rocket trip to Mars.
Unfortunately, a villain named Red Cat and his band, disguised as
scientists themselves, come along on the journey. Once on Mars, our
heroes are captured by the Martians -- then the villains capture
everyone (defeating the Martians even though they possess a ray which
turns humans to animals).
The Martians, who own a time machine, brought ancient
Egyptians to Mars thousands of years before, and (!) they're still
there. Mickey enlists the ancient Egyptians to contact ancient Egypt
through some device in the time machine. The ancient Egyptians on the
other end fire rockets -- shaped like mummies -- at Mars, and the
mummies hit the palace, knocking out Red Cat and the other villains.
The Martians plan to keep the ancient Egyptians as prisoners
despite this victory, but Mickey persuades them to let them go back
home in the time machine. They also want to turn Red Cat and his band
into (non-humanized) cats with their ray, but Mickey also stops this.
With Red Cat as a prisoner, MM heads for home.
This sounds like a good candidate for the most completely
implausible Disney comic story ever produced anywhere on the planet.
Apparently it was characteristic in its use of ancient Egyptian
characters, who are correspondent in modern Egyptian folklore to,
perhaps, Paul Bunyan in ours.
From the description of the story (far more detailed than
mine) that was in this book, I'd guess that Red Cat = Peg-Leg Pete.
The book reprinted a crossword puzzle from the Egyptian MM
weekly. It suggests that the locally produced stories, if they're
drawn by the same guys as the puzzle, are or at least were VERY poorly
drawn. The crossword puzzle was, in fact, the poorest piece of
officially-licensed Disney art I have ever seen in my life.
There was also a reproduced cover. Weird. Showed MM
celebrating Ramadan by lighting off a sky-rocket, and it was drawn
firmly in a Depatie-Freleng "Pink Panther"-type cartoon style, with
the sole exception of Mickey's face -- a generic side view, albeit
with obvious pie-slices added to the pupils of his eyes.
A strange experience...
<David.A.Gerstein at Williams.edu>
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