On this day, 24 November 1973: Donald and Mickey
In over two years of blogging on IPC comics I haven’t yet had a post featuring any of the Disney-licensed titles that the publisher produced in the 1970s, although they represented a fairly significant part of their range. Take a look at the mergers wallchart that I produced for my first post back and you’ll see that the Disney crew occupied their own little family branch at the bottom of the diagram, with a nest of comic titles featuring Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, Goofy and co. They weren’t entirely self-contained, their relationship with other members of the kids’ humour range established by some cross-advertising in the likes of Buster and Whizzer and Chips, and inclusion in some multi-title promotions (such as this 1978 comics crossover wheeze). Lew Stringer has a very informative summary of the IPC Disney output on his Blimey! blog, including the observation that while the main strips (all in colour) were reprinted from classic American comics, some of the dialogue was rewritten for the British market.
Donald and Mickey was the first of the comics to be named after particular Disney characters. It launched in 1972 and, by the time of this issue, had a sibling title in Goofy (co-starring Pluto!). It’s interesting to see Donald get top billing over Mickey - and the lion’s (or duck’s) share of the comic strip pages inside - although the roles were reversed when the comic was replaced by Mickey and Donald in 1975, before Mickey was given a title publication all of his own.