Friday, July 22, 2016

Cap's Comics - Haunted Mansion #1

For Disney Kingdoms it all started Haunted Mansion adjacent with Disney Kingdoms Seekers of the Weird.  So it is only fitting that we officially go into the mansion with Disney Parks’ and Marvel’s latest installment in the line, The Haunted Mansion.   But will going through the doors live up to expectations for Disney Parks fans.

Disney Parks Variant

Danny seems to be a good kid.  He loves his Grandpa and sending time with him.  But despite their bond they are two different sorts of souls.  Grandpa is an adventurer.  Danny is a coward!  Danny and his Grandpa talked about going into the local Haunted Mansion someday, but a mishap kept Grandpa from entering the mansion in a physical way.  So Danny is shocked when he is summoned by the spirits of the mansion to save them and his grandfather.  Will Danny have the courage to meet and fight for the 999 spirits of the Haunted Mansion?

Brian Crosby Variant

I would say overall that author Joshua Williamson and artist Jorge Coelho provide the reader what they expect.  They offer a story that provides the right visuals to the Disney fan who bought the issue because of the parks connection.  And the story itself is a fine all-ages story, maybe not up to the level of Figment but entertaining for me and the Between Kid.  With the first issue premiering at 66 in the sales chart, it does feel like the title is preforming where a  #1 in this line should be.  I will say story wise with Danny as our main character, other than Dreamfinder this could really be our first boy led story, since the Seeker’s tale was siblings.

Skottie Young Variant

Haunted Mansion #1 led me to want to read more.  And that is really all you can ask from a first issue.  In fact, I am traditionally really hard on first issues but I found this one interesting.  I look forward to Danny’s story and my expectation that he will become braver! 

John Tyler Christopher Action Figure Variant 

Friday, July 15, 2016

Between Books - Walt's People Volume 6

At a certain point you cannot ignore the impact that the Walt’s People series has in capturing and distributing Disney history in an accessible and portable form.  In the end, I can only continue to compliment editor Didier Ghez’s work and inspiration to countless amateur and professional Disney historians.

Walt’s People Volume 6: Talking Disney with the Artists Who Knew Him captures interviews with over 20 Disney artists and figures of interest.  The interviews range from a few pages to long form interviews of 25 plus pages.  The two categories, that I self-created, that really stood out to me in this volume are animation and the Disney family.  For animation, interviews and segments range from the golden age with Michael Barrier interviewing Carl Stalling about early Disney shorts and his musical contributions, Wilfred Jackson and other animators discussing features like Pinnochio, and the 1980s and story development with Steve Hulett.  The Disney family is very well represented with interviews including Lillian Disney, Roy O. Disney, Edna Disney, Sharon Disney, Diane Disney Miller and Ron Miller.  The volume literally includes thoughts from those closest to Walt Disney and saw him at home as a father and husband not just an entertainment giant.  Along with the interviews there are articles and profiles that are reprinted from earlier out of print animation magazines. 

I really enjoyed Walt’s People Volume 6: Talking Disney with the Artists Who Knew Him.  It may have been one of my favorite volumes as it contained a mix of new animation personalities to me while also offering voices, like Roy O. Disney, that I really wanted to hear from.  I found at times I was frustrated because I had to put the volume down or that the interview was over.  I found myself shopping for another volume even before I finished this collection.  And yet again, I can only strongly recommend these books to Disney history fans.  

Monday, July 4, 2016

Cap's Comics - Figment 2 #5

Figment 2 # 5 “The Legacy of Imagination Part Five: Big Dreams” by Jim Zub and Ramon Bachs brings the latest chapter of Figment and Dreamfinder to a conclusion.  The Academy Scientifica-Ludicus is overrun by doubt thanks to Doubtfinder’s fear gas.  And Doubtfinder is able to battle Dreamfinder by pointing out the fear and doubt in all of Dreamfinder’s dreams.  Can Capri and Dreamfinder’s friends defeat the villain?  And most of all can there be a payoff for the cover and its mosaic of imagination creations?  The story does wrap up this chapter of Dreamfinder’s life, but Zub does not answer all questions and the next chapter is foreshadowed as Dreamfinder steps into his next adventure.

I will admit I liked Figment a little better than the sequel.  The prior story was more fantasy while this is more allegory and internal struggle to me.  I worry that this struggle was lost at times on the Between Kid.  But the Kid did ask to have me finish the tale and was eager to have it read.  And while not my favorite overall arc I did enjoy Figment 2 and find myself hungry for the next edition.

John Tyler Christopher Action Figure Variant Cove

But the big question is will these adventures continue.  The first issue for this series initially sold 20,551 copies according to the Comichron and debuted at 109.  But with this final issue only 7, 291 issues were sold with a ranking at 202.  I do feel some comfort that it was barely beaten by the 224th issue of G.I. Joe A Real American Hero while also beating out the very strong title X-O Manowar, a title I creatively enjoy.  Basically this final single issue sales does not tell the full story since this ranking zone does have strong titles.  But I do assume that much of the excitement over this title is direct single issue sales.  But in the end it may be trades that get Dreamfinder to share his next chapter.  On Amazon, the first trade is 235th amongst Marvel comics and Graphic Novels in sales.  And with it being a title you can sell in the parks and other Disney locations…well I have hope.  Because the story really does warrant a continuation of this Disney Kingdoms mainstay, so I hope. 

Figment 2 was a satisfying all ages story that the family enjoyed.  And yes I want these titles to continue!  They really do help me get my Disney fix as my visits to the park get further and further apart.  And it amazes me the Between Kid loves Figment, despite never enjoying his Epcot attraction!