Crazy Beat

Today, we're taking a trip in the past, and literature, since we are going to talk about Mickey Mouse. However, we are not about to go through the history of everything Mickey that I (or you) may have grown up with, but about a comic book published in March 2016, under the combined pen and brush of Lewis Trondheim and Nicolas Keramidas.

Mickey's Craziest Adventures (Trondheim, Keramidas ; 2016)

In their introduction to the comic book, Trondheim and Keramidas claim that it was a fortuitous discovery during a yard sale, in which they chanced upon a stack of old and forgotten issues of Mickey's Crazy Adventure, published in the 60s, then forgotten about and never republished due to its really unconventional nature. The consequence is that not all issues were recovered, some are missing or in poor state, and the authors are publishing a facsimile of the original issues, with some minor adaptation by Trondheim.

However, as everyone knows, authors lie, after all it is their job to do so. Under that pretense, Trondheim and Keramidas let loose and had a lot of fun inventing a crazy Mickey adventure, in the style of Big Adventures from the 60s Mickey, with an appropriate vintage style. Keramidas' touch is recognizable, as is Trondheim's writing, and both take advantage of the supposed (re)discovery of these issues to take the liberty of omitting pages from the story, leaving the reader free to fill and imagine what happened in the blanks, or what is missing in torn fragments of pages.

Story-wise, we of course follow Mickey, but also all the main characters from the Mickey universe: Donald, Scrooge McDuck, Goofy, Gyro Gearloose, Peg-Leg Pete, the Beagle Boys, but also Minnie, Daisy and even Gladstone Gander. Scrooge calls for Donald's help retrieving Gyro's latest invention, which ends up in the hands of Pete and the Beagle Boys, who use it to steal Scrooge's fortune. Mickey is on their trail and will have to work with Donald in order to catch them and bring back Scrooge's gold. Due to the gaps from the "missing" pages, the action goes at a fast pace, and the whole story is a fast read. Another effect of the missing pages is that as the title says, this Mickey adventure is truly the craziest.

This story is all the more fun to read that Trondheim adds his unique touch to the story and creates off-the-beaten-path situations, far from the traditional Mickey we know: children scorn and mistrust him, he gets slapped by Minnie, hurts himself stupidly jumping off a landing plane, loses his pants... We are as far as possible from classic (and sometimes boring) Mickey stories. Keramidas is perfect, and takes a lot of pleasure drawing the scenes and places for such an Adventure: jungle, multiple ruins, the moon (!), a submarine world... All of them is a really well done vintage style and full of small details.

A really fun comic book to read, with superb illustrations.

Two consecutive pages to see what this is about:

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