Fantagraphics Disney Masters Vol. 17: The Man from Alcatraz Review

Disney Masters

Fantagraphics launched the Disney Masters Series with Vol. 1: The Delta Dimension in May 2018. Since then they have published a few new volumes in the Disney Masters series each year. Volumes have been alternating between the central character and story being Mickey Mouse related or Donald Duck/Uncle Scrooge.

Fantagraphics presents Disney Masters – acclaimed artists from around the world working in the grand Walt Disney tradition. Many of these stories are new to American readers and appear here for the first time in English. Fresh new artwork, fresh new adventures, and fresh new laughs!

Disney Masters Vol. 17: The Man from Alcatraz

Book Description:

Mickey Mouse and Uncle Scrooge tackle crafty ― and not-so-crafty ― crooks in adventures in these comics stories by legendary Italian “Maestro” Romano Scarpa!

In “The Man from Altacraz,” Mickey tries to reform musical ex-convict J. Cobalt Bloogle ― but another master criminal is using both Bloogle and Mickey to get his hands on a priceless treasure! Then, in “The African Queen,” Goofy falls in love with Zenobia, ruler of a lost jungle kingdom… and Mickey’s troubles are only getting started!

When Disney Legend Floyd Gottfredson stopped creating new Mickey Mouse adventure serials in 1955, Italian Disney cartoonist Romano Scarpa (1927-2005) picked up the Mickey mantle ― telling decades’ worth of legendary tales himself! Now Fantagraphics is anthologizing Scarpa’s best ― and beyond this book’s Mickey tales, we’re also including Scrooge McDuck versus the Beagle Boys in “Risky Bees-Ness”… the tale of a sting gone wrong!

Disney Masters Vol. 17: Mickey Mouse: The Man from Alcatraz was released by Fantagraphics in July 2021. The stories included in this volume were originally published in Italy and appear here in English for the first time.

This volume of the Disney Masters series is 188 pages and features Disney Master Romano Scarpa.

A short biography on Romano Scarpa is included in the back of the book.

Disney Masters Vol. 17: The Man from Alcatraz is available in hardcover and Kindle\Comixology versions. A link to buy this book can be found at the end of this review.

Included Stories

There are 4 stories included in Disney Masters Vol. 17:

  • The Man From Alcatraz
  • Risky Bees-Ness
  • Kali’s Nail
  • The African Queen

J. Cobalt Bloogle is released from serving his prison sentence at Alcatraz in The Man From Alcatraz. He is also an aspiring musician with his musical instrument invention, the Blooglehorn. So reformed petty theft addict, Mr. Bloogle, rejoins society; but the sounds that come from the Blogglehorn may be a different crime on society. Mickey Mouse, who is a friend to all, lets Mr. Bloogle stay in his garage while he gets back on his feet. A valuable flute goes missing during one of Mickey’s house guests music gigs. Mr. Bloogle claims that he is innocent, but the evidence does not look good in his favor. It is up to Mickey Mouse and Chief O’ Hara to solve the case.

The Beagle Boys are sentenced to repay their debt to society by doing hard labor working on the state farm in Risky Bees-Ness. The work starts off innocently enough selling pumpkins grown on the farm, but Scrooge goes crazy thinking they have another scheme to try to rob his money bin. The Beagle Boys decide that they want to go into the honey business by raising bees on the farm. As a way to keep his mind off of the beagles, Scrooge turns the roof of his money bin into a golden sand resort with an inground pool and retractable roof. Instead of real golden sand, he uses 24 karat gold dust. A flower scent accidentally falls onto the dust which attracts the bees from the state farm. The bees mistake the gold dust is pollen. The bees then extract the gold dust from the money bin to the state farm and the Beagle Boys are back in business robbing Scrooge. Scrooge is going to be really mad when he finds out.

In Kali’s Nail, Mickey Mouse is on the case to solve the mystery of a spectre that is haunting the residents of Mouseton. The spectre has the likeness of Kali, the goddess of death and destruction. Kali appears to have come alive after her indestructible fingernail is stolen off of a Kali statue. The spectre would have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for that meddling Mickey Mouse and his friend Goofy.

Mickey Mouse heads to Hollywood with Goofy and Ellroy to take a missing persons case for Mr. Glen Dale Blurbank in The African Queen. Mr. Blurbank’s three best technicians went missing in Africa while working on a project for another film studio. Mickey, Goofy, and Ellroy fly to East Africa’s Swahili coast in search of the missing techs. The trio end up on their own African adventure where the must stop a conquest of Africa by a ancient Perisian-African civilization who also want Goofy for their king.

Final Thoughts

This is the fourth Disney Masters volume (1, 5, 8, 17) to feature the work of Romano Scarpa. Both Romano Scarpa and Paul Murry did such a great job of continuing Floyd Gottfredson’s legacy of Mickey Mouse comics. With so many solid stories of Mickey Mouse as a freelance detective, I am surprised that there was never a series of Mickey Mouse and Goofy detective animated shorts.

I love the Disney Masters series because we get treated to stories and illustrations from more great Disney comic creators besides the legendary Barks and Rosa. We may have never had a chance to read these stories outside of Fantagraphics’ Disney Masters series.

I am definitely looking forward to reading future volumes of Fantagraphics’ Disney Masters series. A big thank you to Fantagraphics for sending us this book to review so that we can continue our education and journey through the history of Disney Comics.

You can purchase Disney Masters Vol. 17 at the link below:

Order: Disney Masters Vol. 17: Mickey Mouse: The Man from Alcatraz

The next two new release volumes in the Disney Masters series have already been announced and are available for preorder:

Order: Disney Masters Vol. 18: Uncle Scrooge: Pie in the Sky

Order: Disney Masters Vol. 19: Mickey Mouse: Trapped in the Shadow Realm

*By purchasing from Amazon.com through this link above you are supporting DuckTalks at no additional cost to yourself!

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