Bernard Cosey is a Swiss cartoonist with several European comic credits including Lost in the Alps, Jonathan, and In Search Of Peter Pan. Interestingly, these comics had a more realistic, more detailed style, somewhat reminiscent of fellow (and more well-known) European cartoonist Mobieus.
Over the years, Mickey has explored different countries, cultures, times, worlds, and genres. He was even involved in WWII propaganda in the pre-WWII Golden Era of Disney (that of Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson). While Carl Barks has been getting a great deal of well-deserved praise in the last few years for his work on Donald Duck (including the 2016 Harvey Awards Hall of Fame—shared with MAD’s Al Jaffee), Gottfredson’s last recognition was the Eisner Hall of Fame in 2006.
Barks, Gottfredson, and other Disney storytellers often did not get the recognition of other artists and writers because of Disney’s policy that artists and writers did not sign their work.
This book shares the conceit of the Roger Rabbit book and movie that cartoon characters (toons) live among us, and that they are the stars of the feature cartoons. This is a fascinating and very different look at Mickey Mouse. This Mickey is a writer for Oswald Duck and Rover (later known as Pluto) the Dog.
The story involves Mickey writing a deeper and more tragic story for Rover, helping Goofy sell his bookstore and get a yacht, solving a few minor mysteries, and falling in love with his soulmate, Minnie Mouse.
The writing is stylistically similar to standard Disney writing. The art is spot on. It is the content that is different, the central premise, the characters—all different, but believable. Goofy owns a bookstore, but dreams of selling everything to buy a boat and sail away. Minnie is a painfully shy composer. Mickey is a highly literate writer and a proficient gourmet cook with knowledge of fancy cheeses.
There is a depth to these characters, and a dynamism that is missing in the standard Disney daily strips that served as the artistic model. Cosey’s gift as a storyteller is evident in his ability to craft this denser narrative without losing the authenticity of the Disney style of the era.
Likewise, Cosey’s normal art style is significantly different from this. His attention to detail and his ability to recreate it borders on the incredible. His ability to recreate the Disney style of the late 1920’s so precisely is a monumental achievement.
Written & Illustrated by: Bernard Cosey