How France brought new blood to Mickey and Minnie

If Finland, Italy or Germany are dingos of Mickey, France is the only country in the world where designers can tell one of his adventures without being forced to style Disney. A revolution. For decades, Disney studios have always favored a graphic standardization and anonymity of stories, so that the names of masters like Floyd Gottfredson, Carl Barks and Don Rosa have long been absent from the pages of the Spirou's diary and of Picsou Magazine.

In recent years, the Glénat editions have formed a partnership with Disney. Apart from the publication of classic stories, Glénat has left, with the blessing of Disney, carte blanche to the French-speaking designers, from Régis Loisel to Cosey through Alexis Nesme, Tebo and Keramidas. Everyone has been able to offer albums with styles very different from each other.

Mickey and the lost ocean by Denis-Pierre Filippi and Silvio Camboni is thus staging a steampunk universe far from the clean image that Mickey can have in the collective imagination. In HorrifiklandAlexis Nesme and Lewis Trondheim plunge Mickey, Goofy and Donald into a haunted amusement park, all wrapped up in a 3D world evoking both Tim Burton and the Hammer horror movies starring Christopher Lee.

"It gives new, interesting things, as everything has already been told about the character, Disney needs new blood," says Pieter De Poortere, author of a very entertaining Super Mickey released in September. "It's very rare that Disney authorizes original creations, it's probably because the most interesting things in the world of comics are now happening in France that Disney has given permission."

The Mickey Mouse of Cosey

"Minnie is much funnier than Mickey"

Cosey, who inaugurated the collection with A mysterious melody, recurrence this month with Minnie and the secret of Aunt Miranda. A fan of Disney since a young age, the Swiss cartoonist took advantage of this carte blanche to satisfy his childhood dream: "At first, I wanted to blend in with the Disney style, because it was part of my dream. In the 1970s, I had even considered living in Los Angeles to work at the Disney studio. " Cosey tried to be a little more personal in the second volume, which tells the story of Minnie's adventures in the Far North in search of Bigfoot, the American cousin of the Yeti:

"It was not a first try, so I had less tension, less stress. A mysterious melody, I did not want to betray my dream. I was a little stuck. With Minnie and the secret of Aunt MirandaI was able to let myself go and have a lot of fun. Colors, especially yellows and blues, are more personal. For the drawing and the scenario, on the other hand, I tried to make Disney. I really try to make the album that I would like or that I would have liked to read. I'm not trying to display my claw. At all. If it appears, it's involuntary. "

The designer, Grand Prix of Angoulême in 2017, adds: "What amuses me, also, in these albums, is to do what has not been done, show what has not been shown. If not, what's the point? In the first one, the idea was to tell the meeting of Minnie and Mickey, while they are still engaged in. In this one, it was to give the star to Minnie. It's a lot more funny than Mickey's, she has more character, she's contradictory, she can be shy. "

Super Mickey by Pieter de Poortere

"Mickey is a little too wise today"

Adept with his series Dickie with a rather black humor, even trash, Pieter De Poortere is less delicate than a Cosey. And far from Mickey's world, at first sight. And yet. Its rounded graphics, as well as its silent stories, have perfectly adapted to the world of Walt Disney. "I've studied Mickey's world a lot," says Pieter De Poortere. "I've been looking at old 1950s Mickey models to study the style, I have not had a lot of trouble finding the right style, to fit the Disney characters in my style, they are very pure, very clear. "

Like many designers of the collection, he wanted to find the Mickey of the 1930s, the one designed by Floyd Gottfredson: "I do not like the Mickey later, I prefer the early one, his stories were more absurd. a little too wise today, there were many more possibilities with the character before World War 2. There are now a lot of rules, you do not get any indication before you draw, you discover once again that it's finished, "continues Pieter De Poortere, who wanted to make Mickey an anti-hero, but ran into resistance from Disney.

He did like Loisel or Lewis Trondheim: he was cunning. "I went back to Dingo, who has the character that most closely resembles my Dickie character, and when things go wrong, it's because of him. I wanted a very funny album. " Cosey also ran up against Disney's demands, but feels that they have come up with a better story: "Dialogues were turned down, and digging I found better. Sometimes, some requests are ridiculous: I had to replace coffee with tea! "

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