This is pretty much too high-concept for its own good. Thankfully, you’ve got a skilled creative team to meet the expectations of such a concept, though it can’t quite be perfect when trying to be so meta.
Here’s the deal: Writer Trondheim and artist Nicolas Keramidas discovered some never-before published, untranslated Disney comic gems in a garage sale; a set of short one-pagers called Mickey’s Craziest Adventures. Some are missing, but with a fresh cover from Keramidas and word polish from Trondheim, here they are! This sounds pretty cool; it’s also totally fake. But what we’re getting is pretty cool at its own rate: Our writer and artist (not just the covers, but the whole megillah) offer a book of strips written and presented like lost classics, with color fading and simulated page tears and stains – and the missing pages. Part of the genius (self-hobbling though it ends up being) is that Trondheim takes us through a caper involving Mickey and Donald and the Beagle Boys and stolen McDuck billions and a shrink-ray, but leave every other episode or so (i.e. episode 2 is followed by episode 4) allowing the story to shift in the craziest directions, as the missing episode would have explained the B between A and C. So from jungles to space to lost caverns we go, Keramidas giving the leads the most wonderfully zany personalities and Trondheim dreaming up wonderfully weird creepos for the duo to come into contact with.
It’s a lot of fun, especially when it edges into meta with some self-aware nods.
But… the missing page gag gets a little tired after a while, even at the book’s relatively short length, such that you’re cheering for the rarity where they give you a couple of sequential episodes. Its a concept that would’ve worked really well used more sparingly, making the directional change-ups that much more jarring and funnier.
As a final note, I’m trying to decide on the audience here. With the Disney characters and the generally goofy page-by-page yuks, you’d think it’d be aimed at kids, but the ‘archive’ style look and surreal setup make it a very appealing adult-humored book as well…
Damned Europeans, always making unclassifiable comics.