And Then I Woke Up

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Moochie’s Money Mystery

In this still photograph from Disney’s The Shaggy Dog, Moochie Daniels (Kevin Corcoran) appears to be engrossed in a Dell Comic: Uncle Scrooge #18, from June/Aug 1957, which features “Land of the Pygmy Indians”by Carl Barks. (The Shaggy Dog was released in March of 1959).

But wait a minute. There’s something strange about this picture. The price in the upper right hand corner of that comic is 15 cents. Folks, Uncle Scrooge #18 was, is, and always will be a dime comic. If you need proof, the bottom row of the covers below contains issues 21, 22, and 23, and they all say 10 cents.

Starting with issue #24, Dec/Feb 1959, the price legend read: “Still 10 cents.” That’s the handwriting going up on the wall, Junior Consumers.

Issue #32, Dec/Feb 1961 also says “Still 10 cents.”

Issue #33: 15 cents.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I submit to you that Moochie is reading a comic book that does not exist.

But wait a minute. Check the back of that still. What does it say? “Copyright MCMLXVII Walt Disney Productions – World Rights Reserved. ” OK, so the still was created for a 1967 re-release, and somebody airbrushed out “10 cents” and replaced it with “15 cents,” so that kids would not get wise to the fact that the comics that were costing them 15 cents… had once sold for one thin dime. End of story.

But wait a minute. Here’s a frame grab from the DVD. The comic does, indeed, have a 15 cent price tag. Hmm.

But wait a minute. Dell must not have sold nearly as many comics at 15 cents as they did at a dime, because after seven issues of Scrooge at 15 cents, they dropped the price on the title (and all the rest of their comics) back to 12 cents an issue. And it stayed 12 cents until 1968.

So why is Moochie reading a 1957 comic in 1958 with a 1968 price in a 1967 still?

My nomination for one of the great unsolved Disney mysteries of all time.

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Little Lulu Story Re-used in Horror Comic

John Stanley is best known as the author of the Little Lulu comics, but he also worked on other titles, among them Dell’s rather mild “horror” comics. Here’s an interesting bit of self-plagiarism: Stanley takes the premise of a Little Lulu fantasy from 1953 and turns it into a story fit for Tales From The Tomb in 1962. This is a 7.6 MB .pdf document – the first two pages are my commentary on the re-use, and the following 18 pages present both stories in full.

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