Tuesday, May 16, 2017


In this essay I defined the "static crossover" thusly:

The STATIC CROSSOVER is characteristic of both Homer's Iliad and Apollonius' Argonautica.  In such works, the author assumes an overall cosmos in which all of the myth-characters he invokes are capable of encountering one another at any time.

In the static crossover, then, there's not as much emotional impact about seeing characters of diverse origins appear in one another's company, because it's become a regular occurrence.  Many of the "Silver Age" Superman stories constantly associate the characters in that mythology with one another, sometimes for no more than a few panels. And another such mythology appeared in Disney comic books of the same period.

Disney cartoon shorts had already displayed some minor crossover aspects in their classic period, bringing together separately conceived characters like Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck into the same narrative terrain. The "Duck Universe," particularly due to Carl Barks' talents, built up Donald's retinue with characters like wealthy Uncle Scrooge, incredibly lucky Gladstone Gander, and inventor Gyro Gearloose. And in some of the giant-size efforts, like MICKEY AND DONALD AT VACATIONLAND (Dell Giant #47, 1961), the unbilled writers and artists sometimes went whole-hog on the crossover aspects.

This one puts together not only Mickey, Donald, Goofy and several members of the "Duck group" and the "Mouse group," but also several villains from disparate sources. While the good Disney-spawn are on their way to the fabulous "Vacationland"-- a stand-in for Disneyland itself if there ever was one-- they manage to honk off the Wicked Witch, who somehow survived her apparent death at the end of SNOW WHITE. The Witch, who had already been laying plans for a villains' convention, promptly sends various Disney villains to harass the vacationers. Three villains are still well-known since they came from feature films or shorts-- Captain Hook from PETER PAN, the Big Bad Wolf from THE THREE LITTLE PIGS, and Black Pete from assorted Disney cartoons and comic strips. By dumb luck, every time one of these villains encounters the vacationers, the finks become seduced into having vacation-fun instead of making trouble. Only the Witch's last group of pawns-- the Beagle Boys, who alone debuted in comic books-- aren't technically won over by fun-fun-fun. Rather, they bang their heads and forget that they're hardened crooks, and begin careers of honest labor at Vacationland.

Whoever wrote the story had a fine sense of character continuity. When inventor Gyro sees the Witch do magic, he boasts that "magic is no match for science." Later, Mickey manages to undo the sorceress' source of power by stealing her hat, drawing on his past experience as a "sorcerer's apprentice."

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