Monday, January 31, 2011

Alice Blu-Ray Out Tomorrow!

Yours truly will once again be on the supplemental feature Reflections on Alice on the Alice in Wonderland Blu-Ray disc out tomorrow, Feb. 1. Get yours now!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Whitman 90144 - 1980s

And finally we come to the 1980s reprint.  Surprised they are still using essentially the same art, but this all white cover makes it really tough to find clean copies.  Yet another name change for the publisher, now they are called Whitman.  All these name changes are just that, the company is still the same, just new and different imprints.  Remember, Whitman was putting out stuff from the original release, but it all came from the same place.
Still at 36 pages, although the added art on the inside covers has been replaced with advertisement for other Whitman titles.  Again, no date, but the 60¢ cover price narrows it down to 1982-1985.  For a good reference on cover price vs. date, look at this Wikipedia entry.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Gold Key 10144-503 - 1960s

I don't have a date for this particular issue, but the 12¢ cover price gives us a clue that it is in the 1960s, probably between 1962 and 1969.
Cover is essentially the same as the Dell Junior Treasury, but for the change in the name of the publisher to Gold Key and the large title banner.  Page count has been reduced to the standard 36-page format, so there was some fairly serious editing going on here.  Another tough comic to find in good condition.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Dell Junior Treasury #1 - June 1955

The Alice adaptation was reprinted in the inaugural issue of a new Dell title called Dell Junior Treasury.  This series printed classic children's stories, of which Disney's Alice was the first.  In fact, the Alice issue is the only Disney title in that series.
The cover art remains essentially the same.  It is no longer a true wrap around cover, but has the same elements on the front and back cover as were on FC331, just not connected across the spine.  Contents are identical, with the exception of the inside front cover.  Note that the cover price has increased to 15¢ as this is still 52-pages.  At this time most other comic books were still 10¢ and 36 pages.  Prices didn't start to rise on standard 36 page comics until they decided they couldn't reduce the page count any futher, around 1962.

This is an incredibly difficult issue to find, more so in high grade because the cover is a very heavy high gloss stock.  While the print run of the FC 331 was over 3M copies, I'm pretty sure this issue did not come close to that circulation, although I have no idea what it was.  Relative to the rest of the issues in the DJT series it was probably the highest print run, but I can't imagine it was anywhere near 3M copies.

If you want to see the entire contents of this issue,

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Dell Four Color 331 - April 1951

I recently read a great post over at Michael Barrier's site, and thought I'd finally get around to posting a series on the various Alice in Wonderland comic book adaptations.  And we must start off with Four Color #331

This is such a classic adaptation with this fantastic wrap around cover.  And certainly a big deal for Dell.  As Michael pointed out in his post, Dell reverted back to the 52-page format for this issue, they had recently reduced their page count to 36, somewhere between issues 318 and 325 according to my research.  Added page count without increasing the price must have meant that they were expecting to sell LOTS.  There are some great stats in Michael's post that support this.

This comic was hotly anticipated, it even got a mention in the exhibitor's campaign book, stating that the print run would be 3,000,000 copies!  That is a lot of comics!  And they were looking to boost sales of Cinderella off the strength of this new campaign as well.
This comic was reprinted in many different editions over the years in the US, and in many foreign countries.  Stay tuned!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

First Full Page Advertisement for Alice - Life Magazine January 22, 1951

This issue of Life Magazine contains what I believe to the first advert for Alice in a periodical - if you don't count the two Pictorial reviews posted here and here.
This is also the first time we see the Alice logo type, my favorite of all the various logo types used for the film over the years.
This ad appeared six months prior to the release of the film, which seems like quite an early release for an ad campaign to begin back then.  Shows just how hard Disney was pushing Alice.  According to the campaign book between all the various advertisements, comics, supplements and articles published in all the periodicals identified, they were expecting a total circulation of more than 7 million.  I don't care what year it is, that's a hell of a lot of publicity.

Oh yeah, finally got my tabloid size scanner up and running, no more cutting and merging files for me!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Parfait Soap Sets

Some of the scariest things I've ever seen are these two soap sets by Parfait.  The two sets are Alice and the White Rabbit and the Mad Hatter and March Hare.
Each set comes with a soap figure, and a small bag of bubble bath in an illustrated clear plastic box.  The box design is identical for both sets, with just the character names differing.
The soap sets are listed in the Character Merchandise Division catalog for 1951, along with the White Rabbit sachet and a similar set of soap figures for Cinderella.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Alice, Mad Hatter, and March Hare Soap Bars

Quite possibly one of the most unusual items in the collection is this set of 3 bars of soap featuring Alice character decals.  I don't really know when they are from, but the art and 'technology' of the soap feels 1950s, nor do I know the maker.  I found them in a box of several loose bars of soap along with a Snow White and a Dopey, long since gone.  If anyone has any idea as to when, where, or by whom these were made, please let me know!
And yes I know, these are old bars of soap.  I never said I was reasonable in what I collected, just...focused.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Little Golden Book from Japan 1958

Third new discovery of the new year, and second new Little Golden Book, this time from Japan.  Ok, I guess I can't really call this a Little Golden Book, although it is the same size as a LGB.  It is pretty much its own creature.
The cover is taken from the same art as the Japanese herald I posted about here, which in turn was taken from the Little Nipper book cover that I have not blogged about yet (stay tuned!).
The back cover tells us the year, and that this was apparently #7 in a series of books.  I'm hoping one of my readers can translate the other six titles for me.  Pretty weird art for Dinah on the back cover...
The first 4 pages of art are indeed taken from Al Dempster art, although in the case of the title page it has been cut and pasted from a variety of sources.
After that, it is all new art, with a limited color palette of blue and orange.  Until page 21, when it switches to monochromatic blue (did they run out of money?  Or just orange ink?
I'm totally digging Anime Alice in this art, and the best is the last interior page, page 36, looks like Alice in Wonderland meets Speed Racer.  "Go Arice Go!"
UPDATE:  A reader did provide not only a translation of the back cover, but of EVERY page pictured!  As follows:

Exclusive Disney printing rights reserved
Shogakukan's (publisher's name) First-grader, Learning

Volume 1 (April) Picture book and fairy tales
Volume 2 (May)     Word book
Volume 3 (June)    Disney Picture Book, Cinderella
Volume 4 (July)     Ako-chan and picture book
Volume 5 (August) Kuri-chan's summer vacation
Volume 6 (September) Group of Little Detectives
1958, Volume 7
Name, Published by Shogakukan, Tokyo

Alice in Wonderland
(This book is due to our publishing company's exclusive
contract with Disney Productions)
A Disney Picture Book

Alice went to the land of playing cards.
What will happen?
See page 28.

(Right page)
The Wondrous rabbit-hole
(Left page)
As Alice was playing, a white rabbit went into a
"I'll go into it, too."
"It's a little room".

(Right page)
The Magic Cat
"Mr Caterpillar, I want to become large."
(Left page)
"Oh, he's gone."
"Here I am".
"If you eat the mushroom, you'll become large."

Color the picture
Color with your favorite colors.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Playthings Magazine - January 1951

This is a repost from two years ago, but as we are in the year of Alice in Wonderland (60 years later) I figured it deserved another look.

Fantastic cover to the January 1951 issue of Playthings, the ultimate toy industry magazine.

Cover touts 1951 as being the Alice in Wonderland Year, and so it was as far as Playthings was concerned. Nearly every cover for the entire year was devoted to Alice in Wonderland.

Not much actual content Alice-wise inside this issue, a single page article that comments on what is in store for Alice in the coming months. Does make reference to the Pictorial Review posted here, and also to One Hour in Wonderland, Disney's very first TV show.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Orignial Release Sheet Music - Canada

Second new discovery of the new year, sheet music - from Canada!
I had always assumed the US and Canadian music was the same, but not so.  This copy of Very Good Advice just acquired proved me wrong.  Most notable of the differences is the lack of song writer credit in the title area.  And of course the Canadian company overprint in the lower right.  Compare this to the US sheet.
Only 22 years to find a single copy of Canadian music, I should have the complete set when I turn 180 years probably won't happen.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Mickey Magazine #65 from Belgium - January 4, 1952

This issue from January 4th, 1952 features another preview of the serialization to come plus a coloring page and a maze.  This issue is different from all the others in that the cover is a heavier glossy stock rather than the standard newsprint material.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gorman's Brand Bread End Seal Label Fill-In Picture

A recent discovery, yet another local bakery participating in the Alice bread end seal promotion previously discussed in these posts.
Gorman's Bakery was located in Central Falls, RI.  This makes a total of four different bakeries that I am aware of that participated in this promotion.  I wonder how many more there were?

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Leonardi Plaster Wall Heads

UPDATE:  I have a little more information on this company now, founded by a gentleman named Giuseppe Leonardi, his company made Art Deco figures for years, and seems to have started Disney figures in the mid 1940s.  I have seen notices and samples of Peter Pan figures, so they were a licensee at least through 1953.  I hope to find more information, and if I do I will update this page.

One of the most misunderstood of the vintage Disney figures are those produced by Leonardi. Often mistaken for Italian, these are in fact English. The confusion probably stems from the fact that the name Leonardi sounds Italian.  To further add to the confusion, Leonardi and Zaccagnini both produced a series of Donald golfer figures that used the same model, as well as a few others.
Leonardi produced figures in the 1940s and 1950s. These figures were of a plaster or chalkware like material. The most famous of the figures are probably the Snow White set and the aforementioned Donald. But they made Alice figures too. Ok, well they are not really figures, but wall plaques of a character's head, much like the set made by Cuernavaca of Mexico. I first became aware of the Leonardi heads when I was leafing through a copy of Mickey Mouse weekly from August 18th, 1951.  There is an article by Kathryn Beaumont describing her time at Disney playing Alice.  Pretty standard press stuff, but the photo was truly bizarre, showing Kathy sitting on a couch with the Big Golden Book at her feet, and herself and the couch covered in these bizarre character heads.  I had no idea what they were. I later came across a photo of Walt from an English children's annual holding what looks like the head to an animators model of the March Hare,
 but upon close inspection realized it was the same as the head in the MMW photo.
At last a few years ago I acquired this head of Alice.  It is identical to the one Kathy is holding in her left hand in the MMW photo,
and best of all, it is marked on the back.
A few years later I acquired this Mad Hatter.  It is similar to the one pictured above, but smaller and the mirror image, looks like they made two sizes (groan).
And last month, I acquired this Carpenter.  He is not pictured (groan again), that must mean there is also a Walrus, and who knows what else!
So I'm guessing the characters in the Leonardi set to be:
  • Alice
  • White Rabbit
  • Mad Hatter
  • March Hare
  • King of Hearts
  • Queen of Hearts
  • Cheshire Cat
  • Carpenter
  • Walrus
There may be Tweedles too, but until I see a catalog or find them in the flesh (or chalk), I'm sticking with this list.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! Little Golden Book - Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie Trova il Giardino del Fiori Parlanti - Italy

What better way to start off the New Year than with something altogether new?  You could have knocked me over with a feather when I found this, an unknown foreign Little Golden Book.  This is from Italy, and is of course the Garden of Live Flowers.  This has a 1951 copyright, and is #13 in the series Piccole Avventure, or Small Adventures.   There are no other Alice titles in the series , at least through #18.
This particular copy bears the embossed stamp of the S.I.A.E. - Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori, which translates to the Italian Society of Authors and Publishers.  It must have been some sort of file copy or registration copy at one point, although there is a handwritten child's name in the 'belongs to' box on the inside front cover.