Tuesday, August 11, 2015

"Seven Dwarfs and the Witch-Queen" 1958 Sunday Comic

The Seven Dwarfs and the Witch-Queen is a nine-part serial that first ran in the Sunday funny pages across the US from March 2 - April 27, 1958. It also appeared later in numerous international comic books. The story and lettering were created by long-time Mickey Mouse comics artist Floyd Gottfredson. The artwork was drawn by Julius Svendsen. The comic strip is mentioned on page 15 of the 1958 Buena Vista Snow White Pressbook.

Here's a look at a few of the installments which were reprinted in the 2013 book, Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Color Sundays (vol.2).

March 2, 1958...
The story begins with the Old Hag. She has a plan to "fix those dwarfs" and then Snow White will be at her mercy.


March 9...
The Witch sneaks into the cottage while the dwarfs wash up outside. Into the beef stew, which is simmering over the fireplace, she sprays a "special seasoning".

March 16...
The dwarfs dig into their supper, all except Dopey who trips over a rolling pin on his way to the table and drops his stew on the floor.

March 23...
The dwarfs settle down for some music and games after supper while Dopey does the dishes. Soon he hears shouts from the other room as they begin to shrink.

March 30...
The Witch-Queen bursts into the cottage and gathers into a sack the six tiny dwarfs. And she warns Dopey that "something even worse will befall" him if he follows her.

April 6...
She carries the dwarfs back to her den, locks them in a cage, then heads out to finish off Snow White. In one amusing panel, the Witch breaks the fourth wall and speaks directly to the reader.

April 13...
Despite the Witch's warnings, Dopey does follow her. He enters the cave and frees the other dwarfs from their small cage.

April 20...
Dopey finds an "all-purpose spell remover" spray. But before he can use it on the tiny dwarfs, the Witch returns to the cave at the beckoning of her watchbird Beulah.

April 27...
Dopey uses the sprayer at the last second. The spell remover works and the dwarfs return to their normal size. Grumpy gives the Witch a whack in the behind with a broom. Then, unfortunately, the boys make one of the most common mistakes in the world of comics--they let the villain go!

Illustrations and text copyright Disney. Posted here for historical documentation purposes only.

See this complete comic strip in Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Color Sundays: Robin Hood Rides Again (vol.2).

Hardcover: 280 pages
Publisher: Fantagraphics, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1606996867
Retail price: $29.99

Five years earlier in 1953, Italian comic book artist Romano Scarpa drew a three-part 52 page story entitled, Biancaneve e Verde Fiamma or Snow White and the Green Flame Ruby (earlier Archive entry). It too featured a plot where the Evil Queen shrunk all of the dwarfs except Dopey, who in the end came to the rescue. One has to wonder if Floyd Gottfredson found his inspiration for Seven Dwarfs and the Witch-Queen directly from this earlier comic.

See more images from the various Witch-Queen re-printings at INDUCKS.

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