Monday, May 30, 2011

The Moon-Spinners comic book adaptation

In years past if there was a movie or television show it was probably made into a one-shot comic book by the Whitman, Gold Key or Dell Comics book companies. They were all of varying quality as quickie marketing tie-ins but some are stand-outs. Hayley Mills has received several comic book treatments of her films most notably Summer Magic which was drawn by comic book artist Russ Heath.

Today for Monday With Hayley Mills I present the comic book adaptation of the Disney film The Moon-Spinners from 1964. The art is credited to accomplished veteran Dan Spiegle. Now, Dan gets a lot of flack from fans that isn't entirely deserved. He is lumped together, sometimes with contempt, into those work-horse artists that were relied upon to do a quick job within deadline. His style sometimes sacrifices the fine line work that most fans expected after the 1970s but as a reader who appreciates storytelling ability his work rarely disappoints.

Spiegle worked on a fondly remembered DNAgents run but for a real insight into his work check out the Gold Key issues of Mickey Mouse #107-109. Mickey Mouse, Secret Agent is a classic and truly bizarre story where funny animals interacted with realistically rendered humans and scenery. For the most part prior to that story arc anthropomorphic critters remained in a cartoon world of cartoon physics that did not cross over into other more realistic though equally fictional realms. The film version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit has its spiritual if not direct roots in that story arc. It is a bit surreal to witness human beings not even blinking when a talking mouse in a trench coat shows up at their door. Character interactions of that type are not observed very often currently as the audience is considered to cool, aware or jaded to go with the story. There is usually some qualifier thrown in to make the reader forgive the ridiculousness of a funny animal, such as the oft-stated "Y-You're a duck!" in the Howard the Duck series.

The Moon-Spinners is Hayley Mills' fifth of the six films she did for Disney. While not a financial success at the time it has a life among fans that crowd the Hayleydome in the HMCC for the Hayley-Con film festivals. Hayley is great as always in a film remembered for its scenery and light romantic subplot against a story of murderous jewel thieves. While not quite as dark as The Truth About Spring the film has been described as a bit more suspenseful than the novel from which it was adapted.

Click the cover for a download link to a PDF of the complete 1964 Gold Key comic book The Moon-Spinners.

The Moonspinners (1964)

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