Mickey in France – Part 2: The Melody Mystery by Cosey
Glénat, French publisher of bande dessinée (comic books) has recently partnered with Disney to license French language comics featuring Mickey Mouse and friends. In a three part series, we will take a look at three of the artists and their work.
French comic book artist Cosey has created an interesting look for his Mickey comic; faithful to the 1920s/30s aesthetic of early Disney comics while still infused with the style fans of Cosey are familiar with.
Pages from The Melody Mystery by Cosey:
The following is from an interview with Cosey, translated by our friends at Google Translate (My notes in red):
Can you tell us how your participation in this collection took place?
Working in the Disney world was an old dream. In 1978, I went to Disney Studios, Burbank, with my drawings under my arm. There, I understood that it would be a matter of drawing “on the chain” for years before being able to approach the creative aspect. I preferred to devote myself to my Jonathan albums (comics) and “one shot” (A one shot is an individual comic that is not part of a larger series) in which I was free to imagine and develop what I loved. But I sometimes had a little regret, I wondered if I should have persevered? It was Jacques Glénat who, 2 years ago, asked me: “You want to draw a Mickey album? I did not need to think very long – after jumping 3 meters!
How do you explain that these characters always fascinate both readers and authors?
The simplicity of their drawing, their fundamentally sympathetic aspect makes one identify naturally with these characters. We do not see their drawing, we immediately immerse ourselves in them, we are Mickey or Donald.
Why did you decide to tell the meeting between Mickey and Minnie?
I liked the Mickey of the years 1950-1960, which I read in his journal. But before imagining a story, I first wanted to go back to the sources. There, I discovered that, from his first adventure in 1928, Mickey was accompanied by his fiancee Minnie. So I wondered how and where they had met. This is what gave A Mysterious Melody that I situate in 1927.
Both in the described period and in the graphic style, you have brought a “vintage” touch to your interpretation. Why this artistic choice?
I find that a part of a character’s charm is related to its context. I preferred Tintin with his golf pants in(stead of in) jean’s. Likewise, I did not want to own Mickey, I did not want to submit it to my style. Mickey is himself only in his “Disney style.” So I tried to blend into this initial style – even though my cartoon friends who saw the first boards told me that I recognized my work immediately!
The characters of Disney obedient to a very specific charter, how did you make coexist your world of author with the world “calibrated” of Mickey?
In reality, the greatest difficulty is complete freedom, in other words, the blank page. The constraints are already a first step, the terrain becomes marked. Of course, they represent limits, but they can also be an incentive to circumvent them, become a stimulus …