Unfunny Comics Story

The early nineties ushered in many changes at the Walt Disney company. Our little creative group located in the Roy O. Disney Building suddenly became The Disney Publishing Group consisting of Disney Press, Hyperion Books, and Disney Comics. Big shot executives from New York took charge of the prestige units but our comic book company was given little regard. I honestly believed they would have given us more respect if we had been publishing sleazy girlie magazines. I do not joke when I say our editors did a lot of their early work on packing boxes. Disney had given the artists and editors a firm deadline on getting the books to press yet there was no furniture available. In spite of these challenges, Disney entered into the world of comic book publishing with their usual snotty attitude. The company not only paid the lowest page rates but refused to allow the artists to retain their original art. Word of Disney's arrogance spread throughout the comics industry and before long many were eagerly anticipating our doom.

In spite of our lackluster management, the mouse house artists and writers did their best to produce eight Disney comic titles a month and maintain a pretty high level of quality. I enjoyed the opportunity to write comic books again even though I continued to script the daily Mickey Mouse comic strip. Of course, we were doomed from the start. Our young executives had sold themselves as experts in the business. In truth, they knew nothing about the comics industry. Even as they continued their synergy β€œlip service,” Disney Comics received little support from the rest of the company. When the unit failed to meet the over inflated expectations, Disney Comics was simply shut down. This would be a company pattern throughout the nineties.

I continued to gain confidence as a writer and published several children's books during this period. I finally began to feel comfortable in the world of publishing and it would appear my days of film making were over. I stayed in touch with Disney Feature Animation because much of the work we did was driven by the animated product. For a time I even had my own work station during the production of "The Lion King." Little did I know I would soon be returning full time to Disney Animation.

Disney Publishing, like much of Consumer Products continued going through management changes. My old boss was eventually replaced by a new manager and our friendly little department was totally gutted. Knowing my days were numbered I called in old favors at Walt Disney Feature Animation. By the time Disney Consumer Products had given us the boot, I had secured a position in the development department of Walt Disney Feature Animation. I would remain there until my retirement ten years later.