Gladstone Publishing was an American comic book publishing company that published Disney comic books from 1986 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1998. The company had its origins as a subsidiary of "Another Rainbow", a company formed by Bruce Hamilton and Russ Cochran to publish the Carl Barks Library and produce limited edition lithographs of Carl Barks oil paintings of the Disney ducks. The name references Gladstone Gander.
Reprints of classic Donald Duck stories by Carl Barks and Mickey Mouse stories by Floyd Gottfredson were the foundation of their output. Don Rosa, William Van Horn, and Pat Block are among the modern Disney comics artists who got their start at Gladstone. Some of the Van Horn stories had scripts by frequent collaborator John Lustig. The company also published translations of European Disney comic book stories produced by Egmont, Oberon and Mondadori. These included stories by such famed creators as Romano Scarpa, Marco Rota, Daan Jippes and Freddy Milton.
While still distributed on newsstands, their orientation toward the collectors market was visible in their inclusion of scholarly articles, mostly by associate editor Geoffrey Blum. Unlike the previous Disney comic book licensee Western Publishing, Gladstone provided credits for the stories, printing them on the inside front covers of each issue.
Although Gladstone is no longer an active publisher, it continues to offer its back issues through its website.
List of Disney comic books published by Gladstone
First run (1986-1990)
Second run (1993-1998)
In late 1997, Gladstone suffered an implosion like the one that Disney Comics had suffered in 1991 and cancelled most of the titles. Only Walt Disney's Comics and Stories and Uncle Scrooge, both of which had converted to prestige format by this time, continued to be published until Gladstone's license with Disney expired at the end of 1998.
During the first run Gladstone issued 28 albums and seven giant albums consisting mostly of reprints of stories by Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson. In 1990 Gladstone was licensed to publish a series of albums reprinting nearly all the Disney duck stories of Carl Barks. These were known as The Carl Barks Library in Color - consisting of:
- Walt Disney Comics and Stories - Comic Albums #1-51 (With trading cards)
- Uncle Scrooge Adventures - Comic Albums #1-56 (With trading cards)
- Donald Duck Adventures - Comic Albums #1-25 (With trading cards)
- Gyro Gearloose - Comic Albums #1-6
- Uncle Scrooge - One-Pagers - Comic Albums #1 & 2
- Donald Duck 1940s Christmas Giveaways
- The Don Rosa Library of Uncle Scrooge Adventures in Color #1-4 featured the entirety of The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck.
- The Don Rosa Library of Uncle Scrooge Adventures in Color #5-8 featured all the Uncle Scrooge stories that Don Rosa did during his first two years as a Disney Comics artist.
- The William Van Horn Library of Uncle Scrooge Adventures in Color #1-4 featured all of the stories that William Van Horn did during Gladstone's first run.
After its license expired in 1998, Gladstone ceased publishing new material. For the next five years, there were no regular Disney comics in America except for the occasional graphic novels of the movies put out by Dark Horse Comics, until Gemstone Publishing gained the publishing rights in 2003.
EC Comics reprints
Between 1990 and 1991, Gladstone reprinted 4 EC Comics titles, in association with EC-fan and publisher Russ Cochran. (Two different EC titles per issue). These included six issues of The Vault of Horror (August 1990 - June 1991), six issues of Tales from the Crypt (July 1990 - May 1991), four issues of Weird Science (September 1990 - March 1991), and two issues of The Haunt of Fear (May/July 1991). After 4 issues of Weird Science, Gladstone changed it to The Haunt of Fear. This took The Haunt of Fear from The Vault of Horror and replaced it with Weird Fantasy. The Haunt of Fear took Weird Science as its second issue per comic. Tales from the Crypt kept Crime Suspension Stories for its double sized horror.
Subsequently, Cochran and the EC reprints moved to Diamond Comics-CEO Steven A Geppi's Gemstone Publishers, which naturally reprinted the Gladstone-printed issues as part of their EC reprints. (Gemstone, whose key editorial staff - John Clark, Gary Leach and Susan Daigle-Leach - previously worked for Gladstone, also subsequently gained the rights to Disney comics, a license formerly held by Gladstone.)
- "A Gander at Gladstone" by Roger Ash. Back Issue no.23 (August 2007) pp.35-41.
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