Dahl/Disney’s Gremlins are Back

Gremlins

Somehow I missed the news that Dark Horse Comics is working on a February 2006 re-release of the 1943 Roald Dahl children’s book, THE GREMLINS, illustrated primarily by animator Bill Justice (with the above cover reportedly by Mary Blair). The book has long been out of print, and copies run in the hundreds, and often thousands, of dollars. In the early-1940s, GREMLINS was being prepped as a full-length animated feature by Disney, and a lot of development art was created, but this book is ultimately the only thing that Disney ever released. Dark Horse is also planning to release a 3-issue comic book mini-series with new Gremlin adventures. Who knew WWII lore was so popular. What’s next: a Kilroy revival?

Update: Noted animation historian Jim Korkis writes:

It was Mark Kausler who identified for me that the cover of the original book was done by Mary Blair. The interiors were done by Bill Justice and Al Dempster, two longtime Disney artists. In fact, Bill was responsible for some of the gremlin designs and worked closely with Dahl. When I contacted the editor at Dark Horse, he said he wanted to make the reprint like a “DVD” with some extras but they hadn’t decided yet what those extras would be. I did offer them the extensive article that I did for the yet-to-be-published World War II issue of “Persistence of Vision” magazine on the unmade film.