I just finished reading a graphic novel that my wife gave me for Christmas. Seekers of the Weird is a compilation of issues from Marvel/Disney’s title of the same name, which is based very loosely on concepts and artwork created in the ’60s by Disney Imagineer Rolly Crump.
As a Haunted Mansion historian, Crump and his sketches are what made this book interesting for me. Walt Disney assigned Crump in 1959 to come up with ideas for the Haunted Mansion he wanted to build in Disneyland. Crump took off, designing fixture after feature–the whole story, in his own words, is here–for a walk-through Haunted Mansion attraction.
Painting by Rolly Crump
Walt liked Crump’s designs and sketches, but wanted to create an attraction around them at the end of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion…a Museum of the Weird. Those sketches inspired the creators of Seekers of the Weird to create an comic book 55 years later, and for me they’re the best part of the book. The story and art are great, especially for a younger, action-oriented audience, but the real spirit of the book for me is embodied in Crump’s original art. This volume belongs on the bookshelf with other Haunted Mansion-related titles. I only wish Disney would take some of this unseen art and make either an art book or posters and prints available to the public.
Check out Rolly Crump’s memoirs here.