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As several folks have pointed out, MJ was a real comics fan. During the height of his fame in the ’80s and ’90s he would occasionally shop at his favorite comics shop — it would have to be shut down so he could shop in peace. A more recent trip with his children resulted in tabloid images, like much of his later years. He was certainly no stranger to the comics section.

Laura Hudson and Tom Spurgeon have more round-ups of Jacko and the Comics inks. John Jackson Miller looks at the comics connections of MJ, Farrah and Ed McMahon. And here’s a tribute by James Kochalka.

Rick Marshall remembers Jackson’s attempt to buy Marvel Comics, one of those weird moment of ’90s Marvel history that Jim Salicrup should write a book about some day.

The above issue of Disney Adventures was, at the time, only the second magazine cover that Jackson had done a shoot for since he become the King of Pop. (The other was Vanity Fair.) It was his idea to pose with Pinocchio, an idea that’s pretty creepy in retrospect. But let’s try to look on the best side. In the end, the man lived a sad, sick life, but it’s the music that will live on forever and ever. Cliched but so true.



  1. Years and years ago (early 90s), someone who worked at Golden Apple (I think it was Sharon, but it might have been Bill… I just can’t remember) told me that Michael Jackson had come by recently and bought a complete set of the hardcover Russ Cochran EC collections. I thought (and still think) that that was pretty cool.

  2. “In retrospect, that picture of Michael with Pinocchio is disturbing on several levels.”

    I would go more with ironically hilarious than disturbing, but yeah.

  3. Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a “sick” life, but it was mixed up, and he was deeply, deeply troubled. I don’t think he ever found out who Michael Jackson really was. May he rest in peace.

  4. I would suggest that Pinnochio represents Michael Jackson’s desire to just be a little boy, or rather, to forever be a little boy. For the kid that never had a childhood that seems pretty sad . . .

  5. I’ve heard several stories of when Dave Stevens was storyboarding the “Thriller” music video. Apparently, he would have his studio mates tell Michael that he wasn’t there when MJ would call and ask for him. Dave just wasn’t interested in shooting the breeze with Michael I guess.

  6. Michael Jackson was messed up before any of us knew who he was, mostly thanks to his father. The fact that he never had a (normal) childhood goes a long way toward explaining his peculiarities. I’m sure he related to Pinocchio, who wanted to be “a real boy”, and obviously he longed to be Peter Pan, “the boy who wouldn’t grow up”. But the literary allusion I find most intriguing is to wonder what his “Portrait of Dorian Grey” looks like: instead of serving as the dumping ground for his decay, it might show us a Michael Jackson who was happy and content with his appearance and self-identity.