Mickey Mouse (comic strip)
|Author(s)||Walt Disney (1930)|
Win Smith (1930)
|Illustrator(s)||Ub Iwerks (1930)|
Win Smith (1930)
|Current status/schedule||Concluded daily & Sunday strip|
|Launch date||Daily: January 13, 1930|
Sunday: January 10, 1932
|Syndicate(s)||King Features Syndicate|
Publication history[edit | edit source]
In June 1929, as Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse theatrical shorts were growing in popularity King Features Syndicate asked Disney about adapting his character into a daily (six days a week) comic strip. The Mickey Mouse strip launched in only two newspapers on January 13, 1930, with Walt Disney himself writing the stories and his top animator Ub Iwerks drawing the artwork. However, at the end of that month, Iwerks left the Disney studio after completing three weeks' worth of strips, leaving inker Win Smith to fill in for him.
A few months later, Disney decided to stop writing the strip to focus on his animated films, and he brought in an inbetweener named Floyd Gottfredson to replace him. Walt Disney's last script for the strip appeared May 17, 1930. At the time Gottfredson was reportedly eager to work in animation and somewhat reluctant to accept his new assignment. Disney had to assure him the assignment was only temporary and that he would eventually return to animation. Gottfredson accepted; in the end, Gottfredson he drew the strip as well after Smith left the studio, and plotted the continuities until 1943. Altogether, Gottfredson's "temporary" assignment lasted from May 5, 1930, to his retirement on November 15, 1975.
Initially a gag strip with a loose continuity, King Features asked Disney to convert it into a comedy-adventure serial, with only occasional periods for gag strips.
In 1955, however, in response to television fast becoming the dominant media provider, the daily strip stopped doing serialized stories altogether and switched back to a gag-a-day format.
After Disney closed its comic strip department in 1990, King Features took over the production of the Mickey strip under license from the company. During this time, the ship's last writer, Floyd Norman, convinced King Features to allow him to write adventure continuities of up to four week's, much in the style of the classic Gottfredson tales.
By 1994, the strip was running in only 30 newspapers, and Disney and King Features decided to discontinue the strip.
Besides Gottfredson, artists for the strip over the years included Roman Arambula, Rick Hoover, Manuel Gonzales, Carson Van Osten, Jim Engel, Bill Wright, Ted Thwailes and Daan Jippes; writers included Ted Osborne, Merrill De Maris, Bill Walsh, Dick Shaw, Roy Williams, Del Connell, and Floyd Norman.
Characters and story[edit | edit source]
Gottfredson's first task as "fill-in writer" was to finish the storyline Walt Disney had started on April 1, 1930. The storyline was completed on September 20, 1930, and later reprinted in comic book form as Mickey Mouse in Death Valley. This early adventure expanded the cast of the strip, which to this point only included Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. Among the characters who had their first comic strip appearances in this story were Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, and Black Pete as well as the debuts of corrupted lawyer Sylvester Shyster and Minnie's uncle Mortimer Mouse. The Death Valley narrative was followed by Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers, first printed between September 22 and December 26, 1930, which introduced Marcus Mouse and his wife as Minnie's parents.
Starting with these two early comic strip stories, the comic strip effectively combined comedy and adventure. This adventurous version of Mickey would continue to appear in comic strips and later comic books throughout the 20th and into the 21st century.
Gottfredson left his mark with stories such as Mickey Mouse Joins the Foreign Legion (1936) and The Gleam (1942). He also created the Phantom Blot, Eega Beeva, Morty and Ferdie Fieldmouse, Captain Churchmouse, and Butch. Other recurring characters included:
Reprintings[edit | edit source]
Gemstone Publishing[edit | edit source]
In 2006, Gemstone Publishing published a colored and reformatted version of the story "Mickey Mouse Music" for the Walt Disney Treasures collection Disney Comics: 75 Years of Innovation. Another Treasures collection containing "Mickey Mouse in Death Valley" was scheduled for release in 2009, but was cancelled when Gemstone ended its deal with Disney.
Fantagraphics Books[edit | edit source]
From 2011 to 2018, Fantagraphics Books released a series of books titled, Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse, but also known as: The Floyd Gottfredson Library, collecting the Floyd Gottfredson Mickey Mouse daily strips originally published between 1930 to 1955. This collection also included two volumes collecting the works Gottfredson did for the Mickey Mouse Sunday strip.
On November 21, 2018, Fantagraphics Books arranged and published an anthology collection book to celebrate Mickey Mouse's 90th anniversary, a book titled, Mickey Mouse: The Greatest Adventures, ISBN:978-1-68396-122-2. This book contained the original black-and-white daily strips newly arranged and printed in full color, a 300 page selection of what is regarded as the best Gottfredson's Mickey Mouse stories, including "Mickey Mouse in Death Valley" and "The Gleam" among others.
References[edit | edit source]
- Merrill De Maris entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Walsh entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Connell entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Floyd entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Jippes entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Gottfredson entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Gonzales entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Wright entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Carson entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Arambula entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Hoover entry, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999. Accessed Nov. 4, 2018.
- Korkis, Jim (August 10, 2003). "The Uncensored Mouse" blog; Jim Hill Media.
- Floyd Norman. "One Mouse, two Floyds". jimhillmedia.com.
- https://comicsworthreading.com/2013/12/03/walt-disneys-mickey-mouse-color-sundays-volume-2-robin-hood-rides-again/?relatedposts_hit=1&relatedposts_origin=10467&relatedposts_position=1 Retrived 2019-01-08
- https://www.firstcomicsnews.com/happy-90th-to-mickey-mouse-celebrate-with-a-special-commemorative-collection/ Retrived 2019-01-08
for future writing: https://www.mouseplanet.com/12219/Talking_Mickey_Floyd_Norman__Part_Two ; https://www.mouseplanet.com/12214/Talking_Mickey_Floyd_Norman__Part_One ; http://jimhillmedia.com/alumni1/b/jim_korkis/archive/2003/09/10/1097.aspx https://www.mouseplanet.com/9692/Jim_and_the_Uncensored_Mouse http://content.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,1859935,00.html https://www.thoughtco.com/the-very-first-mickey-mouse-cartoon-1779238 http://www.michaelbarrier.com/Commentary/Disney%20Reprints/DisneyReprints.html
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