Saturday 20 December 2008

What actually happened to the art

Remember this Mickey Mouse panel that I showed here in November?

Armando commented:
>>>Very interesting! The Taliaferro panel comes from the January 30th, 1938 Mickey Mouse Sunday, but the version reprinted in "Walt Disney's Comics and Stories" #12 (1941) seems to be heavily edited:
Looks like Mickey wasn't allowed to handle a gun any longer...>>>

And yesterday David Gerstein left a comment that I think deserves to be read by all not just those browsing through old posts: >>>According to Floyd Norman (with whom I chatted about this), it's really an urban legend that the comic strip originals were sent to Western. If they really had been, it stands to reason that there would be no original, uncut dailies left from any of the Mickey stories Western serialized. But a handful of originals do survive from almost every continuity Western used.

Apparently, what actually happened was that Frank Reilly just told everyone one day that all originals prior to a certain year (might have been 1955), which were then being stored in some room, were to be destroyed. Staffers had a few days to dig through them and save whatever they wanted. After those few days were up, sure enough... the remainder bit the bullet.
But quite a number were saved, and it's those that were slowly dispersed and account for the several hundred (or so) on the market today.
The vast majority of originals from after that period still survive at Disney, held in big boxes of more than a hundred apiece.

Now... back to that Taliaferro panel that we're seeing here. Why was it cut out? Maybe because it wasn't used in the final ZM 38-01-30 at all! I'm looking at the strip in its newspaper format now, and the corresponding panel matches WDC&S, not the original at you showed. No gun, Mickey is walking rather than standing still and the crooks are seen from the back, not the front.
Why the change? IMHO, because letting Mickey catch the dropped gun and use it softens the gag. It's funnier to have Mickey subdue the crooks without any weapon at all, entirely due to their misinterpretation of the car's backfiring sound.

So this is really a lost Sunday strip panel! >>>

Ahh, imagine beeing there that day in 1955. Walking into a room and beeing able to pick any strip from the Phantom blot story, the Bat Bandit of Inferno Gulch, the Miracle Master or just a trunk full of early Mickey and Donald sundays. For free...
Thanks for sharing this info, David!

Update: Now, it has since turned out that some of the original Disney comic strip art produced at the studio actually was cut up for use in the Western Publishing publications. But this was done at the studio. This was revealed when the John Basmaijan collection went up for sale.

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