Monday, December 26, 2011

Be nice to squirrels!

I got a lot of stick last week for saying squirrels were great and not vermin, so I think the people of the world need to be educated - did you know Mickey Mouse would have killed himself in 1930 if not for squirrels?

Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip, 24 October 1930, story and art (despite the "Walt Disney" signature) by Floyd Gottfredson

No, really, this is the end of a week's worth of strips in which Mickey, thinking Minnie loves someone else, tries to commit suicide in a variety of different ways. Suicide wasn't an uncommon theme in comics and cartoons at that time - the Wall Street crash made it headline news and a part of the public consciousness like never before - and you'd often see the kind of gags that nowadays you only find in Suicidal Syd in Viz, or Moe on The Simpsons (where the joke is that it's not the kind of thing one makes jokes about), but it was still a surprise to find that a loveable icon like Mickey Mouse was tempted.

Slightly disturbing aspects aside, I'm very glad I got the compilation of Mickey Mouse newspaper strips for Christmas! Buy it on Amazon and see for yourself - it's maybe not the best early-thirties newspaper funny strip (that would be Popeye), but hey, it's Mickey Mouse, and the phrase "like you've never seen him before" is probably accurate.