Gottfredson’s Mickey: The Art and Science of Action

Before becoming the anodyne logo of Disney’s saccharine-soaked family image during the post-WWII era, Disney’s Mickey Mouse had some heroic chops. Make no mistake, Mickey was never even remotely “edgy” let alone hard-boiled in the style of some other 30s pulp protagonists. But he was imagined by Disney in the original animated shorts and then by Floyd Gottfredson in the daily comic strips, as a spunky, resourceful adventurer. In the 1930s, Mickey was thrust into a number of roles and across all of the pop culture genres: sky jockey, detective, western outlaw hunter, ghost-hunter, even sci-fi adventurer. As tame as Mickey’s 30s adventures may seem, the Disney corporation in its most controlling moments in the past has tried to disappear come of the earliest imagery of their corporate logo packing a gun or interacting with some cringe-worth but commonplace racial stereotyping of the era.

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