tb's Mickey Mouse Magazines
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82 posts in this topic

Each year around this time, I've been posting a plea for help towards improving my collection of Mickey Mouse Magazines. This year, I was finally able to complete my run and thought I'd use the opportunity to put together a thread with nice scans of my highest graded copies.

 

Mickey Mouse Magazine is one of those oddball titles that few collectors care about. For many years, I didn't think much of it myself, but gradually, as I saw the books one by one, it has become my favorite Disney title. It spans the period 1935-40 which centaurman once referred to as "The Golden Age of Golden Age". During this revolutionary time in the industry, MMM transformed from a children's magazine to a comic book. In the process, it featured some of the most beautiful Disney covers ever.

 

I was fortunate to start out just at a time when several long time collections and file copy runs went on the market. I suspect that a good fraction of these books, which were assembled over several decades by people like Jeff Lotman and Gary Colabuono, are among the best existing copies. Hopefully seeing the books together will help communicate some of my own enthusiasm for the title.

 

This is probably going to take a long time since I need to rescan all the books, but at least this is a start. I plan to continue upgrading whenever possible. If anyone comes across copies in nicer shape at conventions etc., I would greatly appreciate if you'd let me know.

 

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Mickey Mouse Magazine V1#1 is impossible to find in high grade. Though I am sure nicer copies are around, the one below is the best I have ever seen for sale (from Ted Hake's collection). Probably due to the oversized format, just about every copy seems to have problems at the spine. I would gladly pay 3 times guide for an unrestored FN/VF.

 

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V1#1: A few pictures from the interior. Note the yellow ducks.

 

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V1#2: These early issues mostly contained text stories and puzzles. They did have some pretty nice interior artwork, though. Like V1#1, this book is oversized although not quite as much (11-1/2 x 8-1/2" vs. 13-1/4 x 10-1/4"). Issues from volume 1 are very hard to find in nice shape. The paper is usually browning and the spine is a particular concern for the two first, oversized issues.

 

My biggest disappointment while assembling the whole run was missing out on a file copy of V1#2 that Metropolis had for sale in 2004. I'll try to follow Jon Berk's example and avoid mentioning money in this thread, but this is the one copy that "got away" from me. If Stephen happens to read this and might be able to pull another of his little miracles, I would pay a completely ridiculous amount for it.

 

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While you are going through these can you answer this question.

 

When Donald is printed fully in color, when does he go from having yellow feathers to white?

 

His bill sort of gradually decreases in size but the feathers I assume is a one shot deal. I know in the Mickey Sundays he started with yellow feathers.

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V1#3: This issue contains artwork from several earlier Disney shorts, including "Touchdown Mickey" (1932) and "Peculiar Penguins" (1934). This is in contrast to the later issues which would advertise shorts before they were shown in theatres. The layout is messy with art from the penguin story spread out on at least 3 pages througout the issue, randomly intermingled with other stories and puzzles (see pictures below). Note how the single panel from the cartoon "Mickey's Fire Brigade" (released August '35) appears completely without context.

 

From a collector's point of view, this is the first of 2-3 issues printed on very high quality paper (see scan below). Unlike the other early issues, paper quality should never be a concern. The copy shown used to belong to Jeff Lotman - very hard to find this nice.

 

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V1#4: One of my favorite covers. The "Mickey Mouse On Ice" short was released in September 1935 and this issue was thus the first to feature art from the latest Disney cartoons (see scan of interior page below). The issue did not contain any comics although it did have several sequences of panels like the one below. A subtle but important change of direction...

 

This copy is from a large set of file copies that I was fortunate enough to find a few years ago. The seller had kept them since the 1970s and it was only after 6 months of correspondence that he started offering the first copies to me. V1#4 is one of the most difficult of all Disney books to find in nice condition. I have never seen another copy better than VG. Again, note the white paper - if only every issue had been printed on this!

 

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V1#5: Classic Duck cover and pretty much impossible to find in nice shape. As with most of the rare early issues, this copy once belonged in Jeff Lotman's collection. This was the last issue to feature the nice white paper.

 

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The strip below appears to have been inspired by the 1935 Silly Symphony "Who Killed C. Robin". The Silly Symphonies from this period were used for experimentation and music played a bigger role than memorable characters. This particular short takes the concept to an extreme as the title character is shot dead within the first minute. According to the book "Mickey and the Gang", the only known character merchandise appearance of Robin is the B-side of an electric Christmas light. I think the strip is historically interesting in that it reflects how the publishers experimented with leveraging the Disney cartoons in their magazine. It is horrible ideas like this that make the 1935-40 period so fascinating to me. Without these failures there probably wouldn't have been a modern comic book.

 

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V1#6: Another book from Jeff Lotman's collection. It looks and sounds like it never was opened so I won't take pictures of the interior. Anyone wanting to collect MMMs should pay attention to paper quality starting with this issue.

 

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V1#7: Same provenance.

 

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Note the browning near the edges: this is almost always seen on the early issues.

 

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V1#8: Bought from Hake's. It was just slightly nicer than the Lotman copy which I sold to a friend.

 

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V1#9: This classic cover is almost impossible to find in collectible condition. By far the best copy I have ever seen.

 

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