Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mickey Mouse and the Foreign Legion

I have a copy of a wonderful collection of out-of-print Mickey Mouse comics from the 1930s and 40s.

The strips are all signed by Walt Disney, but were in fact drawn by Floyd Gottfredson, a young Disney animator who inherited the newspaper strip from Walt after the first few strips and continued to draw Mickey's newspaper adventures into the 1960s.

Mickey Mouse was a favourite comic strip of Franklin D. Roosevelt among other important figures of the mid-20th Century. (Benito Mussolini, for instance, reportedly forbid the publication of all American comic strips in Italy except for Mickey Mouse. Hitler, on the other hand, hated him.)

I'll be posting the rest of this story and others from the collection in the future as time permits.

Sidney Sime

I wanted to post a few images by one of my favourite lesser-known illustrators.

Sidney H. Sime was born in 1867 in Manchester, England. A contemporary of Arthur Rackham and Maxfield Parrish, his work has so far not enjoyed the renewed popularity of those artists.

In his day, Sime was a frequent collaborator with the poet Lord Dunsany, illustrating many of his fantasies. The influence of his imagery has been noted by writers such as H.P. Lovecraft and Ray Bradbury and echoes of his style can be seen in the work of artists like Dr. Seuss and Brian Froud.

Sime's use of Lampblack, a kind of charcoal applied with a brush and sponge, allowed him to produce black-and-white images of astounding delicacy. His mastery of this style is unequaled by any artist I have ever seen.

The images seen here are from the book Sidney H. Sime: Master of Fantasy by Paul W. Skeeters.