Sunday, January 13, 2008
The Glories of Gottfredson, the Wonders of Walsh
Back here I posted about the Internet era as a great time for appreciating the art of Floyd Gottfredson, the legendary Disney artist who drew the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip. Gottfredson’s superb graphic storytelling is now more accessible than ever. Over on the always-interesting Classic Cartoon blog a full-length Gottfredson continuity was posted back in September 2006 (scroll down until you reach the posting for September 18; the story is printed in three parts: parts one and two on September 18 and part three on September 19). Originally published March 26 through June 23, 1951, “Dry Gulch Goofy” tells of Mickey and Goofy “going Hollywood” when the Goof finds unexpected stardom as a singing cowboy. This comedic adventure, also featuring Goofy’s horse, Myrtle Sue, and a bevy of California beauties, was written by the extraordinarily talented Bill Walsh. Known for his wit, sharp satire and wildly imaginative storytelling skills, Bill started writing the Mickey comic strip in 1943, and incredibly continued penning the feature for years after becoming one of the most successful screenwriters/producers in Hollywood. Bill stepped down from scripting the strip in 1964, after he had already written and produced such movie hits as The Shaggy Dog (1959) and the Oscar-nominated The Absent-Minded Professor (1961). Before he signed on as the Mickey writer, Bill had been a Hollywood press agent (among other jobs) so one can imagine Bill incorporating some first-hand observations into his Mickey-and-Goofy-Go-Hollywood continuity. Incidentally, the Mickey Mouse comic strip debuted on January 13, 1930—so Happy Birthday to the Mickey comic, and to anyone else celebrating his birthday today.