Wednesday, 11 June 2008


Here are the remaining Sunday half-pages (click over the images to view them in their original size) from the 1936 'Silly Symphony', picking up from where I had lef off at the previous post:

This 'Silly Symphony' continuity, as all Disney Sunday comics (including the Mickey Mouse half-pages) from 1933-37, was scripted by Ted Osborne (1900-68). A radio writer by profession, Osborne had been initially employed by Disney to prepare a Mickey Mouse radio show, but eventually recruited into the comics department when that show did not last long; in addition to his exclusive work on Sundays, he scripted most of of the Mickey Mouse daily strips in this period as well. In 1937, he was shifted to the animation story department and assigned to work on the feature cartoon Bambi. Afterwards, he wanted to go back to his previous job as comics writer, but artist Floyd Gottfredson, who headed the comics department at the time, preferred to continue with his replacement (Merrill de Marris), so Osborne left Disney. Gottfredson has claimed (in an interview published in Mickey Mouse in Color) that "Osborne was sort of mechanical. He had a tremendous gag file, but he did everything by formula." Marris may or not have been a better writer, but I believe that, if not anything, the 1936 Three Pigs continuity shows Osborne's writing was far from being simply mechanical and formulaic (on the other hand, the Marris-scripted 'Silly Symphony' continuity titled 'Practical Pig' from 1938 is a pretty straightforward adaptation of the cartoon short with the same title from the same year).
All of the scans from this 'Silly Symphony' continuity are from the high-quality photogravure prints of British Mickey Mouse Weekly no.'s 9-40, which followed the original US newspaper run of the series with a two and a half months lag, but which nevertheless preceeded its run at Italian and French Disney comics magazines by several months.

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