Minnie Never Looked Like This!!
When Craig Yoe first approached me about joining the exalted ranks of The I.T.C.H. Blog posters, I humbly demurred. How could my merely human level of wit and insight possibly match that of Yoe’s? Still, he insisted he wanted me to contribute content, so I figured some agency was pressuring him to hire a minority (I’m of Dutch descent). Not wanting to get my old friend in Dutch with the authorities (any more than he can do on his own), I agreed to join. So I’ll be alienating Craig’s hard-won readership on a weekly basis.
I’ve been mulling over the topic of my first post for some time. Should I write a manifesto on what I believe makes comics special? If any of you read the magazine I publish, Hogan’s Alley, you are already largely familiar with my perspective on cartooning and its place in the larger culture. Besides, it sounds kind of pretentious, and my appreciation of cartooning is anything but. So I just thought I’d share with you some fun work I was looking at recently.
Like many comics fans, my gateway to an obsession with comics was the Disney line. When I first started reading them, I didn’t know about bylines or bullpens–just the stories. And it wasn’t until years later that I learned that many of the Disney stories I enjoyed were done by Paul Murry. Eventually, fellow fan (and occasional Hogan’s Alley writer) Germund von Wowern, filled in even more of the gaps in my knowledge of Murry’s impressive and prolific career. And imagine my delight when Germund revealed that Murry was a first-rate good girl artist!
I became acquainted with Murry through his depictions of Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Jose Carioca, and many other regulars of the Disney universe. But Murry was far more than a funny-animal cartoonist; his depictions of women might come across today as sexist relics from a less enlightened era, but DAMN he was good. (I’ve included a sampling here; if you’re at work, make sure you’re reading this while no coworkers are nearby.) Many thanks to Germund for sharing these with me so that I could share them with you years later.
And I guess that this nonlinear connection between my early love for comics and my continuing discoveries as I and others peer into every nook and cranny that our art form contains is what makes cartooning research so exciting for me: I will never know as much as I want to, and each discovery–whether my own or that of someone else–makes me want to know more (and hence the image I present at the end of my post). I look forward to continuing this journey with you here at The I.T.C.H. Blog and, if you’re so inclined, in the pages of Hogan’s Alley.
Publisher, Hogan’s Alley