Monday, December 07, 2009

Walt Disney thought suicide was funny!

It takes a special kind of humor to read Alix Strauss' recent book  Death Becomes Them: Unearthing the Suicides of the Brilliant, the Famous, and the Notorious, but probably not as much as it took to write it - the author offers enthusiastic accounts and analysis of suicides by celebrities of all artistic trade who took the self-imposed way out. So much that sometimes it almost feels like a DIY guide to emulating your idols... But as creepy as that sounds, there's even worse: the book tells of a period when Walt Disney thought it funny to make Mickey Mouse suicidal!

In the 1930s Mickey ran in newspapers alongside other comic strips, as written and drawn by Floyd Gottfredson and Hardie Gramatky. From October 8th through the 29th in 1930, the strip's storyline had Minnie dump Mickey for a douche named Mr. Slicker, leaving the poor mouse deeply depressed and trying different ways to off himself. And why did they run that strip? “I think it will be funny,” was what Gottfredson remembered being told by Uncle Walt himself who came up with the concept and pushed it.

Here are a few of those little "gems", if only to henceforth view Disney animated features in a different light...(click on each strip to see it full and large)


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