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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Wartime issue of MICKEY MOUSE WEEKLY (1940)

There's no mistaking the era of this comic. The topline "Save this paper for re-making!" tells us it's World War 2, when people were encouraged to make do and paper shortages meant that comics could be used for any number of purposes. Let's not go there. 

It's Mickey Mouse Weekly No.233, dated July 20th, 1940, published by Odhams. There may have been a war on but this was still a luxurious looking comic, with four of its eight pages in full colour and using the high quality photogravure method of printing.

Mickey Mouse Weekly contained a mixture of Disney strips reprinted from American newspapers alongside new British material. The front cover features two U.S. reprints (newly coloured for the UK) but the Pinocchio illustration is most likely new. 

Basil Reynolds contributed a lot of artwork for MMW. Here are two of his strips from inside the comic. Neither of them are Disney-related, but back then, licensed comics were allowed to use originated characters. 

The centrespread of the comic featured a variety of U.S. reprints. Someone asked a while back if MMW added text captions to the strips and I said they didn't, but this issue I recently bought proves me wrong, with its Donald Duck strip given wordy captions that the original American strips never had.

Over the page, an original Disney prose story plus another American newspaper strip reprint; The Lone Ranger! I believe the artist is Charles Flanders.

Another original prose story, plus an adverts for Milky Way. Then only 1d…

On the back page, a reprint of a Mickey Mouse page from the U.S. Sunday papers…

All in all, despite wartime restrictions cutting its page length to 8 pages from 12, Mickey Mouse Weekly was still a quality comic, and would run for many more years.

(As always, click on the images to see them much larger, and click again to see them full size.)


Manic Man said...

I wonder why Skit, Skat and the Captain got it's name changed later, but the Captain was still as present as normal.. not that important really,
with Micky Mouse/Disney comics still popular the world around, I wonder why all the UK ones seamed to stop..

Lew Stringer said...

The old reason I suppose: sales. The classic Disney characters don't have the appeal in the UK as comic strips as much as they used to. There are still British Disney magazines that feature a few more recent characters though:

Ken said...

Interesting that there was no anti-Nazi story lines along the usual wartime lines of Hitler getting his butt kicked! Of course the comic was all Disney reprints etc but you thought the publishers might have inserted a strip of that nature.

Qamar said...

Hi Lew,

Been a regular reader of your blog but have never commented :)

But had to comment now as that Milky Way puzzle has stumped me. Can you or anyone answer the one with the chicken?


Lew Stringer said...

Ken, the U.S. reprints would be from before America entered the war. Perhaps they referenced WW2 after 1941.

Quamer, it removes the N from HEN and adds a T in front so the full answer is THE BEST PENNY WORTH.

Ken said...

Sorry Lew, the point I was making was the UK publisher might have inserted a morale booster strip.

Lew Stringer said...

Of course, sorry. Perhaps they did sometimes. It'd be a bit too much to do it every week and perhaps the editor wanted to take the kids' minds off the war.

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