–December 1932 International DeMolay Cordon
Walt’s involvement with DeMolay meant a great deal to him and he proudly wore a DeMolay ring on his right hand until the late 1940s, when he replaced it with the Royal Claddagh ring. Walt was quite impressed with Frank Land, the founder of DeMolay and they had a long friendship.
Beginning in 1932, another DeMolay member, Fred Spencer of the Walt Disney Studios, began sending an original Mickey Mouse comic strip entitled “Mickey Mouse Chapter” for DeMolay’s national newsletter. It was signed by Walt Disney and was different than the Mickey Mouse comic strip that was appearing in the newspapers since it was two-tiers and specifically referenced DeMolay activities. Fred Spencer joined the Disney Studio in 1931 and worked on the early Mickey Mouse cartoons. He is perhaps best known for his work on the early Donald Duck, and he met a tragic end in a car accident in 1938. He had no connection with the comic strip department and the artwork has some resemblance to the work of Floyd Gottfredson.
The Walt Disney Archives has no record of this unique comic strip and there is no way of telling how long it ran although I suspect it didn’t last beyond Spencer’s death and probably ended even earlier.
Disney Historian Jim Korkis was able to find this announcement of the very first DeMolay comic strip (and a poor reproduction of another episode where Pluto disrupts a DeMolay meeting) but has been frustrated in his attempts to find further examples or even how many episodes there were of the strip. I suspect there weren’t many but the Disney Archives has no written record of this strip or Walt agreeing to have it created and published.
So for this inaugural installment of “Help Wanted”, are there any readers who are members of DeMolay or have connections with the organization and its archives who can locate the missing strips and any other information?