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Thursday, November 12, 2009

THURSDAY-HELP WANTED Mickey Mouse and Demolay

"The above cartoon which is the first of a series to be published in The Cordon was drawn by Brother Fred Spencer of the Walt Disney Studios, creator of Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphonies. Both Brothers Disney and Spencer are Legionnaires of the Mother Chapter Preceptory of the Legion of Honor. Watch for the future installments, you will enjoy them just as you enjoy as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, when you see them in their capers on the screen."
--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?

4 comments:

  1. SO nice to "see" you again, Mr Anderson!

    I thought you had "joined a Monastery"!
    Well, that's what YOU wrote (Sort of!) in Jane 2002 - post #19 of this thread! -

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?s=e94fbd981018411dca94ac7c526621df&t=219937&page=2


    "While I hope to have the issue out for Walt’s 100th Birthday (if not, I’m joining a Monastery)... "

    So, my guess is that we still won't get any new issues of Persistence Of Vision! Too bad, right?!

    The vision was there, but no persistence!

    You really took some of us for a LONG ride and it was not a Disney one!

    Oh well! We still have ... Paris (;-) ) and the internet!

    Promises, promises!

    ReplyDelete
  2. First off, my apologies for the delay in posting your comment and responding. As you may have read in the DHI blog, I have been in Los Angeles the last eight days, and I'm just now back and posting comments and responses. I do apologize for the issues (or lack thereof) with POV, and frankly, I won't try to explain about everything I have been through, but will at least offer the apology. All I can say is life happens, and things divert even the best of intentions (and for many years it was beyond joining a Monastery and close to joining St. Peter in Heaven, although I'm sure many POV faithful would believe it was not there that I was headed). All I can do is to try and make it right. I am doing that partially with the Institute and now offering all of this information on the blog. Sadly, there are many that feel they "donated" money to this cause, without actually intending a donation! So for anyone that feels like they did not get their money's worth, please email me directly. And through Disney history product (I still have a large inventory of Disney books) or old POV cassettes or issues (although the latter I have very few of), I'll try to figure out what you are owed and "make it up". At this point, that is what I can do ... that and offer my sincerest apology, and try to make the Disney History Institute something worthwhile to everybody who loves Walt Disney's creative legacy. Email me at: povpfa@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. There is at least one more panel: see
    http://birminghamdemolay.tripod.com/Disney_Full_Article.pdf

    cheers!

    matteo

    ReplyDelete
  4. There is at least one more panel. See:
    http://birminghamdemolay.tripod.com/Disney_Full_Article.pdf

    cheers!

    ReplyDelete