Thursday, September 04, 2014


From the Sub-Basement of the Archives: Achtung, Mickey

My posting last week of an oddball Soviet cartoon featuring American comic strip characters has inspired Cole Johnson to explore the deepest regions of his own archives. Here is his entry in the bizarro foreign cartoon sweepstakes. This comic strip, featuring an ersatz Mickey Mouse, was printed in the October 4 1942 issue of the German cartoon magazine Kladderadatsch. For the life of me, I can't interpret this cartoon as anything but encouragement for American Marines -- they appear to be indestructible. Not only does Mickey hop to their defense, but sea creatures and mermaids do, too. Bet the German sailors wished they had such great allies!


Hello, Allan--I believe the Germans are here mocking the foolish optimism of the US forces. Notice the munitions that were saved are destined for the USSR, and in this takeoff on a recruiting pamphlet, the US navy is otherwise quite satisfied with a bunch of girls! "Join the US Navy". indeed.
Very interesting - getting the timeline right (for me), I find:
The Soviets and U.S. were both at war with Germany.

Lend Lease was happening: The first units equipped with Valentines and Matildas (tanks) went into service in the Staraya Russa and Valdai areas in December 1941 and January 1942.

the Strip is from Oct 1942

Operation Barbarosa started 22 June 1941 - later headline noted: Russian Army Repels Hitler's Forces: August 1942-January 1943

(all from the internet) This comic was in the midst of the WWII Eastern Front.

German view? : That's funny, we sink their transports and they will need giant octopi and mermaids to get the tanks and sailors out of the ocean and back on land to the USSR. And as in: telling them you're living in cartoon land U.S.

I like the note about 'taken freely' from Disney.....the German awareness of the strength of the Disney brand, giving them a bow.
So, Mad was actually influenced by Mazi propaganda?

Merriam-Webster defines Fascism as...
a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

Sounds a lot like Disney's business strategy to me

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