Marvel and the Mouse


You've probably heard by now that Disney is buying Marvel.

Mickey Mouse depicted in Jack Kirby's trademark style as a robot or armored superhero complete with ‘MM’ insignia

I don't have any insight to share at the moment beyond the fact that most of the jokes — some made as much warily as humorously — are just that: jokes. The House of Ideas, as Marvel was once known, won't be "Disneyfied" by The Mouse House. Disney also owns ESPN and Miramax, remember. Which isn't to say there are no ramifications for the entertainment industry.

Plenty of mash-ups, including art done on a lark long before news of the acquisition broke, have made the rounds since yesterday's announcement. Many of the pieces are quite good, and it's interesting to see that Wolverine is as prevalent as Spider-Man these days when choosing a signature Marvel character to cross with Donald or Mickey. Also interesting is that one of the coolest illustrations circulated is the above pic drawn by Jack Kirby and colored by Craig Yoe almost two decades ago for the coffee-table book The Art of Mickey Mouse, in which famed artists of all stripes interpreted the icon, because its resurgence in this context shows how closely Kirby is associated with the quintessential Marvel style when he's really genericizing himself here and not the publisher.



Updated and revised February 2019
Jack Kirby's contribution to Craig Yoe & Janet Morra-Yoe's The Art of Mickey Mouse:
Artists Interpret the World's Favorite Mouse © 1991 The Walt Disney Company.


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1 comment:

  1. Good point about Kirby's piece. I think it's also the only one I saw that has a Disney character "wearing" the costume or attributes of a Marvel character -- or in this case, as you say, a generic Kirbyesque superhero. Other than the few pieces that have the Marvel and Disney characters "facing off" it's Donald as Wolverine, Mickey as Spidey, etc., which only makes sense, because it would be hard to dress Marvel characters in the accoutrements of Disney characters and get the same instant recognition, unless you had, say, Spidey wearing a Mickey outfit from Disney World and taking off the head to reveal his familiar masked visage.

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