Sunday, 13 December 2009


In an earlier post at this blog on Dec. 2d, 2008, I had extensively covered what I call as Donald Duck's "pseudo-debut" in the illustrated story book The Adventures of Mickey Mouse (1931) where he was named as one of Mickey's barnyard friends. Next year, Donald Duck would also get a mention in a British publication. An 8-pages illustrated text piece titled 'Mickey's 'Hoozoo'' in the third Mickey Mouse Annual (1932) introduces several of "Mickey's friends and foes" and Donald Duck gets a one-time mention in the third page (scan above).
'Mickey's 'Hoozoo'' is partially partially derivative of The Adventures of Mickey Mouse which had a British edition as well. The Adventures of Mickey Mouse has a plot while 'Mickey's 'Hoozoo'' is just a collection of sketches and the latter includes several characters not mentioned in the former, but there are several obvious connections, beginning with the fact some of the illustrations in the British annual are clearly copied/redrawn from the US book, such as the cat figure in the first page..

.. and the pig figure in the second page:

Equally significant is the fact that the character known today as Horace Horsecollar is named as Henry Horse and Clarabella Cow as Carolyne Cow in both publications. Hence, the inclusion of Donald Duck in the third Mickey Mouse Annual can be explained by its derivative relation to The Adventures of Mickey Mouse.

Sunday, 6 December 2009


In a post last month in this blog, I had provided a general overview of pre-war Disney books in Britain, concentrating on books by Dean, the pioneer of Disney publications in the UK. In that post, it was noted that the London & Glasgow-based Collins Clear-Type Press was the most prolific publisher of Disney books in Britain in the pre-war era and their books needed to be covered in a separate post. Collins' pre-war publications include a long series of illustrated story adaptation books of Mickey Mouse and Silly Symphony cartoons, books for school beginner kids, annuals and Snow White books.' Their first Disney publication was Mickey Mouse in Giant Land (1934), featuring an illustrated story adaptation of the cartoon Giantland (1933). Below are scans of its color plate and two of its 44 full page b&w illustrations:
The same adaptation was published in the same year in US by David McKay Co., with a similar but non-identical cover art:

In 1935, Collins put out two more books in the same vein: Mickey Mouse in Pigmy Land and Mickey Mouse Crusoe:
They are illustrated story adaptations of Gulliver Mickey (1934) and Mickey's Man Friday. These two books were published, with identical covers, in the US by Whitman in 1936, that is one year after Collins' books came out, which indicates that Collins' early Mickey Mouse books were originally British-made and not British editions of US publications. Collins' last illustrated books derived from Mickey Mouse cartoons were Mickey Mouse Fire Brigade (1936) and Mickey Mouse and Pluto the Pup (1936), adaptations of Mickey's Fire Brigade (1935) and Pluto's Judgement Day (1935) respectively.
In addition to story books derived from cartoons, Collins also published several books aimed at first-grade school children, such as A Mickey Mouse Story from A to Z:

There is a 1936 Whitman book titled A Mickey Mouse Alphabet Book with an identical cover art, but since Collins' book is undated, it is hard to know which one came out first.
In 1937, Collins published Don Mickey, in a similar format to the cartoon-derived books but with a original story; this book will later be covered in a separate post in this blog.
Around 1934-36, Collins also published illustrated story adaptations several Silly Symphony cartoons, including Santa's Workshop, Nursery Stories, Water Babies, The Golden Touch, The Night Before Christmas:

For the year 1937, Collins put out a Silly Symphoy Annual:
This would remain a one-shot annual, as Collins would begin issuing Donald Duck annuals from 1938 onwards. Following the release of Disney's first feature-length animation, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Collins published several publications derived from this movie, including coloring books.
One of the most prized Collins publications is the flip-book Donald & Pluto (1939):
Probably the last of Collins' pre-war Disney books (or perhaps the first of their war-time Disney publications, as it is undated) is an adaptation of late Silly Symphony cartoon Ugly Duckling (1939):