Comic Chronicles – Critical Comics Theory

When you think about Mickey Mouse, one name comes to mind, Walt Disney. But here’s the thing – Walt Disney didn’t create Mickey Mouse alone. It was actually his best friend, Ub Iwerks, who designed the iconic cartoon in 1928.

He was the person who was doing most of the behind-the-scenes work, and when Walt was taking credit, Ub was the one who was denied credit.

Ub Iwerks biographer Jeff Ryan talks about the creator.



Everyone talks about the weather, especially in Southwest Missouri. In the first decades of the 20th century, it was no different. However, Globe readers knew they could keep informed and get a dose of humor reading Mike the Duck’s forecasts.

Mike the Duck was the creation of Oscar Frank Nelson.

Oscar “Lord” Nelson came up with his concept of a duck to forecast the weather. After all, who should know more about the possibility of rainy weather than a duck? With the assistance of Downing, Mike the Duck entered the pages of the Globe. The exact date of his debut is unknown, but it was some time just after 1900.

Ralph W. Downing was the cartoonist for the Globe after 1900 until around 1916 when he became a staff artist for the Kansas City Star.

Downing continued to draw Mike until he moved to Kansas City and the column was discontinued.

The vague debut date makes the competition for the first weather cartoon of Missouri unknown, but The Post-Dispatch Weatherbird certainly outlasted Mike the Duck.

The Joplin Globe recalls their weather bird.



Clare Victor Dwiggins was mostly famous for his cartoons of rural boyhood. Later in his life he combined that with August Derleth’s thoughts of a boy’s active imagination about things that go bump in the night.

The University of Wisconsin has a gallery of their collaboration.



A Gallery of Sherlock Holmes illustrations because … Sidney Paget!