Controversial! Fun And Also Games! First Comic Book related blog to be featured in the Australian National Library's Pandora archive. 2016 Rondo Award nominee. Pop culture, music, film and comic book expert. Would be willing to write for biscuits.
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The Day Mussolini Banned Mickey Mouse & Popeye
The day the world began to end was when Popeye and Mickey
Mouse were banned for being too subversive.
In late 1938, Italy’s fascist government, led by the Duce himself Benito
Mussolini, ordered the Ministry of Culture to ban anything that wasn’t
‘exclusively Italian’ as it would lead their children of the day away from a
life of a soldier. As such Hollywood
movies, Popeye and Mickey Mouse were singled out for banning leading to one of
the first, if not the first, mass banning of comic books anywhere in the
world. Italy’s banning of comics, movies
and books was proof positive of the old adage that a nation prepared to ban and
burn literature is also prepared to ban and burn people.
Mussolini’s ban didn’t have much of an impact upon either
The Mouse or Popeye – both went from strength to strength. The Fleischer Studios made a few cartoons
showing Popeye beating the living suitcase out of various Italians and Germans,
not to mention a few Japanese along the way.
Conversely Mickey Mouse was too much of a wimp to get involved and I
doubt that even a four year old kid reared on Disney would have bought The
Mouse engaging in either a duel of wits or fisticuffs with Sgt Schultz, let
alone a full blown Nazi. However Popeye
was just as violent as Andy Capp was in his day, only Popeye didn’t beat the
crap out of Olive Oyl, unlike Andy who’d routinely kick the daylights out of
his wife, Flo, the rent man, sundry neighbours, anyone who looked at him funny
or when he played soccer. But then both
Popeye and Andy Capp smoked like chimneys, and where Popeye’s drug of choice
was spinach, Andy Capp loved nothing more than to go down to the pub, get
pissed, crack onto some tart for some casual sex and then wander home to give
Flo one to think about.
I’ve always wondered what Mussolini would have thought about
Andy Capp. He’d probably have died of
shock, instead of being shot, beaten and then strung upside down for the people
of Italy to throw fruit, vegetables and assorted stones at his head. Still, it
wouldn’t be all that long after this that both America and Australia would lead
the way in the banning and burning of comic books. The only difference is that the comics were
banned in the USA and Australia to protect the youth from being corrupted…hang
on, that’s why Mussolini banned them. Oh
Be warned - read this, take note and learn the easy way - we've learnt this lesson the hard way.
As people who read this stuff on some form of a regular basis might be aware we're off to New York in just over a month. Three weeks in New York, one week in San Fransisco. The key, for us anyway, is booking some decent accommodation, so we decided that, as we're going to be in New York for three weeks solid, that we'd go for a serviced apartment over a hotel room. So we started looking on the proper web-sites for places until we found one. Great location, it does exist, great photos - the lot. Perfect for our needs. The other half made contact with the 'owner' via the web-site and made arrangements to pay. We were asked to pay via MoneyGram, no biggie and no alarm bells started to ring - we've not done this before and all seemed normal. We made the first payment and got an email back from the 'owner' saying he'd gotten the payment and could we fix th…
Let's nip this right in the bud now and call this image bullshit (as Penn & Teller would say). Yesterday a link was emailed to quite a few people, showing the image you see on the left, which is supposedly the Jack Kirby version of The Amazing Spider-Man. If it the art was genuine then it'd rewrite Marvel history as we know it. There's one slight problem though - it's a hoax, and not a very good one at that. Someone has taken the Giant Man image from the splash page of Tales To Astonish #51 and doctored it, using a logo taken from page #183 of Joe Simon's Comic Book Makers book and parts of the design that Steve Ditko drew for one of Robin Snyder's books (in which he discussed the differences between Jack Kirby's discarded version of Spiderman and the final, Steve Ditko-Stan Lee version of Spider-Man) and mashed them all together. As to why anyone would want to do that, or what end they hoped to achieve is beyond me. But then that's life.
Go and have a read, and, more importantly, pass the word on to everyone and anyone who is thinking of travelling anywhere and booking. First rule of thumb - NEVER pay anyone via a money transfer system such as Western Union or Moneygram. They assist the scammers, and once your money is gone, those companies couldn't care less. They've got their cut. Make sure you pay in such a way that you've got recourse - if it's a money transfer then it's a scam, as far as I'm concerned.