Friday, June 11, 2010
A Woody For Mickey!
The Disney creations are so ripe for ridicule that it's become a cliche to mock them. The transformation of transgressive cartoon characters into models of upright modern citizenry is utterly complete and robs Mickey and Donald and the rest of much of their potency. That power if retained somewhat in the comics, is completely lost in the maze of merchandising that actually defines the characters for most of the population.
It's been like that for a long time. But it doesn't mean that there haven't been attempts to undermine the stature of the Disney creations.
In the 70's there were the Air Pirates Funnies undergrounds. See this link for more on those. This one too.
But the most successful to my mind is likely the infamous poster by Wally Wood showing the Disney creations involved in an orgy. It's classic Wood, blending his keen interests in crisp craftsmanship with his idealized notions of sex. Wood was able somehow to show the sex act in such a way as to show it clearly but still with a slight tinge of romanticism, thus making it the essence of fantasy.
There's something fundamentally disturbing seeing these childhood icons doing the deed, but it's also quite funny, and like a prototype for the "Where's Waldo?" posters, it gets more curious as your eye traces across the details.
The color image is a reproduction of the original which appeared in The Realist a counterculture magazine published by Paul Krassner. For a look at the very issue from which the Wood image is taken see this link. Check out the entry "Donald Duck Eats Daisies" by Krassner discussing Wood, the image and promoting Witzend.