27 February 2014

Mickey masks

"There is something bold and daring about a Mickey Mouse mask. It hovers in that nether world, the narrow line between friendly and scary. Early Mickey masks were honest. They stated their case clearly, and never stooped to cutesy. The rubber face of Disneyland, on the other hand, is soaked in sugar candy, sweet, cloying, and unflinchingly upbeat. But in the early days, Mickey Mouse masks were simple statements that captured the essence of Mickey. The basic 1930s Mickey Halloween mask, made of gauze, was pure, powerful and iconic...

Brace yourself for a unique experience, a photograph that is truly Extraordinary! This is a meeting of the original Mickey Mouse Club that took place, as it did every Saturday, sometime, in the early 1930s. It is a surreal vision that you might see, either as a nightmare, or a pleasant dream, or, perhaps, somewhere, in between. My hope is that you are viewing it on a 24” screen."
From a truly remarkable web page displaying the Mel Birnkrant collection of Mickey masks.  The photo embedded above is worth viewing in landscape size.  At that link you can also read an explanation of these British Mickey gas masks:


  1. I know this is not where I should put this, but I don't comment on things often enough to be smart about it. I just wondered if you had seen this: http://imgur.com/a/0llgn : It's a series of pictures a person took when they hand-raised a newly hatched songbird. I enjoyed it and I thought you might. It's a tiny way of paying you back for posting so many interesting things in your blog.

    1. I saw that this morning because it was at the top of the Reddit front page (I browse Reddit every day). The photoessay is TMI for a post here, but I have bookmarked the link to include in my next linkdump.

  2. As soon as I saw the Mickey Mouse photo I had a visceral reaction that took me to many of the Diane Arbus photos I have seen. There is just something eerie about see all of those masked faces gathered together.

  3. There's a certain festival in schools in which students dress up in costume according to a theme determined by the festival each year and a subtheme determined by their teacher. Students make their own masks etc in art class.

    Most teachers set a very broad subtheme that students can interpret as they will. But I had one teacher who is ... not known for encouraging individuality and creativity, and that year every ... single ... member of the class had to make an identical Mickey Mouse mask to wear at the festival.

    So that's the association that Mickey Mouse masks have for me.

  4. Seems creepy, to me, like a convention for serial killers. Made even more creepy knowing about all the accusations which have been made against the man, from racism to pedophilia. Very little real proof, but still.....I also found the Merry Melodies toons much more entertaining, even though they were more violent. But then I also find the 3 stooges funny.


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