Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson
Mickey Mouse (16 February 1946)

Arthur Floyd Gottfredson is the artist of the classic 'Mickey Mouse' newspaper strip. He is the artist that shaped Mickey's comics character, and gave him his first big adventures. As a youngster, Floyd Gottfredson was interested in comics like 'Krazy Kat', 'Barney Google' and 'Jerry on the Job'. Born in Kaysville, Utah, Gottfredson took a correspondence course in art from the London School. He started out illustrating flyers and drawing for local newspapers like the Salt Lake City Telegram and the Utah Farmer.

Mickey Mouse, by Floyd Gottfredson
Mickey Mouse, 8/3/1932

In the late 1920s, he moved to Los Angeles to start a more professional career in the cartooning field. He was hired by Disney as an apprentice animator. Gottfredson worked on the 'Silly Symphonies' for a while, but was soon asked to take over the four-month-old 'Mickey Mouse' newspaper strip from Ub Iwerks and Win Smith. Originally scripted by Disney himself, the 'Mickey Mouse' strip was soon turned over to Gottfredson for both art and story in May 1930.

Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot, by Floyd Gottfredson
Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot

Gottfredson is best remembered for the exciting adventure stories he made with in Mickey, together with writers like Ted Osborne, Merrill De Maris and eventually Bill Walsh. During his tenure on the strip, several new characters were introduced, such as the mysterious 'Phantom Blot', police chief O'Hara and his assistant Casey, bullies like Kat Nipp and Butch, and 'Eega Beeva', the Man from Tomorrow. By 1955 the continuity was dropped and the Mickey comic became a gag-a-day strip, which Gottfredson continued to draw until his retirement in 1975.

Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson
Mickey Mouse and Eega Beeva (30 April 1948)

From 1932 to 1938, he also drew the 'Mickey Mouse' Sunday page, but this was eventually handed over to Manuel Gonzales. Gottfredson's art, which evolved from cartoony to more realistic, has been an inspiration to many later 'Mickey' artists, such as the Italian Romano Scarpa.

Chesty and Coptie by Floyd Gottfredson
Chesty and Coptie

Gottfredson, who was head of Disney's comic strip department from 1930 to 1946 also drew a story starring 'Chesty and Coptie' for the 1946 Chestie giveaway published by the Los Angeles Community Chest.

Cinderella's Christmas Party, by Floyd Gottfredson (1964)
Cinderella's Christmas Party

In addition, Gottfredson did artwork on two Christmas Specials, featuring 'Bambi' and 'Cinderella' in 1963-64. He was head of the Disney comic strip department from 1930 to 1946. Floyd Gottfredson died in 1986 at his Southern California home.

Mickey Mouse, by Floyd Gottfredson

Last updated: 2013-05-14

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