Saturday, April 23, 2005

Vintage Cartoon Matchbooks!

The Walt Disney Productions matchbook was a gift to me from animator Ed Henderson who worked at the Mouse Factory in the early 40s (he also spent time at Screen Gems and was later responsible for the Astrodome scoreboard cartoons in the 60s and 70s.. Remember the Home Run Spectacular?). The late-deco layout is spiffy, and the streamlined version of Mickey depicted here is my favorite design. The Terrytoons matchbook is a mystery to me. It's late 40s-early 50s vintage, so the comic books it refers to were being published by St. John (earlier, the Terry comic titles were handled by Timely/Marvel and, after St. John, by Pines) , but they're not mentioned anywhere so they're likely not responsible for the matchbook. Did the studio have these made? And how many matchbooks were made to advertise comic books in the 40s and 50s, anyway? I like the copy on the inside of the cover, praising Paul Terry for the general wholesomeness of his cartoons. A real animation businessman, Terry was obsessed with copyrights and trademarks. They're all over this matchbook. I can't think of any other golden age studio who went so far as to tack a "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off." onto their characters' logos.


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