mickey mouse suicide

Remember when Mickey Mouse decided to commit suicide?

Unless you lived in the 1930s or are a fan of vintage comic strips you might not be aware of the attempted Mickey Mouse suicide. But it was a very real thing that ran in the Mickey Mouse comic strip from October 8th to the 24th of 1930. It is a grim series of strips, with a happy ending, that really demonstrate how culture and entertainment, especially surrounding death, have changed over the years.

The story revolves around Minnie leaving Mickey for another rodent, could be a mouse or a rat, named Mr. Slicker. Mickey is despondent and then attempts to take his life through various methods. Each time failing. Eventually he decides that life is worth living, but it is a pretty wild ride.

The strip was written and drawn by Floyd Gottfredson. In April 1930, Gottfredson started work on the just four-month-old Mickey Mouse daily comic strip. A strip that until then had heavy involvement from Walt himself. But Floyd took to it and he would define the Mickey Mouse cartoon world in the same way that Carl Barks would the world of Donald Duck.

From what I have read online, the story-line did not originate with Gottfredson, but with Walt Disney. If that is true, it is more than fascinating. We are seeing a dark side to Mickey’s life, that came straight from his creator. My guess is that this is not Mickey Mouse canon, but it might be the most “real” I have seen Mickey. So maybe it should be. I will let you decide. Here are the strips for your reading pleasure.

Mickey Mouse Suicide series of Comic Strips


In the first few days of the strip, we meet Mr. Slicker at the Mickey Mouse Miniature Golf Course. This is where he meets both Mickey and Minnie. They go out for food and Mr. Slicker defends Minnie’s honor, which impresses her. Even though Mickey tried to do that same. Sadly he failed.

Like a lot of early stories with Minnie Mouse, she is more of a prop than a real character.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 1

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 2

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 3

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 4

On Days five through seven, Mickey is pushed out. Mr. Slicker has made his move and Minnie seems to be smitten. Gotta admit, this Slicker guy is kind of…slick.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 5

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 6

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 7

Mickey is about to do something about it and Horsecollar comes along with some terrible advice. Not saying Mickey should have knocked Mr. Slicker’s block off, but he should have talked to Minnie.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 8

Now it is too late and Mr. Slicker and Minnie are thing now. Poor Mickey. I really like that sad last frame.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 9

Now come the Mickey Mouse suicide attempts. Mickey tries via gun, drowning, leaping from a bridge, gas and hanging. Each time he fails with mild comic hi-jinks resulting.

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 10

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 11

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 12

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 13

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 14

The final comic is the one where Mickey decides to hang himself from a tree. While doing so he encounters some happy smiling squirrels. Their natural happiness makes him feel better and he decides that life is worth living. Instead of using the rope to hang himself. Mickey turns it into a swing. Now this is the Mickey I know!

mickey mouse suicide comic strip day 15

This was a fascinating run of a great comic strip. If you are interested in more Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson, please check out the compilations that have been printed of his work.

Boss Hogg Action Figure

Dukes of Hazzard Boss Hogg Action Figure

Like many people who grew up in the eighties, I watched The Dukes of Hazzard. I liked the car chases, the simple plots, and the charisma of the actors. My grandmother knew that I was a fan and fed my fandom by purchasing me a Boss Hogg Action Figure.

The gift came out of nowhere. With gifts like that, they were usually bought in the toy section of the supermarket. Which was fine by me. I was just happy to get a toy. I tore it open and gave her hug and a thank-you. Then I ran to my bedroom to play with my new treasure.

My enthusiasm quickly turned to confusion. The Boss Hogg Action Figure looked cool and was true to form, but it was the only Dukes of Hazzard action figure I had or would ever get. Which would be fine, but it was a large format 8″ figure by MEGO and was well out of scale from my collection of GI Joe and Star Wars figure.

I had very few larger scale figures and I really disliked mixing toys that were not in the proper scale.

So Boss Hogg went up on the shelf. I would take him down and play with him when my grandmother was around. Hoping that if she saw my enthusiasm for the toy, she would buy me more. Sadly it didn’t work.

My guess is that she would have picked up more, but the Pathmark never carried other figures from the Dukes toy line.

I had Boss Hogg on my shelf into the nineties. He was in pretty pristine condition when he fell to the floor. Normally that was okay, but we had just gotten a new dog at the time.

This dog, much like them Duke Boys, did not like Boss Hogg. Not much was left of him when I got home from school. So I took what was left and tossed him in the trash.

Recently I have flirted with picking up another Boss Hogg to replace mine. They are surprisingly affordable after all these years. Who knows, maybe I will even pick up the rest of the collection finally to keep my new Boss Hogg company.

I seem to remember a commercial for the MEGO figures, but cannot find them online. So here is one for the General Lee (the real star of the show).

Dukes of Hazzard General Lee Toy Commercial

1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling

1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling

When I was growing up, my family home was covered in wood paneling. This process started well before I was around. Not just in the home I was raised, but in all the homes and apartments my family ever lived. They were just obsessed with wood paneling.

Sadly I don’t have a lot of photos from where I lived, especially not of the rooms. But I was lucky enough to save boxes of receipts that my Mother was throwing out in the eighties. In them, I have found lots of interesting information on the price of things from decades past. As well as stores long gone.

In 1969, my father went to J Taffaro Lumber Company in West New York and bought three 4×8 Brazilian Walnut Wood Panels and a box of nails. He paid a whopping $25.24. In today’s dollars that would be $164.76. That seems pretty pricey to me. Although admittedly, I don’t know much about the cost of paneling.

What I do see is that my family was serious about wood paneling. It also explains why well into the eighties, when people were starting to move away from wood paneling, we were still putting it up.

Looking online, it appear the J Taffaro Lumber Company is no longer in business. I have a vague recollection of driving by it as a kid on the way to some other store and my Mom pointing it out. It stuck in my head because I liked the way “Taffaro” sounds.

I did find this New York Times article that mentions Taffaro. It is about two politicians and corruption. I know what your thinking. New Jersey? Corruption? Politics? Yeah, I guess the Garden State has always had some constants.

Here is a full scan of the receipt.

1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling


1969 Receipt for Wood Paneling

Death Race Video Game Controversy

Death Race Video Game Controversy

Long before Grand Theft Auto was freaking everyone out, we had the Death Race Video Game Controversy. Death Race is till a controversial arcade game. It was released by Exidy in the United States in 1976 and they only made about 500 of these cabinets. This makes this infamous game a difficult one to find. I was lucky enough to be able to play it at the Musée Mécanique in San Francisco.

Death Race was controversial because it appeared to promote vehicular violence. Even though Exidy took great pains to describe the human stick figures you are running over a “gremlins”, people were not buying it. The media lashed out. It did not help that the game’s working title was Pedestrian and appeared to be inspired by the 1975 cult film Death Race 2000.

Here is an example of the media reaction at the time in the form of a newspaper article. It hangs right next to the machine at the Musée Mécanique.

death race video game article

Controversial, maybe. But did it contribute to an increase in violence? No. It also did not do so well for Exidy. This was probably partly due to the backlash.

As you might guess from the year of its release, the game does not have anything resembling modern video game violence. By today’s standards, it is quite tame. Here is some game-play footage. I hope it does not turn your stomach or worse, turn you into a homicidal maniac.

Death Race Game-play Video

I played a couple of games of Death Race. It handled pretty well and was kind of fun. You won’t find many of these games out in the wild, but if you are at one of their know locations, make sure you drop a few quarters into one. According to online sources you can find Death Race machines at Musée Mécanique in San Francisco, the Galloping Ghost Arcade in Illinois, and Fun Spot in New Hampshire.

If you do play, I would love to hear about your experience. At least share how well you did. According to the game, I am an Expert Drive. So try and beat that.

death race scoring

Ready Player One

Not everyone will like what you like

Recently the trailer for the upcoming film, Ready Player One hit the internet. Based on the nostalgia drenched book by Ernest Cline and directed by Steven Spielberg, the film has been enthusiastically anticipated by a lot of people who frequent this site. For those who have not seen it, here is the trailer.

As you might guess from the title of this site, I think this is pretty cool. But it turns out a lot of people don’t. This has caused a very minor controversy on the internet. Are we seeing a backlash against nostalgia? Have we had enough eighties pop culture? The answer to both is maybe and it doesn’t matter. At least it doesn’t matter to me.

I am going to see Ready Player One because I am into it. But I am into a lot of things that people are not into. It is folly to think that everyone will be. We have been lucky enough to live in bit of a geek culture explosion. I would like to think that it will last forever, but if I have learned anything about pop culture over the years, it will not.

Whatever you are into, be it this film, Star Trek Discovery or drone racing, just enjoy it. Know that people might not agree with your choice in entertainment, they might be downright hostile to it. Valid or not, they have their reasons. Greeting them with equal hostility is not going to change that. Most likely, nothing will change that.

My feeling is why bother. Instead take advantage of this brief period where what you love is in the spotlight. You only have a finite amount of time when these things will get made. So stop caring how other people think or react.

Geeky things have been around for a very long time. Long before they were a hot commodity. Eventually they will be pushed back in the cultural hierarchy again. It will be a sad day, but it will come sooner than we think. So don’t spend this precious era worrying about backlashes or who cares about what. Just enjoy it.