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    Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot Four Color Series 1, #16 Specially Bound Volume (Dell, 1941). Fandom owes a debt of gratitude to Malcolm Willits. He was the first fan to learn the name and address of Carl Barks, and conducted the very first recorded interview with the "good duck artist" in 1962. Floyd Gottfredson drew the Mickey Mouse newspaper strip for 45 years with similar anonymity. Gottfredson recalled, "Around the late '40s Walt [Disney] himself proposed that we be allowed to sign our names to the strips. The Syndicate threw up their hands in horror... they said believe it or not, the bulk of our fans still think Walt does that himself. The addition of an unknown name would just dilute the sales value of the thing and of course, that made sense." Willits uncovered Gottfredson's name as well, and presented here is Malcolm's magnificently bound copy of Four Color Series 1, #16. On the cover is the title, "Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot", with Malcolm Willits' name printed below. This copy was originally a Mint unopened copy when Willits first obtained it in 1953. He sent it off to be bound that same year, and somehow, in the binding process, it received some minor wear. Nonetheless, it remains one of the finest copies known to exist. On a blank page following the book's end paper, Floyd Gottfredson has signed and inscribed the volume, in graphite pencil, "Very best wishes to Malcolm Willits with appreciation for his great interest -- Floyd Gottfredson, Oct. 5, 1967." Gottfredson autographed the book for Willits at the Walt Disney Studios. Mickey Mouse's thrilling adventures as a detective reached their zenith in the 1939 story, "Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot." It first appeared in the newspaper strip as four panel dailies, Monday through Saturday, over the course of 16 weeks, running from May 5th to September 9th. Originally, the story ran unnamed in the newspapers; it acquired its title when it was first reprinted in Four Color #16. Four Color #16 and Donald Duck Four Color #4 are well known to be two of the toughest Golden Age comics to find in high grade, and here is a chance to acquire not only a beautiful first-rate copy, but a fabled touchstone of fandom history, and Mr. Willits' invaluable contribution to those unsung artists that added so much to the Disney legend.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2004
    11th-12th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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