A quite familiar set of animals

Published On May 31, 2018 | By Wim | Comics, Continental Correspondent

In 1932 Flemish fine artist and illustrator Frans Van Immerseel started working as in-house illustrator in the printer’s office of the Averbode Abbey. He was also working as cartoonist and illustrator for a number of Flemish, mostly catholic periodicals, amongst which Rond Den Haard, a short-lived general interest magazine. During his trawls through all kinds of old paper, comics researcher Philippe Capart (who is also one of the geniuses behind the automated book dispenser) came across a quite remarkable examples of Van Immerseel’s work. It would seem that in those days, copyright was not on the minds of the people who published magazines, and Van Immerseel happily produced his own comics featuring of Mickey Mouse. Even though Mickey reminds me more of Robert Armstrong’s Mickey Rat than of Uncle Walt’s perennial rodent.

Some additional poking around revealed that this was not just a one-off, as Van Immerseel regularly published Felix The Cat comics in the same magazine (with quite funky lettering) and it doesn’t seem like he or the journal were sued to extinction for copyright infringement back then. Those were the days…

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