6 Insane Disney Comics You Won't Believe Are Real
Is it unfair to judge old cartoons by the standards of the 21st century? Probably. Is it still amazing to see that there was a time when Disney had no problem depicting Mickey Mouse getting venereal diseases and attempting shotgun suicide? You bet!
All of the below comics are real and unaltered.
Mickey Mouse Versus Gonorrhea
Comics can be a great educational tool, but we'd like to think there's a spectrum of possibilities that lie between "Let's make a public service announcement about disease" and "Let's give Mickey Mouse an STD." Yet, the April 4, 1944 issue of LOOK magazine contained an educational comic about the benefits of sulfa drugs, the first line of antibiotics ever used to treat bacteria -- and who better to explain to the population that gonorrhea is now easily curable than everyone's favorite cartoon mascot?
"I can help you with the clap, Mickey, but I'm afraid the herpes is here to stay."
We get that they wanted to teach as many people as possible about the new drugs, but perhaps Popeye would have been a better fit for this sort of thing. In order to tell the story of the creation of sulfa drugs in a simple, friendly manner, the comic starts by showing Dr. Mickey Mouse testing the new compounds on mice. Wait, uh, what's Mickey's last name again?
Is it Judas?
Yeah, this comic is packed with baffling decisions -- it also depicts the effects of a disease on the organism by showing a microscopic race war being raged inside your body, complete with gangs of bacteria stabbing red blood cells to death in a miniature re-enactment of West Side Story.
Yes, "blitzkrieg" was absolutely the best word to use in this context and period in time.
Finally, Mickey illustrates the consequences of overindulgence by downing an entire bottle of sulfa drugs, after which he's shown either tripping balls or facing imminent death. Possibly both.
"Oh God, mops! And they have arms and legs!"
So, why did Mickey need to take the gonorrhea drug, again? Has someone been spending time inside Clarabelle Cow's stable? Dammit, Mickey, stop being a douchebag and buy some fucking condoms. But hey, maybe we shouldn't be surprised. Clearly Disney relationships aren't as chaste as we might once have believed. For instance ...
Uncle Scrooge, Sexual Powerhouse
Scrooge McDuck, despite being nothing but an older, greedier, meaner version of his nephew Donald, has been the subject of countless comics and animated adventures over the years. There's one story DuckTales didn't tell you, though: the one about the time when Scrooge spent an entire month doing it with his kidnapped sex slave.
You may want to reread our article about duck penises to fully appreciate this story.
In a 1953 comic, Scrooge remembers the time when he traveled to the Yukon to search for gold and got scammed by a barmaid named Goldie. Scrooge then tracked down Goldie and forced her to work with him for a month to make up for the gold he lost.
One guess as to what "supper" was.
But what exactly happened between Goldie and Scrooge during that solitary month in the middle of nowhere? Apparently fans demanded to know all the nasty details, so a later story went back and showed three lawmen coming to rescue Goldie, only to come across this haunting scene:
"Is that ... a Barry White album playing?"
Yeah, there's clearly duck sex going on in there. The younger lawmen still think Goldie might be in trouble, but the older one, being more experienced in the ways of the world, instantly understands what's happening and explains that there's nothing illegal in two consenting ducks vigorously ducking the shit out of each other.
Ah, so pants do exist in this universe. Donald and family are just pervs.
The next morning, Scrooge sends Goldie on her way and tries to pay her for her "services," which goes over about as well as you'd expect:
Yeah, we bet you did.
Not definitive enough for you? Well, we've told you about the Donald Duck story that inspired Inception, in which the Beagle Boys enter Scrooge's dreams and Donald follows them. Guess who they find inside Scrooge's mind, exuding the universal body language for "remembering a great corkscrewin'"?
"Wait, why's Daisy here, too? And is that Launchpad McQuack?"
Mickey Mouse Tries to Commit Suicide (Repeatedly)
Picture this: It's October 1930, the Great Depression is in full swing, and you desperately need something to take your mind off the fact that the world is objectively getting shittier all around you. You can't afford to go to the movies, obviously, so you deprive yourself of your next five meals by spending 25 cents on a newspaper just so you can cheer yourself up by reading the latest Mickey Mouse comic strip. And then, in the last few panels of what otherwise seemed like a normal joke, you see this:
"Life is a prison cell and death is the key, children! Haw-haw!"
That's it. That's the punchline of the comic. Mickey reaching for a shotgun to end it all.
Yes, this strip is real, and no, this wasn't an example of a cheeky Disney employee managing to slip one by the boss -- this story was suggested by Walt Disney himself, who had seen a similar gag in a 1920 silent film and was known for never letting a joke go to waste. Since the comic strip was already doing a storyline where a con man steals Minnie's affections, Disney's idea was that Mickey becomes so dejected over the breakup that he spends the next week trying and failing to kill himself. So, over the next few days, Mickey tries every suicide method he can think of, from jumping off a bridge ...
He suffered a serious head injury, and every cartoon since has been the fevered hallucination of a dying mind.
To opening the gas and lying down on his bed, waiting for death's sweet release.
Hey, didn't they reuse this gag in the latest season of Mad Men?
Of course, all these strips end with Mickey's suicidal efforts being foiled by something or him getting cold feet and putting it off for another day. Eventually he comes to his senses when he's preparing to hang himself on a tree and realizes he's surrounded by adorable forest critters.
"Who needs Minnie when I've just discovered auto-erotic asphyxiation?"
Apparently no one was worried about kids trying to follow the Mouse into the abyss, since editors and the newspaper syndicate raised nary an objection. We don't know what happened in the storyline next, but we're assuming that Mickey took that shotgun to the fucker who stole Minnie and shoved it up his ass.
Donald Duck Becomes an Arsonist
As an established loose cannon, Donald Duck tends to be far more versatile than Mickey, able to play either hero or villain as the story demands. This particular story demanded that he play a crazed arsonist who tries to burn his nephews alive, so that's exactly what he did.
Some ducks just want to watch the world burn.
In this 1945 comic, Donald bumps his head and unleashes the hidden pyromaniac that always lived inside of him. This leads to him cackling with manic glee as he tries to set his house on fire while Huey, Dewey, and Louie are still in bed. The kids get up and try to reason with Donald, but he just brandishes fiery torches in front of their flammable feathery faces -- he's gone off the deep end, and there's no coming back.
"He has an erection! Run!"
The story takes a bizarre turn (another one) as a copycat arsonist starts taking credit for and replicating Donald's crimes, forcing him and the boys to team up to take the imposter down. Yes, the hero of this children's comic is an arsonist. The imposter turns out to be some guy posing as a cop, whom Donald dispatches with a good ol' flaming rod to the butt.
Adding an extra two years to his prison sentence.
Donald is then commended by a judge for helping to catch the dangerous pyromaniac -- apparently the entire city has forgotten that Donald fits the same description, but fortunately he reminds them of this by setting fire to the judge's wastebasket. According to the artist who drew this comic, the story originally ended with the entire courthouse burning down and Donald being locked up, presumably for good, but at the last moment the publishing company had the last panels redrawn by another artist to reveal the whole thing to be a dream.
Now we'll never see the sequel where Huey has to smuggle cigarettes into jail in his asshole.
The Mickey Mouse Death 'n' Dismemberment Special
You won't hear it recited that way in many nursery schools today, but the children's rhyme "10 Little Indians" originally involved half of the titular characters meeting untimely ends. In 1935, the rhyme was adapted into comic form in England's Mickey Mouse Annual No. 6, and the result was 10 Little Mickey Kids, in which several of Mickey's either illegitimate children or clones die over the course of five pages.
Seriously, one by one, we see the miniature Mickeys being torn apart by explosions while playing with gunpowder ...
Look at the little arms, legs, and ears shooting off in the upper right.
Being sucked into airplane propeller blades ...
"You know what I hate? Children. Chad, hand me a pen."
Getting eaten alive by a giant chimpanzee ...
"What's the matter, Chad? Why are you looking at me weird? Chad? WHERE ARE YOU GOING?"
And meeting various other tragic fates, until there are only two of them left. Clearly traumatized by the sudden deaths of their siblings, the two remaining Mickeys try to commit suicide in various ways (wonder where they got that idea), but are left to the cruelest fate of the whole bunch: being forced to live on with smiles frozen on their tiny faces while their souls rot away inside their bodies.
There is no other way to interpret this panel.
Mickey and Goofy, Amphetamine Dealers
Hey, remember when Goofy and Mickey became crank distributors and got involved in a violent turf war with another dealer? No? Then you were reading the wrong Disney comics as a kid, because that shit totally happened.
"Punch me in the face as hard as you can!"
See, while amphetamine use is strictly regulated these days, in the 1950s it was perfectly legal to buy it over the counter at your local pharmacy. Disney apparently thought it should comment on this popular new drug by getting Mickey hooked on it while Goofy remarks that it "tastes like chocolate."
"Hey, kids, you know what else tastes like chocolate? Bleach!"
The comic starts with Goofy getting a "free sample" (that's how they always get you) of a speed-like substance called Peppo and sharing it with Mickey, who suggests that they make the transition from users to dealers. However, Mickey and Goofy find out that there are already Peppo dealers all over the country, so they end up trying to peddle the stuff in a tiny village in Africa.
This is the least racist way you were legally allowed to draw a black person in the 1950s.
As it turns out, everyone in this village, including its king, is already hooked on a depressant that drug connoisseur Mickey instantly recognizes as "hash." Soon our heroes run into the local hash dealer, who doesn't appreciate Mickey and Goofy moving into his turf.
Man, Chris Rock would have a field day with this.
The hash dealer locks Mickey and Goofy up, saying he'll "fix them" the next day, but they escape and pour Peppo into the sleeping king's mouth, thereby counteracting the effects of the downers with Mickey's more powerful uppers. Who says comics don't teach science?
If by "worked" you mean "induced cardiac arrest," then sure. Success!
Thankfully, it all works out in the end. The dealer is exposed for his crime of sedating the population, leaving Mickey and Goofy free to continue dealing amphetamines in peace. Another classic Disney ending!
For more comic issues you won't believe happened, check out 6 Comic Book Crossovers You Won't Believe Actually Happened and 6 Comics That Covered Serious Issues And Failed Hilariously.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Ingenious Ways Celebrities Used Their Autographs.