words by Carol King
The world’s favourite cartoon mouse is being honoured with an exhibition to mark the 80 years since his Italian debut.
From 15 November to 20 January 20 2013 there will be a celebratory exhibit at the WOW Spazio Fumetti comics museum in Milan called ‘Storie di una storia’ (History of a Story) that traces Mickey Mouse’s journey from the early days to the iPad.
Florentine editor Mario Nerbini printed the first number of the Italian Mickey Mouse comic book in December 1932, four years after Walt Disney conceived the character. However, Nerbini did not obtain the publication rights and the Italian representative for the creator complained. Nerbini changed the look of the cartoon character, as well as its name and that of the weekly comic, to ‘Topo Lino’ – a pun on ‘topolino’ (little mouse). When Nerbini did secure the rights to Mickey Mouse from Disney, he changed the name to ‘Topolino’. Now the series is published by The Walt Disney Company Italia.
To commemorate the anniversary, The Walt Disney Company Italia has also released a €20 book ‘Topolino: 80 anni insieme’ (Topolino: 80 Years Together), which examines the history of the mouse over the decades. On 26 December, number 2979 of the comic book features the cartoon character as the hero in a tale about the history of comic books. The Walt Disney Company Italia is releasing a ‘Topolino Anniversary’ 2013 calendar showing comic-book covers illustrating the evolution of the character.