Born on May 5, 1905, tomorrow would have been Floyd Gottfredson's 105th birthday!
Floyd Gottfredson went to work for the Walt Disney studio on December 19, 1929 as an apprentice animator and in-betweener. Just 5 months later Walt asked him to fill in on the Mickey Mouse newspaper comic strip until a permanent replacement for the departed Ub Iwerks could be found.
He kept the "temporary" assignment for the next 45 years.
Gottfredson's work on Mickey Mouse in comic strip form was something to behold. His version of Mickey was understandably different from the animated version as different mediums tell stories differently. The daily comic strip opened up grand vistas of adventure for the little mouse, and Floyd was the perfect guy to do it.
Working for 45 years, relatively unknown ghosting for under the Walt Disney byline, Floyd turned his temporary job into a labor of love. Dense storytelling under fun melodramatic themes, Floyd's mouse also had a real liveliness to him. The few months he worked in animation really gave a spark to his strip work, and the mouse seemed truly alove and ready to jump off the page.
On a future birthday I will post some of his strip work, but for now, here's a wonderfully in-depth interview with Floyd from "Nemo: the Classic Comics Library" issue #6 from April 1984, 9 years after he retired from the comic strip he loved...and we loved. Gottfredson was finally getting some acclaim for his work after working a half a century in anonymity...and he was loving it. The article also contains a full checklist of all the Mickey Mouse storyline's that appeared in the comic strip.