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Thursday, January 12, 2012

THE MIGHTY MOUSE FUN CLUB

From Fall of 1957 to Winter of 1958, the best comics in the world were published, by Literary Enterprises, Inc. in New York City.  With the Pines Comics label, CBS Television presented MIGHTY MOUSE FUN CLUB MAGAZINE, a total of six issues, with almost a hundred pages each.

I was eight, then nine, years old, and, thanks to the inspiration of these comics, became the president of the local chapter of the Mighty Mouse Fun Club.  Neighbor kids and I held our meetings in the garage attached to our barn behind our parsonage next to the Methodist church on the corner of 4th and H Streets in Blaine, Washington.  Not only were these comics the best, with Mighty Mouse as the hero and including the most wonderful characters, but they invited us to join the club and taught us how to go about starting our own chapter, on page 10 of the first issue.  And besides great stories, each issue was loaded with games and activities to entertain club members.  How could I not start our chapter?  And this seed planted in my youth is what gave me the impetus to later found the American Tarantula Society, be secretary of the Rachel Society, and creator of the Butter Rum Cartoon.


The Mighty Mouse Fun Club didn't have any lengthy creed, but only a motto equally challenging to live by:  "Always be fair."  And for the entertainment of those striving always to be fair, Mighty Mouse brought us the swellest of friends:  Clint Clobber, Dimwit, Dinky, Flebus, Gandy Goose, Gaston Le Crayon, Heckle and Jeckle, Little Roquefort, Rudy Rooster, Sick Sick Sidney, Sourpuss, Terry Bears, Tom Terrific and Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, and others.  My favorites, besides Mighty Mouse of course, who incidentally has his headquarters on the Moon, are Clint Clobber, because it seemed so pleasantly odd to have a lead character be a custodian living in the basement of a hotel; and Tom Terrific, for having the audacity of having a World Headquarters; and especially Ernie Pintoff's character, Flebus, because Flebus was "a nice little guy."

Flebus
Wouldn't it be cool to build
this in your yard?
These comics are from the day when their publishers weren't afraid to include several pages of carols at Christmas time---even Christian carols like "O Little Town of Bethlehem" and "We Three Kings."  And their readers who were taught always to be fair later balked when Marvel and D.C. took over the genre.  Few kids today even know that such comics ever existed.


My original copies disappeared somewhere along the line.  I can't imagine trading them with Curt the hermit, so maybe I passed them down to my nieces and nephews.  When eBay came along, I envisioned finding them again.  The collector who sold me one of them on eBay, though, told me that he very much doubted that I could manage to collect all six issues.  Well, I did, and now have them again!  Not only that, but I'm convinced that anyone truly wanting to can also acquire all six issues online.  And I invite those who do to help me start an online chapter of the Mighty Mouse Fun Club.  Right now I'm the only one I know who has the whole collection.

I was so sad when a seventh issue never came in Spring of 1959, but I did have a happy farewell gift, although never noticed it at the time.  Surely, being chapter president with a clerical flair, I must have written to the comics' publisher back then.  But it wasn't until rebuying the issues on eBay and rereading them that I discovered something special in the last issue, at the bottom of page 15 in the "Fun Club News."



As far as I'm concerned, everyone listed on these two pages is/was an official member of the Mighty Mouse Fun Club, and is a friend of mine. If you or your parent or grandparent are in this list, please let me know either in a comment below or by emailing me at ButterRumCartoon@gmail.com. And to make it easy for you, here are all the names in alphabetical order:

Tony Acebo - Belmont, CA
Tally Adams
Ronnie Almquist
Robert Alsop - Salt Lake City, UT
Terry Andereck - Trenton, NJ
Shirley Anderson
James Andrew
James Antonaglia - Chicago, IL
Ted Avery
Billy Baker
Linn Bardelon
Bob Bardwell - Paris, Canada
Judy Barrowcliffe
Bill Battiest
Rocky Beach
Frank Beaton - Rockford, IL
Loretta Bender
James Benjamin
Douglas Benough - Utica, NY
Alan Beyer
Sally Bianco
Jerry Biberman
Robert Blankley
Bobby Blenheim - Waban, MA
Ronnie Bluestein - Philadelphia, PA
Russell Bowen
Virginia Bowen - Beaumont, TX
Margaret Bowens
John Braden - Independence, MO
Doreen Branca - Philadelphia, PA
Carla Branson - Washougal, WA
John Brassil - Wellsley, MA
Ronnie Brieger
James Brown
Brad Bullock - Memphis, TN
Susan Burns - Allen Park, MI
Leslie Bush - Pequannock, NJ
Joanne Caliendo - Chicago, IL
Kathy Camp
Frank Cardinal - Cleveland, OH
Ruth Carr
Kathy Carroll
Rusty Cerveny
Anton Cherepache
Betsy Childs
Kathy Clark
Jack Cofano - Utica, NY
John Comstock - Albury, VT
John Cook - Kingston, TN
Dorothy Cooney, Portland, OR
Carolyn Coons - Lachine, Canada
Mike Copeland
Candy Corey - Florham Park, NJ
Judy Costello
Jimmy Coston
Judith Currey - Akron, OH
Tim Daley
Jack Dalrymple
Ray D'Ariano
Donna Davis
Scott Davis - Hewlett, NY
Gene Deason
Peter de Leeuw - W. Englewood, NJ
Dominick DeSantis
Cheriek Dever
Joe Dicesare
Judy Dickey - Ottawa, Canada
Dennis Dinkel - Victoria, KS
Athina Drews
James Duncan
Eileen Dunn
John Dunne
Mary Dunning
Candy Dykstra
Danny Echenerria
Ken Eibell - Philadelphia, PA
Marilyn Eibell - Philadelphia, PA
Ronnie Eledge
Bobby Elliott
Deborah England
Tom Enri
Beverly Fields
Bobby Fink
Stuart Fischer
Susan Fogel - Russett, PA
Frank Fois
James Forehand
Alfred Foronda - San Diego, CA
Diana Foster - Cutler, CA
Trudy Frankel - Brooklyn, NY
Charles Gardin - Jackson, MS
Robert George - Bethlehem, PA
Jim Gessler
Henry Geyer
Ann Gilbert
Donna Gilbert, Duluth, MN
Ross Giunta
Alvin Glicksburg, Brooklyn, NY
David Gordon - Oshawo, Canada
Vincent Grannanore
Marcia Gray - Baltimore, MD
James Grayshaw - Cleveland, OH
David Green
Kathy Grieb - Valparaiso, NE
Bobby Gross - Jericho, NY
Kim Grundy - Wellsley, MA
Tommy Gussman - Vancouver, BC
Scott Guthrie - Affton, MO
Joe Haglund
Leslie Hale
Davis Hall - Tampa, FL
David Harchette - Elgine, IL
Stan Harris
Karen Hartmann - Cheyenne, WY
Larry Hartmann - Davis, CA
David Hayes
Edna Hearn
John Heath - Garden City, NY
Sammy Heatwole
Norman Heslor - Walker, NY
Chuck Hickman
Stephen Hirsch - Pittsburgh, PA
Patrick Hittel
Rodney Hoffman
Warren Hoffman
Danny Hog - Cheyenne, WY
Vernon Howard
Ronnie Huckies - Drain, OR
Jimmy Hurt
Edna Ierley - Florham Park, NJ
Mary Igov - Huntington, WV
Kim Ingrim
Ralph Ivdurg
Mike Jacob
Louis Johnson - Tuskegee, AL
Randell Johnson
Danny Jones - Stigler, OK
Glen Jones - Stigler, OK
Jamie Kamlet
Bobby Kazaroff - Hemet, CA
John Kazaroff
John Kelly - Detroit, MI
Bob King - Chipley, GA
Ned Knecht
Emil Korach
Janet Krieger - Benton Harbor, MI
Bruce La Due - Walker, NY
Linda La France - Manchester, NH
Gregory Lane - Rochester, NY
Andy Larkin - Benton Harbor, MI
Greg LaValle
Patricia Lawson
Jena Leahey
Clark Leutze
Check Levin
Lee Leviton - Chicago, IL
Mark Lewis - Baltimore, MD
Michael Lipsitt
Freddy Lomberg
Nancy Loustabot
Dale Lund
Michael Lutomski - Milwaukee, WI
Terry Lynch - Kansas City, MO
Richard Maioletti - Philadelphia, PA
Marilyn Marinko
Susan Marsh - Kingwood, WV
Judy Martin - Glenshaw, PA
Michael Masek
Linda McCarthy
Douglas McHugh
Patrick McLaughlin - Ottawa, Canada
Diane Meshefski - Bowesmont, ND
Eileen Mascia - Steubenville, OH
Anne Mastrani - Philadelphia, PA
Jerry Michael - Burlington, NC
Rocky Midyett
Peter Milean
Billy Miller
Carolyn Miller
David Milligan - Fort Smith, AR
Ann Moody
Lee Mooneyham
Barbara Morton
Karen Nance
Wylie Neal - Waxhaw, NC
Carol Nelson - Brooklyn, NY
Alex Nemeth
Harold Ng - San Francisco, CA
Geoffrey Nicoletti - Philadelphia, PA
Caroll Noel - Vermejo Park, NM
Marshall Noel - Vermejo Park, NM
Joanne Odenthal
Anne Orren - Milton, MA
Jerome Osmial - Detroit, MI
Adria Ostroff
Ben Padgett
Christina Paynes
Irvina Payton - Chicago, IL
Billy Peacock
Donald Pendley - Paramus, NJ
Judy Peterson
Donald Petrone
Jerry Phillips - Los Angeles, CA
Andy Pillsburg
Michael Place
Bonnie Poillion
Andrew Polon - NY
Mark Pruett
Bobby Pye
Mary Ramsey
Herby Rand
Richard Rankin
Robert Ranko
Judy Recar - Imperial, MO
Patrick Reed
Barbara Reich
David Relletier - Nashue, NH
Linda Renstrom
Tommy Renstrom
Anibal Reyes - Miami, FL
Donna Rhodes - Abington, MA
Michael Riley
Anthong Roberti - Syracuse, NY
Ken Roberts - Mt. Vernon, NY
Jerry Robinson
Paul Robinson - Pequannock, NJ
Santiago Rodriguez
Carol Rogg - Flushing, NY
Eddie Rohner
Vicki Roper
Arminda Ross
Jeffrey Ross
Mitchell Rotsky - Columbus, OH
Penelope Rowlands
Gary Sampson - Toronto, Canada
Dianne Sawai
Kenny Schopl
John Schrolder
John Schrueder - Santa Ana, CA
Jacqueline Sconza
Allan Seifried
Paul Seyit - Buffalo, NY
Katie Shaffer
Faye Shapiro - Philadelphia, PA
Judy Shim - Kingston, Jamaica
Judy Shorey
Dinnis Shryock - Stafford, KS
Rona Singer - Bronx, NY
Andy Skelton - Fort Riley, KS
Gino Slaerno - Campbell, CA
Tom Smith - Hayward, CA
Linda Snilling - Frankfort, KY
Junior Snyder
Suzanne Solney
Rebecca Springer
Donald Spruell - Bronx, NY
Dennis Staab
Ann Stanfield - Ocean Side, CA
Bobby Starkey
Ronnie Stevens - Thomasville, GA
Sondra Storve - Hollywood, CA
Beverly Striziver - NY
Jackie Sussman - Bronx, NY
Sandro Sweigart
Joe Teague - Yakima, WA
Bruce Terrin - Brooklyn, NY
Michael Terrin - Brooklyn, NY
Drew Thomas - Orlando, FL
Richard Thoter
Barbara Towner - E. Waymouth, MA
Russell Tracy - St. James, NY
Michael Tuteur, Chicago, IL
Dennie Urso
Butch Valdez
Jeane Van Gundy
Clay Vassey
Kay Voss - San Francisco, CA
Bob Walker
David Walker - Beaumont, TX
Ken Walker - Beaumont, TX
Michael Walls - Wilmington, OH
Nadine Wanamaker
Allen Washbern
Beverly Wass
Virginia Wells
Hal Whipple - Las Vegas, NV
Anne Wickman
Walter Willison
Alan Wilson - Lemont, KS
Richard Wilson - Pasadena, CA
Elaine Winter - Lakewood, OH
Nat Winthrop - Mattapoisett, MA
Jeffrey Wood
Lynn Wooley
Joe Wright
Joyce Yoshiaka, Los Angeles, CA
John Young - Rome, GA


Here is a video of my favorite character in the Mighty Mouse Fun Club magazine, Ernest Pintoff's Flebus:


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If you liked this post, you may also enjoy the following: Cosmo the Merry Martian.
To see the complete contents of the Butter Rum Cartoon, click here.


1 comment:

  1. Of Mouse and Man
    Published: October 16, 2012


    Author Bob Livermon with some of his Mighty Mouse memorabilia
    by Emily Darrell
    Staff Writer – Powhatan Today
    In October of 1942 the world was in quite a state: the Battle of Stalingrad was raging, the U.S. and Japan were fighting heavily in the Pacific, and the list countries at war had grown to include Brazil, Thailand, and Panama.
    But in an alternate cartoon universe, in a quaint little village called Mouseville, a creature eventually to be known as Mighty Mouse managed to single-pawedly free his town’s mice population from the clutches of the town’s evil cats by escaping to a Super Market, bathing in Super Soap, dining on Super Soup, Super Celery, and Super Cheese, and transforming into a superhero.
    Longtime Powhatan resident Bob Livermon has always felt a kinship with Mighty Mouse. Livermon says that while growing up in the Southwest Virginia town of Martinsville he was always small for his age. But small, as he learned from his cartoon hero, didn’t have to mean weak.
    “I was the smallest one in my neighborhood,” Livermon says, “but I was pretty strong for my size. I could not stand bullies, and if someone was picking on someone else, I’d step in and stop it.”
    “Of course,” he adds, “Mighty Mouse always got the heroine, and I wasn’t that good with girls.
    Last October, Livermon’s older brother died – on Livermon’s 69th birthday – followed by his mother just two months later. Livermon said these losses set him to reminiscing. And one of the things he and his friends waxed nostalgic about was cartoons.
    Livermon recalled frequenting Martinsville’s three movie theaters as a boy and, for 15 cents, enjoying not only a film, but a sequence of cartoons before it. His favorite, he says, was always Mighty Mouse.
    Last year, after the deaths of his mother and brother, Livermon began doing some research on the character, and learned that he and Mighty Mouse very nearly shared the same birthday – while Livermon made his “first appearance” on October 15, 1942, Mighty Mouse was right on his heels, appearing in his first Terrytoons studio feature, “The Mouse of Tomorrow,” the very next day.
    Next thing he knew, Livermon was assembling all the information he could about Mighty Mouse – a list of his films, comics he’d appeared in, essays that had been written about him.
    He then collected this information into a short booklet called “Memories of Mighty Mouse,” to which he wrote an introduction. While he gave most of the 50 copies away to friends and family he also sold a few on ebay.
    Whether it be scuba diving, traveling the world, buying a private investigations firm (from which he has recently retired,) or putting together a book on his favorite cartoon mouse, Livermon’s wife, Susan, says her husband is always doing something “a little different.”

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