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 it 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."
|Wouldn't it be cool to build|
this in your yard?
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."
Here is a video of my favorite character in the Mighty Mouse Fun Club magazine, Ernest Pintoff's Flebus:
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.