Note: Also check out these strips of Mickey Mouse shilling amphetamines in Africa!

I’m reading this new book by author Alix Strauss called Death Becomes Them. It’s an in-depth look into numerous celebrity suicides and a very interesting read, to say the least. The book doesn’t come out until September, and I will do a more detailed review at a later time, but for right now I wanted to talk about a few old comic strips from 1930.

The book briefly mentions a series of Disney comic strips that ran in the daily papers from October 8th through the 24th in 1930. Written and drawn by Floyd Gottfredson, and inked by Gottfredson and Hardie Gramatky, the strips tell the story of a depressed Mickey Mouse as he tries to commit suicide after Minnie leaves him for a huckster named Mr. Slicker.

You can learn more about the full story here.

The best part? Even though Gottfredson was the chief writer of the run (titled “Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers”) the idea was conceived and pushed into production by Walt!

“Why don’t you do a continuity of Mickey trying to commit suicide,” he told Gottfredson. “I think it will be funny.”

Funny indeed, Walt!

Back in the thirties, suicide and near-death humor was big; both Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton were constantly putting themselves in danger onscreen, and Walt was a big fan of both silent actors.

There are more of these strips out there, but I could only find four hi-res versions. If you do a quick Google search though you should be able to find more.

Click on each strip to view a hi-res version:

Mickey Suicide #1

Mickey Suicide #2

Mickey Suicide #3

Mickey Suicide #4

M-I-C-K-E-Y D-E-A-T-H,