Mickey Mouse and Blistered Ears

Dennis Johnson, Albertan editor extraordinaire, was in today’s paper but he was bumped to the bottom of the page. More room was needed on top for Mickey Mouse. Mickey hadn’t died but the cartoonist who drew him had. Bill Justice, Animator, deserved a fine send off, of course he did, but it was nevertheless hard to see Dennis pushed down and it was especially hard to tell his family and colleagues this.

“Who’s the leader of the club?”–there’s a cartoon of little Mickey as drum major marching with two cow cheerleaders, one cow is waving a purple pom-pom and the other cow waves a pink one. Mr. Justice, born in 1914 in Dayton, Ohio, earned $12 per week at the Disney studio.

He began as an ‘in-betweener’  on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, working on intermediate drawings. He soon graduated to full animator working on Pinocchio and Fantasia, as well as directing the opening titles for The Mickey Mouse Club back in the 1950s.

Dennis Johnson’s main focus over the last few decades at Red Deer Press was publishing children’s books. One book tells the story of a young woman with D0wn syndrome working in an AIDS hospice who finds a lost puppy.

Another book tells the story of two young children abducted by their father and escaping to find their way, on their own, back to their mother.

Here’s an email I received a couple hours ago from one of Johnson’s children’s book editors:

“Thanks, Noreen. It reads quite well, captures Dennis’s flamboyant style and drive. What would he say though about being jammed by someone from Disney! Someone’s ears would be blistered!”

JOHNSON Dennis Feb 1511-1

Advertisements

About Nor

I'm a creative non-fiction writer, with a special interest in memoirs and obituaries--life stories, local histories with flesh & blood anecdotal details. I'm also beginning to create podcasts of people's stories and expanding their audiences. I'm a diarist, an editor, and a political activist. I live in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and spend days tapping keys or staining my fingers in ink.
This entry was posted in art, obituaries. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s