Comics & Children's Literature in the Centre of Rome

Welcome to the blog on the research I am doing for Reading Mickey

Nerbini & Mondadori: Topolino's two editors

On 31 December 1932, editor Nerbini (Firenze) published the first issue of Topolino without acquiring rights from King Features Syndicate. This was set right by issue no. 5. However, Nerbini would only hold the rights for a couple of years. In 1935, Mondadori (Milano) took over the publication of the magazine before turning it into a monthly comic book.

More info: Fabio Gadducci, Leonardo Gori, Sergio Lama, Eccetto Topolino.

During my doctoral research on Corriere dei Piccoli, I became interested in the spread of American comics in Europe. I wrote on the imitations and inspiration of McCay's Little Nemo in Corriere dei Piccoli. When browsing the 1935 issues of Topolino at the Biblioteca Centrale Ragazzi,  I stumbled into re-serialised Little Nemo in black and white. This appearance is no surprise as the director of Topolino, at that time, was Antonio Rubino. As one of the most important comics artists who had worked for Corriere dei Piccoli, Rubino had adapted McCay's dreamy character on numerous occasions. The evident but innovative character of the iteration in Topolino is that these instalments are numbered, titled, and the panels are less monotonous while the balloons are maintained.

This image places Disney's Mickey Mouse in Rubino's geometrical fantasy world (Topolino, 1935)  (Captions: The cloud almost touched the airship)

Some instalments of "Little Nemo Roaming the Planets" in Topolino (1935).