David A Gerstein
David.A.Gerstein at williams.edu
Thu Jan 6 18:06:15 CET 1994
Don Rosa asked for the origin of the name "Mouseton" as used
for Mickey's home town. I can't directly state it without giving some
Originally, Mickey's home town in the Gottfredson strip was
seldom identified. Occasionally it was just referred to as "Hometown"
or "Homeville," but that always struck me as just being a cop-out. In
"Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot," the name Mouseville is given,
and that seems ideal.
When Disney Comics started production in 1990, they wanted to
identify Mickey's town consistently. They looked at the "Phantom
Blot" story and prepared some stories in which the town was identified
as Mouseville. Then they prepared to go to press.
Unfortunately, their legal department informed them that the
name "Mouseville" was now a copyright infringement on -- get this! --
the hometown of Mighty Mouse. That's the dope. So the name
Mouseville could not be used for new stories!
So Bob Foster went back through some old Gladstone MM letter
columns and found a debate on the name of Mickey's town. Some letter
writers had suggested Mouseton a few times, and stuck between a rock
and a hard place, Bob plumped for it, or so he's told me.
For the last three years, it has been used consistently --
both in new stories, and in recap panels for reprints of Gottfredson
stories (i. e. "The 'Lectro Box"). In fact, it has been used *so*
often that I think that calling the town something else now would be
quite unsettling. Actually, I wouldn't *mind* Mouseville at all, but
I think that the name Mouseton is settled by now...
In European stories, Mickey is always identified as living in
Duckburg. In fact, I've seen German reprints of Gottfredson stories from as
early as 1931 referring to the town as Duckburg! It strikes me as
odd, because I find very few similarities in the appearance of the
When working on a huge MM reference project for Egmont last
year based on the American conceptions of the Mickey Mouse universe, I
worked 100% from Gottfredson, Scarpa, and the one Barks story. But
when forced to pinpoint Mickey's town, I placed it in Calisota, two
towns away from Duckburg. It's on the other side of Pickleburg.
I personally imagine Donald as growing up in Mouseton, later
moving to Duckburg. This explains Taliaferro's depiction of Donald's
early life, in which Goofy, Clarabelle, and Mickey's nephews appear.
It seemed only logical.
Please, let's not bring up the debate as to whether Mickey
lives in Donald's universe. I maintain that he does but that the two
haven't seen each other much since 1947 (the last time Mickey's
mentioned in a Barks-written Duck story), and of course, Don, that
means you'll never have to mention or show Mickey in a Duck story if
you don't want to.
(BTW: Did you show Clarabelle in your 60th Anniversary story?
By effectively coaching Donald to give up his youthful bratty ways
just before his nephews arrived and put him in a parental role, she
actually plays a very important role in Donald's life. She's also in
three Barks Daisy stories...)
"SO! Will Patrolio de Balonio de Donald Ducko PAY for his
Christmas dinner, or will he wash dishes in MY kitchen?"
<David.A.Gerstein at Williams.edu>
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