How about some 1930s book art featuring cartoon characters other than Oswald the Lucky Rabbit? I recently picked up a copy of The Princess Elizabeth Gift Book, a 1935 tie-in with the Princess Elizabeth of York Hospital for Children. What it is, essentially, is an anthology of children’s stories, many of them by well-known authors and others featuring popular comics and cartoon characters of the day, such as Rupert Bear, Teddy Tail, Pip, Squeak and Wilfred, and…Mickey Mouse and friends.
It’s the product of an interesting moment in time when Princess Elizabeth of York was a young celebrity but it didn’t yet occur to anyone she’d become Queen of England someday; when Rudyard Kipling and J.M. Barrie were still alive and writing and thefore able to contribute to a book that also included work from a studio which would bastardize their stories years later; and when the British had adopted Mickey Mouse as one of their own.
The start and end of the book have color spreads of the Disney gang attending a “party” in celebration of the hospital that are two of the nicest pieces of illustration of them I’ve ever seen. (David Gerstein, if you’re reading this, are these by Wilfred Haughton?) Here they are: