Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Snow White Comic - Dell 1944

With the Disney Studio thoroughly sequestered by the US military, the deep loss of revenue from the eclipsed European market, and a shortage of top animators, 1944 saw Walt Disney once again facing a serious cash flow problem. His answer was simple yet brilliant--use what you've got. He re-released the film to the theatres, and Snow White made a basket full of money. It also reignited public interest in all things Snow...one of those things being the comic book printed by Dell Publishing in that same year.

Cover Art, 1944 Dell Comic Book.

Front Endpaper, 1944 Dell Comic Book.

Page One, 1944 Dell Comic Book.

As mentioned in the previous post, staff artist Hank Porter illustrated the original Snow White newspaper comic back in 1937-38. Hank was still employed by Walt in 1944 but was assigned to oversee the department which pumped out a thousand plus insignias (many drawn by Porter himself) and other illustrations for the war effort.

So why mess with a good thing? This Snow White comic issued by Dell Publishing utilized the same Porter illustrations and Merrill de Maris story from the earlier newspaper strip. The only real changes were in the colors, e.g. Snow White's dress in the original dark forest scene was red with a white cape; in 1944 they both were painted yellow.

Original January 23, 1938 newspaper strip illustrated by Hank Porter. 
Image courtesy of the Thom Buchanan collection via The Pictorial Arts blog.

1944 Dell Comic Book; same Hank Porter illustrations, different color painting.
Comics copyright Disney. All images (unless otherwise noted) courtesy of the Bob Fergusson Collection. Used with Permission. See Bob's blog at Allure.

According to Don Markstein's Toonopedia, the strip was "repeatedly reprinted" in comic book form by Dell, Gold Key, Gladstone and even a Marvel edition in 1995.  It was also published as a Big Little Book by Whitman Publishing. Most assuredly, Hank Porter's original 1937-38 Snow White strip will continue to live on in future forms.

For more Snow White comic book covers, see this post.


  1. I love the Snow White comic strip! I vividly remember borrowing a relative's copy of a book which contained the Snow White comic strip , and not wanting to give the book back to them!

    1. I can understand your resistance to returning the book. :)

      I'm working on a blog post with Hank Porter's original drawings for this comic strip, but because I currently have a backlog of other posts ready to go live, it probably won't appear on the Snow White Archive for a couple months still.