Standing, L-r: Porterhouse, Amouse, Aramouse. Underneath: Dartagmouse. From the cover of Funny Stuff #1.


Medium: Comic Books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1944
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To most Americans, the word "Mouseketeer" conjures up visions of kids dancing and singing and wearing Mickey Mouse ears on a mid-1950s Walt Disney TV show. Those who …

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… know a little more about cartoons may think of Mouseketeers as an Oscar-winning role Jerry Mouse and his pal Tuffy played, starting in 1952. More yet, and they may recall a 1936 Silly Symphony titled Three Blind Mouseketeers. Relatively few associate the word with a DC Comics series that started in 1944.

The Three Mouseketeers debuted in Funny Stuff #1, published by All-American Publications (a DC offshoot that was re-absorbed in 1945), with a cover date of Winter, 1944-45. Funny Stuff was the first funny animal comic either DC or All-American had ever published. Its contents included Bulldog Drumhead (a parody of a popular detective hero), McSnurtle the Turtle (a parody of the superhero genre), and this one (a parody of Alexandre Dumas's classic band of adventure heroes).

The Mouseketeers were Amouse, Porterhouse and Aramouse, corresponding to the classic Athos, Porthos and Aramis. Naturally, they had a young friend named Dartagmouse. As with the original Musketeers, there was scarcely a musket to be seen — they were swordsmice in the service of King Looie the Fourteenth. Unlike the original, there wasn't a Machiavellian schemer named Richelmouse. It was all straightforward adventure and fun, with very little distracting political intrigue.

DC's funny animal comics aren't as well documented as most of its "straight" titles, so it's hard to pinpoint their exact date of departure any closer than the first half of 1948. Their replacement seems to have been one Henry Hyena, who didn't last very long.

DC launched a new Three Mouseketeers series in 1956, but that one was completely unrelated to the original. The publisher revisited this version only once, when Captain Carrot & His Amazing Zoo Crew met them in a time travel adventure in Captain Carrot #9 (November, 1982), which also included McSnurtle and Nero Fox, the Jive-Jumping Emperor of Rome (who'd had a series in Leading Comics about the same time).

Today, DC pays no more attention to its funny animal properties than do most comic book bibliographers. The Three Mouseketeers, like the majority of their Funny Stuff contemporaries, are mostly forgotten.


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Text ©2002-09 Donald D. Markstein. Art © DC Comics.