THE THREE MOUSEKETEERSMedium: Comic Books
Published by: DC Comics
First Appeared: 1956
Creator: Sheldon Mayer
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1940s revival went relatively unnoticed. The Three Mouseketeers, named after (if not very similar to) a series introduced in DC's Funny Stuff back in 1944, debuted in their own bimonthly comic book, with a cover date of March-April, 1956.
These Mouseketeers, unlike the earlier set, had nothing to do with Alexandre Dumas's adventure heroes. They were kid-like mice, named Fatsy (fat and pompous), Patsy (tall and dumb) and Minus (short, clever, high-spirited, and somewhat prone to impetuousness). The organization in the title was their club, which met in a tin can located in the back yard of a family they called The Bigfeets. A leaf strung over the open end of the can served as their door, but they usually came and went through an underground tunnel carefully marked "Secret Entrance".
Fatsy, the president of the club, frequently assigned merits and demerits to the members. He kept most of the former for himself, and the demerits generally went to Minus. Needless to say, it was Minus, whose position in the group was roughly analogous to that of Alvin in The Chipmunks, that most kids liked best.
The series was created by cartoonist Sheldon Mayer, whose contributions to DC range from series as obscure as Doodles Duck to those as prominent as The Justice Society of America. The characters he's best known for are Scribbly and Sugar & Spike. However, most Three Mouseketeers stories were written and drawn by Rube Grossman (Peter Panda, Nutsy Squirrel, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer).
The Three Mouseketeers was apparently more popular than most of DC's 1950s funny animal titles, such as Peter Porkchops and Raccoon Kids, continuing on a regular basis until #24 (Aug-Sept, 1959). Two more issues were published in 1960. But by then, the company was turning away from that genre, in favor of increasing reliance on superheroes. Except in the minds of its maturing fans, The Three Mouseketeers was pretty much forgotten for the next decade.
A new Three Mouseketeers series, consisting of reprints, was launched in May-June, 1970. With its fifth issue, it was enlarged to double-size, and the range of reprints was expanded to include Bo Bunny, The Dodo & the Frog, and other DC characters from the '50s. But that series ended with #7 (May-June, 1971).
That was the last time DC tried a series based on those characters, tho they've shown up in occasional specials and "Best Of" reprints. Nor did they ever get out of comic books and into cartoons, action figures, Underoos etc. But their old comic books are still popular in the collector market, proving that their aging fan base remains.