CULTURE

Mickey Mouse magazine celebrates 2,000 issues

Last year, Mickey Mouse celebrated his 75th birthday. This year, the famous Walt Disney character has another reason for celebration: the magazine «Mickey Mouse» will number, on November 12, 2,000 issues in Greece, making it the longest-running such publication ever in this country. Ever since July 1, 1966, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and their wacky friends have been read and adored by tens of thousands of young Greeks and their adventures continue to enthrall readers to this day. To honor the world’s most famous mouse, the Hellenic American Union (HAU) in Athens is hosting a series of events, including exhibitions of artworks, a display of lithographs by Disney storywriter and artist Carl Barks, a visit by comics storywriter Don Rosen and, to top it all off, a festival of Disney movies. A big party has also been arranged for kids, where the entertainment will be provided by Mickey and Minnie themselves. Events begin today with the inauguration of an exhibition at the HAU titled «Mickey Mouse Meets Art,» which comprises works by Diamantis Aidinis, Angelos Andonopoulos, Spyros Verykios, Elli Griva, Marilena Zaboura, Stefanos Zanis, Lazaros Zikos, Giorgos Kazazis, Harry Lambert, Yiannis Lasithiotakis, Aphrodite Liti, Michalis Manousakis, Yiannis Papayiannis, Tassos Pavlopoulos and Marios Spiliopoulos. The artists – all avid readers of «Mickey Mouse» – present installations, video art, paintings and sculptures to highlight how the legendary figure of Mickey Mouse has been a source of inspiration for many artists in Greece and abroad. At the same time, the HAU is also opening an exhibition of lithographs by Carl Barks (1901-2000), one of Disney’s main cartoon storywriters and artists during the golden age of American comic books. On November 3, Don Rosa, hailed as the worthy successor of Barks and renowned as a top comic-book artist, will be arriving in Athens to meet with the public at the union at 6.30 p.m. Rosa was born in 1951 in Louisville, Kentucky, where he still resides today. As a boy he was a keen reader of comic books, racing through anything he could get his hands on, especially his sister’s collection of Barks stories. He began drawing his own cartoons at the age of 6 and though he went on to study civil engineering, he still drew cartoons for the University of Kentucky student paper. His big break as a cartoon artist came in 1986, when Disney comic books began reappearing at kiosks and newspaper stores. The artist met with publisher Byron Erickson, who gave him the chance to fulfill his childhood dream: to draw and write stories for his favorite character, Scrooge McDuck. Since then he has won numerous awards and, in 1991, was asked by European publishers to write Scrooge’s full biography. The film festival dedicated to Disney cartoons (running from October 23-31 at the HAU auditorium) will include classics such as «Fantasia,» as well as modern hits like «Babe» and «Peter Pan 2,» while Mickey and Minnie will be visiting the local publisher’s premises (7 Frangoklissias, Maroussi) on November 12 at 6 p.m. Hellenic American Union, 22 Massalias, Kolonaki, tel 210.368.0000.