'The Big Bad Wolf' (Good Housekeeping #5, 1934)

Thomas R. Wood, aka Tom Wood, was a staff artist with the Disney Publicity Art Department from 1932 to 1940. Between 1934 and 1940, he created promotional text comics based on Disney cartoons for the women's magazine Good Housekeeping. He was also a cover illustrator for Mickey Mouse magazine.

Disney Publicity Art Department
Thomas R. Wood was born in 1887 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Not much is known about his early years, except that he held his first exhibition at the L.A. Cartoonist Club in 1928. In 1932 Wood became a publicity artist for the Walt Disney Studios and within a year he was already head of the department. He was one of several artists to create publicity stills of Disney cartoons to be put on display in movie theaters.


'Dog Show' (Good Housekeeping #9, 1937)

Good Housekeeping
In 1934 he became a regular illustrator for the women's monthly magazine Good Housekeeping. He created several text comic adaptations of many 'Mickey Mouse', 'Donald Duck' and 'Silly Symphonies' cartoons, directly based on the storyboards of such cartoons as 'The Grasshopper and the Ants' (1934), 'The Wise Little Hen' (1934), 'The Band Concert' (1935), 'Mickey's Fire Brigade' (1935), 'Mickey's Rival' (1936), 'Mickey's Elephant' (1936), 'Donald's Ostrich' (1937), 'Clock Cleaners' (1937), 'Donald's Golf Game' (1938), 'Donald's Cousin Gus' (1939) and 'Donald's Lucky Day' (1939). The dialogue was written in rhyme, so parents could read it with their children. Some pages can be considered as text comics, others are mostly texts with illustrations. Wood also created covers and illustrations for Mickey Mouse Magazine between 1937 and 1940.

Obscurity
Not much is known about the artist Tom Wood. Some sites like askart.com list him as "Thomas L. Wood", and newspaper journalist from Illinois, who lived from 24 December 1874 until 23 January 1940. A newspaper article in the Los Angeles Times from 5 October 1940 however details about 53 years old Disney Studio worker Thomas R. Wood from 12504 Hortense Street, Hollywood, who stepped "back into the path of a truck to avoid being struck by an automobile traveling in the opposite direction." He passed away from his injuries in Valley Hospital on 4 October 1940.

After Wood's death, Disney staffer Hank Porter took care of the Good Housekeeping pages until 1944. Several of both Wood and Porter's beautifully illustrated pages were published decades later in the Dutch Donald Duck weekly, with a new text in rhyme provided by editor Jos Beekman.


'Brave Little Tailor' (Good Housekeeping #10, 1938)

Inducks entry

Series and books by Tom Wood in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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