Why are these men smiling?

Yes, they truly look happy, don't they? Two guys and a large rodent with a big toothy grin on their faces as they pose for a photograph on the Walt Disney Studio lot. The question remains, why are they so happy?

They're happy because things were going amazingly well at the Burbank mouse house back in the eighties. Even though the venerable cartoon factory had recently seen a major shift in management and big changes were taking place, it wasn't as bad as all of us had feared. The big, bad guys from Paramount and Warner Bros. had not brought  the apocalypse and things were actually improving at the house of mouse. Suddenly, the Walt Disney Studio seemed to be reinvigorated and even the stodgy animation department was beginning to flex it's creative muscles again.

The two guys in the photograph were taking a break from their animation gig and were now employed as writers in Disney's Comic Strip Department. Yes, it's true. Disney once had a very profitable comic strip department and it kept the coins rolling in for years. In many ways it was the best creative job one could imagine. And, why is that, you ask? You see, comics were never regarded by the big shots on the top floor as having any significance. That means the suits didn't give a rat's behind what we were doing. There's no glamour in comics and big shot executives love glamour. Since comics had always been regarded as crap, no one ever bothered us. And, there's no greater joy for a creative person. To be free of  jerk off executives looking over your shoulder all day and giving their "profound insights."

Well, this was one of those days back in the eighties when Disney was on a roll and the future never looked brighter. And, that my friend is why two men and a large rodent are happily smiling.