The Topsy-Turvy Moons of Paul Murry
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Paul Murry (1911-1989) was, in my opinion, one of the two best Disney artists of the Dell comic book era. (Carl Barks was the other one.) During his career, Murry drew thousands of pages of comics and was one of the very few artists who could draw all of the Disney characters.
One of the artistic trademarks of Murry's work was that he usually drew a crescent moon in the sky when he wanted to depict a night scene. And, for some unknown reason, he always drew that moon upside down (and sometimes even backwards) from the way it would actually appear in the sky!
As we all know, the crescent moon is actually a spherical object that is illuminated by the light of the sun. Therefore, the "horns" of the crescent always point away from the sun. In the northern hemisphere of the Earth, when the evening sun is below the horizon in the west, the horns of the crescent moon point upward and to the left. And several weeks later, when the morning sun is below the horizon in the east, the horns point upward and to the right:
|An Evening Moon||A Morning Moon|
But in Murry's drawings, the horns of the crescent moon always point in a downward direction* (which would imply that the sun is high in the sky at night!):
|A "Murry" Moon|
*(An exception appeared in Mickey Mouse #67 where Murry drew a crescent moon whose horns pointed
almost parallel to the horizon. But even this orientation would imply that the sun was right
near the horizon -- contradicting the story's assertion that "... it's a dark night!")
Sometimes he drew the horns pointing downward and to the left:
|Mickey Mouse #52||Comics & Stories #167||Comics & Stories #216|
And sometimes he drew the horns pointing downward and to the right:
|Comics & Stories #230||Mickey Mouse #59||Comics & Stories #163|
And sometimes he even had the horns change direction from one panel to the next!
|Mickey Mouse #39|
|Comics & Stories #233|
About the only times that Murry ever drew a reasonably "correct" image of the moon was when the story made a specific reference to the moon. On those somewhat rare occasions he would usually draw a full moon:
|Comics & Stories #246||Comics & Stories #220||Comics & Stories #184|
Could it be that Murry actually didn't know the correct way to draw the crescent moon? Or did he intentionally draw it wrong, just to see if anybody would notice? Since he's no longer with us, I guess we'll never know for certain.
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