MICKEY Mouse Returns To The Auction

Tuesday, May 29th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mickey Mouse is back on the auction block.

Six 9-by-12-inch sheets of drawings from 1928, estimated to be worth more than $3 million, didn't sell at a recent auction, leaving the museum that owns them still deep in debt.

A new auction is set for June 8, the auction house Guernsey's said in a statement.

The six-page, 36-panel storyboard was drawn for the Walt Disney cartoon ``Plane Crazy.'' It marked Mickey's first appearance, said the storyboard's owner, Mort Walker, founder of the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Fla.

Walker, creator of the Beetle Bailey comic strip, is selling the drawings because the museum is nearly $2 million in debt, most owed to a bank that holds the mortgage.

He said other ways to raise funds include community donations, corporate funding and a partnership with another museum.

``We're not moving, not closing, not filing for bankruptcy,'' Walker said in a statement.

Bidding for the storyboard, which was valued at $3.2 million to $3.7 million, started at $400,000. The price reached $800,000, but the sale was put on hold because the credibility of the online bidder could not be established.