Sometimes Dead Is Better

The life after death of once-beloved characters

Steering the corporate ship. © Walt Disney Co.

Now that Disney owns Oswald again, it's a sure bet that the company is busy conjuring up crass new ways to exploit the character. Get ready for Oswald DVDs, Oswald dolls, Oswald jammies, Oswald shot glasses, Oswald condoms, Oswald everything Disney can think of. It turns out Oswald's not so lucky after all; if he was, he'd still just be a character in a bunch of yellowing comic books stashed in the dusty backroom of some bookstore, enjoying the quiet of his eternal retirement without the pressure to move a mountain of product for his corporate masters. If he was really lucky, maybe someday, somebody would even spend a few nickels on one of those comics, take it home, read it and enjoy it. And then, for a few minutes at least, Oswald would live again.

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