Heads Up! · Walt Kelly

Heads Up: Pogo and Walt Kelly Get Their Due

This fall should see the publication of the first volume in the proposed twelve-volume reprint series, Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, from Fantagraphics Books. Here’s what’s been posted thus far at Amazon:


Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder (v. 1) [Hardcover]</strong

Walt Kelly (Author), Jimmy Breslin (Introduction), Steve Thompson (Contributor)

Product Description

A masterpiece of satirical comics finally gets its due. Walt Kelly started his career at age 13 in Connecticut as a cartoonist and reporter for the Bridgeport Post. In 1935, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Walt Disney Studio, where he worked on classic animated films, including Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Fantasia. Rather than take sides in a bitter labor strike, he moved back east in 1941 and began drawing comic books. It was during this time that Kelly created Pogo Possum. The character first appeared in Animal Comics as a secondary player in the “Albert the Alligator” feature. It didn’t take long until “Pogo” became the comic’s leading character. After WWII, Kelly became artistic director at the New York Star, where he turned Pogo into a daily strip. By late 1949, Pogo appeared in hundreds of newspapers. Until his death in 1973, Kelly produced a feature that has become widely cherished among casual readers and aficionados alike.

Kelly blended nonsense language, poetry, and political and social satire to make Pogo an essential contribution to American “intellectual” comics. As the strip progressed, it became a hilarious platform for Kelly’s scathing political views in which he skewered national bogeymen like J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, and Richard Nixon. Kelly started when newspaper strips shied away from politics — Pogo was ahead of its time and ahead of later strips (such as Doonesbury and The Boondocks) that tackled political issues. Our first volume reprints approximately the first two years of Pogo — dailies and (for the first time) full-color Sundays. This first volume also introduces such enduring supporting characters as Porkypine, Churchy LaFemme, Beauregard Bugleboy, Seminole Sam, Howland Owl, and many others. And for Christmas, 1949, Kelly started his tradition of regaling his readers with his infamously and gloriously mangled Christmas carols.

Special features in this sumptuous premiere volume (the first of twelve), which is produced with the full cooperation of Kelly’s heirs, include an extensive biographical introduction by Kelly biographer Steve Thompson, a section explaining some of the more obscure current references, and more. Color and black-and-white comic strips throughout.

Product Details

* Hardcover: 360 pages
* Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; illustrated edition edition (September 28, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1560978694
* ISBN-13: 978-1560978695
* Product Dimensions: 11 x 9 x 1 inches

And once you have volume one in hand, and you’re anxiously waiting volume two to appear, you will almost certainly be tempted by the following book from Hermes Press:


Here’s the info from the Hermes Press site:

The Life And Times Of Walt Kelly
By Thomas Andrae and Carsten Laqua

The first comprehensive monograph about Pogo creator Walt Kelly, detailing all of his work from its beginning with Walt Disney through his long creative work on his signature character, Pogo. This all color art book is profusely illustrated with original artwork and documentary materials never before seen.

Hardcover: $49.99
Ages, 16 and up
ISBN #1-932563-05-9
208 pages, color, 12″ x 12″
Coming soon…

I go Pogo! How about you?

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