Friday, October 23, 2009

The Brownies in "The Ooglies and the Cuckoo Clock"

Like so many cartoonists from the 30s, Walt Kelly worked for Disney (the great studio seemed to devour trainloads of animators whole). He didn’t like animation much and eventually left Disney for cartoon work. His work at Dell is absolutely spectacular and remarkably enjoyable. Walt Kelly never drew a single panel that wasn’t a gaze-worthy, and he never drew a dull one, either.

The same delicate humor that turned Kelly's most famous creation, Pogo, into a beloved icon infuses this small tale of war between the Brownies and the Oogglies. The more I see of vintage Kelly the more I like him. Scratch that . . . Love him. The following is all Kelly, including the cover and the short strip running along the bottom of the pages.

This is from Four Color (The Brownies) No. 192, June, 1948. All scans are from my own comic. Just click on the image for the big picture.

This is Kelly's back inside cover from the same issue. Was there ever a more prefect page for kids and their parents to share? I love Kelly's drawing and his simple, elegant page design.


  1. wow, these are great! it is truly art.

    hey Mykal, I got your print back from the print shop. it looks very nice. My wife is picking up some more mailer boxes for me.

  2. Hey Keith. Yeah, Kelly was really something. I got to find some more.

    Good deal about the print! -- Mykal

  3. You are so right about Kelly, he was so talented, and yeah, his comics were gentle and sweet and funny, really funny and cute. Age doesn't matter,the smallest child to the oldest adult would find Kelly entertaining. What a great style he had!

    I love the skate on the cover! And I think if Snap, Crackle, and Pop (ha - looks like 'em a bit, don't it?) had their way , the next panel would show them enjoying some turtle soup!

  4. Apocolyte: They do look a bit like Snap, Crackle, and Pop! Thanks for joining in! -- Mykal

  5. Thanks for posting this wonderful little story by Kelly. He had such a warm and gentle way of telling a simple tale. I loved the two panels where the brownies are trying to think of a "plan" with the squiggly dark lines of "no success" over their heads. Somehow the oogies remind me of Captain Crunch's "soggies" :)
    Also, the Cooking Corner poem (about the elephant) is charming--in the best sense of the term.
    rogueevolent (faithfully following this great blog)

  6. RE: That moment you mention, with the Brownies deep in thought, floored me as well. I love how Kelly has them trying harder the second time - more intense expressions, more squiggly lines - then the lead Brownie says simply - Maybe we better get help.

    This issue of Four Color has sent me on a Kelly quest, so you should be seeing some more before too long. Next up - Little Archie by Bob Bolling! -- Mykal

  7. I love this comic! I have the exact issue in NM condition. I LOVE just staring at the art. It's like eye candy to me! Beautiful stuff! It amazes me how funny comics are dismissed as lower class work! I say
    BOLOGNA! Give me the funny stuff over the superhero junk any day of the week!

  8. Todd: I couldn't agree with you more. Kelly was simply amazing and I am going to post some more of his work as soon as I can lay my mitts on some.

    Thanks for stopping by and come back soon! -- Mykal


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