Monday, January 11, 2010

Pogo Possum - Two Stories from 1953

Chaos: a state of things in which chance is supreme.
Lush: appealing to the senses - Opulent, Sumptuous.
Funny: affording light mirth and laughter – Amusing.
         --Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition

The following visual example of all three concepts comes from Pogo Possum No. 12, April-June 1953; and the great Walt Kelly.


  1. Nailed it, Mykal ! Them three woids are perfectuous ! My only question is, where did Walt Kelly find the time to do this comic book along with the daily & Sunday comic STRIP about Pogo & his Pals ? Another prolific genius from the Golden Age !

  2. Not long ago I had a chance to read the first story thanks to Rogue Evolent's blog. I loved then and now. That tongue twister talk in the beginning of the story is really hilarious.

    Actually Kelly always wanted devoting himself in full to write and draw the Pogo strip and get rid of the comic book series, but personally I prefer this last one to the strip.
    What does appeal to me on these works for the series is that he has more space to tell the story and the style is straightforward, less showy. Looks so relaxed!

  3. Lysdexicuss: Thanks! With regard to Kelly having time to do all he did – my theory is that it had something to do with the chaos nature of his work. I don’t think he ever “wrote” stories before hand or waited for a good story idea to start producing. I think simply made stuff up as he went along. I think he must have at least had a funny image in his head, and simply started drawing. Take, for example, in the second story here, I can imagine Kelly saying to himself, “wouldn’t it be funny to but the Owl into a barrel,” and just winging it from there. I mean, there really is no story here. It’s all just free-flowing stream of consciousness, it seems.

    Plus, I think Kelly, like many of the true greats, was about ¾ crazy. Take a guy like Kirby. He didn’t eat or sleep, apparently. He just drew.

    Gabriel: I like the comic better than the strip for the exact same reasons!

    Thanks, gentlemen!

  4. You just can't top Walt Kelly, no matter what.

  5. I had some Pogo comics when I was little. I loved looking at the drawings but the words were way over my head. I am just now realizing I'm old enough to appreciate Pogo.

  6. Hey Mykal,
    I love this issue! I'm glad you also posted that first story again (my posting of it on Dec 17th suffers greatly as I had yet learned how to properly crop my scans).
    The fight between Churchy and Howland ranks up there with Hulk vs. Thing :)
    And the way Kelly draws those rabbits (I love the Pop bunny) is so darn cute (but in good way).
    The bug side-plot...precious. Kudos

  7. Gary: Kelly is untopping!

    KW: I, too, have a better appreciation of Kelly's verbage in my encrouchabl' dottage.

    R/E: I agree. His stuff was cute without too much sugar.

    Karswell: Yep!

  8. Walt Kelly was one of my earliest influences; I still have dog-eared copies of the Pogo collections I devoured in my youth. I am also astounded by his output; particularly the late '40s-early '50s, when he not only had the strip and the comic book, but somehow produced original books as well, like Uncle Pogo's So-So Stories. I love the comics and strips of this period: the brush lines are fatter, the figure and backgound work is less "perfect", and the characters are much livelier and more expressive. A true Golden Age VIP.

  9. Great stuff, Mykal!
    Thanks for the great Walt Kelly comics -- you can post his stuff anytime!

  10. Doug: Agree with all your points. I had never seen the comic work before tracking down this comic, and it does seem much more bouncy and vibrant - with nice fat brushwork; and, as you say, less detailed backgrounds which really brings the focus to those beautiful, round figures. -- Mykal

    Apocolyte: I am looking to track down some more of same! -- Mykal


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...