Pogo (comic strip)

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Pogo
Author(s)Walt Kelly
Current status / scheduleConcluded
Launch dateOctober 4, 1948 (as a newspaper strip)
End dateJuly 20, 1975
Syndicate(s)Post-Hall Syndicate
Publisher(s)Simon & Schuster, Fantagraphics, Gregg Press, Eclipse Comics, Spring Hollow Books
Genre(s)Humor, Satire, Politics
 
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Pogo
Author(s)Walt Kelly
Current status / scheduleConcluded
Launch dateOctober 4, 1948 (as a newspaper strip)
End dateJuly 20, 1975
Syndicate(s)Post-Hall Syndicate
Publisher(s)Simon & Schuster, Fantagraphics, Gregg Press, Eclipse Comics, Spring Hollow Books
Genre(s)Humor, Satire, Politics

Pogo is the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip, created by cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913–1973) and distributed by the Post-Hall Syndicate. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animal characters.

Pogo combined both sophisticated wit and slapstick physical comedy in a heady mix of allegory, Irish poetry, literary whimsy, puns and wordplay, lushly detailed artwork and broad burlesque humor. The same series of strips can be enjoyed on different levels by both young children and savvy adults. The strip earned Kelly a Reuben Award in 1951.

History[edit]

Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. was born in Philadelphia on August 25, 1913, though his family moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut when he was only 2. He went to California at age 22, to work on Donald Duck cartoons at Walt Disney Studios in 1935. He stayed until the strike in 1941, as an animator on The Nifty Nineties, The Little Whirlwind, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon. Kelly then worked for Dell Comics, a division of Western Publishing of Racine, Wisconsin.

Dell Comics[edit]

Kelly created the characters of Pogo the possum and Albert the alligator in 1941 for issue #1 of Dell's Animal Comics, in the story "Albert Takes the Cake." [1] Both were comic foils for a young black character named Bumbazine (a corruption of bombazine, a fabric that was usually dyed black and used largely for mourning wear), who lived in the swamp. Bumbazine was retired early, since Kelly found it hard to write for a human child. He eventually phased humans out of the comics entirely, preferring to use the animal characters for their comic potential. Kelly said he used animals—"nature's screechers," as he called them—"largely because you can do more with animals. They don't hurt as easily, and it's possible to make them more believable in an exaggerated pose." Pogo, formerly a "spear carrier" according to Kelly, quickly took center stage, assuming the straight man role that Bumbazine had occupied.

The New York Star[edit]

In his 1954 autobiography for the Hall Syndicate, Kelly said he "fooled around with the Foreign Language Unit of the Army during the war, illustrating grunts and groans, and made friends in the newspaper and publishing business." In 1948 he was hired to draw political cartoons for the editorial page of the short-lived New York Star; he decided to do a daily comic strip featuring the characters from Animal Comics. The first comic series to make the permanent transition to newspapers, Pogo debuted on October 4, 1948 and ran continuously until the paper folded on January 28, 1949.

Syndication[edit]

On May 16, 1949, Pogo was picked up for national distribution by the Post-Hall Syndicate. George Ward and Henry Shikuma were among Kelly's assistants on the strip. It ran continuously until (and past) Kelly's death from complications of diabetes on October 18, 1973. It was then continued for a few years by Kelly's widow Selby and son Stephen, before ceasing publication July 20, 1975. Selby Kelly said in a 1982 interview that she decided to discontinue the strip because newspapers had shrunk the size of strips to the point where people could not easily read it.[2]

In 1989, the Los Angeles Times revived the strip under the title Walt Kelly's Pogo, written at first by Larry Doyle and Neal Sternecky, then by Sternecky alone. After Sternecky quit in March 1992, Kelly's son Peter and daughter Carolyn continued to produce the strip, but interest waned and the revived strip was dropped from syndication after only a few years.

Cast of characters[edit]

Kelly's characters are a sardonic reflection of human nature—venal, greedy, confrontational, selfish and stupid—but portrayed good-naturedly and rendered harmless by their own bumbling ineptitude and overall innocence. Most characters were nominally male, but a few female characters also appeared regularly. Kelly has been quoted as saying that all the characters reflected different aspects of his own personality. Kelly's characters were also self-aware of their comic strip surroundings.[3] He frequently had them leaning up against or striking matches on the panel borders, breaking the fourth wall, or making tongue-in-cheek, "inside" comments about the nature of comic strips in general.

It's difficult to compile a definitive list of every character that appeared in Pogo over the strip's 27 years, but the best estimates put the total cast at well over 1,000[citation needed]. Kelly created characters as he needed them, and discarded them after they served their purpose. Occasionally he reintroduced characters under different names (such as Mole or Curtis) and other inconsistencies, reflecting the fluid quality of the strip. Kelly continually tinkered with his creation to suit either his whims or the current storyline. Even though most characters have full names, some are more often referred to only by their species. For example, Howland Owl is almost always called "Owl" or "ol' Owl," Beauregard is often called "Houn' Dog," Churchy LaFemme is sometimes called "Turtle" or "Turkle" (see Dialogue and "swamp-speak"), etc. The following list is necessarily incomplete, but should serve as a rough beginner's guide:

Permanent residents[edit]

Frequent visitors[edit]

Setting[edit]

Pogo is set in the Georgia section of the Okefenokee Swamp; Fort Mudge and Waycross are occasionally mentioned.

The characters live, for the most part, in hollow trees amidst lushly rendered backdrops of North American wetlands, bayous, lagoons and backwoods. Fictitious local landmarks—such as "Miggle’s General Store and Emporium" (aka "Miggle's Miracle Mart") and the "Fort Mudge Memorial Dump," etc.—are occasionally featured. The landscape is fluid and vividly detailed, with a dense variety of (often caricatured) flora and fauna. The richly textured trees and marshlands frequently change from panel to panel within the same strip. Like the Coconino County depicted in Krazy Kat and the Dogpatch of Li’l Abner, the distinctive cartoon landscape of Kelly’s Okefenokee Swamp became as strongly identified with the strip as any of its characters.

There are occasional forays into exotic locations as well, including at least two visits to Australia (during the Melbourne Olympics in 1956, and again in 1961). The Aussie natives include a bandicoot, a lady wallaby, and a mustachioed, aviator kangaroo named "Basher"). In 1967, Pogo, Albert and Churchy visit primeval "Pandemonia"—a vivid, "prehysterical" place of Kelly’s imagination, complete with mythical beasts (including dragons and a zebra-striped unicorn), primitive humans, arks, volcanoes, Saber-toothed cats, pterodactyls and dinosaurs.

Kelly also frequently parodied Mother Goose stories featuring the characters in period costume: “Cinderola," "Goldie Lox and the Fore-bears,” “Handle and Gristle,” etc. These offbeat sequences, usually presented as a staged play or a story-within-a-story related by one of the characters, seem to take place in the fairy tale dreamscapes of children’s literature, with European storybook-style cottages and forests, etc.—rather than in the swamp, per se.

Dialogue and "swamp-speak"[edit]

The strip was notable for its distinctive and whimsical use of language. Kelly, a native northeasterner, had a sharply perceptive ear for language and used it to great humorous effect. The predominant vernacular in Pogo, sometimes referred to as "swamp-speak," is essentially a rural southern U.S. dialect laced with nonstop malapropisms, fractured grammar, "creative" spelling and mangled polysyllables such as "incredibobble" and "hysteriwockle," plus invented words such as the exasperated exclamations "Bazz Fazz!," "Rowrbazzle!" and "Moomph!"[7] The resulting dialect is difficult to characterize, but the following fragment of dialogue[8] may convey the general flavor:

Pogo has been engaged in his favorite pastime, fishing in the swamp from a flat-bottomed boat, and has hooked a small catfish. "Ha!" he exclaims, "A small fry!" At this point Hoss-Head the Champeen Catfish, bigger than Pogo himself, rears out of the swamp and the following dialogue ensues:

Hoss-Head [with fins on hips and an angry scowl]: Chonk back that catfish chile, Pogo, afore I whops you!
Pogo: Yassuree, Champeen Hoss-Head, yassuh yassuh yassuh yassuh yassuh... [tosses baby fish back in water]
Pogo [walks away, muttering discontentedly]: Things gettin' so humane 'round this swamp, us folks will have to take up eatin' MUD TURKLES!
Churchy (a turtle) [eavesdropping from behind a tree with Howland Owl]: Horroars! A cannibobble! [passes out]
Howland [holding the unconscious Churchy]: You say you gone eat mud turkles! Ol' Churchy is done overcame!
Pogo: It was a finger of speech—I apologize! Why, I LOVES yo', Churchy LaFemme!
Churchy [suddenly recovered from his swoon]: With pot licker an' black-eye peas, you loves me, sir—HA! Us is through, Pogo!

Nonsense verse and song parodies[edit]

Kelly was an accomplished poet, and frequently added pages of original comic verse to his Pogo reprint books, complete with charming cartoon illustrations. The odd song parody or nonsense poem also occasionally appeared in the newspaper strip. In 1956, Kelly published Songs of the Pogo, an illustrated collection of his original songs, with lyrics by Kelly and music by Kelly and Norman Monath. The tunes were also issued on a vinyl LP, with Kelly himself contributing to the vocals.

Traditional Christmas carols were a regular feature of Kelly's holiday strips as well—particularly Deck the Halls. They are enthusiastically performed by the swamp's rotating "Okefenokee Glee and Perloo Union" Choir (perloo is a pilaf-based Cajun stew, similar to jambalaya), although in their childish innocence the chorus typically mangles the lyrics. (Churchy once sang a version of Good King Wenceslas that went: "Good King Sauerkraut look out / On his feets uneven / Beware the snoo lay 'round about / All kerchoo achievin'...")

Below are all seven (and a half) known variants of Kelly's best-known fractured yuletide carol, "Deck Us All with Boston Charlie":

Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
Walla Walla, Wash., an' Kalamazoo!
Nora's freezin' on the trolley,
Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!
Don't we know archaic barrel
Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
Trolley Molly don't love Harold,
Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!
Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Polly wolly cracker 'n' too-da-loo!
Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
Antelope Cantaloupe, 'lope with you!
Hunky Dory's pop is lolly gaggin' on the wagon,
Willy, folly go through!
Chollie's collie barks at Barrow,
Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo!
Dunk us all in bowls of barley,
Hinky dinky dink an' polly voo!
Chilly Filly's name is Chollie,
Chollie Filly's jolly chilly view halloo!
Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, woof, woof!
Tizzy seas on melon collie!
Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, goof, goof!
Tickle salty boss anchovie,
Wash a wash a wall Anna Kangaroo!
Ducky allus bows to Polly,
Prolly Wally would but har'ly do!
Dock us all a bowsprit, Solly,
Golly, Solly's cold and so's ol' Lou!

Satire and politics[edit]

Kelly used Pogo to comment on the human condition, and from time to time, this drifted into politics. Pogo was a reluctant "candidate" for President (although he never campaigned) in 1952 and 1956. (The phrase "I Go Pogo," originally a parody of Dwight D. Eisenhower's iconic campaign slogan "I Like Ike," appeared on giveaway promotional lapel pins featuring Pogo, and was also used by Kelly as a book title.) A 1952 campaign rally at Harvard degenerated into chaos sufficient to be officially termed a riot, and police responded. The Pogo Riot was a significant event for the class of ’52; for its 25th reunion, Pogo was the official mascot.[9] In 1960 the swamp's nominal candidate was an egg with two protruding webbed feet—a comment on the relative youth of John F. Kennedy. The egg kept saying: "Well, I've got time to learn; we rabbits have to stick together."

Kelly, who claimed to be against "the extreme Right, the extreme Left, and the extreme Middle," used these fake campaigns as excuses to hit the stump himself for voter registration campaigns, with the slogan "Pogo says: If you can't vote my way, vote anyway, but VOTE!"

Simple J. Malarkey[edit]

Perhaps the most famous example of the strip's satirical edge came into being on May 1, 1953, when Kelly introduced a friend of Mole's: a wildcat named "Simple J. Malarkey," an obvious caricature of Senator Joseph McCarthy. This showed significant courage on Kelly's part, considering the influence the politician wielded at the time and the possibility of scaring away subscribing newspapers.[10]

When The Providence Bulletin issued an ultimatum in 1954, threatening to drop the strip if Malarkey's face appeared in the strip again, Kelly had Malarkey throw a bag over his head as Miss "Sis" Boombah (a Rhode Island Red hen) approached, explaining "no one from Providence should see me!" Kelly thought Malarkey's new look was especially appropriate because the bag over his head resembled a Klansman's hood.[11] (Kelly later attacked the Klan directly, in a comic nightmare parable called "The Kluck Klams," included in The Pogo Poop Book, 1966).

Malarkey appeared in the strip only once after that sequence ended,during Kelly's tenure, on October 15, 1955. Again his face was covered, this time by his speech balloons as he stood on a soapbox shouting to general uninterest. Kelly had planned to defy the threats made by the Bulletin and show Malarkey's face, but decided it was more fun to see how many people recognized the character and the man he lampooned by speech patterns alone. When Kelly got letters of complaint about kicking the senator when he was down (McCarthy had been censured by that time, and had lost most of his influence), Kelly responded, "They identified him, I didn't." [12]

Malarkey reappeared on 4-1-1989 when the strip had been resurrected by Sternecky and Doyle. It was hinted that he was a ghost.

The Jack Acid Society[edit]

In the early 1960s, Kelly took on the ultra-conservative John Birch Society with a series of strips dedicated to Mole and Deacon's efforts to weed out Anti-Americanism (as they saw it) in the swamp, which led them to form "The Jack Acid Society." ("Named after Mr. Acid?" "Well, it wasn't named before him.") The reference is to John Birch, who was killed 13 years before the creation (in 1958) of the organization that bears his name[citation needed]. The Jack Acids (the name is an obvious pun on "jackasses") modeled themselves on the only "real" Americans: Indians. Everyone the Jack Acids suspected of not being a true American was put on their blacklist, until eventually everyone but Mole himself was blacklisted. One of the longest-running storylines in the strip's history, the strips were collected by themselves (with some original verse and text pieces) in The Jack Acid Society Black Book, the only Pogo collection not to include the main character's name in the title[13] and one of only two books (the other being Pogo: Prisoner Of Love) to comprise a single storyline.

Later politics[edit]

As the 1960s loomed, even foreign "gummint" figures found themselves caricatured in the pages of Pogo, including communist leaders Fidel Castro, who appeared as an agitator goat named Fido, and Nikita Khrushchev, who emerged as both an unnamed Russian bear and a pig. Other Soviet characters include a pair of cosmonaut seals who arrive at the swamp in 1961 via Sputnik, initiating a topical spoof of the Space Race. An obtuse feline reporter from Newslife magazine named Typo, who resembled both Barry Goldwater and Nelson Rockefeller, arrived on the scene in 1966. He was often accompanied by a chicken photographer named Hypo, wearing a jaunty fedora with a Press tag in the hat band, and carrying a box camera with an extremely droopy accordion bellows.

By the time the 1968 presidential campaign rolled around, it seemed the entire swamp was populated by P.T. Bridgeport's "wind-up candidates," including representations of George Romney, Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, Robert F. Kennedy and George Wallace as wind-up toys. Wallace also appeared as The Prince of Pompadoodle, a puffed-up, diminutive rooster chick. Eugene McCarthy was a white knight tied backwards on his horse, spouting poetry. Retiring President Lyndon B. Johnson was portrayed as a befuddled, long-horned steer wearing cowboy boots. (Earlier, in the offbeat "Pandemonia" sequence, LBJ had been cast as a prairie centaur named The Loan Arranger, whose low-hung Stetson covered his eyes like a mask.) When the material from this period was collected in Equal Time for Pogo, the publisher wanted to edit out the strips featuring the late Robert Kennedy's doppelgänger, but Kelly insisted on keeping them in, to pay honor to the slain candidate[citation needed].

In the early 1970s, Kelly used a collection of characters he called "the Bulldogs" to mock the secrecy and perceived paranoia of the Nixon administration. The Bulldogs included caricatures of J. Edgar Hoover (dressed in an overcoat and fedora, and directing a covert bureau of identical frog operatives), Spiro Agnew (portrayed as an unnamed hyena festooned in ornate military regalia), and John Mitchell (portrayed as a pipe-smoking eaglet wearing hightop sneakers.)[14] Always referred to but never seen was The Chief, who we are led to believe was Nixon himself[citation needed]. (Nixon eventually made his appearance—as a reclusive, teapot-shaped spider named Sam.)

The hyena character would sometimes change into Nixon for a while, then back into Agnew; at the end of the characters run, Churchy wondered, 'How many of him was there?'. The hyena was dressed in the ornate uniform when President Nixon introduced a fancy new dress uniform for the White House guards. It's appearance in the strip was marked by comments such as 'You look like a wet refugee from a third-rate road company.' and 'Stand back! It's blinding! You're the head cheese in a non-existent blintz republic, right?'. In real life, public ridicule led to the abandonment of the uniform a short time later.

J. Edgar Hoover apparently read more into the strip than was there. According to documents obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act, Hoover had suspected Kelly of sending some form of coded messages via the nonsense poetry and Southern accents he peppered the strip with. He reportedly went so far as to have government cryptographers attempt to "decipher" the strip.[15](reference not reliable)

When the strip was revived in 1989, Doyle and Sternecky attempted to recreate this tradition with a GOP Elephant that looked like Ronald Reagan, and a jackalope resembling George H. W. Bush. Saddam Hussein was portrayed as a snake, and then Vice-President Dan Quayle was depicted as an egg, which eventually hatched into a roadrunner-type chick that made the sound "Veep! Veep!"

Backlash, censorship and "bunny strips"[edit]

Kelly's use of satire and politics often drew fire from those he was criticizing and their supporters[citation needed]. Due to complaints, a number of papers censored or dropped the strip altogether, while others moved it to the editorial page.

When he started a controversial storyline, Kelly usually created alternate, deliberately innocuous daily strips that papers could opt to run instead of the political ones for a given week. They are sometimes labeled "Special," or with a letter after the date, to denote that they were alternate offerings. Kelly referred to these strips as "bunny strips," because more often than not he populated the alternate strips with the least offensive material he could imagine—fluffy little bunnies telling safe, insipid jokes. (Nevertheless, many of the bunny strips are subtle reworkings of the theme of the replaced strip.) As if to drive home Kelly's point, some papers published both versions. Kelly told fans that if all they saw in Pogo were fluffy little bunnies, then their newspaper didn't believe they were capable of thinking for themselves—or didn't want them to. The bunny strips were usually not reproduced when Pogo strips were collected into book form. However, a few alternate strips were reprinted in Equal Time for Pogo and the 1982 collection, The Best of Pogo.

Notable quotes[edit]

"We have met the enemy and he is us."[edit]

Probably the most famous Pogo quotation is "We have met the enemy and he is us." Perhaps more than any other words written by Kelly, it perfectly sums up his attitude towards the foibles of mankind and the nature of the human condition.

The quote was a parody of a message sent in 1813 from U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to Army General William Henry Harrison after his victory in the Battle of Lake Erie, stating, "We have met the enemy, and they are ours." It first appeared in a lengthier form in "A Word to the Fore", the foreword of the book The Pogo Papers, first published in 1953. Since the strips reprinted in Papers included the first appearances of Mole and Simple J. Malarkey, beginning Kelly's attacks on McCarthyism, Kelly used the foreword to defend his actions:

Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle. There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us. Forward!

—Walt Kelly, June 1953

The finalized version of the quotation appeared in a 1970 anti-pollution poster for Earth Day and was repeated a year later in the daily strip. The slogan also served as the title for the last Pogo collection released before Kelly's death in 1973, and of an environmentally themed animated short Kelly had started work on but did not finish due to ill health.

In 1998, OGPI (Okefenokee Glee & Perloo Incorporated, the corporation formed by the Kelly family to administer all things Pogo) dedicated a plaque in Waycross, Georgia, commemorating the quote.

Other quotes[edit]

Perhaps the second best-known Walt Kelly quotation is another one of Pogo's philosophical observations: "Don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent." Kelly's widow Selby re-used the line as a tribute, in a poignant daily strip that ran on Christmas Day, 1973—two months after Kelly's death.[citation needed]

Personal references[edit]

Walt Kelly frequently had his characters poling around the swamp in a flat-bottomed skiff. Invariably, it had a name on the side that was a personal reference of Kelly's: the name of a friend, a political figure, a fellow cartoonist, or the name of a newspaper, its editor or publisher. The name changed from one day to the next, and even from panel to panel in the same strip, but it was usually a tribute to a real-life person Kelly wished to salute in print.

Awards and recognition[edit]

Long before I could grasp the satirical significance of his stuff, I was enchanted by Kelly's magnificent artwork... We'll never see anything like Pogo again in the funnies, I'm afraid.

Jeff MacNelly, from Pogo Even Better, 1984

A good many of us used hoopla and hype to sell our wares, but Kelly didn't need that. It seemed he simply emerged, was there, and was recognized for what he was, a true natural genius of comic art... Hell, he could draw a tree that would send God and Joyce Kilmer back to the drawing board.

Mort Walker, from Outrageously Pogo, 1985

The creator and series have received a great deal of recognition over the years. Walt Kelly has been compared to everyone from James Joyce and Lewis Carroll, to Aesop and Joel Chandler Harris (Uncle Remus).[16][17] His skills as a humorous illustrator of animals has been celebrated alongside those of John Tenniel, A. B. Frost, T. S. Sullivant, Heinrich Kley and Lawson Wood. In his essay "The Decline of the Comics" (Canadian Forum, January 1954), literary critic Hugh MacLean classified American comic strips into four types: daily gag, adventure, soap opera and "an almost lost comic ideal: the disinterested comment on life's pattern and meaning.” In the fourth type, according to MacLean, there were only two: Pogo and Li'l Abner. When the first Pogo collection was published in 1951, Anthony Boucher and J. Francis McComas declared that "nothing comparable has happened in the history of the comic strip since George Herriman's Krazy Kat." [18]

"Carl Sandburg said that many comics were too sad, but, 'I Go Pogo.' Francis Taylor, Director of the Metropolitan Museum, said before the Herald Tribune Forum: 'Pogo has not yet supplanted Shakespeare or the King James version of the Bible in our schools.' " [19] Kelly was elected president of the National Cartoonists Society in 1954, serving until 1956. He was the first strip cartoonist invited to contribute originals to the Library of Congress.[citation needed]

Influence and legacy[edit]

Walt Kelly's work has influenced a number of prominent comic artists:

Pogo in other media[edit]

At its peak, Walt Kelly's possum appeared in nearly 500 newspapers in 14 countries. Pogo's exploits were collected into more than four dozen books, which collectively sold close to 30 million copies. Pogo already had had a successful life in comic books, previous to syndication. The increased visibility of the newspaper strip and popular trade paperback titles allowed Kelly's characters to branch into other media, such as television, children's records, and even a theatrical film.

In addition, Walt Kelly appeared as himself on television at least twice. He was interviewed live by Edward R. Murrow for his program Person to Person, in an episode originally broadcast on 14 January 1954. Kelly can also be seen briefly in the 1970 NBC-TV special This Is Al Capp, talking candidly about his friend, the creator of Li'l Abner.

Comic books and periodicals[edit]

All comic book titles are published by Dell Publishing Company, unless otherwise noted:

Music and recordings[edit]

Animation and puppetry[edit]

Three animated cartoons were created to date based on Pogo:

Neither Birthday Special nor I Go Pogo is currently available on home video or DVD. Selby Kelly had been selling specially packaged DVDs of We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us prior to her death, but it is currently unknown whether or not further copies will be available.

Licensing and promotion[edit]

Pogo also branched out from the comic pages into consumer products—including TV sponsor tie-ins to the Birthday Special—although not nearly to the degree of other contemporary comic strips, such as Peanuts. Selby Kelly has attributed the comparative paucity of licensed material to Kelly's pickiness about the quality of merchandise attached to his characters.

Collections and reprints[edit]

The 45 Pogo books published by Simon & Schuster[edit]

All titles are by Walt Kelly:

  • Pogo (1951)
  • I Go Pogo (1952)
  • Uncle Pogo So-So Stories (1953)
  • The Pogo Papers (1953)
  • The Pogo Stepmother Goose (1954)
  • The Incompleat Pogo (1954)
  • The Pogo Peek-A-Book (1955)
  • Potluck Pogo (1955)
  • The Pogo Sunday Book (1956)
  • The Pogo Party (1956)
  • Songs of the Pogo (1956)
  • Pogo's Sunday Punch (1957)
  • Positively Pogo (1957)
  • The Pogo Sunday Parade (1958)
  • G.O. Fizzickle Pogo (1958)
  • Ten Ever-Lovin', Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo (1959)
  • The Pogo Sunday Brunch (1959)
  • Pogo Extra (Election Special) (1960)
  • Beau Pogo (1960)
  • Gone Pogo (1961)
  • Pogo à la Sundae (1961)
  • Instant Pogo (1962)
  • The Jack Acid Society Black Book (1962)
  • Pogo Puce Stamp Catalog (1963)
  • Deck Us All with Boston Charlie (1963)
  • The Return of Pogo (1965)
  • The Pogo Poop Book (1966)
  • Prehysterical Pogo (in Pandemonia) (1967)
  • Equal Time for Pogo (1968)
  • Pogo: Prisoner of Love (1969)
  • Impollutable Pogo (1970)
  • Pogo: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us (1972)
  • Pogo Revisited (1974), a compilation of Instant Pogo, The Jack Acid Society Black Book and The Pogo Poop Book
  • Pogo Re-Runs (1974), a compilation of I Go Pogo, The Pogo Party and Pogo Extra (Election Special)
  • Pogo Romances Recaptured (1975), a compilation of Pogo: Prisoner of Love and The Incompleat Pogo
  • Pogo's Bats and the Belles Free (1976)
  • Pogo's Body Politic (1976)
  • A Pogo Panorama (1977), a compilation of The Pogo Stepmother Goose, The Pogo Peek-A-Book and Uncle Pogo So-So Stories
  • Pogo's Double Sundae (1978), a compilation of The Pogo Sunday Parade and The Pogo Sunday Brunch
  • Pogo's Will Be That Was (1979), a compilation of G.O. Fizzickle Pogo and Positively Pogo
  • The Best of Pogo (1982)
  • Pogo Even Better (1984)
  • Outrageously Pogo (1985)
  • Pluperfect Pogo (1987)
  • Phi Beta Pogo (1989)

Pogo books released by other publishers[edit]

All titles are by Walt Kelly unless otherwise noted:

The Complete Pogo[edit]

In February 2007, Fantagraphics Books announced the publication of a projected 12-volume hardcover series collecting the complete chronological run of daily and full-color Sunday syndicated Pogo strips. The initial volume was originally scheduled to appear in October 2007, but difficulties in obtaining and restoring early source material delayed its publication.[24][25][26] The premiere volume was issued in November 2011.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Don Markstein's Toonopedia. "Pogo Possum". 
  2. ^ Kelly, Walt: Phi Beta Pogo, p. 206, Simon and Schuster, 1989.
  3. ^ See, for example, Positively Pogo (Simon & Schuster, 1957) p. 85; also Gone Pogo (Simon & Schuster, 1961) p. 57; also Instant Pogo (Simon & Schuster, 1962) p. 40.
  4. ^ "Television Is Discovered in the Okefenokee Swamp, and Vice Versa," from TV Guide, 17 May 1969.
  5. ^ The Straight Dope: Complete Lyrics to "Deck Us All with Boston Charlie"
  6. ^ Kelly, Walt: Ten Ever-Lovin', Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo, p. 284, Simon and Schuster, 1959.
  7. ^ Georgia State 'Possum
  8. ^ Excerpted from a 1949 strip reproduced in the collection Pogo, Post-Hall Syndicate, 1951.
  9. ^ "Big Deals: Comics’ Highest-Profile Moments," Hogan's Alley #7, 1999
  10. ^ Kelly, Walt: Ten Ever-Lovin', Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo, p. 81, Simon and Schuster, 1959.
  11. ^ Kelly, Walt: Ten Ever-Lovin', Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo, p. 141, Simon and Schuster, 1959.
  12. ^ Kelly, Walt: Ten Ever-Lovin', Blue-Eyed Years with Pogo, p. 152, Simon and Schuster, 1959.
  13. ^ The poetry collection Deck Us All with Boston Charlie also lacks "Pogo" in its title, but is not a collection of strips.
  14. ^ "The Comics on the Couch" by Gerald Clarke, Time Dec. 13, 1971
  15. ^ For Sprint Hath Sprung the Cyclotron by Cyrus Highsmith, 20 March 2009
  16. ^ Crowley, John, "The Happy Place: Walt Kelly's Pogo", Boston Review Oct./Nov. 2004 Archives
  17. ^ Willson, John, "American Aesop," The Imaginative Conservative 18 July 2010
  18. ^ "Recommended Reading," The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, April 1952, p.96.
  19. ^ From an autobiography written by Walt Kelly for the Hall Syndicate, 1954
  20. ^ Crumb, Robert (February 1978). "Introduction". The Complete Fritz the Cat. Belier Press. ISBN 978-0-914646-16-7. 
  21. ^ The Pogo Special Birthday Special at the Internet Movie Database
  22. ^ Pogo for President: ‘I Go Pogo’ at the Internet Movie Database
  23. ^ Kelly, Walt: "Phi Beta Pogo", p. 212, Simon and Schuster, 1989.
  24. ^ "Fantagraphics announces the complete POGO!". Flog! The Fantagraphics Blog. 2007-02-15. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-11-29. 
  25. ^ "New volumes of Pogo reprints delayed". Comic Book Bin. 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-09-14. 
  26. ^ Kim Thompson (2009-03-20). "Will The Complete Pogo happen in 2009?". The Comics Journal Message Board. Retrieved 2009-12-09. "POGO has production difficulties due to the really horrible state of the first year's worth of Sundays in all available versions. We're taking our time on it because we want to do it right. It will definitely NOT be out in 2009." 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]