Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith

twitter Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith0facebook Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith0google Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith0pinterest Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith0tumblr Pogo from FBI, designed by Smithreddit Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith0stumbleupon Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith0email Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith

Pogo1 Pogo from FBI, designed by Smith
HOORAH!

Fantagraphics Books is pleased to announce that it has acquired the rights to publish a comprehensive series comprising Walt Kelly’s classic POGO comic strip. The first volume of Fantagraphics’ POGO will appear in October, 2007, and the series will run approximately 12 volumes.

Each Pogo volume will be designed by Jeff Smith, the award-winning cartoonist and creator of the Bone graphic novel, and a lifelong admirer of Walt Kelly.

Walt Kelly (born Walter Crawford Kelly Jr.) was born in 1913 and started his career at age 13 in Connecticut as a cartoonist and reporter for the Bridgeport Post, his local newspaper. 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.’ In the mid 1930s, he drew his first comics work for the future DC Comics. Kelly left Disney in 1941 rather than take sides in their bitter labor strike. He moved back east and began drawing comic books for Western Publishing Company and the Dell line of comics. It was during this time that Kelly created the character Pogo Possum.

The character first appeared in Dell’s 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 the Second World War, Kelly became artistic director at the New York Star, where he turned Pogo into a daily strip. When the Star folded in 1949, the Hall Syndicate took ‘Pogo’ into syndication, so that the strip soon appeared in hundreds of newspapers. Until his death in 1973, he produced a feature that has become widely cherished among casual readers and aficionados alike as a classic comic strip.

Kelly blended nonsense, poetry, and political and social satire in making 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 boogeymen like Joseph McCarthy, J. Edgar Hoover, George Wallace, and Richard Nixon. Kelly was considered a sufficient threat that his phone was tapped and the US Government corresponded with a newspaper reporter who claimed that the eccentric patois Kelly created was a secret Russian code.) Pogo is well known for its elaborate and ornate lettering and for Kelly’s distinctive use of language and lush brushwork. It is one of the few comic strips that succeeded in blending humor and politics into an uncompromising and entertaining whole.

The consecutive run of Pogo has never before been systematically collected into book form. (Fantagraphics published a series of 11 softcover volumes reprinting five-and-a-half years of the strip in the ‘90s.) This will be the definitive series collecting all of his Pogo strips from 1949 to 1973. “Walt Kelly is unquestionably in the pantheon of great newspaper strip cartoonists,” said Gary Groth, President & Publisher of Fantagraphics Books. “Our Pogo books will present Kelly’s work the way it should be published — in a beautifully designed hardcover format, with careful attention paid to reproduction quality, and with knowledgeable introductory material.”

“I am very excited that Fantagraphics has chosen to publish Pogo in such wonderful books,” said Carolyn Kelly, Walt’s daughter. “For many years people have been telling me how much they want to own this series, and I am thrilled that Pogo will now be so carefully compiled and available to us. Ol’ Walt would be proud.”

“This collection has been a long time coming,” said Jeff Smith, “I’ve been waiting for it ever since I was nine. I’m very happy to be helping the Kelly family and Fantagraphics bring this comic strip masterpiece to a new audience.”

Comments

  1. ~chris says:

    I didn’t read comics in my childhood (due to lack of money), so my first “comics” reading, before the first trades appeared in libraries in the ’70s, was my dad’s old Peanuts and Pogo books. Good for Fantagraphics!

  2. Skipper Pickle says:

    When i was a wee lad, i would ask my granddad to read Pogo to me–it looked like the best one. But he always demurred, claiming that it had “too much politics” in it.

    Count me in. i have a lot to learn about my granddad. :)

  3. trevor says:

    Knowing their track record I’m sure Fantagraphics will do a bang up job these volumes!

  4. Torsten Adair says:

    One of my favorite books as a child was the first Pogo collection from 1950 (?). s Since then, I have collected many of the collections, and even the LP! Will FBI include the original books and/or the material used in the collections to make the narrative smoother? Can’t wait to see those glorious Sunday strips!

  5. So, a year and a half after the announcement: where is it?

  6. Sonynololix says:

    Hollywood, Florida – Jan. 31, 2008 : SwingersFest IV. announced today that social networking giant online4love.com, the World’s Best Personals for Adults, will co-sponsor SwingersFest IV; The World’s Largest Swingers Convention and Adult Expo.
    read more
    dating website press release

Trackbacks

  1. Anonymous says:

    The Complete Pogo is coming!…

    Fantagraphics is releasing The Complete POGO by Walt Kelly in the same format as their successful PEANUTS releases. And there was much rejoicing! But you’ll have to wait for October for the first book….

  2. […] occaisions. This is great, great news. I can’t wait for October. Posted by jason at 10:40 am | Read more: Comics Leave aReply […]

  3. […] Pogo is coming in book form February 17, 2007 at 3:22 pm by Michael Janairo Story is here. Posted in Comics | […]

  4. […] Just a quick post about Fantagraphics announcement that they are going to publish The Complete Pogo. I am working with Fantagraphics and Carolyn Kelly to design a series that is worthy of Walt Kelly. You can read the full press release at The Beat. […]

  5. The Complete Pogo, for real this time, maybe….

    I’ve been peeved at Fantagraphics for abandoning their project to reprint the complete Pogo for years. So it’s with a bit of skepticism that I read a press release announcing that:
    Fantagraphics Books is pleased to announce that it has acqu…

Speak Your Mind

*