THE FUNNY PAPERS: POGO

CompletePogo1Cover

Complete runs of most of the great strips from the Golden Age of American comics have been or are being issued in excellent editions by the likes of Fantagraphics Books, IDW Publishing and Sunday Press Books.  I’m a collector of many of these reprint series, working my way through them with great pleasure.  Here’s a report on my progress through Pogo:

PogoSwalowingFrog

Click on the image to enlarge.

Like Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, Walt Kelly’s comic strip Pogo got off to a slow start.  It creates a world located in the Okefenokee Swamp peopled by anthropomorphized swamp critters.  The episodes involve a laconic backwoods sort of humor that isn’t always terribly funny or insightful.  It’s just pleasant, in an off-hand way, though the drawing is consistently impressive.  I never read the strip with much attention when it was first appearing but I’m told it moved eventually into a mode of social and political satire that was penetrating.

We shall see.

7 thoughts on “THE FUNNY PAPERS: POGO

  1. I’ve never forgotten Pogo’s summation (paraphrasing Oliver Hazard Perry) of the litter in the swamp:

    “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

  2. The only things I liked about Pogo when I was a kid were the little bug in a baby bonnet who wandered through the scene, occasionally saying, “Jes’ fine”; and the Christmas carol “Deck Us All With Boston Charlie.”

  3. “We are confronted with insurmountable opportunities.” My grandfather was a fan and would read them to me. He’d laugh often and I’d smile. I need to pick up these reprints.

    • That’s a great line, Gavin.

      The reprints are appearing slowly and so far are still in the early stages of the strip. I think the great bons mots come from later years, but if you have a general fondness for “Pogo”, you’ll find the strips from the early years agreeable.

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