Thursday, June 8, 2017


One of the most wonderful things about comic strips is that the author/artist can put all sorts of subtext and additional material in the background. For instance, in the "Pogo" comic, by Walt Kelly, almost all of the characters live in hollow trees. Most of them have their names nailed to boards over the door. Albert alligator has a sign that says "Albert" over his door. Except, in one strip it says "Atbler." Why? I have no idea. Albert is illiterate, as are most of the denizens of the swamp. It seems random, but likely isn't. Any Pogo fans have an idea about this?

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that is reprinting all of the original Pogo newspaper strips from the beginning in large and very well produced hardback volumes. Three are out so far, and the fourth is due out in a few months. The strips are reproduced in a much larger size than they have been in two previous attempts to reprint Pogo comic strips that I know about and it really is beautiful. Wajt Kelly combined slapstick and politics the way almost no other humorist ever has and if you like comics or politics you have got to see these. Plus, I want you to buy the books so that Fantagraphics will be able to afford to keep printing them. No attempt to reprint all of Pogo has ever been successful, and I believe the reason is that the publishers haven't sold enough copies. So help me out here! This is a national treasure.

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