Thursday, January 28, 2010


Most Walt Kelly fans know that he spent some time, early in his career, working at the Disney Studio in California as a storyboarder and such. His efforts there are fairly rare to find, but this batch gives an idea as to what he was up to. These pieces are for Minnehaha, about 1940, a film that didn't reach completion. The forest encampment panorama, directly below, is almost Okefenokeean in scope and flavor. Some artists are just born to go in certain directions.

Above: for heaven's sake, click on it, download it, blow it up!


  1. Great to see this stuff.

    Keep up the great work!

  2. Wow. Just Wow. I feel like I'm repeating myself saying "beautiful work", but I've said that about Kelly for decades now so at least I'm consistant.

    Oh, just to throw a question out there from completely left field: do you have any idea how I would go about verifying a Kelly signature? I trust the dealer I got it from, in part because the dealer knew he didn't have any provenance and only jumped the book price about $10. I've been able to compare it to at least one other book with a Kelly inscription, and it looks similar- to the point where _that_ dealer and I agreed that, while neither of us had verification, the fact that we had gotten the books half-way across the country from one another suggested they were either both authentic or from the same forger 1500 miles apart.

    No real reason you would know, but you seem like a reasonable person to ask.

  3. Thanks guys.

    Eric, verification is a tricky deal, as you know. Everyone's signature varies a bit, and when you sign hundreds of autographs every year, well, you either get very good with consistency or you just get tired.

    Just the other day I saw an old Kelly book at a book seller and was shocked to see it priced at a couple hundred dollars. Then I saw a note that it was autographed. Well normally an author signs or inscribes on the half title page or such, but this was signed directly on the cover. And it didn't look like the Kelly signature that I've seen scores of times, on his letters, inscriptions, and special drawings. It looked like how someone would precisely sign a check. I felt like it was false, like maybe someone just decided to be helpful and put the author's name on the cover so we'd know who did the great stuff inside.

    The point being, who knows? The signature that I know well is one that kind of loops from letter to letter and *whoop* jumps from the t in Walt to the K in Kelly.

    A $10 price increase is reasonable, but the couple hundred that I saw added on to a dubious signature seemed a bit outrageous.