Monday, May 17, 2010

Walt Kelly Fans

Walt Kelly—circa 1950

Walt Kelly fans are of a wide variety.

There are those that grew up, from childhood, loving Kelly's world, having great fun absorbing the stories, the language, the art and the characters. To those fans, the whirled of Kelly felt real enough that Mr. Kelly was just the playwright behind the curtain, the play was the thing.

There are those that are . . . well . . . obsessed—needing to at least see, if not possess, everything that Kelly ever created.

Those that admire his art and are inspired by it to create their own best.

Those that just plain admire his art.

Those that admire Kelly's satire, whether they agree with his politics or not.

Those who are comic fans, who can tell from comparison that Kelly is one of the best cartoonists . . . ever.

There are those that are vaguely aware that Kelly's Pogo once said something about 'meeting the enemy and he is us', and Pogo's a cute little guy, and what is he supposed to be, a dog or something?

And then there's you, somewhere on the spectrum, with enough interest in the man and his work to tune into this fan's blog, in the hope of seeing something new and interesting.

Out of all the people on the spectrum of Kelly fans worldwide, I venture to guess that not even one percent of them have laid eyes on what is coming up soon here on Whirled of Kelly.

You may have seen, around the internet and on this blog, some scanned issues of The Adventures of Peter Wheat by Walt Kelly. Most all the scans you've seen have been courtesy of an esteemed friend of this blog who goes by the screen name of OtherEric. The issues are rare and hard to come by (a redundancy, as is that not the definition of 'rare', yet doesn't it help to make the point?). As I've stated before, OtherEric is on a mission, a quest, to locate and share as many of the rare Peter Wheat adventures as he can.

What is rarer than an issue of The Adventures of Peter Wheat?

The very FIRST three issues of The Adventures of Peter Wheat, in consecutive order!!! OtherEric has once again very generously allowed this blog to be the premier venue for this treasure of Kelly treasures.

Before that happens, we want to set the stage for why this is so important, for Kelly fans, and comic fans. To do that, I have requested of OtherEric that he himself give us some background and weighed opinion as to the significance of this material. Over the next few days he will do that, to introduce us to Kelly's Whirled of Adventure.

To whet your appetite, here is the first panel of the first issue of The Adventures of Peter Wheat:

I want YOU to please advise any friends and associates that has even a twinkling of interest in comic and/or children's literature to 'toon in' over the next few days and weeks to see Kelly's rarest of rare.


  1. Now if I can just live up to that introduction!

    I think I've said this before, but if I haven't I should have: I just love the way Kelly draws mice. Nibble is probably the classic example of that but I love the mice as steeds here as well.

    Did Kelly ever call Nibble by name in the newspaper; or was that only in the last few issues of Animal Comics?

  2. Kelly mice are the best. Shortly after posting TAoPW #1 I'm going to do a post examining and appreciating Kelly mice over the years. Look no further than this blog's heading to see that I appreciate his mice.

    I've looked pretty extensively through the newspaper stuff and have only found the mouse to be called 'mouse'. He's actually one of my favorite characters from the earlyish Pogo newspaper years, not showing up very much in the final years.

  3. Thomas I just want you to know that I have been following your Kelly posts since day 1 of your Prehysteria blog.

    I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your hard work, and how much more I've fallen in love with Kelly's work because of it.

    Thanks so much!

  4. So very glad that someone is doing this. Walt certainly deserves it.

    Beyond all the art comments that have been and will be made, which is profoundly and uniquely exquisite, the singularity that was his alone was the use of varied typography in his word balloons as the years went on.

    As a child, I was amazed how this helped produce individual personalities and often borrowed this technique myself.

  5. Pat, thank YOU so much. That's just the sort of comment that keeps me going through all the hard work. Long live Kelly!

    Y'know, speaking of Prehysteria, I completely destroyed any value my book had when I scanned it. The binding broke loose and every page spilled out. But boy it was worth it to have helped document that Kelly masterwork.

  6. Nrich—
    Thanks for pointing that out. That will be the subject of a post down the road

  7. I am looking forward to these Peter Wheat-it is still new to me but what I have seen is beautiful--thanks--charlie

  8. Thanks charlie--I think it'll be worth looking at, another fascinating facet of Kelly.

  9. The more I draw and the more I look at and read his art the more I am becoming a huge Walt Kelly fan! I just now saw that he created art for a series of comics called 'Fairy Tale Parade' but I can't seem to find too much about it. Does anyone know where some of those pages might be hiding on the interweb?

    Great blog!

  10. Craig, this is your lucky day, because you can find all of the Fairy Tale Parade issues at

    Have fun!