Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Peter Wheat and the Fairy Queen

Once again we are indebted to OtherEric of the Digital Comic Museum for another beautiful and rare installment of Walt Kelly's run on The Adventures of Peter Wheat, this being issue #24, the first of a several part storyline.

Kelly's entire oeuvre really seems to be one big fairy tale world, and here we actually step into Fairy Land for a bit, continuing to see a variety of his mythical characterizations.

Stay 'tooned at the end for comments from OtherEric.

Post-issue comments from OtherEric:

A minor technical note: This is the only issue of Adventures I've seen that was stapled, not glued, at the spine. Again, not bad, just odd—I may be the only person who cares. This starts the "Peter Wheat and the Fairy Queen" storyline that runs for four issues (if anybody has a better idea for a title for the arc, let me know, a naming expert I'm not). While it's not quite on the scale of, say, the Monster Society of Evil, 64 pages is LONG for a comic book story back in the 40s or 50s. And this issue starts the story in somewhat subdued fashion with a mystery.

I think the colorist may not be doing the story great favors by making the door in the tree obvious, but I do think it shows the colorist is at least paying attention to the story.

Kelly's faun is an absolute delight—the range of expressions on him and all the characters throughout this storyline is just amazing. I love how he goes from happy to worried to "this isn't fun anymore, somebody got hurt." Just wonderfully expressive.

I suspect editorial interference with the large number of captions. They're not unknown in Peter Wheat stories, but they're not common, and several here are quite redundant. I suspect there were one or two bits where the action was felt to be unclear—what the marshmallow sauce was, and possibly Peter's state after the fall—and then somebody went overboard clarifying the sequence. None of this really gets in the way of the story, though. Peter's look when he wakes up is priceless, and the Fairy Queen is just beautiful.

On that note, next time we'll move on to tell you what little we know about issue #25.


  1. I've said it before, I'll say it again...these are a real treat!

  2. I cannot help but imagine a pebble hurled by the larger of the two bugs in the lower right-hand corner of the bottom panel of the first page. “Destroy a son's faith in his father, will you!?!”

  3. Good one, Daniel! Yes. That's how I've been imagining Kelly's overlapping whirleds.

  4. Peter Wheat stories are priceless-such beautiful children--charlie