Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mysterious Wizard

These are exciting times here at Whirled of Kelly (not that it's ever been comPLETEly dull around here), with Kelly treasures being brought into the light of day after decades of isolation in dark dusty archives.

Between the new collection series offered by Fantagraphics, and some really old Sunday strips coming up for sharing by DJ David B., and still more episodes of The Adventures of Peter Wheat still being unearthed and shared by OtherEric of The Digital Comic Museum, not to mention I've still got some swell stuff from the '60s — well, it's a winning scenario for Kelly fans everywhere.

Speaking of which, why aren't there more Kelly fans 'tooning in and leaving comments about their thoughts and feelings and memories and inspirations regarding Walt Kelly? Thank you to all who are following and commenting, but this blog has been around long enough that there ought to be more of you enjoying the fruits of our labors. Your comments are the rewards for us, and we'd like to hear from more of you more often. Tell us what Kelly's work means to you. There's no limit to the length of your comments, so weigh in.

For those of you who have shared materials and not yet seen it posted, hang in there, I've been on a fast track, and I will get those materials up and running in the next few months. And those of you who have made requests, fear not, you have been heard and they will be honored as soon as I can arrange them.

In the meantime, thank you once again to OtherEric, our intrepid correspondent in the faerie kingdoms of the wheat fields, with another dispatch that ties into other episodes that have been posted previously. I hope you're keeping track by issue, 'cause this is issue #25, part of a continuity.

I'll point out in advance that a cloak of invisibility is in use in this episode, long before JK Rowling pulled one out for Harry Potter. Yes, it has been a device used before Kelly in the history of fiction, but this one almost seems like a direct inspiration for Rowling. Possibly not, but between wizards and magic throughout these tales, you never know . . .


  1. Dear Tom, What you have collected and published has been a special place for me for over a year. It is hard to break into this wonderful Pogo love fest to write a comment. I really love the early long-nose Pogo stories. They are the ones my mother brought home from the local comic book emporium. I tried to share my early 60's saved copy of "No Pome Atall" by Porkypine to Mamselle Hepsibah. But I think it didn't make the cut. I have kept that little scrap of newsprint in my keepsake box since 1962. It is hard for us to let you know how important your love for art and illustration and Walt Kelly is to us. Well I got the Fantagraphic book for my brother for christmas. But there will be terrible sadness if you stop. Even Peter Wheat, which is a little hard to swallow but is beginning to ensnare me.

  2. Thank you Kip! Now that's the kind of comments that keep me posting.

    Yes, some folk are a bit PeterWheatPhobic, but really, can we not just think of all these stories taking place just north of the Okefenokee, with some critters crossing back and forth? It's the Whirled of Kelly here, and his Whirled has a number of communities that he has brought forth, and I for one am glad to see all of them.

    Tell me what you mean about the pome not making the cut.

  3. See, now, Peter spent time monkey-dancing (albeït on the stomach of the Wizard), and didn't change the Wizard into something innocuous forthwith.

    I don't myself worry about what attracts comments or readership to my 'blog, except in-so-far as I note that some of the instructional entries seem to have been useful to quite a lot of people, and I up-date those to be helpful.

    I think that the best reason for a 'blog and for each of its entries is just a sense that someone ought to creäte it.

  4. dear Tom, sorry to comment anonymously; but I have not found a way to sign on as a follower (don't have a Google account, am not on facebook: clearly too old and set in my ways for all these new-fangled gimmicks...)
    In the past I dared to put in a few comments - mostly only THANX - , hinting at my descendance and current location; with your agreement I would in the future call myself Transatlantic Hun on my anonymous comments.
    I came to Kelly only in around 1970 at age 28, i.e. by being hooked by Pogo newspaper strips (kept up the aquaintance later by buying collection books(b/w all of them of course) whenever I had a chance during short stays in US. So was never exposed to Peter Wheat and the likes, so never had a chance to acquire the taste for them. Meaning: If there were not any, I would not miss them. BUT: 'Pogo' I would miss! Please do not cause any withdrawal pains!
    Like you, I have been wondering why there is so little feedback to your blog. Anyone looking it up just must appreciate how much effort and time you put into it. Is it that people do not cherish it because it is free? Hey, not everything in this world can be measured in billions of $$! So a call to all you lazy b...ers: Show the man that you are alive out there on the net! You don't have to clap you hands; using two fingers like I do is sufficient to THANK Tom H. Buchanan.
    Transatlantic Hun
    PS. Tom, you keep me wondering where you find the time and brainpower for this and your other blogs

  5. Transatlantic Hun, I much appreciate your sentiments, and your comments in the past! If ever there was a labor of love, this is it. My brainpower and time are at an all time low, yet I blog on, enjoying the results myself, seeing Kelly's work close-up and personal, as this computer medium allows.

    Thanks for your support!

  6. Dear Tom, what does Kelly's work mean to us? (you asked). Well, it means the world to me. The art, the animal anatomy, the staging and the compositions and layouts are stunningly beautiful and supernaturally charmed. And then these stories! These dialogs! These ideas! And everything always moving, always changing, always challenging, too, like in the best poetry, like in dreams and myths and like in Lewis Carroll.
    And your blog is wonderful. It's a joy and a wonder. We're all terribly thankful to you for it. The scans of original art or of the Sunday pages are pure unexpected treasures. So much nicer, so much closer than most printed or re-printed versions (when they exist...)
    And your texts are splendid, too. Greatly enjoyable and deep and horizons-widening. You're up to the task, man!
    I've already said it but I'll say it again: It's a shame Fantagraphics didn't put you in charge of their Pogo books...

    And your 3 other blogs show the same talent, culture, and profound esthetics grasp and knowledge.

    Thanks for it all. You're the most rewarding and uplifting damn thing on the Web. (Well, you asked...)

  7. Yves, wow. I ask and I receive. Thank you!

    And thank you for that description—

    "always changing, always challenging . . . like in dreams and myths . . ."

    and likening Kelly's work to Lewis Carroll is of course apt, as Carroll was a true inspiration for Kelly.

    Oh, I wish I could be involved in those books!

    Once again, Yves, thank you!

  8. Wow! What a fantastic Peter Wheat saga! For once Kelly gives us a liberal dose of humor in a Peter Wheat story -- and I really think it added to the suspense. Just when the reader thinks this will be an easy victory, the bad guys turn the tables and win (at least for now).
    Thanks for bringing us a great story! As always, your hard work is appreciated!