Sunday, January 22, 2012


Here we go, the first of some very early Pogo Sunday strips, courtesy of DJ David B., digging deep into his Kelly Kollection, sending over raw scans where I then jump in to give them a round of processing.

A note about that: David B. is supplying excellent high resolution scans, but they have to be in two pieces and are in raw condition. After stitching the two pieces together, I spend up to an hour on each strip, attempting to give them the look that I think Kelly intended them to have, knowing the limitations of newsprint printing. The colors should be bright and cheerful, but not garish or too contrasty—yet contrasted enough that the printing seems crisp and clean. I have removed obvious imperfections of the printing process, like blobs of ink, or too much mis-registration of colors, or bleed-through from the other side. I'm trying to keep the nature of the newsprint paper intact, as well as a few imperfections so that it feels like it's right out of the Sunday paper.

These first few strips will be familiar to any Kelly fan who has recently purchased the excellent Fantagraphics first volume of The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Pogo: Through the Wild Blue Wonder. But these that we're showing are scanned from the original strips, not from the book. Anyone who doesn't have the book, should go purchase it, and future volumes for your collection. But it's fun to see these newsprint versions and if all goes well, you'll see strips that will not be collected in the books for some time to come.

I'm very grateful to DJ David B. and I hope you are too. We'll still romp around in my collection as well, but these early gems will spice up our view of the Whirled of Kelly!

Oh, and later this week we'll have another Peter Wheat installment, courtesy of our friend OtherEric. Please tell friends to become followers here so that more Kelly fans can enjoy his cartooning genius, and spread the word even further.

June 18, 1950
I'm going to start dating strips so you can appreciate the context of its time

Above is a detail of a panel, so as to appreciate Kelly's cartooning technique, and likewise below from the original art as published in the Fantagraphics Volume 1 collection.


  1. Thank you,Mr THB!
    Your love for the art and artist(s) show.
    And I like very much that you work so hard to present the episodes/stories in such high quality.
    You are spreading joy,and it's welcomed in this grim world.
    Keep up the good work!
    /Mr Anonymous

  2. I don't know how long you had to spend cleaning up this scan--I am impressed with the quality you were able to give to this newsprint art that is older than I am.

    Just wanted to be sure that you know that your hard work is heartily appreciated. Thanks so much!


  3. Tom,

    The Sunday pages were my favorite part of the first FG volume. As they work thru the oft-reprinted early years of POGO, such will probably continue to be the case. Thanks for putting this one up.


  4. Thank you! This is very much appreciated!

  5. Thank you so much for all the hard work that you do in preserving the art of a true American genius who is woefully overlooked these days.

  6. Just want to add my appreciation for your hard work in putting these strips up for us all to see. I've always enjoyed your Sunday strips the most since they're rare to see at all and especially in color. This here now particular strip with Howland apparently in egg form is going to make me finally go out and buy the Fantagraphics reprint vol. 1 to see what really happened to Howland. This book was in "not released" status for so long that I thought it probably never would come out. And I remembered hearing years ago that the Sundays would be black and white, so I was excited when I learned (I believe it was in your review of the book) that they're in color. So, once again, thanks! And thank DJ David B. for these and all his strips to come. --Jim Prior

  7. Chris, Tedley, Jim — Thank you. Your words are music to my, eyes.

    And yes, the book has the Sunday strips in color, so everyone needs to go buy the book so that Fantagraphics will want to keep printing volume after volume.

  8. Wow! You did a great job cleaning up my scans. I thought it was hard work scanning the Sunday pages but it's nothing compared to the hour you spend touching up each strip. I'm impressed! I'll scan more as soon as I have time. (Word to the wise: replace your water heater if it's more than ten years old or you may find yourself with a flooded basement.) (Second word to the wise: Do not store your valuable collectibles in the basement, next to the water heater.)

  9. Dave, Ouch! Wowch! What good advice. I do hope the damage was minimal.

    We all thank you for your contributions, now and in the future!