Monday, January 30, 2012

Corpse and Robbers

By popular demand (well, nine of you—but there were so many 'please please pleases' that counted for more), I give you Muckey Spleen's The Bloody Drip. Some of you may have seen this a millyum times (as I have), and still it's enjoyable. So, turn the lights low, cozy up to your computer and enjoy this publication of The New National Treasury of World Culture:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The World's Serious Condition

I have a headache and need to get to sleep, so I'm posting on Saturday nite so's you have this first thing on Sunday.

Here is another gorgeous Sunday strip that is also in the new Fantagraphics volume (if you haven't yet, go buy it!), but here we showcase the handsome tabloid format, courtesy of my friend and yours, DJ David B.

As Chris points out in the previous Pogo Sunday post, Deacon sometimes spoke without Gothic lettering in some early strips. When he first became a cast member he started out all Gothic, so I think somebody just forgot.

October 1, 1950

"One more word and you'll be sold to the Milwaukee Brewers!"

Now, he's not talking about the big league Milwaukee Brewers that was formed around '69 or'70, but the minor league baseball team that played in the American Association from 1902 through 1952 with a Triple-A class-level from 1946 to 1952. They hadn't been doing all that well at the time of this strip in 1950, but the following year they held their class and league titles. Among notable managers were Casey Stengel and Red Smith. Among notable players were Alvin Dark, Johnny Logan, Rudy York and Jim Thorpe.

Baseball was an ongoing ritual in Kelly's Okefenokee.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Muckey Spleen

Transatlantic Hun reminds us in the last post that Albert was being auditioned for the role of Meat Hamburg, Private Eye—the kindly, steely-eyed, laughing, tough minded, heart-of-gold old pro.

As fortune would have it, he landed that role in at least two spying tingler features—The Bloody Drip, and GoreBlimey - The Bloody Drip Writhes Again.

These have to be some of Kelly's funniest parodies. Many of you already have these, but if anyone wants to see large, crisp and clear scans of those stories that you can magnify on your screen and stuff like that, I would be glad to oblige . . . but ya gotta ask, I can't read your mind.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Black, Wet or Indiffermints

Another spin of a 'toon from the grade A DJ — DJ David B.

If it's Deacon you're seekin', you've come to the place where this is the case.

Hey Chris! Swish, Ploop! More slapstick!

September 17, 1950

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 . . .

Monday, January 23, 2012

Happy Year of Dragon

Kelly drew a number of dragons in his time, many small and cute. This is one 'has teeth', figuratively and literally.

If you cannot master the dragon, you must let it go . . .

Walt Kelly

A Genuine Bare Nose

Another beauty from 1950, that is also in the new Fantagraphics collection, but is scanned from DJ David B.'s wonderful collection.

This is Kelly just wandering around his characters and having fun.

August 13, 1950

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.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Girl of the Sterling North

Speaking of nameless turtles, here's a sweet strip from 1950 . . .

Time to Celebrate

Well, shet my mouf, it's time to celebrate!

In addition to our great blog friend OtherEric, we have another great blog friend, DJ David B. who 'spins comic-tunes' over at I.T.C.H. (International Team of Comics Historians). DJ David B. has generously opened his archive of very early Walt Kelly material, and most notably early Pogo Sunday strips starting as far back as 1950 (can't really go further back than that for those particular items).

Starting this Sunday I will be posting some of those treasures intermittently with the remainder of my stash, and still sharing OtherEric's treasures as well. What a win-win-win for Kelly fans, or at least the Kelly fans that has the knowledge to 'toon in here.

We'll chat some more on Sunday, but until then here is a little something that DJ David B sent over — a jpeg of original art for the very first Pogo daily. This is dated 1949 for the New York Post, but is slightly recycled from the 1948 New York Star that ceased to exist in 1949, where Kelly had been art director, drawing everything that needed to be drawn.

Note the torturous method of laying in the word balloons, with it's speedball lettering. Quoting Kelly himself, regarding this strip:

"These first Pogo drawings have him formed practically as he is now (1959), but without the dynamic torsion, the fins or the fog lights. The turtle in the strip here is not the notorious Churchy La Femme. He comes in later. This turtle and this worm are probably bit players. I have always felt that the 150 irregulars in the strip have work elsewhere, in other comic strips, on their days off, and probably fare better than we know."

See y'all on Sunday!

The ol' Pogo # one

Sunday, January 15, 2012

They Won't Subterfuge Me

I'm trying to avoid starting another arc for a couple of weeks, but Kelly had so few stand-alones in the final 10 years, or it may be that I've already posted most of them. Anyway . . . happy Sunday, Kelly Sunday!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Special Indian Snow Dance

Great news for all you Kelly and Pogo fans! This blog has a new friend that has some older Sunday pages in his collection that he is generously planning to share with us, as well as some other Kelly treasures. He will be sending over the raw scans and I will be doing the painstaking processing, so it may take a while. But oh, I'm looking forward to it, and probably you are too. In the meantime, I still have plenty of pages from my collection to post and other special Kelly stuff as well.

This page is from Kelly's final period of 1973, a valiant hurrah, or there's always a chance that it was a reprint. At this point, I dunno—it's hard to keep track of what was happening in those final months.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Chief Spectator

Sorry to be so long with getting this Sunday up. Happy to y'all!

First Day of a Brang New Year

Oh, good golly. I've missed posting a Sunday, Kelly Sunday strip. We had a little party last night, with some guests staying over, rather than risk the roads. I will get the Sunday strip posted later today, but for your trouble of checking in, here is a cute little strip appropriate to the day.

Check back later today for the last strip of the current arc.