Sunday, May 12, 2013

You Kin Smile an' Smile an' YET Be a Villain

Original art by Walt Kelly is wonderful to behold. Between the blue under-penciling and the lush inking (not to mention the art style itself, the joke, oh, and the lettering), each original is a joy to study.

Here are two such originals, courtesy of Richard Davidson, friend of this blog, who has sent over a number of items, and I'm just now getting around to these. More to come from Richard, as well as our other great friends who have sent over Kelly goodies.

Happy Sunday, Kelly Sunday!

 November 29, 1955

February 21, 1950


  1. Sunday strip or not: It's still a "Kelly Sunday"!

    Thanks for that!


  2. Wonderful. Thanks a lot dear Thom and Richard.
    That's one of the big drawbacks of the new Fantagraphics re-issue: Not enough photo-quality-all-colours and same-size-as-originals reproductions. The best they had, in vol. II, they edited, digitized and printed it wrong...
    Oh, well, that makes you guys, and your work here, too, so irreplaceable!

  3. I don't think I've ever seen a Kelly original from this early in the run before! A pedantic point: I'd always wondered whether the typed copyright notice was actually attached to the original art, or if it was inserted as a separate element in the printing process. Now I have my answer! It's interesting (and incredibly annoying) that Fantagraphics goes out of their way to white-out the typed copyright notice in almost every strip, both in the current hardback series and in their earlier 1990s reprints. They also occasionally omit the date (particularly on the Sundays, I've found), which is even more annoying, because it amounts to removing part of Kelly's actual hand-written work! Does anyone know why on Earth they would do this?

    I used to think perhaps they removed the copyright because it was NOT part of the original artwork. So rather than allow readers to distinguish between the strips where the book used original artwork (with no copyright) and the strips where they used a print source (with copyright), they simply removed it from all of them in the interest of streamlining. However, that explanation obviously doesn't hold up. So why the heck do they bother editing the strips?!