Sunday, June 30, 2013

Centennial Birthday

There is a milestone birthday coming up this August. A birthday of one who is no longer among us, but one whose work will live for lifetimes to come.

Walt Kelly was born 100 years ago on this upcoming August 25. As unofficial celebrant of the work of Walt Kelly, the Whirled of Kelly site takes it upon itself to be the unofficial celebrant of the centennial day of the man who some of us consider to be the greatest cartoonist of all time.

My time has been fully occupied as of late, as I have just come off a prolonged effort of producing a prototype online journal that promotes the significance of the arts that will be free of charge to readers. But now I'd like to take the time and effort to produce a special edition of that journal to honor the significance of the art of Kelly.

I know this is short notice, being less than 2 months away, but I am asking all fans of Kelly to consider a way to help us mark the day of August 25 in a special way.

Over the last couple of years we have had a number of Friends-in-Kelly lovingly share some beautiful Kelly material (with more waiting in the wings). 

I am requesting now that professional cartoonists and artists come up with some art and/or narrative, in their own unique way that will pay tribute to Kelly and his work—all to be published in a special edition of The Pictorial Arts Journal to be made available online in a magazine format, free of charge to all.

 I am broadcasting an appeal world-wide, to professionals and talented enthusiasts to draw, paint, write or otherwise create material that can be sent via email for inclusion in this special birthday edition.

We will need to receive all digital work via email by no later than Sunday, August 4, 2013—to allow 3 weeks for production of the issue.

Can you do it? Will you do it? Some of you who 'toon in here are professionals, and you know other pros who know other pros, etc. Can all of us spread the word to ask for talent to pay tribute to this man whose work has enriched so many of us?

Our foremost Friend-in-Kelly is a man who signs his comments as 'Hun', short for TransAtlantic Hun, meaning he of the Germanic realm. I have corresponded with Hun for quite a while now, and no one loves Kelly's work more than he. Many have equal love, but none more, it seems. Hun approached me some time last year about starting a campaign to have the US Postal Service issue a commemorative stamp honoring Kelly's centennial birthday. I was tied up with trying to make a living, as I am now, so that  my time would not have been of value to spearhead the campaign. As well, I felt that the Postal Service probably needed more time than a year to make it happen. For all I know, some other entity has succeeded in navigating the process to have such a stamp issued. But to honor Hun for thinking of it and to honor Kelly, because we all adore him, I've mocked up a stamp that I wish could have existed for real. I'm going to use this stamp as an icon of the campaign that I'm spearheading now to request tribute art from all who recognize Kelly's importance to the arts.

I'm taking a risk here of getting in trouble with the Postal Service, with the Kelly family heirs and with who knows who else. But c'mon, you know the love I give this blogsite. This is important and worth the risk. Please spread the word.

We need placement-ready jpeg art or Word document essays by August 4. And please, sooner than that if you can, so the final layout won't be terribly crunched. Anyone can email me if you want to discuss ideas or have questions or have information on contacting hard-to-contact professionals. Bill Watterson, are you out there?

My email for any part of this project is

Oh, and Happy Sunday, Kelly Sunday!


  1. Wonderful stamp, Thom! Great! I love it. This thing is so good, it shouts out loud to exist.

  2. Thanks Yves! I colorized it myself, even putting in those 'ben-day dots. Made me think how I would love to colorize more of Kelly's b&w spot art.

  3. Put a slash thru the 46c and you'll be fine with the Postal Service.

    But if they do it -- and they should -- it should be a "forever" stamp.