Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Wealthy Gumbeaux Family Birthright

1973 was a harsh year for Walt Kelly, having suffered a painful illness that only got worse until he left us permanently in October of that year. Many of the published strips were reruns and pastiches of old ones, and there was a run where the strip was just a pale shadow of its former self, before collapsing into other people's hands.

But yet we've seen that some of these '73 strips are still invitingly written and drawn. I am uncertain of the provenance of strips from that year, but these last few feel right and proper and this opening panel is some of the old Sunday fancery, what with a shrugging tree and coal-carrying-critter, seeming like part of a lovely last hurrah.

March 5, 1972

Update: Well call me a potato and poke me in the eye, I totally misread the copyright date and didn't bother looking at previous posts to catch myself. Craig caught my mistake and you can ignore my blathering above. I would delete the post and start over, but that wouldn't be fair to Craig and his comment. Though I did change the date above to the corrECT 1972 date. Thanks Craig!


  1. Thom!

    Thanks for broadening my horizon (or rather my vocabulary): Had to look up 'ungulate' first...
    The face of the u. in the first panel is absolutely fabulous.
    Thanks for taking time off to spoil us again!
    LLTHB (LLK of course)!


  2. Hun, leave it up to you to probe even the labels and not take them at face value, but challenge them for their veracity. Leave it up to you to help me through the long silence of no (or little) commentary by finding nice things to say. Leave it to you to be a true friend-in-Kelly.

    Massive horns aside, I couldn't figure out what to call that critter until I noticed its cloven hooves.

  3. Hate to nitpick, Thom, but I'll point out that this run of strips is from '72, not '73 (as correctly stated on your prior two Sunday postings). Kelly was, I think, still in relatively good health at this point...but wouldn't be for long.


  4. Craig, that's not nitpicking, that's need to know. Thank you for looking closely at the nits. I was in such a rush to put this strip online and get back to the Kelly tribute zine that I didn't take time to look closely or coordinate with previous weeks. I truly was mystified that such a healthy strip appeared during an unhealthy time.

    I feel foolish for that mistake, but I feel grateful for your correction.

  5. And I'm grateful for all the joy you bring us every Sunday! You're entitled to the occasional editorial slip, especially if the alibi is that you're working extra hard (for free, as always) to bring us even MORE Kelly material. Thanks, Thom. Can't wait for the tribute zine!