Saturday, September 28, 2013

Translate It in Our Imagination

Greetings and hallucinations! I am slowly getting back on track, but still haven't felt like doing any scanning. I DID take time to pull up an interesting item that has been in a deep file for YEARS now. This was sent over so long ago by Michel Francois (Hi Michel! Thank you for your support, encouragement and patience!). This is a 30 page supplement presented in Spirou magazine, in France. The text is in French, so it's perfect for our Friends-in-Kelly-in-France, and for all you Francophiles. For the rest of us, well, we could wear out Google Translator or we can just enjoy the drawings themselves and translate it in our imagination.

I believe this is a daily run in the late '60s, that has not yet been reproduced in an American edition. I used to have every daily from 1964 on, but I tragically divested myself of them before ever knowing that personal scanners existed—so I can't confirm any information about this run. We can tell, though, that Churchy's bearded uncle is bouncing around and Pogo takes a dive into the air.

So, I'm sorry we're still not up to Sunday speed here, at least we have this segment out of deep storage and up for viewing. I had to extract the pages from a PDF, modify them, put a border on each page and get them loaded into this blog. Sorry Michel that it took so dodblamed long to do all that, but ever so much thanks for sharing!



  1. Glad to have you back, though I hate to inform you that currently page 21 seems to be duplicating page 24?

  2. Hmm, so it is. It seems to be that way all the way back to the original document, otherwise I would replace it forthwith! I'll keep looking to see if there's an earlier document that I may have screwed up on.

    Always something!

  3. Oh, yes! Really glad to see you back!

    Your intuition is really good: The original strip series starts with March 3, 1966 and the last one is dated June 3, 1966.
    It will take me some time to re-arrange the 6-panel pages to 4-panel strips to find out what went wrong in the French/Belgian publication; my first guess is that #21 should have been left out.
    Thanks for posting; take care!


  4. ok. checked it:
    Thom, your page "PogoEnFrancais_21.jpg" has at the bottom page number "--24--", i.e. is a straight duplicate of the correct page 24, which comes later. Unfortunately page 21 is missing; the continuity after p.20 is ruptured; 1 1/2 of the original dailiy strips are missing in this edition.
    If there is enough interest I could provide copies of microfilm archived newspaper strips
    - to fill the gap
    - to show the original dialogues for all these strips
    NB.: These are only crummy copies, just good enough for reading the ballons


  5. Folks, whaddaya think? Would you like to see crummy copies to be able to read the balloons?

    Thanks Hun! I knew we had that resource but I was and am just too tuckered out to check.

  6. Best case scenario, which would require some photoshopping to do, is to locate the panels of the original English, and basically transpose the text over the French versions, while preserving the quality of the art in the original - except for page 21, which would have to be reconstructed from scratch. I'm certainly interested in a rebuild, and if no one else wants to attempt it I might do the fancy word balloon paste job from the "crummy copies" version suggested.

    1. Hi!
      Just skimmed through my "crummies" and it turns out that the shape of the balloons is identical (with very minor exceptions) in the French edition. So that should not be a problem in principle.

  7. Translate It in Our Imagination

    Meaning, read it like you were five years old again! That's the sort of thing I recall doing as well when you wanted to read the Sunday funnies all by yourself but you really couldn't read it anyway so you had to go by what you thought was going on with the pictures. That's how it starts!

  8. Thom, happy you're coming back here !
    I like the Christopher's idea to read “like a child”…
    Get well !
    (Patience is the mother of all the virtues ... :)

  9. Surprisingly good! Haven't finished it; I only read five pages or so. In the first sequence, the dialog between Pogo and Owl makes an odd impression. In the original, Owl's verbal humor is involuntary; it comes from him exceeding his own lexical limitations. But in the French, he's making classical calembours, French puns based on the language's many and often inevitable homonyms (like écritaux/ecrits tôt), with no other apparent motivation than intentional wordplay. So he looks kind of smart and silly rather than sophomoric and silly. But after that, the humor becomes more plot-oriented, and works fine, and the tone of the translation is perfect.

  10. This French text is hideous. Really awful. This translator must have hated Walt Kelly and despized all comics in general.
    This being said, this is an interesting curiosity.
    The same editor, the Belgian company Dupuis, original publisher of Spirou, Marsupilami, the Smurfs, Lucky Luke, Gaston, Jerry Spring (look up that one! A whole new universe of incredible art and heartwrenching stories and authentical looking Native Americans), did, though, publish 3 very good, very well done pocket books of Pogo in French:
    Pogo à Gogo
    Those were very dedicated, very inspired, very clever, and terribly funny adaptations of the U.S. books Pogo, I Go oPogo, G.O.Fizzickle Pogo.
    Around 1966-68.
    It was wonderfully adapted by the gray genius behind the scene of the French (hmm, well, Belgian!...) comics: Yvan Delporte.
    A very nice, very interesting, respectful, and funny, funny, funny, transposing of Pogo for the European public.
    The books were at least one third thinner than their amercian counterparts: Delporte had to drop everything which was too American, too local, too typically topically U.S. only politically relevant.
    The result was even more stunning and direct with even livelier stories.
    (If this is imaginable. But yes, we know how the strips gained when trimmed down for the U.S. books versions).
    Yvan Delporte invented, or found, terribly funny and outrageous French songs to replace the Pogo original songs the characters are always singing or misquoting. His version of Albert the Alligator serenading Mam'selle Hepzibah with the crazy mix of both songs "Viens Poupoule, Viens" and the originally ugly French Legion "Y'Aura du Boudin" still makes me laugh out loud, just thinking about it, yessiree, 48 years after the fact.
    Ah yes, he made Mam'selle Hepzibah an Italian lady, "the French accent being very tough to render appropriately in French". Great functionnal idea.
    The text is replete with genial gorgeous generous re-writing of the balloons.
    The books presented as well the characters like here on the images 2, 3, 4 and 5 of your posting. Obviously these have been re-used for this, probably later, misgenerated translation.
    The text of these presentations is also very good, very respectful and utmost endearing. and is very clearly by Yvan delporte, too.
    He declared: "Pogo is the best comic there ever was. Maybe only his creator will contradict me on this."