Monday, June 26, 2017

Honor One Big Lovin' Cousin!

Sorry to keep running late on postings, things are even busier around here than most ever before! 

Once again, we can compare the original Sunday tear sheet with the S&S b&w reprint book to see how editing was done, taking out panels, cropping, etc. Notably the last two panels of the Sunday excised from the book, presumably not wanting to be seasonal in the book, but here seen as a lovely and cheery heart warm. Looks more and more for these gnomes being Cajun.

Vive le bon soir! Vive le merry! Vive le Christmas! 


December 21, 1952


  1. And only 179 shopping days left until Christmas.

  2. I'm still somewhat baffled by the language here -- not so much the French in the last panel but the odd word "you'm" (="you am"?) which occurs twice here and once more on the next page of the book. Is this a piece of local dialect from some parts of England? I don't think it's Kelly's standard swamp talk. All three cases are in the mouth of the same gnome, the one who's protective of Pogo and who sticks around for the long Sam Handwich sequence that follows.

    I can't see Kelly being particularly shy about Christmas seasonal stuff in the book. In other S&S books he has lots of Christmas episodes: characters practicing "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie," long discussions of the meaning of "Twelve Days of Christmas," pageants requiring wise men and a star, Porkypine bringing Pogo a wilted flower on Christmas eve, and so forth. Even in this episode the book retains two references to the gnomes' Christmas dinner and (for the following week) what Melonbone does "every New Year." If Kelly had just wanted to avoid directly wishing his readers a Merry Christmas at other seasons, he could easily have deleted only the caption at the bottom of the last panel (as he did when including "The Stirring Story of Handle and Gristle" in this same book). The more I think of it the more puzzled I am, because Kelly liked Christmas episodes so much I can't think why he dropped the ending (and other parts) of this scene.

    Would I be right in guessing that the panel (in the book) about whether the gun is loaded was an "extra" panel from the three-tier format, and not an addition made solely for the book?

    1. I s'pect you'm right, Larry, about the 'you am'. As I read the dialogue, in my mind, I hear a French Canadian accent filtered through a trek through the Ozarks and Georgia swamps, further filtered through Kelly's imagination.

      I also s'pect that the books had some editing that Kelly may not have been fully involved with, so Christmas may have hit the chopping block just to make room for other frivolities.

      And yes, that panel was the 3 tier extra panel.

      Glad to see you giving such thought to all this stuff and nonsense! SOMEbody has to!

  3. After writing all that other stuff it just now occurred to me why "bon soir" comes into the last panel. Namely, the gnome who says it is quoting, in French translation, the last line of "The Night Before Christmas" -- "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"