Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Me an' My Bay-Bee

Isn't there just something, indefinable, but really evident of the special quality of Kelly's artwork? Looking at this strip. . . the facial expressions, of the lamb in the 2nd panel and of Li'l' Awry in the last panel, the characters feel somehow real, even though we know they're only cartoons. I feel comforted by looking in on the characters in Kelly's Whirled. Most other comic strips have a superficial quality, the art seems manufactured.

Oh gosh, I'm not explaining this right. Somehow I need to come up with the words that communicate this. Anyone want to give it a whirl, if you even get a hint of what I'm saying here? Many many of you feel Kelly's art and style is more than just good art--what is it, why is it that it reaches us on an emotional level? This is something I just have to find the words for.

Boy, that lamb really has the patter down of a promotional campaign.


  1. I wish I could word it better, too. I know exactly what you mean.

    One thing that did strike me looking at this strip trying to figure out how to say what we're trying to say is the amazing economy of the artwork. The level of detail Kelly achieved with just a few lines is mind-boggling.

  2. In my view, Kelly mastered many aspects of both art and story telling. His technical ability was fabulous, making his art gorgeous to look at, in both composition and down to individual lines or brush strokes. He would be fondly remembered if his talent stopped there. He was also a talented animator and story-teller though. As such, the characters in his comic strips and comic books become alive with dimension, action and personality. I love to look at single drawings, but it is in watching his characters leap and bound all over the page on a Sunday strip or in his book collections that I am most happy.

  3. Eric—thanks, it's interesting to me that individual panels that look nice on a page are just plain gorgeous when enlarged to a size that the details have breathing room. And at that level you can really see that economy of art that you speak of. It's really too bad that Pogo was not reproduced at the size that strips were in the golden age of comic strips.

    Mary-Ellen and Mike—Excellent exposition. Thank you.