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Outrageously Pogo by Walt Kelly
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Outrageously Pogo

by Walt Kelly

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Probably I should have started with the reprinted strips, tucked at the end of this edition. This volume reprints the complete daily strips from 1951, and includes a section on Christmas dailies with the infamous "Deck Us All With Boston Charlie" carol (all known verses). The strips evidence the same satire found in the famous "We have met the Enemy, and he is Us!" story line. Kelly introduces new characters and plotlines seemingly on a whim, going with what is suggested in a given set of panels, but manages to wrap up each storyline in a satisfying way. Most of the best bits appear to be unplanned: offhand remarks by Porkypine some of my favourites.

The third in editor Bill Crouch's series, Outrageously Pogo is a hodge-podge rather than a strict reprint, including other Kelly material (an unrealised strip, HS and college newspaper contributions, various Christmas dailies), commentary, and a lot of ephemera (both advertising and promotions). Had no idea Pogo was behind so many campaigns for govt bonds, Readers Digest, Stay in School campaigns ... and curious how much of Kelly's income derived from those sources.

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Sporadically throughout, Kelly has characters strike a match on the edge of the panel, or lean against it, or elsewise make it clear they're aware of their status as comic characters. Curious whether this was an influence from dramatists such as Brecht, or literature, or whether this metanarrative approach was found in any other comic strip at the time.

Kelly's Swamp-Speak shares Herriman's language (malapropisms and cerebral jingoism), and his scenes parallel Krazy Kat's skewering of social conceits and foibles. Kelly's line drawings are fun, and the ensemble cast foreshadows Doonsbury, Bloom County and countless others, of course. ( )
  elenchus | Sep 9, 2013 |
More delicious material for Walt Kelly and Pogo fans, in the same vein as the earlier collections edited by Kelly's widow, Selma Kelly (also the inspiration for Mam'selle Hepzibah, I seem to remember). ( )
  burnit99 | Feb 2, 2007 |
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