A Tribute to Pogo


tags: Humour

I've been re-reading my "Pogo" books (by Walt Kelly). These are some of my favourites. Apologies for the inconsistent editing: they're readable, what more do you want? If it seems a bit dated in any way ... well, it was written in the 1950s.

A couple of my best friends find almost zero humour in Pogo, while a couple others find it screamingly funny. Clearly, it doesn't work for everyone ...

The Deacon is well-meaning, but represents the worst of American politics. The cowbirds are meant to be socialists. The bats are just ... goofy.

The bats debate the Deacon's biases

This sequence with the butterfly with teeth is one I remembered for decades before finding it again:

Pogo and Beauregard equip a butterfly with dentures

Kelly did a sequence on the World Series pretty much every year. I don't think they ever managed to play a game to completion - I think you can see why with the chaos that ensues.

Porkypine uses a wasp as a baseball replacement

For me, this one is funny in three of the four frames (but particularly the second - this poised moment in time, and their expressions). That's good writing.

As Albert rounds first base, Churchy explodes the base

Miz Hepzibah is sort of the flip-side of Loony Tunes' Pepé Le Pew: most of the male creatures in the swamp consider her beautiful and want to marry her. Wikipedia says Kelly based Hepzibah on his second wife. She often ignores the males and occasionally makes her interest in Pogo known (but he's not interested).

Three strips, showing Howland's misguided efforts to woo Hepzibah

I love this final frame (from a Sunday strip) because he's got multiple things going on at once, but the brilliant bit of logic ("why not? It's got two ends.") is perfect kid's logic that's going to entertain kids and adults alike.

A single frame, with Porkypine holding a telescope and kids peering in both ends