Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I Go Pogo!

Especially in an election year. Pogo (and his maker, Walt Kelly) was my political, spiritual, and comical teacher when I was a child ... and maintains that ranking (amongst a few others) even today. You can hardly find anything about Pogo in the stores, although Fantagraphics (thank doodness for Fantagraphics) plans some sort of massive omnibus of Sunday and daily strips for release later this year.

Surreal and hilarious, full of nonsense songs and verse, breaking that comic strip panel and playing with conventions (a talk balloon commandeered by precision-choreographed bees?), Pogo did it all right ... and beautifully so. Kelly was a master with a brush and with a turn of phrase. One book (at least one) had a table of contents that read in verse. And Kelly was gloriously democratic, in every sense.

Here is the frustrating part: Apparently the well-intentioned and loving Estate is terribly terribly anxious about Pogo presence on the interwebs. I understand that they don't want to have Pogo chewed up and appropriated and hacked and mangled. But, sadly, that also means that Pogo and Walt are almost unknown to a generation or two of people, when I (and many other Pogophiles) feel strongly that we need to know that sweet and kind possum more than ever before -- and we need Albert (alligator), Churchy La Femme (turtle), Howland Owl, Beauregard the Hounddog, Porky Pine, and oh so many others just as much. I'm daring to put a picture here ... and maybe another one some other time, and I hope that the licensers won't get all up in my face about it. Anyway, I'm linking to the official site, and you should go ... and follow their accepted links to see more.

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