Monday, July 29, 2013

Pogo Files for Pogophiles

1992, possibly first edition, from Spring Hollow Books
Selby Daley Kelly & Steve Thompson
Pogo Files for Pogophiles: A Retrospective on 50 Years of Walt Kelly's Classic Comic Strip
Bought newish for $19.95
Worn paperback 

I didn't find this as good as not only the Pogo collections but also Brian Walker's look at Nancy.  It's odd, considering that Selby was Walt Kelly's widow, but there's not much here of his life, or much of a chronological approach.  Also, the strips seem less funny out of context.  There'll be something intriguing, like that Pogo's first newspaper was the "definitely Socialist if not Communist" New York Star, but the co-authors don't even address how this shaped Kelly's use of politics in his strip, from the surprisingly controversial late '50s stand on school attendance to the '70s embrace of environmentalism, with of course caricatures of (among others) Joe McCarthy and Fidel Castro.  Some of the artwork is reproduced poorly, although that may be the fault of the originals.  

At the time this book was published, the strip was in the midst of its revival, with a switch from Larry Doyle & Neal Sternecky to the team of Kelly's son and daughter.  I had long since stopped reading the comics, but from what I can see here, the new versions weren't bad.  (The Dan Quayle joke manages to be both specific to that time and timeless by not referring to the VP by name.)

The Pogo Fan Club mentioned in this book appears to be thriving, at

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