Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Visit From St. Nicholas (To the Moon) by Walt Kelly

It's Christmas time and that means that it's time to sing our favorite carol ("Deck Us All With Boston Charlie") and read "A Visit From St. Nicholas (To the Moon)" as reimagined by the one and only Walt Kelly (with "apologies to Clement Moore," natch).

It's originally from a POGO book titled GONE POGO (1961, Simon & Schuster). It would be printed once more, 26 years later, newly colored by Joe Orlando (!) and Angelina Genduso, for the December 20, 1987 edition of the Daily News Magazine.

This is all copyright the Walt Kelly Estate, with Jay Maeder's piece copyright 1987 by Jay or maybe The NY Daily News. Click to enjoy them is giant Kelly inky glory.

Here is a background on Walt Kelly written by Jay Maeder. Jay describes Kelly as

"... a fairly irascible soul, given to the fine Irish melancholia and possessed of no immense generosity of spirit when it came to his fellow human specimens.'People are basically idiots,' he reflected in one published interview. 'It may come as a surprise to find you're an idiot, but the fact remains you are.'"

Well, the dichotomy is there: here's a former Disney animator, comic book funny animal artist, and, okay, yes, he may have occasionally been a Scrooge in real life, but judge him not by what he says, but by what he has done. He is, after all, the man who gave us POGO.

Maybe it sounds idiotic to you, but Happy Christmas to you, Mr. Kelly! We miss you.

-- Originally published December 17, 2009.

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