Thursday, January 31, 2008

1949 THE OOGLIES/1952 Walt Kelly Profile/1969 POGO BIRTHDAY SPECIAL

Here is a lot of lovely media (magazine, comic book, TV animation) from 1949, 1952 and 1969 -- all about one of the masters of cartooning, and a personal favorite of mine and just about every boy cartoonist: Walt Kelly.

Allan Holtz' Stripper's Guide blog transcribes a 1952 Editor and Publisher article on Walt Kelly. The 38 year old Kelly had just received the "Billy DeBeck Award" from the National Cartoonists Society, the "Oscar" of the cartooning world. (The award was later renamed the "Reuben" after Rube Goldberg.)

Above: Image from a scan of "The Ooglies," from The Brownies comic book, Dell Four-Color #244, September 1949. Complete story at Pappy's Golden Age Blogzine.

Big hat tip to Journalista!

Above: a local TV listings book from what year I don't know, but isn't that a lovely portrait of Mr. Kelly and Porkypine and Pogo? I have a small trove of photos of cartoonists on the hard drive, and this one deserved to be seen. I just didn't include any background information with it. The mag probably commemorated the 1969 POGO SPECIAL BIRTHDAY SPECIAL, co-directed by Chuck Jones, with voices by Les Tremayne, June Foray, Mr. Jones and Mr. Kelly.

And here it is, THE POGO SPECIAL BIRTHDAY SPECIAL, in three parts:


Jeffrey Meyer said...

Hey Mike! Great stuff -- my humble addition, if you haven't yet seen it:



Mike Lynch said...

Thanks for the link, Jeffrey!! A great photo of a great cartoonist!

Brian Fies said...

Walt Kelly tops my personal list of the all-time greats, and I always loved Chuck Jones.... but, man, I thought they were like oil and water on that Birthday Special. I've seen it before and time has not improved my opinion or appreciation of it. It wasn't good (in my opinion), and I've read that Kelly wasn't happy with it either.

I can't really put my finger on why. Partly a clash of styles, I suppose, but I also wonder if all the best characteristics of Pogo that made it unique--the poetic wordplay, rich backgrounds, quiet whimsy, goofing on typography and iconography--could only really work in print. Maybe Pogo just couldn't be translated to another medium; if so, I admire it all the more for it.

richardcthompson said...

This is just excellent; I hadn't seen the Birthday Special in years.

My daughter was borrowing old Pogo books off my shelf and one of 'em had a tiny photo of Kelly I'd cut out of a TV Guide and stuck in it and forgotten about back in the 70's.

richardcthompson said...

Okay, now I've watched the Birthday Special, or at least a third of it, and Brian's right. It's all kinda off, the voices, the timing, the music. It's all too hammy and it doesn't make me laugh, which the strip did often. Too bad.

Did you ever see the clay-animated Pogo? It had a tangled history and I don't believe it was ever finished. Again, Brian's right, it may be untranslatable, it's just a natcherl-born comic strip.

CharlesAvryman said...

I have to disagree with other people, I like it. The main standout is Miss Mam'selle Hepzibah, she is one of the sexiest cartoon character ever made.