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Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 2: "Bona Fide Balderdash"

Details for this: Book
Author: Walt Kelly; edited and designed by Carolyn Kelly
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 356
Dimensions: 11.25" x 9.25"
Colors: black & white/color
Year: 2012
Publisher: Fantagraphics
ISBN-10: n/a
ISBN-13: 978-1-60699-584-6
Additional Details: Foreword by Stan Freberg

Price: $39.99
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While supplies last, customers who order this volume can also receive the box set slipcase for Vols. 1 and 2 at no extra charge! (You may opt out of receiving the slipcase if you wish by selecting the "no thanks" option from the menu above.)

Eisner Award Nominee SealHarvey Award Nominee Logo2013 Eisner Award Winner: Best Archival Collection/Project — Strips

2013 Harvey Award Nominee: Best Domestic Reprint Project

Even though Pogo had been in syndication for less than two years as this volume begins, Walt Kelly's long professional experience (including seven years creating Pogo stories for comic books) had him at the peak of his powers, and this book features page after page of gorgeously drawn, hilarious vaudevillian dialogue and action among the swamp denizens, as well as Kelly's increasingly sharp-tongued political satire — especially on display during the 1952 election season.

Kelly was famous for his prolific creation of recurring characters, and by the end of this second volume, the count will already have topped over one hundred. New arrivals include Tammanany the Tiger, the voluble P.T. Bridgeport, the sinister Sarcophagus MacAbre (with his funereal speech balloons), Uncle Antler the bull moose... and Bewitched, Bothered, and Bemildred, the adorable trio of bats.

The two years of daily strips in this volume (all the strips from 1951 and 1952) have been collected before but in now long out of print books; and even there they were not as meticulously restored and reproduced as in this new series. Bona Fide Balderdash also reprints, literally for the first time ever in full color, the two full years of Sunday pages, also carefully restored and color-corrected, shot from the finest copies available.

This second volume is once again edited and designed by the cartoonist’s daughter, Carolyn Kelly, who is also handling much of the restoration work. It includes a new introduction by the legendary author, recording artist, and satirist Stan Freberg, who was not only a friend of Kelly’s but the voice of Albert the Alligator in the I Go Pogo: Pogo for President movie. There are also more extensive annotations by comic strip historian and expert R.C. Harvey (read an unexpurgated version here), as well as additional historical information from writer Mark Evanier.

34-page excerpt, including Table of Contents, 16 pages of dailies, 5 Sunday pages, and incidental artwork (download 6.7 MB PDF):

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

Praise for Volume 1:

Ranked #2 on The A.V. Club's Best Comics of 2011: Graphic Novels & Art Comics – Archival Collections

Named one of The Best Comics of 2011 by NPR - Monkey See

#5, Amazon.com Best Books of 2011: Comics & Graphic Novels Top 10

#4, Amazon.ca Best Books of 2011: Comics & Graphic Novels Top 10

"To say that it has been worth the wait is wild understatement. Pogo Through the Wild Blue Wonder is beautifully produced — no surprise to anyone familiar with the work of Fantagraphics Books in Seattle — and a joy to read. It comes as a genuine gift to anyone who loved Pogo and, it is to be hoped, as an introduction for younger readers to what many people believe was the best comic strip ever drawn in this country." – Jonathan Yardley, The Washington Post

"...[An] essential purchase for any collection that values comic-strip reprints ... [T]he inventive wordplay, idiosyncratic swamp patter, and goofy slapstick are all in full effect right from the start, as is the broad cast of loony critters that would eventually number upwards of 500 distinct characters. Due to run 12 volumes, this collection completes the holy trifecta, along with Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, of comic strips whose influence cannot be overstated." – Ian Chipman, Booklist

"...[T]here’s simply no denying Kelly’s mastery: he evokes full characters with nothing but a few choice words, and the sprightliness of his visual style is all fun here, laying the groundwork for what would become profoundly subversive later. The included essays, as is usually the case for Fantagraphics reissues, absolutely nail the context and import of the strip, too. I just don’t think you can say you love comics and not have this around." – David Berry, National Post

"The first volume is... absolutely beautiful, a big comic book with real heft and majesty.... This isn't a book you read so much as sink into: Kelly's brilliant ear for dialect and voice lulls you along, and then you're lost in his beautiful artwork.... The whole book is... a series of packed — but crystal clear — panels that grow together to establish a world of curious characters whose misunderstandings lead to great adventures. If I had to make one complaint about this Pogo collection, it'd be that it ends too soon.... If you like comics, or if you know any kids who read comic strip collections, this is the Christmas book for you." – Paul Constant, The Stranger

"The book is lovingly made and the strips presented with care and pleasure. But is it any good? Oh yes. It's funny and charming, bursting with witty wordplay and vivid characters you love immediately.... In short, read Pogo and you can immediately see it slide into the pop cultural matrix and how it drew upon the work that came earlier, moved forward the art form of comic strips and influenced artists after it for generations to come. But most of all you'll laugh..." – Michael Giltz, The Huffington Post

"This exceptional first volume of the collected adventures of Pogo Possum should remind readers of the substantial legacy left behind by Kelly.... The volume is beautifully put together, including excellent insights into Kelly and his work... With Pogo Possum and [his] supporting characters..., Kelly was able to blend hilarious humor, exceptional storytelling, keen political satire, and brilliant wordplay into a strip that could be appreciated both by children and adults. The more one reads this volume, the clearer picture one has of Kelly as comics' answer to Lewis Carroll, with Alice having changed into a possum and left Wonderland behind for a swamp." – Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

"The biggest revelation of reading the first two years of Pogo is how polished and funny the strip was right from the start, and also how nearly every Pogo panel is a delight unto itself. Kelly didn’t necessarily build to big punchlines; he’d slip funny sight gags and memorable lines everywhere there was room. ...[T]here’s a classic Pogo moment on just about every page of this book." – Noel Murray, The A.V. Club

"Presenting his characters as animals gave Kelly the ability to explore human nature without the distraction that cartoon humans would have bought along with them. His illustration style was warm, highly expressive, and detailed without looking crowded. It's hard to think of another newspaper cartoonist who equalled his talents. Kelly's daughter, Carolyn, designed and co-edited this 290-page anthology, and her love and admiration for her father is evident in the beauty of this book. The design is impeccable and the quality of the line art reproduction is superb." – Mark Frauenfelder, Boing Boing

"It's a hefty volume, and will leave even the most dyspeptic Pogo fan wide-eyed with wonder and gratitude." – Jon Carroll, San Francisco Chronicle

Praise for Walt Kelly and Pogo:

"Kelly was clearly seeking to express something like the broad range of his daily interests and worries and pleasures in Pogo. That the newspaper strip is notoriously limited only ennobled Kelly's efforts. Inevitably, no matter how large or small the genre in question, there's something heartening in watching somebody of real doggedness and verve attempt to expand its borders. Pogo was a warmhearted reproof to most of the comics it appeared beside." – The New York Review of Books

"If Walt Kelly had written 'regular' books, he might be recognized today as one of the finest satirists of the 20th Century. As a wizard of wordplay he might well be mentioned, if not in the same breath with Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, then in the very next." – Chicago Sun-Times


Links to Reviews and Features



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