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Category >> Walt Kelly

Visit Snoopy's Piano Bar in Seattle!
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Walt KellyPeanutsFantagraphics Bookstoreevents 5 Dec 2011 2:56 PM

Peanuts Christmas display
(click image to enlarge)

We've got all your holiday hits at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. (Vintage Royal Guardsmen vinyl courtesy of Georgetown Records.)

Please drop by and see us this Saturday, December 10 to celebrate the 5th anniversary of the store. Holiday cheer galore with "Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly," music by Sawsome (a female banjo and saw duet), Christmas carolers, and complimentary seasonal refreshments. 

I can scarcely believe it's been 5 years already. This wonderful experiment in promoting comix culture has been an awesome experience for me. I've always pictured myself as a kind of crossing guard at the uncontrolled intersection of fine art and pop culture. The bookstore has seen a lot of traffic. Here's to another 5 busy years at the crossroads. 

Boing Boing previews Pogo!
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt Kellypreviews 5 Dec 2011 1:47 PM

Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly

See an exclusive 10-page preview (including Jimmy Breslin's Foreword) of Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly at Boing Boing, where Mark Frauenfelder says:

"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."

This Week in Fantagraphics Events: 12/5-12/11
Written by janice headley | Filed under Walt KellyTony MillionaireTim HensleyT Edward BakSteven WeissmanRenee FrenchMichael KuppermanMartin CendredaLilli Carréjon vermilyeaJohnny RyanJohn PhamJesse MoynihanJeremy TinderJaime HernandezFantagraphics BookstoreeventsEsther Pearl WatsonEleanor DavisBen Jonesart showsAndrice ArpAnders Nilsen 5 Dec 2011 12:48 PM

Thanks to everyone who came by and bought books at the Fantagraphics tables at the Brooklyn Comics & Graphics Festival this past weekend! Here's a look at what events are coming up this week:

Wednesday, December 7th

Los Angeles, CA: It's your last chance to see the The Art of Problem Solving at Giant Robot, a spotlight on the animated series from Ben Jones, featuring fellow Fantagraphics artists Jon Vermilyea and John Pham on staff. Make a pizza date out of it! (more info)

•  Seattle, WA: It's also your last chance to see the Short Run Art Show at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery! Curated by Kelly Froh, the exhibit features original comix art, illustration and book works by Max Clotfelter, Patrick Keck, Martine Workman, Elaine Lin, Jason T. Miles, Chris Cilla, Andrice Arp, Tim Root, Billis Helg, Marc Palm, Eroyn Franklin, Tom Van Deusen, Tim Miller, Tory Franklin, Jesse Reklaw, Sean Christensen, and Erin Tanner. (more info)

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Release Party

Friday, December 9th

Brooklyn, NY: Get thrizzled with Michael Kupperman at Bergen Street Comics and celebrate the release of Tales Designed to Thrizzle #7! (more info)

 Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly at the Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery, Seattle

Saturday, December 10th 

Seattle, WA: The Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the publication of Pogo: Through the Wild Blue Wonder, Volume 1 of the Complete Comic Strips with “Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly.” This exhibition of original Walt Kelly strips coincides on the occasion of the bookstore’s 5th anniversary gala.  Musical entertainment will be provided by Sawsome, a female saw and banjo duet. (more info)

Los Angeles, CA: Join Tony Millionaire at the third annual Feral House/Process Media Winter Solstice Celebration at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery. He'll be signing copies of his gorgeous new collection 500 Portraits. (more info)

Los Angeles, CA: The Giant Robot Post-It Show 7 opens, curated by husband-wife team of Esther Pearl Watson and Mark Todd, and featuring work from Andrice Arp, T. Edward Bak, Lilli Carre, Martin Cendreda, Eleanor Davis, Renee French, Tim Hensley, Jaime Hernandez, Jesse Moynihan, Anders Nilsen, John Pham, Johnny Ryan, Jeremy Tinder, Jon Vermilyea, Esther Pearl Watson, and Steven Weissman. (more info)

Daily OCD: 12/2/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt KellyThe Comics JournalreviewsPaul NelsonMickey MouseMichael KuppermanKevin AveryFloyd GottfredsonDisneyDaily OCDBest of 2011 2 Dec 2011 11:42 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010

List: Graphic Novel Reporter's John Hogan gives Mark Twain's Autobiography 1910-2010 by Michael Kupperman an honorable mention on his Best of 2011 list

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island

Review: "Uncut, uncensored and politically incorrect – these tales are from an alternate Disney universe, where Mickey is a red-blooded, two-fisted adventurer; they are fun to read and a delight to view. Gottfredson’s comics are as classy, funny and as slick as the Disney shorts from the same period. And as usual, co-editor David Gerstein provides a plethora of 'bonus materials'... A fine package, a full meal, and a perfect follow-up to volume 1, Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse Vol. 2: Trapped on Treasure Island fills a gap long-neglected in animation history. Buy it." – Jerry Beck, Cartoon Brew

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "I think I’ve been waiting for this book my entire life.... At long last the complete Pogo has been compiled, lovingly, ...in the miraculous new hardcover, Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder. Buy this book.... Kelly’s drawings are just magnificent, and his sophisticated writing style was far ahead of its time. Its time has come – and Fantagraphics has gone out of its way to ensure the best possible copies of these rare strips were found, restored and preserved perfectly here for all time... A great gift for anyone – especially you." – Jerry Beck, Cartoon Brew

Review: "Walt Kelly’s Pogo... is justifiably hailed as one of the great achievements of the postwar comic strip. In theory, it belongs to the 'funny animal' genre; in practice, it was a personal, whimsical combination of comedy and mood, dressed in linguistic wordplay and laced with sociopolitical satire.... This wonderful first volume of a projected 12-volume series contains the strip’s first two official years (plus its early pre-syndication stint in a single New York paper), with the Sundays reproduced in color, and with Kelly’s topical references annotated by scholar R.C. Harvey.... I salute this launch... [Rating] 9/10" – Michael Barrett, PopMatters 

 Everything Is an Afterthought: The Life and Writings of Paul Nelson

Review: "Small wonder that Jonathan Lethem modeled Chronic City’s protagonist on [Paul] Nelson: Nelson’s bohemian eccentricities... make his biography a more gripping read than the criticism that makes up [Everything Is an Afterthought]’s second half.... In the end, Nelson’s best epitaph comes from a sprawling essay that portrays the writer as a hermeneutic gumshoe hired to suss out the meaning of Dylan’s oeuvre: 'I know we need people like you because a world filled with romantics would be a disaster, but a world without them would be worse.'" – Jonah Wolf, The College Hill Independent

The Comics Journal #38 [Sold Out]

Review: At The Factual Opinion, Tucker Stone examines The Comics Journal #38 (from 1978). A highlight: "Kim Thompson gets to review the Spider-Man television special and one of the Hulk television movies. He likes the Hulk one more than the Spider-man one, but then, he doesn't like the Spider-man one at all. (It sounds really fucking weird.) He's also really ticked off about Stan Lee re-writing the comic strip Spider-man's origin to better match the television show. Fists are shaken!" (Incidentally, this seminal issue is considered one of the magazine's historic best by both Kim Thompson and the bloggers of Love & Maggie.)

Fantagraphics Books logo - shield emblem by Daniel Clowes

Profile: Alec Berry of West Virginia University's The Daily Athenaeum introduces its readers to Fantagraphics in an article on independent comics publishers: "These innovative works could be characterized as dramatic, journalistic or satirical. Really, what happened was Fantagraphics stepped up and presented the thoughtful analysis that could be done on comics by publishing the trade magazine The Comics Journal, and Fantagraphics published the actual work that inspired the thought."

Pogo Vol. 1 preview at Publishers Weekly
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Walt Kellypreviews 2 Dec 2011 10:53 PM

from Pogo Vol. 1 by Walt Kelly

Publishers Weekly presents a 4-page preview of Pogo - The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly, with 2 pages of dailies and 2 full-color Sunday strips.

Elsewhere at PW, Mark Schultz introduces the preview by way of an ode to the newspaper strip and the recent boom in reprint series: "Naturally, I’m having an increasingly difficult time trying not spend all my money on these fresh new volumes, especially the handsome new collections of classics like Popeye, Peanuts, Krazy Kat, and Little Nemo in Slumberland. This week, Fantagraphics tests my will anew with the first volume of Walt Kelly’s Pogo.... You'd be smart to remember it for the nerd's nerd on your list this year, and probably for the next ten-plus years [a full six years if all goes according to schedule – Ed.]: Fantagraphics plans to release another eleven volumes. I guess I better clear out some space next to the Garfields."

Daily OCD: 12/1/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Willie and JoeWilfred SantiagoWalt KellyreviewsOlivier SchrauwenMickey MouseJoe SaccoJacques TardiGreg SadowskiGahan WilsonFloyd GottfredsonFBI MINIsDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBill MauldinBest of 2011Alex Toth21 1 Dec 2011 7:42 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954 

List: Rick Klaw and Mark London Williams of The SF Site start counting down their top 10 favorite comics of 2011 in their "Nexus Graphica" column, with Rick placing Setting the Standard: Comics by Alex Toth 1952-1954 at #10 ("mandatory reading for any fan of the medium") and Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot by Jacques Tardi at #6 ("one of the finest examples of the genre")

FBI•MINI #20: The Road to Wigan Pier

Review: "In an historical moment when a cross-section of the population is waking up to the reality of brutal inequalities and the limited set of levers by which that might be expected to change, being reminded of past permutations of those same societal ills may prove hopeful or unbearable. It's hard to say. Either way, these are effective comics. The Road to Wigan Pier never manages the dead-on power inherent in much of Sacco's best work, but it's certainly worth any comics fan's time." – Tom Spurgeon, The Comics Reporter

Nuts

Review: "...[I]t is thrilling to see such a vital, and nearly forgotten, work of comics coming back into print, cleaned up and reorganized and ready to surprise a new generation of former kids.... Nuts is one of the best works, and one of the few single book-length works, by one of our time's best and most idiosyncratic cartoonists -- ...it is for everyone who really remembers how terrible and lonely and infuriating it can be to be a child." – Andrew Wheeler, The Antick Musings of G.B.H. Hornswoggler, Gent.

Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1-2 box set

Plugs: Robot 6's ongoing "Holiday Gift-Giving Guide" survey of comics creators rolls on,  with Joey Weiser suggesting "For the comic strip enthusiast: Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson – Super engaging strips that are full of life and very funny. I’m very glad that Fantagraphics is publishing these." Caanan Grall also recommends "Fantagraphics’s Floyd Gottfriedson Mickey Mouse and Carl Barks Donald Duck libraries."

Pogo Vol. 1

Plugs: Graphic Novel Reporter's "Holiday 2011 Gift Guide" features The Man Who Grew His Beard by Olivier Schrauwen, Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips Vol. 1 - Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly, Willie & Joe: The WWII Years & Willie & Joe: Back Home by Bill Mauldin, 21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago, and Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1 + 2 Boxed Set by Floyd Gottfredson

Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons

Plug: Heroes Aren't Hard to Find's Andy Mansell rounds up some gift ideas for their upcoming holiday sale this weekend, including Gahan Wilson: Fifty Years of Playboy Cartoons: "This is one of the best books of the past year (or so). Gahan Wilson is the true heir apparent to New Yorker comic weirdo Charles Addams. His comics are twisted, macabre, beautifully rendered and above all–laugh out loud funny. This 3 volume set belongs in every serious comic fan’s library."

J. Edgar Pogo
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Walt KellyOriginal ArtFantagraphics Bookstoreart shows 1 Dec 2011 2:09 PM

Pogo strip
(click image to enlarge)

I have yet to see the movie, but I'm guessing J. Edgar Hoover's obsession with Pogo didn't make the cut. Walt Kelly regularly poked fun at powerful political figures, but apparently the Pogo parody of the FBI director drove him around the bend. According to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act, Hoover ordered Bureau cryptographers to decipher the secret Okefenokee code. Remind me now. Who was the cartoon character here? 

A delightful example of this historically significant strip line will be on view at Fantagraphics Bookstore in "Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly" opening December 10. The original works will be offered for sale at remarkably affordable prices. The "J. Edgar" strip, measuring 19.5  by 6.5 inches, is only $575.  For additional information on these wonderful works, call curator Larry Reid at Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery. 206.658.0110.

Daily OCD: 11/30/11
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Wilfred SantiagoWalt KellyT Edward BakShimura TakakoreviewsmangaJoe SaccoJacques TardiJack DavisDisneyDaily OCDCarl BarksBlazing Combat21 30 Nov 2011 7:14 PM

Today's Online Commentary & Diversions:

Wandering Son Vol. 2

Review: "Shimura Takako’s story of two adolescents—a boy who wants to be a girl and a girl who wants to be a boy—isn’t exactly fast-paced in terms of plot, but [Wandering Son] book 2 continues the excellent work of book 1 and raises the emotional stakes a bit.... There’s... a slowly unfolding pleasure to Shimura’s story. Sensitive to the plight of young teenagers and potentially transgender youth alike, she’s managed to create a compelling story without including much that, considered in isolation, is particularly dramatic, which speaks to the realism of her efforts." – Hillary Brown, Paste

Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes

Review: "This is really fantastic storytelling. Another review of this volume [Walt Disney's Donald Duck: Lost in the Andes] compared it to Tintin, and I think that’s very apt. There’s the adventures in foreign lands, the constant peril, the occasional wacky gags thrown in to alleviate said peril, and of course good old American ingenuity that, thankfully, never verges on jingoism quite as much as Tintin sometimes did.... I picked this up thinking it’d be a good chance to see if I liked Carl Barks and what the fuss was all about. Well, now I get it – and I’m hooked. ...[T]his is well worth the purchase for any fan of classic comics." – Sean Gaffney, Manga Bookshelf

Pogo Vol. 1

Review: "Kelly’s genius was the ability to beautifully, vivaciously draw comedic, tragic, pompous, sympathetic characters of any shape or breed and make them inescapably human and he used that gift to blend hard-hitting observation of our crimes, foibles and peccadilloes with rampaging whimsy, poesy and sheer exuberant joie de vivre. The hairy, scaly, feathered slimy folk here are inescapably us, elevated by burlesque, slapstick, absurdism and all the glorious joys of wordplay from puns to malapropisms to raucous accent humour into a multi-layered hodge-podge of all-ages accessible delight.... Timeless and magical, Pogo is a giant of world literature, not simply comics, and this magnificent edition should be the pride of every home’s bookshelf." – Win Wiacek, Now Read This!

21: The Story of Roberto Clemente

Review: "...I was extremely impressed by Santiago's artistic abilities. He manages to shift the comic page in ways you'd never think of for a biography, using all sorts of layouts, from jagged panels to Family Circus ovals to standard grid formats. His characters wiggle their way through when in motion, show their feelings on faces that are slightly oversized and full of expression, and sometimes contort themselves into shapes that aren't quite natural. It's an artistic tour de force and shows that bio comics do not have to be the stolid, one step at a time narrative that we often see. ...21 is an excellent book... Clemente is every bit the important figure in baseball history that Robinson was, and more people need to know his story. 21 is an excellent place to start, either for you or the baseball fan in your life." – Rob McMonigal, Panel Patter

Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture - A Career Retrospective

Plugs: For Robot 6's ongoing "Holiday Gift-Giving Guide" survey of comics creators, Kagan McLeod says "I just read last year’s It Was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi and would recommend it. Not really cheery holiday stuff, though. Along the same theme is the Blazing Combat collection which also came out last year," and "I’m hyped for Jack Davis: Drawing American Pop Culture: A Career Retrospective, which comes out in a few weeks." 

Safe Area Gorazde: The Special Edition

Feature: L'actualité features Joe Sacco (bien sur) and pages from Palestine and Safe Area Gorazde in a slideshow of comics reportage, calling him "the current pope" of the genre

Fantagraphics booth - TCAF 2011

Travelogue: T. Edward Bak wrote more about his trip to St. Petersburg and sent it along with some photos to Tom Devlin who posted it all on the D&Q blog

Fantagraphics Bookstore's 5th Anniversary & Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly Dec. 10
Written by Larry Reid | Filed under Walt KellyFantagraphics Bookstoreeventsart shows 30 Nov 2011 2:00 PM

Pogo strip

Celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery!
“Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly” opens December 10.

In 1970, Walt Kelly’s playful possum Pogo looked upon his polluted Okefenokee Swamp and uttered in despair, “We have met the enemy and he is us.” This line quickly became part of our cultural lexicon and cemented Pogo’s place in American popular culture. Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery celebrates the publication of Pogo: Through the Wild Blue Wonder with “Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly.” This exhibition of original Walt Kelly strips opens Saturday, December 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM on the occasion of the bookstore’s 5th anniversary gala.

The long-anticipated Pogo: Through the Wild Blue Wonder, Volume 1 of the Complete Comic Strips collects early Sunday and daily Pogo comics from 1949 – 1950.  Kelly introduces his huge cast of irreverent swamp dwellers and their singular dialect known as “swamp talk.” Politics soon became a central topic in the swamp. While Kelly claimed to oppose “the extreme right, the extreme left, and the extreme middle,” political figures cynically cloaking themselves in patriotic garb were clearly disdained. Kelly boldly caricatured red baiting Senator Joseph R. McCarthy as Simple J. Malarkey. An obvious parody of J. Edgar Hoover seemingly drove the FBI director to distraction. He reportedly assigned cryptographers to decipher the secret swamp talk “code.” (A strip from 1971 referencing this will be on display.) Kelly’s characters also embraced the burgeoning environmental movement and other progressive causes. “Playing Possum: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly” includes 12 memorable dailies and 4 Sunday strips. These original works reveal the artist’s concern for composition, delicate line quality, and detailed dialogue.

Pogo strip

The opening on Saturday, December 10 from 6:00 to 9:00 PM promises to be a festive affair. Musical entertainment will be provided by Sawsome, a female saw and banjo duet. The evening commemorates the 5th anniversary of Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery and coincides with the holiday edition of the colorful Georgetown Art Attack featuring art exhibitions, special events and wandering carolers from Choir of the Sound throughout the historic neighborhood.  

PLAYING POSSUM: The Pogo Art of Walt Kelly
Opening reception Saturday, December 10, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
5th Anniversary Holiday Gala with musical entertainment by SAWSOME
Exhibition continues through January 4, 2012

Fantagraphics Bookstore & Gallery
1201 S. Vale Street (at Airport Way S.) Seattle. 206.658.0110
Open daily 11:30 to 8:00 PM, Sundays until 5:00 PM

Pogo strip











Unexpurgated Swamp Talk!
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under Walt KellyRC Harveymeta 29 Nov 2011 3:27 PM

http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/stories/books/cpog1/cpog1-swamptalk-1.jpg

There are many ways to describe R.C. Harvey, but, as anyone who has accidentally dropped his nearly-1,000-page opus Meanwhile... A Biography of Milton Caniff on his or her toes can attest, "man of few words" is not necessarily one of them. (I say this as someone who read each and every word in Meanwhile... with delight and fascination.) So it should have come as no surprise to us when Harv, commissioned to write a set of elucidatory notes for the first Pogo volume and given no word limit (as is our jauntily laissez-faire method here at Fantagraphics), turned in a 13,000-word monster of an essay entitled "Swamp Talk." Given available space, it was a bit too much, and Harv and contributing editor Mark Evanier had to go in with a machete and whack it down to size (less than half—and still not short by any means, as those who are enjoying the book already know).

But the fact is, Harv's original full-length "Swamp Talk" has plenty of delightfully chewy bits in the parts that were cut, so with the kind permission of Harv and Pogo co-editors Evanier and Carolyn Kelly, we're pleased to present the unexpurgated "Swamp Talk" in digital form here — perfect for perusing with the book on your lap.

And if you don't have the book yet, well... Rowrbrazzle! What are you waiting for?

Should Harv feel the need to ascend into the quintuple digits on "Swamp Talks" in future volumes, the "shortened version in print, full version on the internet" template seems like the way to go so far as we're concerned.

Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Through the Wild Blue Wonder by Walt Kelly