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 cartoonists 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 Kellys 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.
"Pogo 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." — The Washington Post
"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..." — The Huffington Post
"There'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 dont think you can say you love comics and not have this around." — National Post
"These collections will leave even the most dyspeptic Pogo fan wide-eyed with wonder and gratitude." — San Francisco Chronicle