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Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Vol. 3: Evidence to the Contrary

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It s in this volume (featuring another two years worth of Pogo strips) that we meet one of Walt Kelly s boldest political caricatures. Folks across America had little trouble equating the insidious wildcat Simple J. Malarkey with the ascendant anti-Communist senator, Joseph McCarthy. The subject was sensitive enough that by the following year a Providence, Rhode Island new It s in this volume (featuring another two years worth of Pogo strips) that we meet one of Walt Kelly s boldest political caricatures. Folks across America had little trouble equating the insidious wildcat Simple J. Malarkey with the ascendant anti-Communist senator, Joseph McCarthy. The subject was sensitive enough that by the following year a Providence, Rhode Island newspaper threatened to drop the strip if Malarkey s face were to appear in it again. Kelly s response? He had Malarkey appear again but put a bag over the character s head for his next appearance. Ergo, his face did not appear. (Typical of Kelly s layers of verbal wit, the character Malarkey was hiding from was a Rhode Island Red hen, referencing both the source of his need to conceal Malarkey and the underlying political controversy.) The entirety of these sequences can be found in this book. But the Malarkey storyline is only a tiny portion of those rich, eventful two years, which include such classic sequences as con-man Seminole Sam s attempts to corner the market on water (which Porkypine s Uncle Baldwin tries to one-up by cornering the market on dirt); a return engagement of Pup Dog and Houn dog s blank-eyed Little Orphan Annie parody Li l Arf and Nonny; Churchy La Femme going in drag to deliver a love poem he wrote, Cyrano style, on Deacon Mush-rat s behalf to Sis Boombah (the aforementioned hen); P.T. Bridgeport s return to the swamp in search of new talent; and of course two rousing choruses of Deck Us All With Boston Charlie. In addition to presenting all of 1953 and 1954 s daily strips complete and in order for the first time anywhere (many of them once again scanned from original syndicate proofs, for their crispest and most detailed appearance ever), Pogo Volume 3: Evidence to the Contrary also contains all 104 Sunday strips from these two years, presented in lush full color for the first time since their original appearance in Sunday sections 60 years ago plus the usual in-depth Swamp Talk historical annotations by R.C. Harvey, spectacular samples of Kelly s work scanned from original art, and a whole lot more!"


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It s in this volume (featuring another two years worth of Pogo strips) that we meet one of Walt Kelly s boldest political caricatures. Folks across America had little trouble equating the insidious wildcat Simple J. Malarkey with the ascendant anti-Communist senator, Joseph McCarthy. The subject was sensitive enough that by the following year a Providence, Rhode Island new It s in this volume (featuring another two years worth of Pogo strips) that we meet one of Walt Kelly s boldest political caricatures. Folks across America had little trouble equating the insidious wildcat Simple J. Malarkey with the ascendant anti-Communist senator, Joseph McCarthy. The subject was sensitive enough that by the following year a Providence, Rhode Island newspaper threatened to drop the strip if Malarkey s face were to appear in it again. Kelly s response? He had Malarkey appear again but put a bag over the character s head for his next appearance. Ergo, his face did not appear. (Typical of Kelly s layers of verbal wit, the character Malarkey was hiding from was a Rhode Island Red hen, referencing both the source of his need to conceal Malarkey and the underlying political controversy.) The entirety of these sequences can be found in this book. But the Malarkey storyline is only a tiny portion of those rich, eventful two years, which include such classic sequences as con-man Seminole Sam s attempts to corner the market on water (which Porkypine s Uncle Baldwin tries to one-up by cornering the market on dirt); a return engagement of Pup Dog and Houn dog s blank-eyed Little Orphan Annie parody Li l Arf and Nonny; Churchy La Femme going in drag to deliver a love poem he wrote, Cyrano style, on Deacon Mush-rat s behalf to Sis Boombah (the aforementioned hen); P.T. Bridgeport s return to the swamp in search of new talent; and of course two rousing choruses of Deck Us All With Boston Charlie. In addition to presenting all of 1953 and 1954 s daily strips complete and in order for the first time anywhere (many of them once again scanned from original syndicate proofs, for their crispest and most detailed appearance ever), Pogo Volume 3: Evidence to the Contrary also contains all 104 Sunday strips from these two years, presented in lush full color for the first time since their original appearance in Sunday sections 60 years ago plus the usual in-depth Swamp Talk historical annotations by R.C. Harvey, spectacular samples of Kelly s work scanned from original art, and a whole lot more!"

30 review for Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, Vol. 3: Evidence to the Contrary

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dominick

    This gets five stars just for the daring and effective satire of McCarthy as J. Simple Malarkey. It's actually only a few short weeks worth of continuity, but it took the piss out of that colossal douche bag long before it happened in real life, and it does so hilariously. Otherwise, there is no shortage of Kelly's characteristic wit and brilliant, fluid drawing. A must-have for anyone serious about comics, and for anyone interested in American politics/satire. This gets five stars just for the daring and effective satire of McCarthy as J. Simple Malarkey. It's actually only a few short weeks worth of continuity, but it took the piss out of that colossal douche bag long before it happened in real life, and it does so hilariously. Otherwise, there is no shortage of Kelly's characteristic wit and brilliant, fluid drawing. A must-have for anyone serious about comics, and for anyone interested in American politics/satire.

  2. 5 out of 5

    wrader2001

    Walt Kelly's Pogo influenced the greats: Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, etc. When you read it, you learn why his art and drawing is amazing, and his jokes are great. I've never seen a comic strip pack so many jokes into such a small space. Often one strip will have two, three, or more jokes running at the same time. Walt Kelly's Pogo influenced the greats: Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, etc. When you read it, you learn why his art and drawing is amazing, and his jokes are great. I've never seen a comic strip pack so many jokes into such a small space. Often one strip will have two, three, or more jokes running at the same time.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brian Rogers

    It took me a while but this was a delight. the gags with the octopus tutor were priceless.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Terri Loeffler

    I GO POGO!!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Phyllis

    1953, when Walt Kelly brings McCarthyism into the strip.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Tom Tipton

    The 1953 sequence attacking Sen Joseph McCarthy is one of the most important in newspaper/political cartooning. Excellent volume with great notes and accompanying essays.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Benn Allen

    For most people, when they refer to "Uncle Walt", they mean Walt Disney. Not me. Me? When I talk about "Uncle Walt", mean Walt Kelly. (And maybe in the spirit and vernacular of his creation, the denizens of the Okefenokee Swamp, maybe it should be "Unca Walt"?) Last week, in a matter of hours, I read the current volume of "Complete Peanuts" (1993-1994). It took me damned near a week to read this, the current volume of "Pogo" comic strips. That's not because they were that bad. Far from it. When y For most people, when they refer to "Uncle Walt", they mean Walt Disney. Not me. Me? When I talk about "Uncle Walt", mean Walt Kelly. (And maybe in the spirit and vernacular of his creation, the denizens of the Okefenokee Swamp, maybe it should be "Unca Walt"?) Last week, in a matter of hours, I read the current volume of "Complete Peanuts" (1993-1994). It took me damned near a week to read this, the current volume of "Pogo" comic strips. That's not because they were that bad. Far from it. When you read the average "Peanuts" comic strip, you probably won't spend more than ten seconds on it. Charles M. Schulz, working within the confines of the size newspapers allowed strips, developed a very economical style. Very simple. Backgrounds were minimalistic, if there at all. All the characters, Snoopy, Woodstock, Linus, Lucy, Charlie Brown, drawn with the absolute bare minimum of pen lines. This makes for a very fast and easy read. It doesn't take long to get through the average "Peanuts" comic strip. (This does not mean that Schulz's creation lacked depth. Sparky achieved a complexity with his characters using so little. This is what makes "Peanuts" one of the all-time greatest strips.) Unca Walt, on the other, got by with using much larger panels. He had room to work with. Many of strips had highly detailed backgrounds, lovingly penciled and inked. Very often a panel would two, three, even characters in it, each having their own word balloons, saying their lines, even if it's just Bun Rab declaring, "I carry the hose!" Everyone got a chance to say his piece. This makes reading a "Pogo" strip a more time-consuming endeavor. It takes longer to read "Pogo" than it does "Peanuts". Yet, "Pogo" is more than worth the effort. The word play, puns, the pseudo-Southern accent of Pogo the Possum, Albert the Alligator, Churchy Le Femme, Howland Owl and the rest bring a smile to the face, just as their antics do. Each strip, each panel is well crafted and lovingly rendered with plenty to study and admire. Kelly's "Pogo", of course, was well-known for its social commentary and political satire and there's plenty of that in this volume, as Simple J. Malarky joins the cast. Malarky was a vicious and devastating caricature of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. The parody of McCarthy (and later Richard M. Nixon) was so vicious, a Rhode Island newspaper threatened to drop "Pogo" if they appeared in the strip again. In addition to the comic strips for the years 1953 and 1954, the book has a compendium of "Swamp Talk", compiled by R.C. Harvey that explains some of the terms and references found in the strips. This is an invaluable aide to the readers and Mr. Harvey should be thanked for providing this information. Of course, it does mean repeatedly flipping back to the end of the book to see what a certain term or name signified. But the information provided makes it a worthwhile effort. This is the third volume of what is said to be a twelve book series. It was delayed over a year by the death of editor Kim Thompson of Fantagraphics. Hopefully Kim Thompson's death does not mean the end of this reprint series. And hopefully, if it continued, future volumes will not be as long in coming. And of course, it would be nice if Fantagraphics, the series' publisher, could find a way to release more than one book a year. At the rate they're going, the final volume of the series might not be published until 2024 or thereabout. I don't think I can wait that long!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bernie

    Terrific! I love Pogo and have many volumes of Walt Kelly's swamp critters going through their daily madness. This ambitious project, capturing EVERY daily strip Walt created, is the most ambitious so far. I hesitate to read too quickly in case there's a delay producing the next volume. So far, three of twelve have been released, so I look forward to years of not only traveling familiar paths through the Okefenokee Swamp, but discovering new ones I missed when originally printed. Terrific! I love Pogo and have many volumes of Walt Kelly's swamp critters going through their daily madness. This ambitious project, capturing EVERY daily strip Walt created, is the most ambitious so far. I hesitate to read too quickly in case there's a delay producing the next volume. So far, three of twelve have been released, so I look forward to years of not only traveling familiar paths through the Okefenokee Swamp, but discovering new ones I missed when originally printed.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nathan Dehoff

    This volume, collecting strips from 1953 and 1954, marks when the comic started getting political. It satirizes Joseph McCarthy with the character of Simple J. Malarkey, a wildcat who sows chaos and distrust in the swamp. The humor is quite absurd, but probably hit pretty close to home for the people reading it back when it first ran.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dale

    History through comics-- a very interesting perspective

  11. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    These collections continue to be great. Volume 3 is the one where Kelly's political satire comes out, with a powerful series of comics that are a thinly veiled comment on McCarthyism. These collections continue to be great. Volume 3 is the one where Kelly's political satire comes out, with a powerful series of comics that are a thinly veiled comment on McCarthyism.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Martin

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jarret

  14. 4 out of 5

    Peter Meek

  15. 5 out of 5

    David C

  16. 5 out of 5

    Glenn Hammonds

  17. 5 out of 5

    Eric Thorsen

  18. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

  19. 5 out of 5

    John Powell

  20. 5 out of 5

    Markku Mujunen

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jonas

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chas

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mongo

  24. 5 out of 5

    John Worpenberg

  25. 5 out of 5

    Evan Case

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Calaman

  28. 4 out of 5

    Shana

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary B. Sellers

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tim

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