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Thursday, February 09, 2006

KELLY, Walt

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Birth/Death

Birth: August 25, 1913 Philadelphia, PA
Death: October 18, 1973, Woodland Hills, CA (Diabetes complications)

Occupation/Title

Animator, Editorial Cartoonist, Comic Book Cartoonist, Comic Strip
Cartoonist
Creator of POGO for Dell Comics, later the Post-Hall Syndicate
President, National Cartoonists Society 1954-1956

Bio Summary

Parents: Walter Crawford Kelly and Genevieve [MacAnnula] Kelly
Married: Helen DeLacey (divorced)
Stephanie Waggony (widowed)
Margaret Selby Daley
Children: Peter, Carolyn, Stephen

Early Life/Family

Family moved to Bridgeport, CT during Kelly's second year. Kelly's
father
was a painter of theatrical scenery. Kelly began his career at age 13
as a
cartoonist and reporter for the local newspaper, the Bridgeport Pos

Education/Training

Warren G. Harding High School
During World War II, Kelly was at the Foreign Language Unit and
illustrated
manuals for the Army.

Career Outline

Walt Disney Studios - 1935 to 1941 (Kelly left the studio rather than
strike)
Western Publishing/Dell Comics ­ 1942 to 1953
New York Star ­ 1948 to 1949
Began POGO for the Post-Hall Syndicate in May, 1949. George Ward and
Henry
Shikuma were among Kelly's assistants on the strip. After Kelly¹s
death, it
was continued by Selby and Stephen Kelly until 1975.

Comments On Style

Walt Disney Studios - 1935 to 1941 (Kelly left the studio rather than
strike)
Western Publishing/Dell Comics ­ 1942 to 1953
New York Star ­ 1948 to 1949
Began POGO for the Post-Hall Syndicate in May, 1949. George Ward and
Henry
Shikuma were among Kelly's assistants on the strip. After Kelly¹s
death, it
was continued by Selby and Stephen Kelly until 1975.

Influences

T.S. Sullivant, George Herriman, Lewis Carroll, Joel Chandler Harris

Personality

Gruff on the exterior - although reportedly personable, highly
energetic and extroverted. Kelly was also extremely proud
of his journalism pedigree, and considered himself a newspaper man as well as
a cartoonist.

Anecdotes

Supposedly an L.A. production of SHOW BOAT nearly obsessed him, and led
directly to the Southern setting of POGO.

Milton Caniff's favorite anecdote about Walt Kelly:
"The one I remember involved Walt and Al Capp
of LI'L ABNER. This was at the RCA
Theater and was a meeting of the Newspaper Comics
Council. At each of their meetings, after the
business session was over, they usually had something
that related to cartooning - visuals, or a panel.
This time it was just Al and Walt, two boys from
Bridgeport, Connecticut, nose to nose and no recording
was made, I'm sad to say...
Walt would say to Al, "Of course, Al, this is really
how you should draw Daisy Mae. I'm only showing you
for your own good." Then Walt would do a sketch.
Capp, of course, got ticked off by this, as you could
imagine! So he retaliated by doing his version of
Pogo. Unfortunately, the drawings are long gone; no
recording was made. What a shame! Nobody anticipated
there'd be this dueling back and forth between the two
of them. Otherwise we would have set it up to be
recorded..."

Miscellaneous

Kelly was the first strip cartoonist to be invited to contribute
originals
to the Library of Congress.
Pogo's famous phrase - "We have met the enemy, and he is us" - is a
take-off
on Commodore Perry's "We have met the enemy, and he is ours."

Random fact: Kelly discontinued the POGO POSSUM comic book after 16
issues
and fell out with Dell in 1953 over publication of the POGO PARADE
anthology. He was angry over the reprinting of his early work, which
embarrassed him. His bogus "1943" drawing of Pogo from TEN
EVER-LOVIN'
BLUE-EYED YEARS was an (unnecessary) attempt to falsify the record and
cover
his tracks.


Politically, Kelly would be more accurately described as a "progressive"
rather than a leftist or a liberal - he was a great supporter of
Eisenhower
over Adlai Stevenson, for example. Conversely, he seemed to tilt to
Truman
over Dewey, and was (famously) an early critic of Senator Joe McCarthy.
He
seemed to skewer both Johnson and Nixon in later years, as well as J.
Edgar
Hoover, George Wallace and Spiro Agnew. Kelly was considered a
sufficient
enough threat that his phone was tapped, and the US Government
corresponded
with a newspaper reporter who claimed that the eccentric jargon Kelly
created was a secret Russian code!
Needless to add, Kelly was an unquestioned supporter of desegregation
and
free speech, and his name was recently discovered on a petition in
support
of Lenny Bruce.

Kelly's singing voice, a boozy Irish baritone - can be heard on the
SONGS
OF THE POGO album, for which he also supplied the lyrics. Kelly was a
prolific poet, especially in the "Anguish Languish" form (of which
"Deck Us
All With Boston Charlie" is considered one of the prime examples).

Filmography

SNOW WHITE (1938)
PINOCCHIO (1939)
THE RELUCTANT DRAGON (1940)
FANTASIA (1940)
DUMBO (1941)
WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US (1970 - unfinished)
THE POGO SPECIAL BIRTHDAY SPECIAL (1969) NBC-TV (voices)
THIS IS AL CAPP (1970) NBC-TV (cameo)
POGO FOR PRESIDENT (1980)

Honors

NCS Reuben Award (Cartoonist Of The Year) - 1951
NCS Silver T-Square Award (Extraordinary Service) - 1972

Related Links

http://www.animationarchive.org/2009/01/comics-walt-kellys-pogo.html
http://www.pogopossum.com/index.htm

Bibliographic References

(All Simon & Schuster unless otherwise noted)
POGO (1951)
I GO POGO (1953)
UNCLE POGO SO-SO STORIES (1953)
THE POGO PAPERS (1953)
THE POGO STEPMOTHER GOOSE (1954)
THE INCOMPLEAT POGO (1954)
THE POGO PEEK-A-BOOK (1955)
POTLUCK POGO (1955)
THE POGO SUNDAY BOOK (1956)
THE POGO PARTY (1956)
SONGS OF THE POGO (1956)
POGO'S SUNDAY PUNCH (1957)
POSITIVELY POGO (1957)
THE POGO SUNDAY PARADE (1958)
G.O. FIZZICKLE POGO (1958)
TEN EVER-LOVIN' BLUE-EYED YEARS WITH POGO (1959)
THE POGO SUNDAY BRUNCH (1959)
POGO EXTRA, POGO ELECTION EXTRA (1960)
BEAU POGO (1960)
GONE POGO (1961)
POGO A LA SUNDAE (1961)
INSTANT POGO (1962)
THE JACK ACID SOCIETY BLACK BOOK (1962)
FIVE BOYHOODS ed. by Martin Levin (1962) Doubleday
POGO PUCE STAMP CATALOG (1963)
DECK US ALL WITH BOSTON CHARLIE (1963)
POGO FOR PRESIDENT (1964) Fawcett Crest Books
THE RETURN OF POGO (1965)
THE POGO POOP BOOK (1966)
PREHYSTERICAL POGO (IN PANDEMONIA) (1967)
EQUAL TIME FOR POGO (1968)
SONGS OF THE POGO (1968)
POGO: PRISONER OF LOVE (1969)
IMPOLLUTABLE POGO (1970)
POGO: WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US (1972)
POGO REVISITED (1974) Previous titles reprinted in one volume
POGO RE-RUNS: SOME REFLECTIONS ON ELECTIONS (1974) Previous titles
reprinted
in one volume
POGO ROMANCES RECAPTURED (1975) Previous titles reprinted in one volume
IMPOLLUTABLE POGO (1976)
POGO'S BATS AND THE BELLES FREE (1976)
POGO'S BODY POLITIC (1976)
A POGO PANORAMA (1977) Previous titles reprinted in one volume
POGO¹S DOUBLE SUNDAE (1978) Previous titles reprinted in one volume
POGO'S WILL BE THAT WAS (1979) Previous titles reprinted in one volume
THE BEST OF POGO (1982)
POGO EVEN BETTER (1984)
OUTRAGEOUSLY POGO (1985)
PLUPERFECT POGO (1987)
THE WALT KELLY COLLECTOR'S GUIDE (1988) Spring Hollow Books
PHI BETA POGO (1989)
POGO AND ALBERT: THE COMPLETE POGO COMICS (1990) 4 Volumes ­ Eclipse
Books
POGO FILES FOR POGOPHILES (1992) Spring Hollow Books
POGO BY WALT KELLY (1992-2000) 11 Volumes ­ Fantagraphics
AMERICA'S GREAT COMIC STRIP ARTISTS by Richard Marschall (1997)
Abbeville
THE POGOPEDIA by Nik Lauer, et al. (2001) Spring Hollow Books
WALT KELLY'S OUR GANG (2006) 4 Volumes - Fantagraphics
POGO: THE COMPLETE DAILY & SUNDAY COMIC STRIPS (2009)

BIO-AAA-463

Contributors To This Listing

Mike Fontanell
i
Joe Suggs

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2 Comments:

At 11:06 AM, Blogger mike f. said...

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At 12:41 PM, Blogger mike f. said...

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