Walt Kelly, A.D., B. P.*

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As a fan of the comic strip Pogo, I've read many biographical sketches of cartoonist Walt Kelly, but I never remember having read that he wrote and illustrated a comic book series based on the Our Gang shorts. (You might know them better as "The Little Rascals" -- Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, etc.)

Earlier this year, Fantagraphics published a reissue of Walt Kelly's Our Gang comic books from 1942 and 1943, volume 1 of a planned series. The ALA Booklist blurb has this to say:

Although the Our Gang film series was on its last legs in 1942, Dell Comics launched a comic-book version of it that is more than a footnote to the films because it was written and drawn by Walt Kelly, seven years before he brought Pogo to the newspapers. Ironically, while the films were by then slick and mannered, having lost their low-budget modesty after MGM took over producing them, in Kelly's comics they regained much of their earlier, unaffected charm, thanks to his winsome story lines, homey characterizations, and engaging cartooning.

(*After Disney, Before Pogo. Kelly was one of the animators on Fantasia (1940); the Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony segment, featuring centaurs, putti, Zeus, Bacchus, and other characters from Greek mythology, bears his unmistakable touch. As a two- and three-year-old, my now-10-year-old son watched this segment over and over again, and Iris, who brought forth the rainbow after the storm, was his first imaginary friend. He called her "the rainbow princess.")

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on December 20, 2006 4:22 PM.

"Give us your geniuses, your diligent, your best and brightest, yearning to breathe free." was the previous entry in this blog.

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