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Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder (v. 1) Hardcover – December 5, 2011

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Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder (v. 1) + Pogo: Bona Fide Balderdash (Vol. 2)  (Walt Kelly's Pogo) + Pogo Vol. 3: Evidence To The Contrary (Vol. 3)  (Walt Kelly's Pogo)
Price for all three: $87.10

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (December 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560978694
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560978695
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 0.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325,046 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“...[An] essential purchase for any collection that values comic-strip reprints is finally available. ...[T]he inventive wordplay, idiosyncratic swamp patter, and goofy slapstick are all in full effect right from the start, as is the broad cast of loony critters... Due to run 12 volumes, this collection completes the holy trifecta, along with Charles Schulz’ Peanuts and George Herriman’s Krazy Kat, of comic strips whose influence cannot be overstated.” (Ian Chipman - Booklist)

“(Starred Review) This exceptional first volume of the collected adventures of Pogo Possum should remind readers of the substantial legacy left behind by Kelly.... The volume is beautifully put together, including excellent insights into Kelly and his work ... Kelly was able to blend hilarious humor, exceptional storytelling, keen political satire, and brilliant wordplay into a strip that could be appreciated both by children and adults.” (Publishers Weekly)

“If Walt Kelly had written ‘regular’ books, he might be recognized today as one of the finest satirists of the 20th Century. As a wizard of wordplay he might well be mentioned, if not in the same breath with Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear, then in the very next.” (Chicago Sun-Times)

“It's hard to think of another newspaper cartoonist who equalled [Kelly's] talents…. The design is impeccable and the quality of the line art reproduction is superb.” (Mark Frauenfelder - Boing Boing)

“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.” (Michael Giltz - The Huffington Post)

“…[A]bsolutely beautiful, a big comic book with real heft and majesty.... This isn't a book you read so much as sink into: Kelly's brilliant ear for dialect and voice lulls you along, and then you're lost in his beautiful artwork.... If I had to make one complaint about this Pogo collection, it'd be that it ends too soon.” (Paul Constant - The Stranger)

“[Pogo  Vol. 1] is the first book that gives a full sense of what it was like to read Kelly's pioneering strip from the beginning…. And it helps that because of the book format, …Kelly’s 'love of high-flown language' is more legible than it often was in newspapers.” (Jaime Weinman - Maclean's)

“The biggest revelation of reading the first two years of Pogo is how polished and funny the strip was right from the start, and also how nearly every Pogo panel is a delight unto itself. ...[T]here’s a classic Pogo moment on just about every page of this book.” (Noel Murray - The A.V. Club)

“The congenial Pogo Possum and his swampland friends... spring to life in this collection of daily and Sunday comics, filled with Kelly’s characteristic wordplay. One hopes this will introduce a new generation to this comic, satiric masterwork.” (The Globe and Mail)

“The good news: it’s here, it’s real. The better news: it’s incredible. Walt Kelly’s lively, robust, and poetic world is faithfully and lovingly produced... Fantagraphics knew this first volume would be scrutinized by hardcore Pogo fans, and they’ve outdone expectations…” (Alex Carr - Omnivoracious (Amazon.com))

“Walt Kelly's seminal, satirical, exquisitely rendered, hugely influential (and, not for nothing, actually funny) comic strip is getting a deluxe treatment by Fantagraphics. Crisply reproduced at a generous size that makes it easier than ever to marvel over Kelly's marvelous linework, this book is everything fans and comics historians were hoping for.” (Glen Weldon - NPR - Monkey See)

“It's a hefty volume, and will leave even the most dyspeptic Pogo fan wide-eyed with wonder and gratitude.” (Jon Carroll - San Francisco Chronicle)

“Walt Kelly’s Pogo... is justifiably hailed as one of the great achievements of the postwar comic strip.... This wonderful first volume of a projected 12-volume series contains the strip’s first two official years... I salute this launch... [Rating] 9/10” (Michael Barrett - PopMatters)

“Walt Kelly’s wit and charm is unmatched in the history of sequential storytelling, and is in evidence here fully developed. I’d get this book for Jimmy Breslin’s introduction alone. Go. Read this. You’ll charm the pants off of yourself.” (Mike Gold - ComicMix)

“Kelly's art isn't just a collection of animation quality lines; it's like the lines embody the ideal of great animation art; just stunning.” (Tom Spurgeon - The Comics Reporter)

“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)

“This strip is funny, well-drawn, and features a huge mass of likeable characters doing entertaining things. Put it together with Fantagraphics’ excellent presentation, and you have a definite must-buy.” (Sean Gaffney - Manga Bookshelf)

“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!)

About the Author

Walt Kelly is the creator of the legendary Pogo comic strip. He was born in 1913 and passed away in 1973.

Customer Reviews

The book is very well done and the format is great.
Nyack Jeff
He has been reading Pogo from the very beginning of the comic strip and thought that those early ones were gone forever.
Eleanor M. Coolidge
So if you're sour on the meager offerings of today's comics (or just like to read good ones), check this book out.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Jay1027 on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first words in the Editor's Notes of Fantagraphic new Pogo compilation Through the Wild Blue Wonder are the same words uttered under the breath of Pogo fans for almost ten years: "It's about time." The first of what is intended to be a twelve part series has finally arrived. Kim Thompson and Walt Kelly's daughter Carolyn Kelly have taken the time to give Pogofiles the quality product that that the work deserves. For the first time both the daily and Sunday strips have found a home together.

The first thing a reader will notice after the beautiful dust cover (drawn and colored by Carolyn Kelly) is that the binding of this book is superior to similar collections, most notably the catastrophe that was done to Calvin and Hobbs. This is a book that should weather more than an occasional journey back into the Okefenokee Swamp. Opening the book to the first few pages and the reader finds original drawings that are sketched first with blue pencil and then inked. Walt Kelly used the blue pencil for the early sketching of his strips because the color did not show when the strip was reproduced.

The table of contents lovingly breaks the content down into weeks and explains the action in a way that specific strips can be quickly found. I had to smile when I saw the first week's description began with: "Pogo and Churchy go fishing." There was never a predicament throughout the run of the strip that could not be solved with a return to the Suwanee River, the only river that runs through the actual Okefenokee, for either a casual float or a communal fish fry. What is surprising here is the lack of political satire. The first year of Pogo in syndication was for the most part politically noncommittal.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By W. Johnson on November 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover
How wonderful to finally have a finished copy of this in my hands! A few years ago I leafed through a display copy which Fantagraphics had on display at a show, but after a number of starts and stops on the path to publication, it is fantastic to finally have this gorgeous piece in-hand. This is a terrific document to Pogo and the work of groundbreaking cartoonist, humorist, and satirist Walt Kelly. It comes highly recommended and will be a wonderful addition to your collection.

I also recommend grabbing a copy of the incredible Songs of the Pogo CD by Walt Kelly with Norman Monath which was gloriously remastered and reissued a couple of years ago. It will give you something to tap your toes to while you read the book.

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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By H. Beckman on November 19, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Aaaaaaah. A great sigh of relief after the long wait for this edition. And now we understand the delay. The production quality is exceptional (paper, binding, print quality, etc.), the dust jacket frameable, and the format (size) allows for reproduction of the strips in their originally published size. The Sunday full-color strips are reproduced from Kelly's original art! The binding in particular is superbly flexible in anticipation of much *much* use.

The editors have provided nice (brief) annotation of each strip, so that the immediate cultural context of Kelly's strips is accessible to those -- today and in the future -- who did not have the exquisite experience of opening each day's newspaper to a fresh Pogo strip that *slammed* the pretense of American life as we were living it.

As a fussy editor I am *so* impressed with this volume. And for a very reasonable price. Thank you Fantagraphics. Remember -- while "ars longa est," vita is too short. Please don't make us wait forever for volume II.

I still go Pogo.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By W. DeWald on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have been blessed with many great books of classic comic strip reprints in the last several years thanks to the folks at IDW and Fantagraphics and this one certainly ranks near the top of the list. I particularly appreciate the fact that these books have reprinted the strips in a size that actually allows my aging eyes to read them with ease--particularly important with Pogo since Walt Kelley was an absolute master with words. This strip has it all--captivating characters, laugh out loud humor, warmth, distinctive art--even lettering that enhances the strip. There is absolutely no question I will purchase all 12 volumes of this series. If you have never had the pleasure of exploring the swamp with Pogo and friends you are in for an incredible treat--and if you are a long-time fan as I am you will be quickly be charmed and delighted once again. A simply outstanding book!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barat on December 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
After more "false starts" than a typical (fill in your least favorite NFL team here) game, Fantagraphics' long, long, long promised hardback POGO reprint collection is well and truly underway. The opening Editor's Note by Kim Thompson and Carolyn Kelly promises us a dozen volumes, each of which will hold two years' worth of daily and Sunday strips. The X factor, of course, is the frequency of the releases. If FG can manage two volumes per year and close the deal before I turn 60, I'll be more than content... but I'll continue to keep at least a couple of fingers crossed until we move beyond the period 1953-54, which was the unfortunate stopping point for both the 1990's FG paperback reprint series and the chronological daily reprints in the Simon and Schuster paperback series which began with THE BEST OF POGO (1982).

The quality of Walt Kelly's work, even at this early and comparatively rough stage, goes without saying. The ancillaries, however, will definitely have to improve in order for this series to match what FG is presently providing in its first-class "Disney Masters" collections. Steve Thompson provides a decent general overview of Kelly's life and career, while R.C. Harvey's "Swamp Talk" gives a potted summary of some of the notes Harvey wrote for the 1990's reprint series, but there could have been so much MORE immediately relevant table-setting matter included here. Where is the discussion of Kelly's development of the POGO concept in ANIMAL COMICS, for example? If the FG folks were unable to whip up a new one from scratch, then perhaps they could have prevailed upon Craig Shutt to reproduce or expand upon his article on the early POGO in HOGAN'S ALLEY, or R.C. Harvey could simply have modified his comments on ANIMAL COMICS from the 90's FG series.
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Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder (v. 1)
This item: Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder (v. 1)
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