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Pogo Vol. 1 Paperback – 1992

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4 Stars and Up Feature: Kitchens of the Great Midwest
"Foodies and those who love contemporary literature will devour this novel that is being compared to Elizabeth Strout's Olive Kitteridge. A standout." --Library Journal Learn more
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Product Details

  • Series: Pogo (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics Books; First Edition edition (1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560970189
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560970187
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 10.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #244,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 18, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading George Herriman's "Krazy Kat" can evoke the response "this is from the first half of the twentieth century?!?!" In like manner, reading Walt Kelly's "Pogo" evokes the response "this is from the 1940s!!?!?!" The reality hits home when various animals (Albert the alligator, Pogo Possum, and Chug Chug Curtis the traveling duck) discuss the Dewey/Truman election of 1948 around page 15. Then Kelly's achievment really hits home: even early "Pogo" hasn't really dated itself for almost sixty years. The jokes (and even most of the puns) still smell fresh. The characters couldn't be more intriguing and the social and political undertones (though not as prevalent in this volume) couldn't be more inspiring. It only takes a few pages to understand why "Pogo" repeatedly receives accolades such as "one of the best comic strips ever".

So many highlights appear in this volume that listing them would take bajillions of words. Some of the standouts include: Albert drinks the "Frog Child"; The campaign for sherrif; Howland Owl's School (which includes the book critic "Orville the Scrooch Owl"); Porkypine's "Don't like anybody!" (which appears twice).

The introduction includes a load of useful background information on Walt Kelly. It also explains why some strips seem like repeats in this volume. Fantagraphics dug back into "Pogo's" pre-syndicated days. The strips that appeared in the ill-fated "Star" newspaper provide interesting juxtaposition with Kelly's syndicated work. The artwork improves. Some of the jokes improve. Basically, sometime between January and May of 1949 Kelly polished "Pogo" and sold it to a syndicate. In the latter he reused and refined some of the strips that ran in the "Star". Fantagraphics prints them all.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By David A. Beamer on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This review is for all the volumes in this series of reprints being created by Fantagraphics of all of the Pogo daily strips, starting right from the beginning. (As of this 9/2001 writing, they're up to vol. 11, but they're coming out wayyyy tooooo slooowwwwwwly for my taste.)
R.C. Harvey has set out to chronicle the entire Pogo ouvre, and do so in a semi-academic fashion. One of the highlights (or eminently skippable, depending on your view) of all these books is the long intro by Harvey in each volume, wherein he gives some needed historical reference points (esp. in these early-50s books), for example, the pointed humiliation Kelly gives to McCarthyism (which is scattered thru vols. 6 to 9). It is in the the 1951-to-1953 period where Kelly really finds his voice in political lampooning. (One of the nice features of the intros is an ongoing compilation of the Complete Cast of Characters in the Swamp -- by vol. 11, the count is up to 142.)
That is not to say this and the others are merely political cartoons. The bulk of the action is sheer joyous nonsense, repleat with cockamamie money-making schemes, confused identities, and just plain absurd nonsense. Kelly's touch with the English language was second to none (at least on the comics page), and his lush artwork puts almost all other comics to shame. His work started to take on a political tone in 1951, and he revisited the topic whenever the politics of the age got a little too silly. (Some of his best work in this arena is for the 1968 election, captured in "Equal Time for Pogo".)
As far as quality comic-strips of the 20th century goes, Kelly's Pogo has only 3 serious competitors: George Herman's "Krazy Kat", Trudeau's "Doonesbury", and the all-too-short run of "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Hans on July 24, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was born after Pogo stopped running, apparently, but this has to be one of the best comic strips I've ever seen. Kelly has an attention to detail that puts "Calvin and Hobbes" to shame. Granted, comic strips in those days were bigger than now.
On one hand, I liked seeing the difference between the syndicated strip and the originals, I also felt like I got ripped off a little since 1/3rd of the book was repeated. The intro was enough to make up for it. For those of us that didn't know much about Kelly and his times it was nice to have some additional information.
Great book, I love Pogo!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
OK, I guess I started reading Pogo when I was a child, way back when it was still being written by Walt Kelly. But I find it most amusing that you have catagorized this book as ages 9-12. Here I am pushing 55 and still finding it very entertaining. I didn't understand who his characters were until I was old enough to recognize our politicians in his comic strip.
I got better at that after I was 12.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By hughroth@compuserve.com on September 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
We see the daily growth of Kelly's sophistication and humor. Strips are a little muddy in places, but always readable. For die-hard fans, this book is essential; for those who jumped in with I Go Pogo or later stuff, you can pass. Glowing introduction to WK's life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Phyllis Herring on December 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This isn't a review so much as an expression of personal sentiment. I grew up in the fifties and Pogo was very much a part of that experience. Somewhere in the family albums there is a picture of me reading this book with a look of complete absorbtion on my face. I got older and, I guess, the book had literally disintegrated and was thrown away. I am now 54 and the book has returned to me (OK. OK. I bought another copy...) and I'm feeling very happy right about now. All the sight gags convulse me with laughter as they once did and I'm also old enough now to understand all the word play I had missed fifty years ago. I can see now how some of the phrases entered into my speech. "Another day, another dullard". That came from the book. And here I thought I was being so clever on my own. Oh well. You would have had to have grown up with this book to truly appreciate it. It was, as another reviewer mentioned, a product of the times but it was also a part of my personal experience and that is where it is most valued. If you were there, then get the book again and relive a few sweet moments. If you didn't grow up with Pogo then, sadly, you won't really know what all the fuss was about.
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