I go Pogo
October 21, 2012 1:14 PM   Subscribe

In the 1952 presidential race, The Crimson decided neither General Dwight D. Eisenhower nor Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson were good enough to endorse, so the paper went for a certain possum from Okefenokee Swamp: Pogo. Buttons were made, campaign was waged and Pogo's creator, Walt Kelly was invited to give a speech. When he was delayed coming in to Harvard from the airport, riots broke out. posted by MartinWisse (22 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
They met the enemy and it was them.
posted by Renoroc at 1:16 PM on October 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


I remember reading a lot of the comics from this time in a Pogo book of my dad's back in the 70s. Got my knowledge of 50s politics from Pogo, 60s politics from MAD Magazine and 70s politics from Doonesbury.
posted by Hamadryad at 1:18 PM on October 21, 2012 [6 favorites]

BTW, if you haven't read Pogo, Walt Kelly drew beeea-u-tifully. Check out the line, the expressions, and the movement in this example.

/Goes off to deck himself in Boston Charlie.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:30 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

Heck, Pogo STILL makes more sense than most politicians, and he's more honest, too.
posted by easily confused at 1:32 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I had no idea about that story, that is awesome.

Often when asked a question about someone, I default to my favorite Pogo line "Does you want a frank or a friendly answer?"
posted by lumpenprole at 2:18 PM on October 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

Pogo would need an adversary.

Oop Ack Thppt
posted by Mblue at 2:22 PM on October 21, 2012 [3 favorites]

I don't know how I missed this, but Volume 1 of the complete Pogo collection from Fantagraphics finally dropped last December! They announced it in 2007, so I had just about given up hope.

This will be a great Christmas present for my parents this year. I loved their first-edition Pogo books to death (more or less literally) when I was about six or seven years old. Oh man. What a cool thing to put in the hands of someone learning to read.
posted by jhc at 2:33 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

My parents had Songs of the Pogo when I was a kid, and I grew up loving those too. There's an almost Gilbertian felicity to the wordplay. (The parsnips were snipping their snappers as the parsley was parceling the peas!)
posted by tangerine at 2:51 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I decided last year to buy my father each volume for Christmas since he is a huge fan. This reminded me to get Volume 2. It doesn't come out until December 21. Poop.
posted by MaritaCov at 3:02 PM on October 21, 2012

Don't forget that Walt Kelly was also an extremely incisive political cartoonist and there are great swathes of Pogo that comment, Okefenokee style, on what's goin' on, including a bitterly accurate rip of McCarthy & McCarthyism, lots of stuff on the Russians, and so on. Vol 1 of the complete Pogo is great, but if you have to buy just one, get Ten Everlovin' Blue-Eyed Years With Pogo, if you can.
posted by chavenet at 3:06 PM on October 21, 2012 [2 favorites]

Here's a short article on Pogo & politics, with a brilliant side-by-side picture of Joe McCarthy and "Simple J. Malarkey"
posted by chavenet at 3:11 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

God, I love Pogo. I read an omnibus as a kid, I was maybe 10, and understood maybe half, but loved it all. It was the start of the Reagan years, and the world was going to end, and this comic strip from the distant past (the 50s) did a pretty good job of explaining it all.
posted by OmieWise at 3:22 PM on October 21, 2012

I too grew up reading Pogo, thank you for this link!
posted by The otter lady at 3:27 PM on October 21, 2012

Walt Kelly drew beeea-u-tifully.

He was a master cartoonist. Even his lettering is amazing.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:19 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I remember seeing the I Go Pogo movie on cable when I was a kid, and seeking out Pogo trade paperbacks afterward. From the wikipedia page:
The feature-length motion picture I Go Pogo (aka Pogo for President ) was released in 1980. Directed by Marc Paul Chinoy, this stop motion animated feature starred the voices of Skip Hinnant as Pogo; Ruth Buzzi as Miz Beaver and Hepzibah; Stan Freberg as Albert; Arnold Stang as Churchy; Jonathan Winters as Porky, Mole, and Wiley Catt; Kelly's friend, New York journalist Jimmy Breslin as P.T. Bridgeport; and Vincent Price as the Deacon. While some fans have embraced the movie, others have dismissed it (as with the Birthday Special) for lacking Kelly's wit and charm.

posted by not_on_display at 5:29 PM on October 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

Even his lettering is amazing.

I had forgotten about ☞ P. T. Bridgeport ☜.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:31 PM on October 21, 2012 [5 favorites]

I remember seeing the I Go Pogo movie on cable when I was a kid

For a while that thing was almost as inescapable as Bill Cosby: Himself.
posted by JHarris at 5:36 PM on October 21, 2012

Pogo makes you realize that 99% of newspaper cartoonists are phoning it in.
posted by yoink at 6:22 PM on October 21, 2012 [4 favorites]

Newspaper cartoonists these days don't have quite the space in which to draw that Kelly did. Bill Watterson has complained about this at length—you get a measly little strip, and even on Sunday you get a fraction of the space that cartoonists time back way back got.
posted by kenko at 8:21 PM on October 21, 2012

Are there still comics in the newspaper?
posted by KokuRyu at 8:49 PM on October 21, 2012

Harvard students don't pull off a good riot the way they used to. A decade later they would riot over diplomas being offered in English instead of Latin.

I suppose the Gates fiasco is an indication that the Cambridge Police have moved from beating college students to beating professors.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 10:06 PM on October 21, 2012

"We have met the enemy and he is us" remains the most insightful misquote ever devised.
posted by flabdablet at 1:46 AM on October 22, 2012

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