Friday, September 4, 2009

A Rose by Any Other Name . . .

Something about that last panel looks a bit off to me. Pogo's a bit stretched out and kind of has a goofy expression. And Albert is a bit stretched as well. As much as Kelly didn't want assistants drawing the characters, he admitted that sometimes they did. I ain't sayin', I'm just sayin'.

One time Kelly got a letter from a fan, asking who the heck inked a certain strip. Kelly was pretty perturbed, thinking his assistant had screwed it up. When they went to look it up, however, they saw it was Kelly's after all. Sometimes you're just off.


  1. Check this out - found a walt kelly comic book and uploaded it to my web site. I figured everyone here would love to read it. Four Color Comics #0220 - Easter with Mother Goose Illustrated by Walt Kelly (Just click on my name ilovecomix and it will direct you to the comic book in my site)

  2. I agree, Thom, with your opinion about that last panel.

    In fact, I've suspected something a little "off " about the poses and layouts since the strip of 4/14. Those poses of Churchy leaping are kind of odd.

    I can't really put my finger on what it is or how to describe it . . . but the overall staidness of the strip - after all that mayhem in Pandemonia - makes me think that Kelly was taking a breather, or maybe just not putting as much enthusiasm into his work.

  3. Exactly. Pandemonia seemed so fresh and alive with every panel. Even some of the writing in post-Pandemonia seems stiff or 'off' in some way as well.

    It's funny, but every time I look at that last panel I think of one of Wally Wood's imitations of Kelly, from Mad Magazine.

    I feel there's an unwritten story about Kelly regarding the change of momentum of the last few years of the strip. I know that a LOT of it has to do with his health, which he struggled with for many years, and started to worsen about this time. Still, to go, in a short time, from pterodactyls attacking a bi-plane to standing around in stiff little poses has to make us wonder.

  4. I just looked at this strip and the one posted the next day, the looking-in-the-mirror one...looks like two completely different inkers. Pretty strikingly different in style, poses, proportions, etc.

  5. Oh, good. I was afraid I was the only one thinking this. With proportions being different, I think it's possible even penciling could have been done by another hand. Yet here and there within these panels some of it looks like pure Kelly. I'm theorizing here, but maybe Kelly was really not feeling well here and called in some help to meet the ever present deadline. His diabetes was a health issue. Just a theory.

  6. Also the backgrounds here and the next strip, as nice as they are, are somewhat different than usual.