Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rare Treat

There's not been any new business in Pandemonia for quite a spell. But there's breaking news over at Whirled of Kelly.

Coming up soon will be the premier posting of the first three issues of The Adventures of Peter Wheat, Walt Kelly's adventure fantasy. Issues from this series are extremely scarce, but showcasing issues 1, 2 and 3, in order, is a rare treat indeed, courtesy of our friend OtherEric of the Digital Comic Museum.

Head on over to Whirled of Kelly, to see it unfold.. Here's a sneak preview panel:


  1. I just discovered your blog, and among the reasons I regret not doing so earlier is that I wasn't able to post encouraging comments along the way as you posted Pandemonia.

    As I work through the series, I'm struck by the fact that I really wasn't as into it when it first came out as I am now. That's strange, as I'd been a Pogo and Kelly lover from way back. I "imprinted" on Pogo back in the early 1950s, when I was a mere sprat of 6 and 7. Must have started around 1952, as I still have a hazy memory of a trip to the San Francisco newspaper that carried the strip to get an "I Go Pogo" button (which I still have, natch). But what really kicked it off were the book reprints and specials along with the Dell comics. I had whole sections of Uncle Pogo's Stepmother Goose and Uncle Pogo's So-So Stories memorized from reading them so much, and each succeeding re-reading had me in hysterics as uncontrollable as the first. Same with the comic books.

    Although I loved reading and re-reading the strip reprint books, those book specials and the comic books were my favorite Pogo incarnations back then and still are. The variety of outlandish settings, the sheer comic verve of the action, the exuberant character expressions all had greater appeal to me than the generally more staid daily strip (the papers we took at the time didn't carry the Sundays). I missed the comic books when they stopped, and then the specials ended with the Pogo Peek-A-Book, replaced by Sunday reprints, so that particular kind of Pogo, the kind I liked best, seemed to have faded away for me. I still loved Kelly, the strip, and his art actually got better and better, but he no longer seemed to be doing the kind of thing I liked best. I have to admit that the social and political satire, while clever and as and beautifully drawn as ever, really didn't interest me too much, and as that became more and more a part of the strip my interest started to wane.

    That's a long and rambling backstory to bring me up to my state of mind when Pandemonia started. I can't remember if the papers we took at the time still carried Pogo, but I did get the book. I didn't actually ignore it, but my copy never well-worn like the earlier books.

    Flash-forward to May 2010 and your blog and it's as if I'm rediscovering not only Panedemonia, but also the Walt Kelly I first came to love as a chile. It's all there - the unbelievably imaginative settings, the comedy, the outrageous expressions, the I-wish-I-were-there landscapes, all expressed in art by Kelly at the top of his form.

    What a wonderful present, thank you so much.

  2. I love long and rambling backstories, Paul. Thanks for sharing your Kelly state of mind. I had similar feelings over the years, and (blanch) I almost gave away my Kelly collection several years ago, having been sort of bored with it, having read it so many times. But I couldn't bring myself to do it, for sentimental reasons that it had been with me for so long. And then I scanned a few things to blog, and wham—looking at the art close-up and sharp, it all seemed new. And by now my renewed appreciation is off the scale. And I'm glad you and people like you are experiencing that too.

    You're welcome Paul, and thank you again.