Cartoons; funny papers, Sunday funnies!
It doesn’t matter what you call those panels of humor, but we all remember reading them. For me, it was flat out on the floor on Sunday mornings with the four-page color comic section: Dick Tracy, Blondie, Mark Trail (who must be 105 years old by now) and...
...Walt Kelly’s Pogo!
Syndicated in 1949, when I was only three years old, the Pogo strip was a social,, political—even international sensation. He was a possum who lived in Okefenoke swamp with a crowd of totally ridiculous animals.
When I was small, my father, armed with a six-pack and a box of charcoals and pastels, drew the Pogo characters on my bedroom wall. The biggest was Albert the Alligator, and the others trailed along the wall beside my bed!
By the time I was ten, I knew most of the characters, including an owl, a turtle and a trio of scruffy-looking bats named Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered. I remember making the connection to Frank Sinatra’s version of that wonderful song!
At some point, my parents bought an LP, “Songs of the Pogo,” which contained twenty-odd completely zany songs written by Kelly and his crew. Inside the jacket was a sheet of lyrics (good thing, for we never would have figured out some of them by listening):
The Keen and the Quing were quirling at quoits,
In the meadow behind the mere.
Tho’ mainly the meadow was middled with mow
And heretical hitherto here.
The Prince and the Princess were plaiting the plates
And prating quite primly the peer,
And that’s why the Duchess stuck ducks on the Duke
For no one was over to seer.
Or this one, delivered by a sexy babe with a smoky voice:
Oh, I may be your cup of tea,
But baby, don’t you “Sugar” me!
Don’t stir me boy, nor try to spoon,
Don’t “sugar” me, ‘cause us is throon!
Last winter, while poking around on the internet, I stumbled upon a CD of Walt Kelly’s re-issued “Songs of the Pogo.” I bought it, gave it to my brother for Christmas.
He opened it, grinned, slipped it into his CD player...
...fifty year later, he and I knew nearly ALL the words!
Note: These Pogo shots are of an original Walt Kelly panel that belonged to my aunt; it was signed and framed, and it shows the pencil work beneath the inking. There’s Albert and the three bats...