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Pogo Vol. 2 (Pogo: The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips) Hardcover – 8 Nov 2012

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x910aee58) out of 5 stars 51 reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f894924) out of 5 stars "Pogo" and Walt Kelly at Their Absolute Finest 24 Jan. 2013
By HMcN - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There must be thousands of us who have hung on to the Simon & Schuster "Pogo" reprints from the 1950s -- reading and re-reading them until the bindings gave out. Now comes Fantagraphics Books' fabulous projected 12-volume reprinting of the entire "Pogo" oeuvre, and for dedicated Pogophiles it's a dream come true. Volume One, "Through the Wild Blue Yonder," took the strip from its pre-syndication days through 1950, and is instructive in showing how Walt Kelly developed the characters; apparently identical scenes from the New York Star and from the syndicated strip show subtle alterations as his cartooning style matured. Volume Two, "Bona Fide Balderdash," shows Kelly fully in command of his medium.

Among the highlights this time around: The introduction of P. T. Bridgeport; Wiley Catt and Sarcophagus Macabre's plot to dine on Churchy LaFemme; Bun Rabbit's attempt to celebrate every holiday; Pogo runs for President, sort of (launching the "I Go Pogo" movement); and various critters disguise themselves as characters from "Little Orphan Annie" (or, as is suggested by Beauregard, "Li'l Arf an' Nonny"). For those of us who have had to make do with the S&S reprints of yore, the Fantagraphics series is a particular delight, as it reproduces many strips left out of the paperbacks. This is the whole thing, in order. Nothing could be more satisfying.

Annotations draw the reader's attention to details not apparent to the casual fan. For example, Kelly's fight with the Post-Hall Syndicate about exactly who owned the copyright led him to sign the strip for a while with pseudonyms such as "Motley Crewcutt" and "Parsley Shawl." Once the dispute was settled (in Kelly's favor), the authentic name reappeared, as the proud "Copr. 1952 Walt Kelly." The notes also inform readers about such details as what "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too" means, or who Edgar A. Guest was. Why, starting in mid-1951, was the upper left corner of each day's first panel devoid of speech or important visual material? The notes explain.

For those with a lifelong devotion to "Pogo," Volume Two is a must-have book. Those new to Kelly's genius will also find inspiration in the comic strip, now gone almost 40 years, that to this day is a hallmark of literacy, wit, and visual excellence. Quibbles? OK, the brief introduction by Stan Freberg (himself a major wit of the '50s and '60s) is a pleasant remembrance but not much more. And the notes, valuable though they are, could be more extensive. But these minute drawbacks don't even come close to reducing the five-star rating. This is as good as "Pogo" gets, and it is wonderful.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f506084) out of 5 stars We have met the enemy, but then all this stuff happened and we forgot 3 Dec. 2013
By Hiram J Beaudry - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Buy it. Buy many. Buy the first one. Buy the next one.

Give them as gifts, leave them in taxis, donate them to schools, pass them out on the streets, change your kid's name to Grundoon, befriend a cigar-smoking alligator, leave your estate to the Walt Kelly Is A God And Deserves Himself A Nice Church Foundation, no trifle is too small, no global Pogo Day celebration too big.

Those aren't five little Amazon stars. Those are five massive, searing orbs of space fire, billions of fathoms wide. So pay attention.

History keeps trying to remind us what happens when we try to get along without her. Making sure every budding American has read Pogo will make her job a bit easier. Why? You're on a computer, aren't you? G**gle it! A deft and nuanced satirical take on American culture and politics from the days when a computer was some math dork with a slide rule, Pogo was the Doonesbury of its day, and these books are actually a magnificent history lesson.

There's no tits, not much cussing, and the whole world seemed to have a sort of Mayberry rhythm to it (again, look it up), so it isn't trying to compete with androgynous angsty robot vampires turning into pickup trucks and blowing up New Jersey. It is a chance to reconnect with the middle America that actually did exist, in a way, back then, by reading what they read back when reading was about all there was to do if you didn't have the 15 cents for a double bill plus cartoon and newsreel movie ticket.

This may look like a bunch of cartoons about talking animals in a swamp, but so does the Washington Post, and people take that seriously, don't they? Political buffoonery, chicanery, and ne'er-do-wellity has been rampant since long before our glorious republic was even conceived, and it was in full swing during Walt's very long tenure at the pen. A worthwhile read for anybody with a serious interest in the history of common political discourse in the US, and cleverly disguised as amusement, to boot. Edumacate those lummoxes without they even knowing...
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f505f6c) out of 5 stars Bona Fide Balderdash 13 Jan. 2013
By O. Kelly Brown Jr. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These volumes are undoubtedly the Pogophile's dream come true. The only real issue about the 12 volume series is the one volume per year issuance. There are some among us that are a mite long in the tooth- ten more years to go might be a gen-you-wine challenge. Guess I'll have to 'member ol' Porky-Pine sayin'- "don't take life so serious, son. It ain't nohow permanent."
This volume is just as beautifully bound as the first; keep up the good work, Fantagraphics!
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f38bcb4) out of 5 stars Gift for my dad 18 Dec. 2012
By CS371143 - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My 84 year old dad received this book today for a Christmas gift and was very pleased with it. He also has volume one from last year. This book makes a great Christmas/Holiday gift for the person who can remember and appreciate the Pogo comic strip. Dad said the quality is excellent.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f38bb70) out of 5 stars Nicely Arranged Reproductions of Pogo Day-by-Day 10 Jan. 2013
By John Willson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Pogo project, although long getting off the ground, is really flying. This volume is attractive, substantial, not encumbered with too much scholarship; it simply presents Walt Kelly's remarkable work day-by-day in a format large enough to catch all of his artistic as well as flat-out funny subtleties. There is a separate Sunday section in color. Kelly was one of the half-dozen greatest strip cartoonists of the 20th century, the Age of Comics and Cartoons. As print declines, this medium will not reappear. Those who cannot remember the fifties have a unique opportunity because of this quality series to look into a window of history and humor and endearing characters.
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