Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Walt Kelly And Pogo

Politics and social issues.  There was a time in the United States when political and social warrior opponents were actually civil to one another.

They agreed to disagree and when they did debate common courtesy usually prevailed. 

There were heated discussions but they were usually relegated to meetings and hearings.

Often opponents would socialize afterwards.  Their positions never changed but they realized that compromise was possible.

Not so nowadays.  Political parties and social cause proponents not only disagree, they are determined to eliminate any naysayers.

Back in the middle of the last century massive changes were occurring. 

With the proliferation of mass media-newspapers, radio and TV, voters had huge amounts of information at their fingertips-more so than ever before.

Political and social satire was commonplace.  Most of it was laced with innuendo.  Some was biting.  TV and radio had their share.

One of the biggest areas of satire came from comic strips and one of its biggest and most popular satirists was cartoonist Walt Kelly.

Kelly’s Pogo-a strip about swamp animals-poked fun at politics, politicians and American and world events.

Not bad for a comic character that started out in comic books and migrated to daily and Sunday comic strips read in hundreds of newspapers across the country,

Walt Kelly And Pogo: The Art Of The Political Swamp, written and compiled by James Eric Black and published by McFarland Publishing, delves into the life of the quiet and unassuming Walt Kelly.

Through his Pogo strip Kelly tackled McCarthyism, the Cold War and other political and social events taking place at that time.

The book, aided by Kelly’s Pogo strips, digs deep into Kelly’s life and satire via Pogo.

It makes for a fascinating read about how a simple, quiet man molded and shaped American’s opinions.