Sunday, December 27, 2009

Readings: the 'Fifties

Below is an example of the kind of thing lil' Rodak was reading in 1953:



Anonymous said...

Pogo was anything but kids stuff. Walt Kelley is still the No. 1 comic strip artist of all time, light years ahead of the overrated Calvin and Hobbes. His take on Joseph McCarthy ("Simple J. Malarkey") is worthy of his rep alone, let alone his popularization of Earth Day shortly before his death, with the infamous "We have met the enemy ..." line.

I've always thought of Kelley as a deeper version of Berkeley Breathed (who I also admire).

That's why I've always made the distinction between Kelley and artists like Art Spiegelman, Crumb, etc. as opposed to those puerile "Superhero" comics. Anybody who thinks crap like "Watchmen," "Dark Knight" etc. is on the same level as "Pogo," "Jimmy Corrigan," and "Maus" doesn't know much about true art or writing.

Of course, this is what happens to comic strip artists who attempt Walt Kelley-like depth these days, as opposed to Ziggy/Garfield/Family Circus inanity:


Rodak said...

I posted this just for you, MS. This Pogo is pretty much for kids. It's not up to the level of the newspaper strip that I read religiously in those days.
I think that you underestimate Robert Crumb, though.

Anonymous said...

I think my sentence was poorly constructed. I put Crumb in the same category as Kelley, not the "superhero artists." I'm not a big fan of Crumb, but he has his moments when he wants to get serious about art. I always found it amusing that he turned a commission from the Rolling Stones, and had the balls to them that he hated their music.

By the way, read the Popeye link. I can see why the syndicate blew a gasket when Bobby London drew it up (even though I thought it was funny). It didn't have the subtlety of Kelley, though.