Pogo is the title and central character of a long-running daily American comic strip, created by cartoonist Walt Kelly (1913–1973) and distributed by the Post-Hall Syndicate. Set in the Okefenokee Swamp of the southeastern United States, the strip often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of its anthropomorphic funny animal characters.
Pogo combined both sophisticated wit and slapstick physical comedy in a heady mix of allegory, Irish poetry, literary whimsy, puns and wordplay, lushly detailed artwork and broad burlesque humor. The same series of strips can be enjoyed on different levels by both young children and savvy adults. The strip earned Kelly a Reuben Award in 1951.
Walter Crawford Kelly, Jr. was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on August 25, 1913. His family moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut when he was only two. He went to California at age 22 to work on Donald Duck cartoons at Walt Disney Studios in 1935. He stayed until the animators’ strike in 1941 as an animator on The Nifty Nineties, The Little Whirlwind, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and The Reluctant Dragon. Kelly then worked for Dell Comics, a division of Western Publishing of Racine, Wisconsin.
On May 16, 1949, Pogo was picked up for national distribution by the Post-Hall Syndicate. George Ward and Henry Shikuma were among Kelly’s assistants on the strip. It ran continuously until (and past) Kelly’s death from complications of diabetes on October 18, 1973. It was then continued for a few years by Kelly’s widow Selby and son Stephen, before ceasing publication July 20, 1975. Selby Kelly said in a 1982 interview that she decided to discontinue the strip, because newspapers had shrunk the size of strips to the point where people could not easily read it.
8 strips 1952
31 strips 1964
14 strips 1966
191 strips 1967
21 strips 1968
63 strips 1969
45 strips various