Thursday, March 06, 2014

We Have Met The Enemy And He Is Us!

I always loved the comic strip, Pogo by Walt Kelley. It was albeit, coded, in the nuanced subtleties of the 1950's, a precursor to the more direct social commentary of Trudeau's Doonesbury.  In 1969, Walt Kelley had the regrettable experience of having to collaborate with the Warner Bros. animator Chuck Jones on what was called the Pogo Special Birthday Special. Jones took Kelleys work, his political commentary and and neutered it. Kelley was outraged and began to produce his own Pogo animated film which survives in this 13 minute snippet. The image quality may be murky, but it is a remarkabkle piece of animation art, especially when you realize it this was way before computer animation and the frames were all had colored using water color based pencils.


jadedj said...

Thanks for sharing this. As a wannabe cartoonist, Walt Kelly was my hero when I was growing up. I not only admire his drawing skills (second to none), but his political sense and biting wit, as well.

Great find!

microdot said...

by the way, when Kelley was a young novice graphic artist, he worked for Disney and did a lot of work on Dumbo! When you look at his work, the experience becomes more apparent. He also learned a lot about the art of animation. jadedj, I also was a cartoonist/illustrator through the late 70's into the 90's. I did a lot of Punk Rock posters for my bands and other bands. I published a few independent comics in NYC that were sold at Forbidden Planet and did comics and illustrations for an East Village Arts and Literature journal called Red Tape...I was the art editor for a while and a lot of my stuff got archived by NYU...a few years ago, there were a few big exhibitions of Punk Graphix from that period and I had a lot of stuff in a few different shows. I supported myself for quite a few years as the art director and almost entire design staff for a company that did special effects make up for films and stage. Virtually every film in the late 80's through the ;late 990's that had tattoo art on an actor was a project I was involved in. Cape Fear, Dead Man Walking, were the tip of the iceberg. I also had a reputation as a "body artist" I did a lot of fashion shoots and ad might have seen my totally tattooed nude Absolut Vodka ad in the early 90's....If you did, I would like you to know that there was absolutely no photo shopping in the finished piece...all custom fitted tailored alcohol/ink transfers and paint. I worked with a lot of prominent tattoo artists during this period, but I was the expert on American and Russian Prison tattooing. I even did a lecture at the Museum of Natural History on prison tattoo art all over the word...I saw so much bad tattooing that it insured I never felt tempted to get a real one.

jadedj said...

Wow...impressive. Best I can say for my now dead cartoon aspirations is, I have a drawer full of rejects from some of the best.