The following are brief answers to commonly asked Pogo and Walt Kelly related questions. Obviously, it is not possible to answer all possible or even likely ones in this limited space. We welcome questions from members and non-members alike, so if you don't find your question here, just click on the puzzled Albert to the left and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.
WHO WAS WALT KELLY?
Cartoonist Walter Crawford Kelly Jr. was born on August 25, 1913. From 1935-1941 he worked for Walt Disney Studios; from 1941-1949 he worked on a number of comic books for Dell Comics, including many Disney titles. His best known creation is the comic strip POGO, populated with an entire menagerie of "nature's screechers." He served as president of the National Cartoonists Society from 1952-1953 and, in that capacity, testified before Congress on the effects of violence in comic books. In 1958 and 1965, he went on round-the-world goodwill trips, visiting and reporting back on conditions throughout Europe, the Mid-East, Indochina and Australia. In the early 1970s, Kelly's health began to deteriorate and he was able to do less drawing. He died on October 23, 1973. Clicking on Kelly's photo will take you to a more complete history and analysis of his work by comics historian R. C. Harvey.
Walt Kelly and Pogo
HOW MANY POGO BOOKS ARE THERE?
34 published during Kelly's lifetime or using his original material, all of which are out of print. There have been a number of other books published since; click on the marching Pogos to the right for a pdf document that lists all original, reprint and other books.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF "WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US?"
Kelly's modification of Admiral Oliver Hazard Perry's "We have met the enemy and he is ours" originally appeared in the preface to "Potluck Pogo" as "...we may meet the enemy and, he may not only be ours, he may be us." The more familiar version appeared as an environmental statement on the first Earth Day, April 20, 1970. Kelly reused it for environmental and other messages and it has since been used for a wide spectrum of causes. The illustration (art by Walt, color by Selby Daley Kelly) shows one of the best-known examples.
92K pdf file
WHAT IS MY COPY OF [COLLECTIBLE] WORTH?
As with all collectibles, evaluating the worth of any collectible involves many variables: scarcity, condition, and demand being the most critical. While it is possible to give ballpark ranges for books and most non-book items, it is not possible to give more precise evaluations without seeing them.
Condition grading for collectibles is often described as an art, not a science, but it's important to remember that terms have very specific definitions in collecting. "Very Good" to a collector defines a strict set of allowable flaws and defects, while the same term to a non-collector may mean "almost new." Terms such as "looks nice" or "great shape" are meaningless to a collector. The phrase "in good shape for its age," has unfortunately been gaining popularity on ebay and other online auction sites. To a collector, it is even more meaningless and usually indicates the seller has not done any research on collectibles in general. Many collectors refuse to even bid on anything using that phrase, feeling that the seller does not know how to give an accurate description.
The pdf file above tries to give condition descriptions that apply to a variety of Kelly collectibles.
If you're grading your own items, be extra critical and note every flaw, because you can be sure a buyer is going to do so. Often it's better to just describe any noticeable flaws and let the buyer put a "Fine" or "Very Good" grade on it if they like.
Ultimately, of course, the "worth" of any collectible is what someone else is willing to pay for it, here and now. We are often asked for price information for insurance purposes, which is essentially an estimate of replacement cost. This is usually a little easier to do, although we still provide a range rather than a specific dollar figure.
We are currently preparing a second edition of "The Walt Kelly Collector's Guide," which will include average prices for virtually everything related to Kelly and Pogo (the first edition is out of print). We do offer an appraisal service; click on the puzzled Albert at the top of this page for more specifics on appraisals.
HOW DO I GET PERMISSION TO USE POGO ARTWORK?
I'VE GOT AN IDEA FOR A POGO PRODUCT; WHO DO I SUGGEST IT TO?
In both cases, contact the Permissions Office at Okefenokee Glee and Perloo Inc. (OGPI), using the link at the right.
E-mail me for permissions!
90 K pdf file
WHAT ARE THE WORDS TO "DECK US ALL WITH BOSTON CHARLIE?"
Pogo's famous Christmas carol has had a number of variant verses and versions over the years. The most common and best known, along with music, are available via a pdf file which can be downloaded by clicking on the first page shown at the left.