Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Download a preview of Fantagraphics' Complete Pogo Vol. 1

The first installment of Fantagraphics' complete collection of Walt Kelly's Pogo comic strips is out later this month. You can download a 27-page preview here.

Details of the book:

Pogo - Vol. 1 of the Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: "Through the Wild Blue Wonder"

Walt Kelly started his career at age 13 in Connecticut as a cartoonist and reporter for the Bridgeport Post. In 1935, he moved to Los Angeles and joined the Walt Disney Studio, where he worked on classic animated films, including Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Fantasia. Rather than take sides in a bitter labor strike, he moved back east in 1941 and began drawing comic books.
It was during this time that Kelly created Pogo Possum. The character first appeared in Animal Comics as a secondary player in the “Albert the Alligator” feature. It didn’t take long until Pogo became the comic’s leading character. After WWII, Kelly became artistic director at the New York Star, where he turned Pogo into a daily strip. By late 1949, Pogo appeared in hundreds of newspapers. Until his death in 1973, Kelly produced a feature that has become widely cherished among casual readers and aficionados alike.
Kelly blended nonsense language, poetry, and political and social satire to make Pogo an essential contribution to American “intellectual” comics. As the strip progressed, it became a hilarious platform for Kelly’s scathing political views in which he skewered national bogeymen like J. Edgar Hoover, Joseph McCarthy, George Wallace, and Richard Nixon.
Walt Kelly started when newspaper strips shied away from politics — Pogo was ahead of its time and ahead of later strips (such as Doonesbury and The Boondocks) that tackled political issues. Our first (of 12) volume reprints approximately the first two years of Pogo — dailies and (for the first time) full-color Sundays.
This first volume also introduces such enduring supporting characters as Porkypine, Churchy LaFemme, Beauregard Bugleboy, Seminole Sam, Howland Owl, and many others. And for Christmas, 1949, Kelly started his tradition of regaling his readers with his infamously and gloriously mangled Christmas carols.
Special features in this sumptuous premiere volume, which is produced with the full cooperation of Kelly’s heirs, include a biographical introduction by Kelly biographer Steve Thompson, an extensive section by comics historian R.C. Harvey explaining some of the more obscure current references of the time, a foreword by legendary columnist Jimmy Breslin, and more.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

BBC radio this week

 Click the links to stream the listed programs:

Herge's The Adventures of Tintin Available on BBC iPlayer
Adaptations of Herge's classic cartoon adventures

James Bond - You Only Live Twice Available on BBC iPlayer
Agent 007's latest mission sparks a fatal encounter in a Japanese garden of death.

Pulp Fiction Available on BBC iPlayer
Readings of stories from the classic era of crime fiction

Sherlock Holmes v Dracula Available on BBC iPlayer
The Baker Street sleuth takes on the sanguinary Count.

Crying Waiting Hoping: The Story of Buddy Holly's Last Tour Available on BBC iPlayer
Steve Harley tells the story of the ill-fated Winter Dance Party.

Laurel Canyon Available on BBC iPlayer
Mickey Dolenz reflects on the LA area which became home to a diverse mix of musical stars.

Maria Elena Holly: My Life with Buddy Available on BBC iPlayer
Maria Elena Holly talks to Don McLean about her eight-month marriage to Buddy Holly.

Pete Townshend: Before I Get Old Available on BBC iPlayer
Documentary about the Who guitarist.

The John Peel Lecture Available on BBC iPlayer
6 Music presents this annual discussion on music and music-related media.

Read the full text to Pete Townshend's John Peel lecture

The BBC has begun presenting an annual "John Peel Lecture," named after the late ground- and act-breaking disk jockey. The first such speech was delivered the other day by The Who's Pete Townshend, who celebrated Peel's wide-open ears and willingness to give the new a chance.

But Townshend added that iTunes and online music distribution doesn't have the same power as radio to introduce new music. In fact, he thinks iTunes is downright bad.

You can stream the lecture here, or read the full text here.

Stream the Beach Boys Smile

You can hear the full, 40-track Smile Sessions here.

Video: Brian Wilson sings Surfs Up

From the new Smile Session box set:

New comics Nov. 2, 2011

Click the links to order discounted items from Amazon:

Things I'll buy:

Action Comics #3

Amazing Spider-man #673

Other items of interest:

Hellboy: House of the Living Dead

Absolute Sandman Vol. 5

Batman: Noel

Black Widow: The Itsy-Bitsy Spider

Marvel Masterworks: The Fantastic Four Volume 13