Pogo was the title and central character of a long-running (1948-75) daily comic strip created by Walt Kelly. Set in the Georgia section of the Okefenokee Swamp, Pogo often engaged in social and political satire through the adventures of the strip's funny animals. Since Pogo occasionally used slapstick physical humor, the same series of strips could often be enjoyed by young children and by savvy adults on different levels. Kelly's strip earned him a Reuben in 1951.
The characters of Pogo the possum
and Albert the alligator
were created by Kelly in 1941, for issue #1 of Animal Comics
, in a story titled Albert Takes The Cake
. Both were created as comic foils for a young black boy named Bumbazine, who also lived in the Swamp. Kelly found it hard to write for the human boy, preferring to use the animals to their full comic potential, and eventually phased Bumbazine out. Pogo quickly took center stage, assuming the straight man
role that Bumbazine had occupied.
In 1948, Kelly was hired to draw political cartoons for the short-lived New York Star newspaper, and decided to do a daily comic strip featuring the characters he had created for Animal Comics. Pogo debuted on October 4 of that year, and ran continuously until the paper folded on January 28, 1949. On May 16 of the same year, the strip was picked up for national distribution by Post-Hall Syndicate, and ran continuously until (and past) Kelly's death from diabetes in 1973. George Ward and Henry Shikuma were among Kelly's assistants on the strip, Shikuma worked with him from 1958 until Kelly's death, then worked with Kelly's wife, Selby Kelly, and Walt's son Stephen until the strip stopped syndication in 1975. While Walt's assistant, Shikuma inked some backgrounds, and parts of the Sundays where there wasn't complicated motion. (Selby did not work on the strip until after Walt Kelly's death.) Selby 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 couldn't easily read Pogo. The Los Angeles Times revived the strip under the title Walt Kelly's Pogo in 1989, written at first by Larry Doyle and Neal Sternecky, then Sternecky alone. After Sternecky quit in March 1992, Kelly's son Peter and daughter Carolyn produced the strip, but interest waned and the revived strip ran only a few years.
It is difficult to compile a definitive list of every character that appeared in Pogo
over the strip's 27 years, but the best estimates put the total cast at over 300. Kelly would create characters as he needed them, and discarded them when they ceased to be funny, or had served their purpose. Most characters were at least nominally male, but a few female characters appeared regularly. Kelly has been quoted as saying that all the characters reflected different aspects of his personality.
Even though most characters have full names, some of them are more often referred to only by their species. For example, Howland Owl is almost always called "Owl"; Beauregard is usually called "Hound Dog"; Churchy LaFemme is sometimes called "Turtle" (or "Turkle," in Swamp-speak).
- Pogo Possum: an everyman (or every-opossum), is one of few major characters with the sense to avoid trouble. Though he prefers to spend his time fishing or picnicking, his kind nature often gets him reluctantly entangled in his neighbors' escapades. He is often the unwitting target of matchmaking by Miz Beaver. He has also been forced to run for president, against his will, multiple times by the swamp's residents. His kitchen is well-known around the swamp for being fully stocked, and many characters impose upon him for meals, taking advantage of his kind nature.
- Albert Alligator, enthusiastic and loyal, dimwitted and irascible, is often the comic foil for Pogo or the fall guy for Owl and Churchy. Having an alligator's voracious appetite, Albert would often eat things indiscriminately, and was accused on more than one occasion of eating another character. Even though he has been known to take advantage of Pogo's kindness and generosity, he is ferociously loyal to Pogo and will, at softer times, be found scrubbing him in the tub or cutting his hair.
- Dr. Howland Owl is the swamp's self-appointed resident scientist, professor, doctor, explorer, witch doctor, and anything else he thought would generate respect for his knowledge. In his earliest appearances, he wears a pointed wizard's cap. Thinking himself the most learned creature in the swamp, he once tried to open a school but had to close it for lack of interest. Actually he was unable to tell the difference between learning, old wives' tales, and use of big words. Most of the harebrained schemes come from the mind of Owl.
- Churchill "Churchy" LaFemme: a turtle. His name is a play on the French phrase Cherchez la femme. Though superstitious to a fault (for example, panicking when he discovers that Friday the 13th falls on a Wednesday that month), Churchy is usually an active partner in Howland's schemes. Churchy may have once been a pirate, as for the longest time he wore a buccaneer's hat and was sometimes referred to as "Captain LaFemme." He enjoys composing songs and poems, often with ridiculous and abrasive lyrics and nonsense rhymes.
- Porky Pine: a porcupine, a misanthrope and cynic. Porky never smiled in the strip (except once when the lights were out). Pogo's best friend, equally honest and with a keen eye both for goodness and for human foibles, Porky has two weaknesses: his infatuation for Miss Mam'selle Hepzibah and a complete inability to tell a joke. Porky also had a doppelgänger, his "kissing cousin" Uncle Baldwin, who wore a trenchcoat to hide his bald backside. Uncle Baldwin usually tried to grab and kiss any female in the panel with him. Most of the females (and more than a few of the male characters) fled from the scene when Uncle Baldwin arrived.
- Beauregard Chaulmoogra Frontenac de Montmingle Bugleboy (usually just called "Beauregard"; scion of the Cat Bait fortune): a hound dog and occasional policeman, he sees himself as a romantic figure, often narrating his own heroic deeds. He occasionally appears with "blunked out eyes" playing "Sandy" along side Pogo or Albert when they don a curly haired wig impersonating "Li'l Arf and Nanny". Beauregard frequently will wear a trench coat, fedora and squint his eyes when impersonating a Dick Tracy type detective.
- Miss Mam'selle Hepzibah: a beautiful French skunk modeled after Kelly's mistress, who would later become his second wife. Miss Mam'selle was long courted by Porky and others but rarely seemed to notice. Sometimes she pined for Pogo. She speaks with a heavy French dialect and has a tendency to be overdramatic. She is flirty but proper, and enjoys attention.
- Miz Beaver: washerwoman for the Swamp, and best friend to (and occasional match-maker for) Miss Mam'selle. A traditional mother, uneducated but with homespun good sense, who "took nothin' from nobody".
- Deacon Mushrat: A muskrat and the local man of the cloth, the Deacon speaks in antique blackletter text, and his views are just as modern. He is typically seen haranguing others for their undisciplined ways, attempting to lead the Bats in some wholesome activity (which they inevitably subvert), or reluctantly entangled in the crusades of Mole and his even shadier allies; in either role he was the straight man and often wound up on the receiving end of whatever scheme he was involved in. Kelly described him as the closest thing to an evil character in the strip.
- Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (sometimes Bemildred): bats, hobos, gamblers, good-natured but totally innocent of any temptation to honesty. They admit nothing. Soon after arriving in the Swamp they are recruited by Deacon Mushrat into the Audible Boy Bird Watchers Society. Their names (a play on the song title Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered) are rarely mentioned; often even they cannot say for sure which brother is which. They tell each other apart, if at all, by the patterns of their trousers. (According to one of the bats, "Whichever pair of trousers you put on in the morning, that's who you are for that particular day.")
- Grundoon: A baby groundhog (or "groun'chunk" in swamp-speak). An infant, Grundoon spoke only baby talk, which Kelly represented by strings of random consonants like "Bzfgt ktpv mnpx gpss twzkd znp." Eventually, Grundoon did learn to say two actual words: "bye" and "bye bye."
- Grizzle Bear: A simple-minded bear who often played second-fiddle to many of Albert Alligator's plots. His costume was a pair of pants held up with a single suspender, but often wore a cloth cap. Frequently short-tempered, he bellowed "Rowrbazzle!" when his anger came to a boil.
- P.T. Bridgeport: a bear and flamboyant circus operator, named after P.T. Barnum, the most famous resident of Kelly's boyhood home, Bridgeport, Connecticut. His speech balloons resemble classic circus posters.
- Tammananny Tiger: a political operator, named in allusion to Tammany Hall. He typically appeared in election years to offer strategic advice to the reluctant candidate, Pogo. He first appeared as a companion to P. T. Bridgeport.
- Molester Mole (née Mole MacCarony): a nearsighted and xenophobic grifter. Obsessed with contagion both literal and figurative, he was a prime mover in numerous campaigns against "subversion," and in his first appearances had a habit of spraying everything and everyone with a disinfectant that may have been liberally laced with tar. Modeled somewhat after Senator Pat McCarran of the McCarran-Walter Act.
- Seminole Sam: a fox and traveling con man, he often attempts to swindle Albert and others, for example by selling bottles of the miracle fluid H2O, and occasionally allies with darker characters such as Mole.
- Sarcophagus MacAbre: A vulture and the local mortician. Always wearing a tall stove-pipe hat with a black veil hung from its side. Early strips showed him speaking in square, black bordered speech balloons with ornate script lettering, in the style of 19th century funeral announcements.
- The Cowbirds: Two freeloaders who speak in Communist cant, and grift any food and valuables that cross their path. They associate with a pirate pig who resembles Nikita Khrushchev. Later they loudly renounce their former beliefs, without changing their behavior much.
- Reggie and Alf: Two cockney insects that wander around bickering and looking for cricket matches.
- Simple J. Malarkey (aka Wiley Catt): a sinister, wild eyed bobcat hillbilly that smokes a corn cob pipe, carries a hangman's noose or shotgun and frequently hangs out with Sarcophagus MacAbre and Seminole Sam. Modeled after rabidly anti-Communist Senator Joseph McCarthy.
- Sis Boombah: a matronly cheer leading hen who is a gym coach and fitness enthusiast as well as a close friend to Miz Beaver.
- Pup Dog: a "lil dog chile" who frequently wanders off and gets lost. Being so young he has a hard time figuring out how to bark and often resorts to yelping "Ralph, Ralph, Ralph"!
- Bun Rabbit: an enthusiastic rabbit with a drum and majorette hat who appears often with P. T. Bridgeport and likes to broadcast news in the manner of a town crier.
- Lil Mouse: an unnamed mouse with a bowler hat, cane and cigar who frequently pals around with a snake, Pup dog, a flea or Albert. He sometimes takes the name "F. Olding Munny" but only when Albert is posing as a Fakir/Swami.
- Snavely: a friendly snake who pals around with the Lil Mouse or a group of angle worms that he is training to be cobras or rattle snakes.
- Roogey Batoon: The undeniable pelican who made the Lou'siana purchase and is a part time snake oil salesbird.
- Picayune: a talkative frog that is a "free han' pree-dicter of all kinds weather an' other social events - sun, hail, moonshine or ty-phoonery".
Satire and politics
Kelly used Pogo
to comment on the human condition, and from time to time, this drifted into politics. Pogo ran for President
(or was nominated by his friends, although he never actually campaigned) in 1952, 1956 and 1960. Kelly used these fake campaigns as excuses to hit the stump himself for voter registration campaigns, with the slogan "Pogo says: If you can't vote my way, vote anyway, but VOTE!"
Simple J. Malarkey
Perhaps the most famous example of the strip's satirical edge came in 1953, when Kelly introduced a wildcat character named "Simple J. Malarkey", a caricature
of Senator Joseph McCarthy
. This showed significant courage on Kelly's part, considering the influence the politician wielded at the time and the possibility of scaring away subscribing newspapers
When a newspaper from Providence, Rhode Island issued an ultimatum, threatening to drop the strip if Malarkey's face appeared in the strip again, Kelly had Malarkey throw a bag over his head as Miss "Sis" Boombah (a Rhode Island Red hen) approached, saying "no one from Providence should see me!" Kelly thought Malarkey's new look was especially appropriate because the bag over his head resembled a Klansman's hood.
Malarkey appeared in the strip only once after that sequence ended, his face covered by his speech bubbles, standing on a soapbox shouting to general disinterest.
The Jack Acid Society
In the early 1960s, Kelly took on the then-powerful ultra-conservative John Birch Society
with a series of strips dedicated to Mole and Deacon's efforts to weed out Anti-Americanism
(as they saw it) in the Swamp, which led them to form "The Jack Acid Society." ("Named after Mr. Acid?" "Well, it wasn't named before
him." The reference is to John Birch
, who was killed 13 years before the creation (in 1958) of the organization that bears his name. The name is an obvious pun. The Jack Acids modeled themselves on the only real Americans: Indians
. Everyone the Jack Acids suspected of not being a true American was put on their blacklist, until eventually everyone but Mole himself was blacklisted. One of the longest-running storylines in the strip's history, the strips were collected by themselves (with some original verse and text pieces) in the only Pogo
collection not to include the main character's name in the title: The Jack Acid Society Black Book,
(the poetry collection Deck Us All With Boston Charlie
also lacked "Pogo" in its title) and one of only two books (the other being Pogo: Prisoner Of Love
) to comprise a single storyline.
As time went on, other popular figures found themselves caricatured in the pages of Pogo. By the time the 1968 Presidential Campaign rolled around, it seemed the entire Swamp was populated by P.T. Bridgeport's "wind-up candidates", including representations of George Romney
, Eugene McCarthy
, Richard Nixon
, Hubert Humphrey
, George Wallace
, and Robert F. Kennedy
. One of the cleverest may have been his portrayal of Eugene McCarthy
as a white knight tied backwards on his horse, spouting poetry. Retiring President Lyndon B. Johnson
was portrayed as a befuddled long-horned steer
; earlier, he had been portrayed as a centaur
named "The Loan Arranger" in the Pandemonia
When the strips from this time were collected in Equal Time For Pogo, the publisher wanted to edit out the strips including Kennedy's doppelgänger, but Kelly insisted on keeping them in to pay honor to the slain candidate.
In the early 1970s, Kelly used a collection of characters called the Bulldogs to mock the secrecy and paranoia of the Nixon Administration. The Bulldogs included doppelgängers of J. Edgar Hoover, John Mitchell, and Spiro Agnew. Always referred to, but never seen, was "The Chief", who we are led to believe was Nixon himself.
J. Edgar Hoover apparently read more into the strip than was there. According to documents obtained from the FBI under the Freedom of Information Act, Hoover had suspected Kelly of sending some form of coded messages via the nonsense poetry and Southern accents he peppered the strip with. He reportedly went as far as having government cryptographers attempt to "decipher" the strip.
When the strip was revived in 1989, Doyle and Sternecky attempted to recreate this tradition with a GOP Elephant that looked like Ronald Reagan, and a jackalope resembling George H. W. Bush. Saddam Hussein was portrayed as a snake, and then Vice-President Dan Quayle was depicted as an egg, which eventually hatched into a roadrunner-type chick that made the sound "Veep!" "Veep!"
Backlash and fluffy little bunnies
Kelly's use of satire and politics often drew fire from those he was criticizing, and their supporters. Due to complaints, a number of papers dropped the strip while others moved it to the editorial page.
Whenever he would start a controversial storyline, Kelly would usually offer alternate strips that papers could run instead of the political ones for a given week. Sometimes labelled "Special" or with a letter after the date to denote that these were alternate offerings, Kelly referred to these strips as "The Bunny Strips," because more often than not he would populate the alternate strips with the least offensive material he could imagine, fluffy little bunnies telling stupid jokes. (Nevertheless, many of the Bunny Strips are subtle reworkings of the theme of the replaced strip.) As if to drive home Kelly's point, some papers published both versions of the strip. Kelly would tell fans that if all they saw in Pogo were fluffy little bunnies, then their newspaper didn't believe they were capable of thinking for themselves, or didn't want them to think for themselves.
The bunny strips were usually not reproduced when Pogo strips were collected into book form. A few alternate strips were reprinted in Equal Time For Pogo, and the 1982 collection The Best of Pogo.
"We have met the enemy...."
Probably the most famous Pogo quotation is "we have met the enemy and he is us." More than any other words written by Kelly, it perfectly sums up his attitude towards the foibles of mankind and the nature of the human condition.
The quote, a rephrasing of a message sent in 1813 from U.S. Navy Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to Army General William Henry Harrison after The Battle of Lake Erie stating "We have met the enemy, and they are ours," first appeared in a lengthier form in A Word To The Fore, the foreword of the book The Pogo Papers. Since the strips reprinted in Papers included the first appearances of Mole and Simple J. Malarkey, beginning Kelly's attacks on McCarthyism, Kelly used the foreword to defend his actions:
- "Specializations and markings of individuals everywhere abound in such profusion that major idiosyncrasies can be properly ascribed to the mass. Traces of nobility, gentleness and courage persist in all people, do what we will to stamp out the trend. So, too, do those characteristics which are ugly. It is just unfortunate that in the clumsy hands of a cartoonist all traits become ridiculous, leading to a certain amount of self-conscious expostulation and the desire to join battle.
- "There is no need to sally forth, for it remains true that those things which make us human are, curiously enough, always close at hand. Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blast on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.
The finalized version of the quotation appeared in a 1970 anti-pollution poster for Earth Day, and was repeated a year later in the strip reprinted here. The slogan also served as the title for the last Pogo collection released before Kelly's death in 1973, and of an environmentally-themed animated short Kelly had started work on, but was unable to finish due to ill health.
In 1998, OGPI ("Okefenokee, Glee, and Perloo, Incorporated," the corporation formed by the Kelly family to administer all things Pogo) dedicated a plaque in Waycross, GA commemorating the quote.
In the 1972 film War Between Men and Women, Dr. Joyce Brothers misattributes the line to Charlie Brown of Peanuts.
Walt Kelly frequently had his characters poling around the swamp in flat-bottom boats. Invariably, they would have a name on the side reflecting some personal reference of Kelly -- the name of a friend or political figure, the name of a newspaper, or almost anything else.
The predominant language in Pogo
is referred to by many as "swamp-speak." It is, essentially, a rural, Southern U.S. English dialect with creative spelling and pronunciation. The dialect and phonetics used are very similar to those used by Mark Twain
in his novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Kelly had a good ear for language, and often created new words to fit his characters (note some of the Quotes, below), including an exclamation, rowrbazzle
quickly branched out from the comic pages into other media, although not quite to the degree of many contemporary comic strips. Some attribute the comparative paucity of material to Kelly's pickiness about the quality of merchandise attached to his characters.
called Songs Of The Pogo
was released in 1956, collecting a number of Kelly's verses (most of which had previously appeared in Pogo books) set to music by both Kelly and orchestra
leader Norman Monath.
While professional singers provided most of the vocals on the album, Kelly himself contributed lead vocals on two tracks: Go Go Pogo (for which he also composed the music), and Lines Upon A Tranquil Brow. He also contributed a spoken portion for Man's Best Friend.
Songs Of The Pogo was released on compact disc in 2004 by Reaction Records (Urbana, IL), including previously unreleased material.
Three animated cartoons
were created based on Pogo.
The first, Pogo's Special Birthday Special, was produced by animator Chuck Jones in honor of the Comic Strip's twentieth anniversary in 1969. It starred June Foray as the voice of both Pogo and Miss Mam'selle. The general consensus is that the special, which aired first-run on NBC May 18, 1969, failed to capture the charm of the comic strip and is generally dismissed by fans.
Walt and Selby Kelly themselves wrote and animated We Have Met the Enemy, And He Is Us in 1970, largely due to Kelly's dissatisfaction with the Birthday Special. The short, with its anti-pollution message, was animated by hand, and some have blamed the strain of the project for worsening Kelly's health and hastening his death three years later. The storyboards for the cartoon formed the first half of the book of the same title.
In 1980, the motion picture I Go Pogo was released. Directed by Marc Paul Chinoy, this stop motion animation (or "Claymation") picture featured the voices of Skip Hinnant as Pogo; Ruth Buzzi as Miz Beaver and Miss Mam'selle; Stan Freberg as Albert; Arnold Stang as Churchy; Jonathan Winters as Porky, Mole, and Wiley Catt; Jimmy Breslin as P.T. Bridgeport; and Vincent Price as the Deacon. While some fans have embraced the movie, others have dismissed it (as with the Birthday Special) for lacking Kelly's wit and charm.
Neither the Birthday Special nor I Go Pogo is currently available on home video or DVD. Selby Kelly had been selling specially-packaged DVDs of We Have Met The Enemy... prior to her death, but it is currently unknown whether or not further copies will be available.
Plastic figurines of Pogo, Albert, Beauregard, Churchy, Howland Owl and Porkypine were packaged with soap by Proctor and Gamble in 1969. Walt Kelly was not satisfied with the initial sculpting, and using plasticine clay sculpted them himself.
The 45 books published by Simon & Schuster
- Pogo (1951)
- I Go Pogo (1952)
- Uncle Pogo So-So Stories (1953)
- The Pogo Papers (1953)
- The Pogo Stepmother Goose (1954)
- The Incompleat Pogo (1954)
- The Pogo Peek-A-Book (1955)
- Potluck Pogo (1955)
- The Pogo Sunday Book (1956)
- The Pogo Party (1956)
- Songs of the Pogo (1956)
- Pogo's Sunday Punch (1957)
- Positively Pogo (1957)
- The Pogo Sunday Parade (1958)
- G.O. Fizzickle Pogo (1958)
- Ten Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed Years With Pogo (1959)
- The Pogo Sunday Brunch (1959)
- Pogo Extra Election Special (1960)
- Beau Pogo (1960)
- Gone Pogo (1961)
- Pogo à la Sundae (1961)
- Instant Pogo (1962)
- The Jack Acid Society Black Book (1962)
- The Pogo Puce Stamp Catalog (1963)
- Deck Us All With Boston Charlie (1963)
- The Return of Pogo (1965)
- The Pogo Poop Book (1966)
- Prehysterical Pogo (In Pandemonia) (1967)
- Equal Time for Pogo (1968)
- Pogo: Prisoner of Love (1969)
- Impollutable Pogo (1970)
- Pogo: We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us (1972)
- Pogo Revisited (1974), a compilation of Instant Pogo, The Jack Acid Society Black Book and The Pogo Poop Book
- Pogo Re-Runs (1974), a compilation of Pogo, The Pogo Party and Pogo Extra Election Special
- Pogo Romances Recaptured (1975), a compilation of Pogo: Prisoner of Love and The Incompleat Pogo
- Pogo's Bats and the Belles Free (1976)
- Pogo's Body Politic (1976)
- A Pogo Panorama (1977), a compilation of The Pogo Stepmother Goose, The Pogo Peek-A-Book and Uncle Pogo So-So Stories
- Pogo's Double Sundae (1978), a compilation of The Pogo Sunday Parade and The Pogo Sunday Brunch
- Pogo's Will Be That Was (1979), a compilation of G.O. Fizzickle Pogo and Positively Pogo
- The Best of Pogo (1982)
- Pogo Even Better (1984)
- Outrageously Pogo (1985)
- Pluperfect Pogo (1987)
- Phi Beta Pogo (1989)
Books released by other publishers
- Pogo For President: Selections from I Go Pogo (Crest Books, 1964)
- The Pogo Candidature (Sheed, Andrews & McMeel, 1976)
- Pogofiles for Pogophiles (Spring Hollow Books, 1992)
- Complete Pogo Comics: Pogo & Albert, volumes 1-4 (Eclipse Comics, 1990s) [reprints of pre-strip comic book stories, unfinished]
- Pogo, volumes 1-11 (Fantagraphics Books, 1994-2000, reprinted first 5 and a half years)
- Pogopedia (Spring Hollow Books, 2001)
Dell Publishing Company comic books featuring Pogo
- Animal Comics, issues 17, 23, 24, 25 (1947)
- Pogo Possum, issues 1-16 (1949–1954)
- Albert the Alligator and Pogo Possum, Dell Four Color issues 105 and 148 (1945–1946)
- Pogo Parade (1953)
The Complete Pogo
In February 2007 it was announced that Fantagraphics Books
would begin publication of The Complete Pogo
, a 12-volume series collecting the complete chronological run of daily and Sunday strips. The first volume in the series was scheduled to appear in October 2007, but difficulties in obtaining early source material have delayed its release until late 2009.
The creator and series have received a great deal of recognition over the years. Walt Kelly received the National Cartoonist Society Reuben Award
for 1951 for the strip. The Fantagraphics Pogo collections were a top votegetter for the Comics Buyer's Guide
Fan Award for Favorite Reprint Graphic Album for 1998.
Works influenced by Pogo
Walt Kelly's work has influenced a number of prominent comic artists.
- In the Calvin and Hobbes Tenth Anniversary Book, cartoonist Bill Watterson listed Pogo as one of the three greatest influences on his own acclaimed strip, Calvin and Hobbes. (The two other strips were Peanuts and Krazy Kat. In fact, Pogo itself referenced Krazy Kat in many ways during its run, including a series of strips devoted to examining that immortal symbol of the earlier strip: the brick.)
- Pogo has also been cited as an influence by Jeff MacNelly (Shoe), Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury), Bill Holbrook (Kevin and Kell), and Mark O'Hare (Citizen Dog), among others.
- Writer Alan Moore and artist Shawn McManus made the January 1985 issue of Saga of the Swamp Thing (titled "Pog") a tribute to Pogo with Kellyesque artwork by McManus.
- Jeff Smith has acknowledged that the artwork and writing style of his Bone comic book series were strongly influenced by Walt Kelly's style. Smith and Peter Kelly contributed artwork of the cast of Bone shaking hands with Pogo and Albert for the 1998 "Pogofest" celebration. Smith is the designer for the new Fantagraphics reprint series.
- Jim Henson acknowledged Kelly as a major influence on his sense of humor, and based some of his early Muppet designs on Kelly drawings. One episode of The Muppet Show's first season included a performance of "Don't Sugar Me" from Songs of the Pogo.
- René Goscinny was an admirer of Pogo. Since he was very graphically oriented, too, a plethora of Walt Kelly's ideograms and visual techniques resurfaced in Astérix (e.g. the word balloons being written in old Gothic Fraktur lettering for the Goth and Barbarian characters, and the tax collector speaking in tax-form-balloons). The mixture of fine political satire and rough slapstick is used to the same effect.
- Robert Crumb was an admirer of "Pogo" and there are numerous references in the Fritz the Cat cartoons, such as a sign that reads "Jinx loves Pogo" and a character who seems to be Porky Pine.