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Pogo No. 10: The Infinity Cover

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Comic Books483 of 484Walt Kelly: The Vinyl YearsPogo and Albert in Glorious Dell Four Color
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Posted 8 years ago

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In the summer of 1952, Dell published issue number 10 of "Pogo Possum," the then-quarterly comic devoted to Walt Kelly's cast of characters who live down in the Okefenokee Swamp. The "Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide" describes this comic as having an "infinity" cover because two copies of the same comic appear on the cover, creating an infinity effect, but the small covers on the big cover are rendered impressionistically, so the impact is not exactly dizzying.

Though not a theme issue, the comic does begin and end with nursery rhymes for its subject matter, The first story is titled "Lulu Red Ridey Hoops," in which Albert, who is after Pogo's picnic basket and lunch, tells Pogo a story based (loosely) on Little Red Riding Hood. By the end of the story, Albert's protagonists are dueling with swords, and Albert has so worked himself into a froth that Pogo has managed to finish his lunch, which, naturally, Albert resents.

Another nursery-rhyme theme pops up again a few stories later with "Mother's Gooseberry Rinds," in which Albert recites Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky" poem to Pogo and young Alabaster Alligator, who I believe is Albert's nephew. Albert reads the whole thing, from the first "'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves" to the last "And the nome raths outgrabe." I'm sure Kelly kicked himself after the fact for misspelling "mome raths" at the end there, especially since this was probably an example of Kelly tipping his cap to a master, whose liberties with the English language were even more outrageous than his own.

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