“We have met the enemy and he is us,” says a swamp-dwelling opossum as he surveys the garbage dump that his habitat has become. This line from Walt Kelly’s long-running comic strip -- named Pogo, after the opossum character -- has become a part of American vernacular, but it can also be seen as an indicator of Kelly’s influence, which continues to be felt almost forty years after his death. Kelly’s career as a cartoon artist began with a five-year stint at Walt Disney Productions, during which Kelly contributed animation to the first and best-known Disney features, including Fantasia, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Pinocchio. Most of his fans know Kelly for Pogo, an absurdist comic strip where the title character is joined by a chorus of animal swamp-dwellers for stream-of-consciousness wordplay, political satire, and slapstick. Interest in the strip was revived last year when Fantagraphics released Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder to great fanfare and acclaim. Tonight, the authors of the new book, Walt Kelly: The Life and Art of the Creator of Pogo, pay tribute to Kelly’s legacy with a discussion and book signing. Authors include: Thomas Andrae, Carsten Laqua, Mark Burstein, and Scott Daley (Kelly’s stepson).
Tue., July 3, 7 p.m., 2012