Tag Archives: walt kelly

You Should Read This: Walt Kelly’s Pogo

Pogo the Possum was created by Walt Kelly in 1943, continuing on for 32 years (two year past Kelly’s own death). It’s a lovely cartoon, involving the denizens of a swamp: possums, skunks, turtles, squirrels, mice, alligators, and more. They live their lives, which sometimes oddly echo our own, or rather the politics of their time in which they were written, commenting on J. Edgar Hoover, McCarthyism, and muckracking.
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On Writing: Creating Emotional Impact Through Characters

I’ve been teaching an advanced workshop that’s been a lot of fun. I gave them one of my favorite texts, an issue of Swamp Thing by Alan Moore called “Pog.” You might want to read it before proceeding on to the discussion of it. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

I picked that text because it has a high degree of emotional impact. It was a great starting point for talking about how to create that in a piece of fiction. In discussing how Moore achieved that, we realized that it is primarily constructed through the characters. While it’s nice to see the images, they are not the primary source of the impact.
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