Saturday, April 25, 2009

Great Supporting Players #4: Churchy La Femme and Howland Owl

Walt Kelly's Pogo may have the biggest ensemble cast of any comic strip; it has a cast of thousands. (well, maybe not literally...a cast of hundreds, more likely) A relatively minor character could take center stage for a week or two: P. T. Bridgeport would come to the swamp, visit each of the characters in turn, and be the focus until he left. "Ol' Mouse" and Snavely the Snake, or the Three Bats (B. Witched, B. Othered, and B. Mildred) could hijack the strip from the main cast at any moment. Kelly was so good at creating these characters and writing funny dialogue, that many of them are fan favorites.

Albert and Pogo were always at the heart of the strip. But the "core" cast (Porkypine, Beauregard, Churchy and Howland, Albert and Pogo), feel like sort of a dysfunctional family unit. To me, anyway. Everyone will have their own favorites, but I am particularly fond of Churchy and Howland. With their goofy schemes and toothless battles, they don't need Albert around to be funny. And as far as owls and turtles go, you won't find too many designed as well as these two.

Here are a couple of stories from the last year of the Pogo Possum comic book.

"The Semi-Mental Gentlemints" from Pogo Possum #15 (Jan-March 1954):

"Greetings From Soup to Nuts" from Pogo Possum #16 (April-June 1954):


Willem Wynand said...

These are fantastic, thank you for sharing matey =)

April 26, 2009 7:04 AM

Doug said...

Thanks for stopping by, Willem!

April 27, 2009 12:03 PM

Anonymous said...

wow!! I love Pogo Thanks. just found your blog today. i will be back to see more charlie

April 29, 2009 7:46 PM

Silvio Spotti said...

Where can we find art like this days

April 29, 2009 9:02 PM

Linda said...

Thank you for this website. I have my father's old Howland Owl action figure that stands about 4 inches tall, and I had no idea who he was. How interesting.

September 11, 2009 8:28 AM

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this website. I just found a Howland Owl action figure that was my father's when he was growing up. It stands about 4 inches tall. Thanks for the enlightenment, and how interesting.

September 11, 2009 8:30 AM

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