If you are at all a fan of classic comic strips, then chances are great that Pogo: The Complete Daily & Sunday Comic Strips, Vol. 1: Through the Wild Blue Wonder has long been on your wishlist—emphasis on “long,” because, as fans know, this special project from publisher Fantagraphics has been in the works for years. The good news: it’s here, it’s real. The better news: it’s incredible. Walt Kelly’s lively, robust, and poetic world is faithfully and lovingly produced in this, the first of a proposed twelve volume series. The hardcover is printed horizontally, maintaining the integrity of the “strip” format, with ample margins to avoid any gutter-loss. Fantagraphics knew this first volume would be scrutinized by hardcore Pogo fans, and they’ve outdone expectations, dating each strip, providing historical context for the more esoteric 1940s references, and even reproducing the color Sunday strips. This volume even collects the earlier New York Star strips, where Kelly is still laying the groundwork for his world and finding bits that he liked enough to later rework into the proper Pogo run.
Through the Wild Blue Wonder is one of our Best Comics and Graphic Novels of 2011, and there might not be a better gift this holiday for the historical and literary comics fan.