A Very Small Pooh
Friday Comic Book Day.
Somewhere in the late forties Pogo creator Walt Kelly did a series of very interesting fantasy give-away comics for a brand of prepackaged brea called Peter Wheat. Peter Wheat was a small boy, who had aventures with a group of animal friends, such as beetles and birds, who were all about the same size as him. Walt Kelly drew these comics in the same style as his concurrent series The Little Rascals, which is now being reprinted by Fantagraphics in a handsome series of paperbacks. I don't think he wrote the Peter Wheat strips himself, for there is far to little slapstick in them, but
they are just as interesting, if not more so because of the fantasy angle. The books were given away for free with one o two loaves of bread and had to be folded together by the reader. This may account for the fact that they are so very rare.
Having read that Kelly left the series to another artist, who drew in his style, I was reluctant to declare several of the later samples I have as being by him, but when I recently found a few scans for a much later issue, which was clearly not drawn by Kelly, it was much easier to see the ones I did think were in Kelly's style probably were his. So here is anothe one, this time from Peter Wheat #20.
After that, you can see the later samples for yourself.
This post resulted in a very informative mail by one of my readers: "There are actually two different titles, Adventures of Peter Wheat and Peter Wheat News. The first was 16 pages, already glued together and complete. Peter Wheat News, where the Al Hubbard story you have at the end comes from, was a four-page advertising flyer where the last two pages could fold into a four-page mini-issue of Adventures. The stories from Peter Wheat News were normally 3 part serials, for a total of 12 pages. The Adventure issues are hard to find; the Peter Wheat News issues are at least ten times as rare." Since all of these pages are hopefully up for a long time, I welcome this type of comments. Another poster mentions Mary Janes and Snifles as another series by Al Hubbard. He also drew lots of comics for the European Duck titles, most notaby Fethry Duck (the scrips of which y Jay Kiney have recently been shown on David Gerstein's blog http://ramapithblog.blogspot.com/).