Before Walt Kelly’s Pogo began its legendary run as a syndicated newspaper strip, the denizens of Okefenokee Swamp – specifically Albert the Alligator and Pogo Possum himself – debuted as supporting characters in Dell’s Animal Comics series. Originally cast as foils to a young boy, Kelly soon discovered the feature worked better without the presence of humans and elevated Pogo and Albert to starring roles.
The following story appeared about a year before the Pogo syndicated strip began, but Kelly’s distinctive art and humor are already in full bloom. The remarkable part is that Kelly command of his craft and characters would only get better over time.
Howland Owl learns just how difficult it is to properly educate “nature’s screechers” in an untitled story from Animal Comics #25 (Dell, February-March 1947). The story and art are by Kelly.