Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pogo and the Jack Acid Society

Hunting up Pogo on line last week, I came across a mention that in the early 1960's, Walt Kelly had satirized the John Birch Society in a series about the "Jack Acid Society." I had never seen that series, and was curious to find any other mention of it.

I found a site where someone had posted scans of several pages of a Pogo book where Pogo and Churchy fall in with (and eventually out the window of) the Jack Acid Society. It's mostly the zany madcap humor typical of the strip: thousands of monkeys at typewriters are producing pages of gibberish which the leaders of the Society treasure as profound literature; the real powers behind the group keep deposing the nominal figureheads of the Society at their whim.

On page 5, the incumbent leader of the Jack Acid Society is a chicken -- a chick, really -- named Prince Pompadoodle.
In some panels, he reminds me a little of Newt Gingrich. He may, I suppose, have been a caricature of a real John Bircher; Kelly certainly liked to de-anthropomorphize real people for his cartoon.

Before long in the story line, Pompadoodle is imprisoned within a bass drum and replaced with the unassuming Pogo. But Walt Kelly apparently liked Prince Pompadoodle's name, and brought the character back in 1968. By then, Pompadoodle had matured a bit, growing tail feathers, a southern accent, and a marked resemblance to Alabama Governor George Wallace.
As far as I know, Walt Kelly never found an excuse to revisit the character as a roosterfication of French President Georges Pompidou.

No comments:

Post a Comment