The Uncanny Prophecy of Walt Kelly

Walt Kelly, for readers too young to remember (or too old to remember) was the creator and cartoonist for Pogo, a daily cartoon which ran from 1948 to 1975. WC has celebrated Kelly’s extraordinary work in past posts.1 But, since this is Friday the 13th and paraskevidekatriaphobia — a neologism derived from the combination of the Greek words Paraskeví (meaning Friday), and dekatreís (meaning thirteen), attached to phobia (meaning fear) — was a recurring theme of Kelly’s work, WC offers this prophetic piece from August 1965:

Pogo, August 11, 1965, by Walt Kelly, © United Features Syndicate

Pogo, August 11, 1965, by Walt Kelly, © United Features Syndicate

“Trump of Doom.” Heh.

The opossum is Pogo, after whom the strip is named. Pogo is the voice of reason and the sanest character in the strip. The mud turtle is Churchy le Femme, the least sensible of the major players, Churchy is superstitious to a fault, prone to panicking when for example,  he discovers that Friday the 13th falls on a Wednesday.

And this Friday the 13th we do indeed have a Trump of Doom, in the White House of all places. There’s good reason to panic. Remember, Walt Kelly saw it all coming, clear back in 1965.


  1. The late Mort Kelly, the creator of Beetle Bailey, wrote of Kelly, “Hell, he could draw a tree that would send God and Joyce Kilmer back to the drawing board.” 

One thought on “The Uncanny Prophecy of Walt Kelly

  1. I LOVE IT!! My two sons, who are going to be 11 and 13 this year, got two massive volumes of POGO last December! And my sister and I got Pogo volumes from my mother 30 years ago! So much fun… and yes, the insight! CRIKEY

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