Zany Zoo

It’s very confusing how to take these Throwback comics. There is indeed a substantial history of the actual Working Daze comic strip, with different artists, and how they changed the look and how the public reacted to it. So sometimes the Throwback will realistically review some part of that.

But other directions for the Throwback feature sometimes strike me as sheer fabulism. They trace it back to different writers as well as artists, different publishers or syndicators, also even different titles for predecessor strips. And with a straight face go back to very early 20th Century. .. And yet try to say “This was what Roy was like then” or “This guy became Jay at this point” with the oddest of non-resemblances.

So I was really sus, but think we can tentatively credit the story about Zany Zoo.


  1. Kilby clarifies : @ Powers – I think Mitch meant “… credit the story as authentic“.

    Yes,that’s it. Sorry to have written it unclear.

  2. Does it really matter if “Zany zoo” is a long-abandoned pitch or something newly created? Either way, it won’t be in Sunday’s paper.

  3. Kilby: I’m pretty sure I remember a POGO strip considerably older than that CALVIN AND HOBBES with the same idea — someone says there’s alligators around and Albert, forgetting that he is himself an alligator, momentarily freaks out.

  4. @ Shrug – I’m sure I’ve seen that same strip, and can even recall some of the dialog (“Nothin doin, that ol’ swamp’s full of alligators“, with a rejoinder of “keerful” following onto Albert’s physical reaction). Unfortunately, there just isn’t any uniform digital repository of “Pogo” strips, and although they have been reproduced in book form, those books are (a) not searchable, and (b) not in my possession. (I have a medium collection of paperbacks, but nothing even close to the entire 25-year history of Kelly’s strip.)

  5. There was a Pogo story where a frog went down Albert’s throat and described points of interest in his stomach, such as junkyard debris and graffiti. Finally the frog saw something in the shadows … something strange … Frog literally flies out of Albert’s mouth yelling “Run for your lives!” Everybody flees in terror — including Albert.

    The swamp critters were often fishing and would fry their catches over a fire, but this didn’t preclude sociable conversations with fish, or with the worms they used as bait. They also eat chicken, which led to at least one uneasy moment at a barbecue with Sis Boombah, a formidable hen.

    In an extended riff on the red scare, Seminole Sam, Wiley Catt and Sarcophagus MacAbre — a fox, wildcat and vulture — team up with Deacon Mushrat to try Churchy LaFemme for subversion, intending to sentence him to turtle soup. When that scheme fails they decide to eat the Deacon instead, but Albert comes to the rescue. Thereafter the semi-villains were more interested in such schemes as seceding from the Union, claiming Fort Knox as their homeland.

    Still have most of my old Pogo paperbacks, although I’ve been picking up the hardbound collections as they appear. The paperbacks are not, as Shrug noted, complete. But they do contain a fair amount of material that DIDN’T appear in the strip, from new panels to make selected strips flow as a story to illustrated poems and stories.

  6. I’m reminded of “National Lampoon Presents The Very Large Book Of Comical Funnies” which came out in the 1970’s. Ostensibly it was a history of comic strips, but it was all made up. It was funny if you know the actual history of comics, as there were parodies of famous ones.

  7. The incident I was thinking of ran over several weekdays. Kelly would recycle general ideas — as do most cartoonists — sometimes using an old specific gag as a background throwaway.

    Another incident had Albert drinking a jar of water, unaware a baby tadpole was in it. He was obliged to drink more water until the tad floated up to his mouth to be scooped out, by which time Albert looked like a barrel.

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