By John Hertz: Maybe the spirit of Sammy Davis, Jr., will allow my borrowing his title. My reason can wait till the end. You may find it sooner.
In this year’s Hugo Awards I’ve recommended Alternate Routes (Powers) for Best Novel and The Glass Bead Game for Best Novel of 1943 (Hesse; Retrospective Hugo). Nominations close March 15th.
We’ll have a trial run of Best Art Book, besides our regular Best Related Work. University of Chicago professor Harry Kalven used to talk of United States law on freedom of speech “working itself pure”, which seems to have been the story of Best Related Work so far, and may continue if Best Art Book is established.
Meanwhile I can recommend Out of This World at Home, vol. 5 of Mark Evanier’s Pogo collection The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips, without injustice to the Michael Whelan art book Beyond Science Fiction – which, if regrettably titled, is full of wonders; see my note on an exhibit preceding it here.
Evanier says This World contains “two prime years of what I think is the best newspaper strip ever – and even folks who disagree with me on that don’t usually disagree by much.”
Rick Marschall in America’s Great Comic-Strip Artists (rev. 1997; p. 255) says, “Walt Kelly was master of all that could be surveyed…. Pogo generously included … fantasy, literary and intellectual touches, farce and parody, graphic brilliance … poetry … and good old-fashioned slapstick.”
Pogo, in the Okefenokee Swamp where he lives, is a possum. Many things prove to be possible, or impossible, there. In Latin – we can all guess whether Kelly delighted in this – possum means I can.