Every cartoonist and animator should study… and enjoy… Pogo.
This is the last tier of a comic page that demonstrates how bite-sized portions of a story can stand independently on their own.
For the entire page: http://whirledofkelly.blogspot.com/2014/05/all-big-fishes-get-away.html
For more Pogo check out the wonderful collection of strips at: http://whirledofkelly.blogspot.com/
Thomas Haller Buchanan posts additional material by Walt Kelly at: http://pogoinpandemonia.blogspot.com/
I should also note the action.. movement… in each panel of this masterfully executed three panels.
First panel: The Raccoon’s arms lift the sausage while Pogo’s arm swivels outward to left of panel (not only is raccoon there but the layout/direction helps to expand the environment beyond the panel.
Second panel: Raccoon’s cutting is hidden with good reason. We don’t need to see (and story-wise) don’t want to see that he is not cutting the sausage exactly in half. This is brilliant staging which masterfully conceals something from the audience that will later be revealed. Note also the movement of the right arm that perfectly conveys the chopping of the sausage. The images here may be still but they are moving in the mind.
Third panel: Raccoon is still slightly concealing the exact size of the halve of sausage, which points… forces us… to read the dialogue… and to receive and savor the punchline. Note that the other shoe (reaction) drops with Pogo spilling his drink into his lap (yet another wonderful execution of direction, this time off toward stage right, further expanding our unconscious sense of a larger environment.
Walt Kelly’s experience as an animator really pays off in the telling of stories through still imagery.
One of my earlier memories growing up is my dad at the breakfast table guffawing over Pogo.