Lines and Colors art blog

Walt Kelly’s A Visit from St. Nicholas

Walt Kelly's A Visit from St. Nicholas with Pogo and Albert
The brilliant Walt Kelly, one time Disney artist and creator, artist and writer of Pogo, one of the greatest comic strips aver produced, at one point turned his hand to an interpretation (it you want to call it that) of Clement Moore’s familiar Christmas poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, which many small children know by its first line, ”Twas the night before Christmas”.

In Kelly’s delightfully loopy version, infused with a bit of political satire for its time, the poem starts:

‘Twas the night before Xmas,
When all through the moon
Not a creature was stirring
Not even a spoon;

and goes on from there to get silly.

Roger Ebert, the jolly old soul, has gifted us with a reprinting of Kelly’s comic strip with Pogo and Albert dashing through their version of the story, and has included high-resolution images (click on the ones in the column) with which we can find extra holiday cheer in Kelly’s beautiful pen and ink lines.

[Via Escape into Life]


8 responses to “Walt Kelly’s A Visit from St. Nicholas

  1. My father published a political satire in the mid-1950’s entitled “I’d Rather Be President” which was illustrated – brilliantly – by Walt Kelly.I don’t usually write comments, but here on Christmas Eve, I read the name Walt Kelly and I think of my wonderful father, wish he were here, and just need to say something!

    1. Thanks for the comment. Nice to know of the personal connection.

      If this is the book in question, copies can still be ordered from Stuart Ng Books: (scroll down).

    Are we dealing with plagiarism here? I wonder. How could this happen? Pogo – Achille Talon – Olivier Blunder – one and the same character.

    1. Thanks for the comment, lea.

      I’m not that familiar with Achille Talon, though I’ve seen images. In what way do you see the character as similar to Pogo Possum?

  3. “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, also known as “The Night Before Christmas” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” from its first line, is a poem first published anonymously in 1823 and generally attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, although the claim has also been made that it was written by Henry Livingston, Jr.
    Source: Wikipedia

    1. My understanding is that Moore later claimed authorship; and as far as I know, no one has ever come forward to reliably dispute him.

  4. years ago I was introduced to the Dutch version of Greg’s Achille Talon aka Olivier Blunder. He is a striking adult version of Pogo; a spitting image of St Nicholas on your page.
    OB is always clad in blacks tightfitting pants, a yellow vest embellished with three fiery red round buttons and a sky blue jacket. His intelectual enemy is his neighbor Sucker -Zuiger; a skinny,bespectacled, balding stalker. Olivier lives with his parents, a potbellied father recognisable by a red moustache and holding a beer glass in his left hand, his mother a typical oldfashioned housewife in a flowerprinted apron.

    1. Fun notion. Thanks. I’ll have to look for some Achille Talon albums.