Walt Kelly + Famous Studios = Cilly Goose

Walt Kelly, a former Disney animator and one of the greatest cartoonists of the 20th Century, is not one usually associated with the likes of Paramount’s Famous Studios. But did you know Kelly illustrated two comic book stories starring Paramount’s animated characters of the 1940s?

Long before Harvey Comics, or St. John for that matter, had the rights to Paramount’s cartoon menagerie, Western Publishing (Dell Comics) acquired those rights in the mid 40s — and produced comic stories featuring such animated “stars” as Hector the Henpecked Rooster, Herman the Mouse, Blackie Sheep and Cilly Goose. Kelly illustrated two 8-page stories – the first of which I’ve post below (click thumbnails to enlarge each page). These were done for Animal Comics, the book in which Kelly developed Pogo Possum and are thus worth hundreds of dollars each. My thanks to Mark Kausler for loaning me his copies to scan. Cilly Goose is based on a one-shot Noveltoon cartoon of the same name from 1944. The Famous Studios comics ran from issue #7 through #17 as far as I can tell. This Cilly Goose story, from Animal Comics #15 (June-July 1945), has no relation to the animated film, and I have no idea who might have written it.

This post was inspired by the many new sites popping up reprinting classic comic books (such as Cartoon Snap and The Big Blog of Kids Comics). I have no intention to compete with them – though if there is interest in seeing Kelly’s other Famous story (featuring Blackie Sheep) let me know.