Meat Hamburg

Created by Walt Kelly (1913-73)

"A question was burning a hole in my brain..."

Say what?

One of America's most beloved comic strip artists and writers -- not to mention political satirists -- wrote not one, but two, parodies of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer?

Hard to believe, eh?

But it's true.

Appearing in Walt Kelly's first-ever published volume of new Pogo material, Uncle Pogo's So-So Stories (1953), "The Bloody Drip" purportedly written by "Muckey Spleen," recast impulsive, none-too-swift blowhard Albert the Alligator as MEAT HAMBURG, Private Eye, Ear, Nose, Throat, and Leg Man. Churchy LaFemme appears, in drag, as Tundra, the obligatory femme fatale, and even Pogo makes a cameo as a friendly barkeep (okay, he actually runs a lemonade stand).

Kelly pretty much nails it, from the overblown first person narration to the teetering, barely controlled paranoia, leavened by his trademark humour: the twisty, turny shapeshifting word play, the groaner puns and the cornpone slapstick. In fact, it all went so well, that he brought back Meat in "Gore Blimey: The Bloody Drip Writhes Again" in The Pogo Peek-a-Book in 1957, which features the beleagured Hamburg at one point getting busted for shooting at slow-changing traffic lights.

UNDER OATH

  • "It would be a lot more fun (and a lot easier) to write a parody of these Mike Hammer books instead of an article, but the point to be made is a serious one, unfortunately, and the parody is limited in its application and has already been brilliantly done by Walt Kelly."

-- Christopher La Farge in Mass Culture: The Popular Arts in America (1957)

  • COMICS

    • "The Bloody Drip" by Muckey Spleen (1953, Uncle Pogo's So-So Stories)...Buy this book
    • "Gore Blimey: The Bloody Drip Writhes Again" (1955, The Pogo Peek-a-Book)..Buy this book

    Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.


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