A little back story is necessary to really appreciate this 1961 MAD magazine parody by Wally Wood of Walt Kelly‘s Pogo comic strip. Kelly was drawing comic book adaptations of the Little Rascal films for Dell in the early 1940s when he came up with the idea for a comic built around southern swamp life. His first story appeared in Dell’s Animal Comics#1 and featured Albert the alligator, numerous other talking animals, and an eight-year-old black child named Bumbazine (Shown on the right). The only human in the strip, Bumbazine was portrayed as sweet, friendly and naïve, but Kelly felt awkward with racial stereotyping and soon retired Bumbazine with Animal Comics #12, replacing him with an equally innocent and naïve possum, Pogo. In 1949, Walt Kelly adapted the animal characters into the very popular daily comic strip, Pogo.
I’m unsure if Wally Wood is skewering Kelly here for replacing Bumbazine with a possum years earlier or just taking a pot-shot at Pogo‘s progressive cachet by implying a double standard in the segregation debate raging across America in the early Sixties.