According to comic book historians who keep track of such things,
Animal Comics #1 from Dell Publishing was released 80 years ago today.
Its claim to fame is that the comic book featured the debut
of Pogo Possum and Albert the Alligator by Walt Kelly.
The occupants of Okefenokee were not birthed fully formed,
their presentation in both appearance and style would evolve.
[The evolution would happen so quickly that the authorship of that first story is uncertain:
“‘Albert Takes the Cake’ is easily imaginable as a children’s picture book. so much so that it is open to question how much of that first story is Walt Kelly’s and how much is [editor] Oskar Lebeck’s. ‘Albert Takes the Cake’ barely resembles the stories with Albert and Pogo that follow, all of which show every sign of being entirely Kelly’s work. Frank Thomas spoke of how Lebeck ‘usually sparked the original feature idea’ before turning it over to one of his artist-writers; Gaylord Dubois, who wrote for Lebeck but did not draw, spoke of such a procedure when he and Lebeck collaborated on juvenile fiction. The genesis of ‘Albert Takes the Cake’ may have been similar.”
– Michael Barrier, Funnybooks (Univ. of California Press, 2015) page 70]
But here, from 1942, is “Albert Takes the Cake” by Walt Kelly.
These pages are taken from the Comic Book Plus website where Animal Comics #1 – #30 are available, allowing us to read the progression of Pogo and Albert and fellows through 1947.
Pogo would appear, mostly fully formed, as a comic strip on October 4, 1948.
Animal Comics #1 - 30 have been determined to be public domain. Otherwise ... Pogo Possum and Albert the Alligator are © The Okefenokee Glee & Perloo Inc.