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Boat naming often a promotion stunt

One of the things "Pogo" became noted for in its later years was placing names of individuals on the sides of the flat-bottom boats that the animals poled or rowed around the swamp. Fans often wondered who those people were.

Sometimes they were the names of friends. As to the rest, R.C. Harvey says in the introduction to Volume 9 of the Fantagraphics series that the best-informed speculation is that in many cases, they were stunts to promote the strip: newspaper executives who had agreed to buy the strip with the inducement that their name would grace the side of a future boat.

Kelly did not do this much in the first years of the strip, and when he did, it was usually the name of a city — The City of Nashville, The Atlanta Belle, The Pride of Waycross.

One of the earliest uses of an individual's name, however, was pointed. On May 20, 1953, the boat bears the legend, "H.M.S. Herbert Block," in honor of another cartoonist, the Washington Post's "Herblock," an early foe of Sen. Joseph McCarthy and creator of the term McCarthyism.