KRAZY KAT (also known as KRAZY ">'s mixture of offbeat surrealism , innocent playfulness and poetic, idiosyncratic language has made it a favorite of comics aficionados and art critics for more than 80 years.
The strip focuses on the curious relationship between a guileless, carefree, simple-minded cat named Krazy of indeterminate gender (referred to as both "he" and "she") and a short-tempered mouse named Ignatz. Krazy nurses an unrequited love for the mouse. However, Ignatz despises Krazy and constantly schemes to throw bricks at Krazy's head, which Krazy interprets as a sign of affection, uttering grateful replies such as "Li'l dollink, allus f'etful", or "Li'l ainjil". A third principal character, Officer Bull Pupp, often appears and tries to "protect" Krazy by thwarting Ignatz' attempts and imprisoning him. Later on, Officer Pupp falls in love with Krazy.
Despite the slapstick simplicity of the general premise, the detailed
characterization, combined with Herriman's visual and verbal
* 1 Overview
* 2 Cast of characters
* 3 History
* 3.1 Animated adaptations * 3.2 A "Kounterfeit Krazy"
* 4 Chronology of formats * 5 Legacy
* 6 Reprints and compilations
* 6.1 Henry Holt & Co. * 6.2 Grosset "> Notice the ever-changing backgrounds in this January 21, 1922 page as Krazy tries to understand why Door Mouse is carrying a door.
The descriptive passages mix whimsical, often alliterative language with phonetically-spelled dialogue and a strong poetic sensibility ("Agathla , centuries aslumber, shivers in its sleep with splenetic splendor, and spreads abroad a seismic spasm with the supreme suavity of a vagabond volcano."). Herriman was also fond of experimenting with unconventional page layouts in his Sunday strips, including panels of various shapes and sizes, arranged in whatever fashion he thought would best tell the story.
Though the basic concept of the strip is simple, Herriman always found ways to tweak the formula. Ignatz's plans to surreptitiously lob a brick at Krazy's head sometimes succeed; other times Officer Pupp outsmarts Ignatz and imprisons him. The interventions of Coconino County's other anthropomorphic animal residents, and even forces of nature, occasionally change the dynamic in unexpected ways. Other strips have Krazy's imbecilic or gnomic pronouncements irritating the mouse so much that he goes to seek out a brick in the final panel. Even self-referential humor is evident—in one strip, Officer Pupp, having arrested Ignatz, berates Herriman for not having finished drawing the jailhouse.
Public reaction at the time was mixed; many were puzzled by its iconoclastic refusal to conform to linear comic strip conventions and straightforward gags. But publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst loved Krazy Kat, and it continued to appear in his papers throughout its run, sometimes only by his direct order.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Simple-minded, curious, mindlessly happy and perpetually innocent,
the strip's title character drifts through life in Coconino County
without a care. Krazy's dialogue is a highly stylized argot ("A fowl
konspirissy – is it pussible?") phonetically evoking a mixture of
English, French, Spanish, Yiddish and other dialects, often identified
as George Herriman's own native
Krazy's own gender is never made clear and appears to be fluid,
varying from strip to strip. Most authors post-Herriman (beginning
with Cummings) have mistakenly referred to Krazy only as female, but
Krazy's creator was more ambiguous and even published several strips
poking fun at this uncertainty. When filmmaker
Ignatz being marched off by Officer Pupp for trying to throw a brick at Krazy Kat. Behind the newspaper, Krazy is reading and describing aloud the very same cartoon in which they are all appearing.
Ignatz is driven to distraction by Krazy's naïveté, and he throws bricks at Krazy Kat's head. To shield his plans from Officer Pupp, Ignatz hides his bricks, disguises himself, or enlists the aid of willing Coconino County denizens (without making his intentions clear). Easing Ignatz's task is Krazy Kat's willingness to meet him anywhere at any appointed time, eager to receive a token of affection in the form of a brick to the head. Ignatz is married with three children, though they are rarely seen.
Ironically, although Ignatz seems to generally dislike Krazy, one strip shows his ancestor, Mark Antony Mouse, fall in love with Krazy's ancestor, an Egyptian cat princess (calling her his "Star of the Nile"), and pay a sculptor to carve a brick with a love message. When he throws it at her, he is arrested, but she announces her love for him, and from that day on, he throws bricks at her to show his love for her (which would explain why Krazy believes that Ignatz throwing bricks is a sign of love). In another strip, Krazy kisses a sleeping Ignatz, and hearts appear above the mouse's head.
In the last five (or so) years of the strip, Ignatz's dislike for Krazy was noticeably downplayed. While earlier, one got the sense of his taking advantage of Krazy's willingness to be "bricked", now one gets the sense of Ignatz and Krazy as chummy co-conspirators against Pupp, with Ignatz at times quite aware of the positive way Krazy interprets his missiles.
OFFICER BULL PUPP
A police dog who loves Krazy, and always tries (sometimes
successfully) to thwart Ignatz's desires to pelt
Beyond these three, Coconino County is populated with an assortment of incidental, recurring characters.
* JOE STORK : the "purveyor of progeny to prince a brickmaker by trade who bakes his wares in a kiln. Often Ignatz's source for projectiles, although he distrusts the mouse. * MRS. KWAKK WAKK: a duck in a pillbox hat , a scold and busybody who frequently notices Ignatz in the course of his plotting and informs Officer Pupp. She is a social climber, attempting in one strip continuity to replace Pupp as police chief.
Other characters who make semi-frequent appearances are:
* WALTER CEPHUS AUSTRIGE: a nondescript ostrich
* BUM BIL BEE: a transient, bearded insect
* DON KIYOTE: an inconsequential heterodox Mexican coyote
* MOCK DUCK: a clairvoyant fowl of Chinese descent who operates a
cleaning establishment .
* GOOSEBERRY SPRIG: the Duck Duke, who briefly starred in his own
This "basement strip" grew into something much larger than the
original cartoon. It became a daily comic strip with a title (running
vertically down the side of the page) on October 28, 1913 and a black
and white full-page Sunday cartoon on April 23, 1916. Due to the
objections of editors, who didn't think it was suitable for the comics
Despite its low popularity among the general public,
Beginning in 1935, Krazy Kat's Sunday edition was published in full color. Though the number of newspapers carrying it dwindled in its last decade, Herriman continued to draw Krazy Kat—creating roughly 3,000 cartoons—until his death in April 1944 (the final page was published exactly two months later, on June 25). Hearst promptly canceled the strip after the artist died, because, contrary to the common practice of the time, he did not want to see a new cartoonist take over.
Play media The title card of this 1916 silent short read Krazy Kat – Bugologist. A Cartoon By George Herriman. Animated by Frank Moser ." Length 3m24s, 416kbit/s
The comic strip was animated several times (see filmography below).
In 1925, animation pioneer Bill Nolan decided to bring Krazy to the screen again. Nolan intended to produce the series under Associated Animators, but when it dissolved, he sought distribution from Margaret J. Winkler . Unlike earlier adaptations, Nolan did not base his shorts on the characters and setting of the Herriman comic strip. Instead, the feline in Nolan's cartoons was a male cat whose design and personality both reflected Felix the Cat . This is probably due to the fact that Nolan himself was a former employee of the Pat Sullivan studio. Other Herriman characters appeared in the Nolan cartoons at first, though similarly altered: Kwakk Wakk was at times Krazy's paramour, with Ignatz often the bully trying to break up the romance. Over time, Nolan's influence waned and new directors, Ben Harrison and Manny Gould, took over the series. By late 1927, they were solely in charge.
Charles B. Mintz , slowly began assuming control
of the operation. Mintz and his studio began producing the cartoons in
sound beginning with 1929's
Ratskin . In 1930, he moved the staff to
King Features produced 50
A "KOUNTERFEIT KRAZY"
Dell Publishing revived the characters for a run of comic
books. All five issues were drawn by cartoonist John Stanley , best
known for his
CHRONOLOGY OF FORMATS
The strip went through several format changes during its run, each of which impacted the artwork and the narratives that the form of the strip could accommodate. What follows are the landmarks, which can also help to date the era of a given strip.
* JULY 26, 1910: First "beaning" of Kat by Mouse at bottom of The
Dingbat Family. Strip is not sectioned off, but a detail at the bottom
of the panels. Strip as a whole tended to run 4 inches × 13 inches.
Soon the Kat and Mouse were a five-panel 1½ inch strip at the bottom
of the cartoon.
* 1911: First brief run of Krazy and I. Mouse standalone strips
(probably as a replacement to The Family Upstairs). Also, the
characters briefly take over the strip for a couple of periods in 1912
(at least once, while the Dingbats are "on holiday" in JULY 1912.)
* OCTOBER 28, 1913.
Chuck Jones ' Wile E.
Jules Feiffer ,
Philip Guston , and
Hunt Emerson have all had
Krazy Kat's imprint recognized in their work.
Larry Gonick 's comic
strip Kokopelli & Company is set in "Kokonino County", an homage to
Herriman's exotic locale.
Chris Ware admires the strip, and his
REPRINTS AND COMPILATIONS
For many decades, only a small percentage of Herriman's strip was
available in reprinted form. The first
All of the Sunday strips from 1916 to 1924 were reprinted by Eclipse
Comics in cooperation with Turtle Island Press. The intent was to
eventually reprint every Sunday Krazy Kat, but this planned series was
aborted when Eclipse ceased business in 1992. Beginning in 2002,
Kitchen Sink Press , in association with Remco Worldservice Books, reprinted two volumes of color Sunday strips dating from 1935 to 1937; but like Eclipse, they collapsed before they could continue the series. Issue number five of The 3-D Zone comic book series, published by The 3-D Zone in June 1987, features reprints of Krazy Kat strips converted into 3-D, and also includes two pairs of red/blue 3-D glasses.
The daily strips for 1921 to 1923 were reprinted by Pacific Comics
Club. The 1922 and 1923 books skipped a small number of strips, which
have now been reprinted by
Scattered Sundays and dailies have appeared in several collections,
Grosset & Dunlap book reprinted by Nostalgia Press , but
the most readily available sampling of Sundays and dailies from
throughout the strip's run is Krazy Kat: The
Comic Art of George
Herriman, published by
Harry N. Abrams, Inc. in 1986. It includes a
detailed biography of Herriman and was, for a long time, the only
in-print book to republish
HENRY HOLT & CO.
GROSSET some later editions have daily strips reproduced in blue ink. ISBN 0-448-11945-5 (hardcover), ISBN 0-448-11951-X (paperback)
STREET ENTERPRISES (MENOMONEE FALLS)
* (George Herriman's)
REAL FREE PRESS
* The Family Upstairs: Introducing Krazy Kat: The Complete Strip, 1910–1912 (1977, 1992) Introduction by Bill Blackbeard. ISBN 0-88355-643-X (hardcover), ISBN 0-88355-642-1 (softcover)
HARRY N. ABRAMS
* Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman (1986) Patrick McDonnell, Karen O'Connell, eds. Various strips in B&W and color, mostly from original art, including some watercolor paintings. ISBN 0-8109-8152-1 (hardcover), ISBN 0-8109-9185-3 (softcover)
MORNING STAR PUBLICATIONS
* Coconino Chronicle (1988) Alec Finlay, ed. 130 strips from 1927–1928.
"Krazy and Ignatz: The Komplete Kat Komics" (series), Bill Blackbeard, ed. Each of these volumes reprints a year of Sunday strips.
* Vol 1: Krazy & Ignatz (1988) 1916 strips. ISBN 0-913035-49-1 * Vol 2: The Other Side To the Shore Of Here (1989) 1917 strips. ISBN 0-913035-74-2 * Vol 3: The Limbo of Useless Unconsciousness (1989) 1918 strips. ISBN 0-913035-76-9 * Vol 4: Howling Among the Halls of Night (1989) 1919 strips. ISBN 1-56060-019-5 * Vol 5: Pilgrims on the Road to Nowhere (1990) 1920 strips. ISBN 1-56060-023-3 * Vol 6: Sure As Moons is Cheeses (1990) 1921 strips. ISBN 1-56060-034-9 * Vol 7: A Katnip Kantata in the Key of K (1991) 1922 strips, including 10 color Saturday strips. ISBN 1-56060-063-2 * Vol 8: Inna Yott On the Muddy Geranium (1991) 1923 strips. ISBN 1-56060-066-7 * Vol 9: Shed a Soft Mongolian Tear (1992) 1924 strips. ISBN 1-56060-102-7 * Vol 10: Honeysuckil Love Is Doubly Swit (unpublished) 1925 strips. ISBN 1-56060-203-1
KITCHEN SINK PRESS
"The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat" (series). Each volume reprinted two years of Sundays. (The publisher dissolved before the series' aim of completeness could be achieved.)
* Vol 1: 1935–1936 (1990) Rick Marshall, Bill Watterson, contributors. ISBN 0-924359-06-4 * Vol 2: 1936–1937 (1991) Rick Marshall, ed. ISBN 0-924359-07-2
* Krazy & Ignatz, The Dailies. Vol 1: 1918–1919 (2001, 2003) Gregory Fink, ed., introduction by Bill Blackbeard. (Stinging Monkey edition in large format, ISBN 978-0-9688676-0-0 . BookSurge reprint in smaller 7.9 × 6 inch format, ISBN 1-59109-975-7 , ISBN 978-1-59109-975-8 )
"All the Daily Strips...." (series) 6¼ x 6¼ inch format.
"Presents Krazy and Ignatz" (series) Four 3¼ x 4 inch volumes reproducing the 1921 strips in miniature.
(Picking up where Eclipse left off, each of the following volumes reprints 2 years of Sundays. Bill Blackbeard , series editor. Chris Ware , designer. The first five volumes are in B&W, as originally printed.)
* Krazy & Ignatz in "There Is A Heppy Lend Furfur A-Waay": 1925–1926 (2002) ISBN 1-56097-386-2 * Krazy & Ignatz in "Love Letters In Ancient Brick": 1927–1928 (2002) ISBN 1-56097-507-5 * Krazy & Ignatz in "A Mice, A Brick, A Lovely Night": 1929–1930 (2003) ISBN 1-56097-529-6 * Krazy & Ignatz in "A Kat Alilt with Song": 1931–1932 (2004) ISBN 1-56097-594-6
* Krazy & Ignatz in "Necromancy by the Blue Bean Bush": 1933–1934 (2005) ISBN 1-56097-620-9
* Krazy & Ignatz: The Complete Sunday Strips: 1925–1934 (Collects the five paperback volumes 1925–1934 in a single hardcover volume. Only 1000 copies printed, only available by direct order from the publisher.) ISBN 1-56097-522-9
(The following volumes, through 1944, are in color, reflecting the shift to color in the Sunday newspaper version.)
* Krazy & Ignatz in "A Wild Warmth of Chromatic Gravy": 1935–1936 (2005) ISBN 1-56097-690-X , 2005 * Krazy & Ignatz in "Shifting Sands Dusts its Cheeks in Powdered Beauty": 1937–1938 (2006) ISBN 1-56097-734-5 * Krazy & Ignatz in "A Brick Stuffed with Moom-bins": 1939–1940 (2007) ISBN 1-56097-789-2 * Krazy & Ignatz in "A Ragout of Raspberries": 1941–1942 (2007) ISBN 1-56097-887-2
* Krazy & Ignatz in "He Nods in Quiescent Siesta": 1943–1944 (2008) ISBN 1-56097-932-1
* Krazy & Ignatz: The Complete Sunday Strips: 1935–1944 (Collects the five paperback volumes 1935–1944 in a single hardcover volume. Only 1000 copies printed, only available by direct order from the publisher.) ISBN 978-1-56097-841-1
* Krazy reprints dailies from 1911–12, 1914, 9 months of large-format dailies from 1920 with an additional month from late 1921, and 1922 pantomime ballet artwork. ISBN 1-56097-854-6 * Krazy & Ignatz in "Love in a Kestle or Love in a Hut": 1916–1918 (2010) ISBN 1-60699-316-X * Krazy & Ignatz in "A Kind, Benevolent and Amiable Brick": 1919–1921 (2011) ISBN 1-60699-364-X
* Krazy & Ignatz in "At Last My Drim of Love Has Come True": 1922–1924 (2012) ISBN 1-60699-477-8 (also includes Us Husbands)
* Krazy border:solid #aaa 1px">
* 1920s portal * Cartoon portal * Comics portal
* The Krazy Kat Klub , a Bohemian nightspot in Washington, D.C. during the early decades of the 20th century, named after the comic strip.
* ^ Blackbeard, Bill and Martin Williams, "The Smithsonian
Collection of Newspaper Comics". pp. 59–60.
* ^ A B Kramer.
* ^ A B C Shannon.
* ^ A B McDonnell/O'Connell/De Havenon 26.
* ^ Seldes, Gilbert. "The
* Blackbeard, Bill . "A Kat of Many Kolors:
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