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comic strips
krazy kat
George Herriman

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homage to "krazy kat"

homage to "krazy kat" 

Cut-paper collage created for Kollage Kit theme: "Comics."

Many of you will be familiar with "Krazy Kat," the comic strip by George Herriman that ran in American newspapers starting in 1914 and lasting well into the1930s.

For those of you who don't know it, here's the simple story that Herriman rang countless changes on: There's a romance between Krazy Kat and Ignatz, a mouse, in which Ignatz shows his love by throwing bricks that hit the Kat on the head. This climactic moment is not shown in the strip from which I lifted these panels, but it's usually depicted with a heart emerging from the Kat, for she knows the brick was thrown with love. Ignatz usually pays for his deed by falling into the hands of the authorities, in the person of Offisa Pup, a dog, and is thrown into jail.

I chose this particular example because I was amused by the "meta" element, in which Krazy Kat is reading in the paper the very same things that are happening to the characters. You can follow the story by starting in the upper lefthand corner and going right, down, left, until it finishes up in the lower lefthand corner. Be sure to click on the picture so you get the larger version, where you'll be better able to read the dialogue.

I'll indulge myself by saying that one of my favorite things about this strip are the objects in the background, the environment of fictional Coconico County, Arizona. As Gilbert Seldes writes in Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman, "[Herriman] is alone in his freedom of movement; in his large pictures and small, the scene changes at will—it is actually one work in the expressionist mode. While Krazy and Ignatz talk ... a tree, stunted and flattened with odd ornaments of spots or design, grows suddenly long and thin; or a house changes into a church. The trees in his enchanted mesa [country] are almost always set in flower pots with Coptic and Egyptian designs in the foliage as often as on the pot. There are adobe walls, fantastic cactus plants, strange fungus and growths. And they compose designs. For whether he be a primitive or an expressionist, Herriman is an artist; his works are built up; there is a definite relation between his theme and his structure, and between his lines, masses, and his page." In a future collage, I intend to highlight more of those strange objects.

For those of you who don't know "Krazy Kat," I hope this encourages you to seek out full-page examples of his work, so you can see more of what Gilbert Seldes is writing about...

Smiley Derleth, buonacoppi, Ulrich John and 2 other people have particularly liked this photo

 Tim Lukeman
Tim Lukeman
You had me at "Krazy Kat" … :)
12 months ago.
xenophora club

I have several paperback volumes of the Kat's adventures. I also love *Mutts*, with its very obvious debt to these iconic figures.
12 months ago.
 Ulrich John
Ulrich John club
That's great, Fi !
12 months ago.
 Fi Webster
Fi Webster club
Yes indeed, xenophora, I love "Mutts," too, which expands on the debt to "Krazy Kat" with that charming dog named Earl. =smile=
12 months ago.

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