In a comic strip of this sort, the spectator, not seduced by a flood of gags, or by any realistic or caricatural reference, or by any appeal to sex and violence, could discover the possibility of a purely allusive world, a pleasure of a ‘musical’ nature, an interplay of feelings that were not banal. — Umberto Eco
Hailed as the most creative comic strip of all time, Krazy Kat
offers a witty, raucous, and poetic portrayal of a love triangle between a mouse, a cat, and a dog. Krazy, a free-spirited, gender-fluid feline (sometimes referred to as he, sometimes she, sometimes both in the same strip), pines for Ignatz Mouse. Ignatz scorns Krazy’s affection, frequently lobbing bricks at the hapless cat — much to the indignation of Officer Pupp, a nightstick-wielding canine. The outlandish dramas play out in devilishly witty dialogue, delivered against a surrealistic desert backdrop. The antics of this extraordinary threesome entertained readers for decades, and The New York Times
recently deemed the ahead-of-their-time comic strips as entrancing today as when George Herriman wrote and drew them.
This compilation presents choice strips dating from the years 1918 and 1919 of the long-running series. A perennial favorite of artists and intellectuals, it appeared in newspapers until 1944. Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was such a fan that he gave Herriman a lifelong contract with King Features Syndicate. The cartoon’s other devotees ranged from Woodrow Wilson to Dr. Seuss, and Peanuts
creator Charles M. Schulz declared, I always thought if I could do something as good as Krazy Kat,
I would be happy. Krazy Kat
was always my goal.
Let’s make no mistake about Krazy. A lot of people ‘love’ because, and a lot of people ‘love’ although, and a few individuals love. Love is something illimitable; and a lot of people spend their limited lives trying to prevent anything illimitable from happening to them. Krazy, however, is not a lot of people. Krazy is herself. Krazy is illimitable — she loves. — e. e. cummings
As the artwork is poetic, so is the writing’s unique ‘texture, ‘ which comes in large part through the conglomeration of peculiar spellings and punctuations, dialects, interminglings of Spanish, phonetic renderings, and alliterations. Krazy Kat’s Coconino County not only had a look; it had a sound as well. Slightly foreign, but uncontrived. — Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes