Krazy & Ignatz 1925-26: A Happy Lend Fur Away TP Paperback – Sep 18 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
In 1999, the Comics Journal named Herriman's Krazy Kat the greatest comic strip of the 20th century. It's never been too well known (in the course of its 30-year run, it often survived only because of William Randolph Hearst's support), but cartoonists more or less agree it's a masterpiece. The premise couldn't be simpler: Krazy Kat loves Ignatz Mouse, who rejects the Kat's affections by throwing a brick at him? her? Krazy is both and neither whereupon Offisa Pupp arrests Ignatz. This was the plot of nearly every episode, but the beauty was in the variations Herriman could work on it and in his delirious sense of style. The primal comedy played out in thousands of ways, drawn with an incomparable design sense against a gorgeously stylized backdrop of the American Southwest and delivered with Herriman's hilarious dialogue half invented, half quasi-Joycean wordplay ("Ooy-yooy-yooy wot a goldish oak finish like a swell mihoginny piyenna l'il dusky dahlink!!!"). This first in a new series of reprints (designed by Chris Ware and edited by Bill Blackbeard) picks up where the series published by Eclipse Books left off 10 years ago; it'll cover two years in each volume. This 1925-1926 collection shows how Herriman began to stretch out, opening up his layouts and experimenting with storytelling technique and the basic conventions of the comic strip itself.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-A collection of reprints from the popular Sunday cartoon. The comic strip features three main characters: Krazy, the clueless cat who is in love with Ignatz, the mouse; Ignatz, who likes to throw bricks at Krazy, which the feline invariably interprets as expressions of love; and Officer Pupp, who adores Krazy and is always looking to arrest Ignatz for his crimes. Krazy, meanwhile, always sees the arrests as being just two good friends playing a game together. Herriman manipulates this formula over and over again into something fresh, each strip becoming a little funnier because of readers' familiarity with the strange relationships among the characters. The irregular lettering and spelling, as well as the roughness of the drawing, while at first off-putting, somehow support the madcap oddness. The black-and-white cartoons are laid out in their original newspaper format, one to a page, on high-quality paper. "Krazy Kat" is one of the few early strips still as enjoyable now as when it was written, and plays an important role in the history of the humorous newspaper comics. A must-read for future cartoonists, as well as anyone who simply needs a good laugh.
Paul Brink, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
More good news is Fantagraphic's pledge (near the end of this book) that once they complete the Krazy Kat cycle (kompleat with the kompleat Kolor Komiks in full Kolor), they will go back and republish the years covered by the Eclipse volumes! I was never able to find all 9 volumes, and those that appear on E-bay tend to get VERY pricey ...
This is good news for all of the Kat's devoted followers. May Fantagraphics march on.
I love this strip and I respect George Herriman as an artist. If you already have a taste for Krazy Kat--and are longing for more material to be continuously reprinted (as I am)--this is a purchase you should be making without me telling you. Otherwise, you had better get a taste for this particular work before you delve into this chapter of its development. Or try back in a book or two.
For those who are not familiar with Krazy Kat--a larger group, alas--there isn't room here for the superlatives that this strip inspires, let alone for an explanation of the many facets of the work. When you first read it, you may be puzzled at all the praise heaped on this thing--this is because so much of the effect of KK is cumulative. In my experience, it is the richest example of variations-on-a-theme in all of art, regardless of medium. (And there are hundreds of Krazy Kat strips that I've never seen!)
The best introduction to Herriman remains the the bio by McDonnell, et al, which samples the breadth of his work. But there's much to be said for reading a group of strips sequentially.
The 1925-26 Sunday strips collected here show Herriman in fine form, even though his inventive page design is straightjacked much of the time. Herriman's publisher W.R. Hearst imposed a strict format on Herriman from mid-1925-29, in an effort to promote the strip (this is explained in the book). But Herriman manages to make the best of the restrictions, and Herriman's best is fine indeed.
It is scandalous that this material has remained unavailable for so long. Kudos to Fantagraphics, and lucky for all of us that Herriman's glorious work is again becoming available.
If there's anything I could add that would make my recommendation more emphatic, consider it said.
Most recent customer reviews
Every man, woman, and child should own a complete set of George Herriman's Krazy Kat, but that's currently impossible cos so much of it is out of print (or has never been... Read morePublished on June 23 2003 by bhangonoveloctresidom
Thank god Fantagraphics took this on! All of us Krazy fans had lost hope when the previous reprint went under. (especially if you hadn't heard of it until after it was over. Read morePublished on June 24 2002
it has been nearly a decade since the earlier attempts to collect (at least) the sunday strips collapsed, but now some brave fools are again attempting to assemble a complete... Read morePublished on June 6 2002 by Jonathan Lapin
As a former resident of Coconino County, Arizona (a lovely region, though I was never able to drag the Mittens down from Monument Valley to dance around my neighborhood, as Krazy... Read morePublished on May 19 2002 by Sand Flea Press
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