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.