- Paperback: 120 pages
- Publisher: Fantagraphics Books (April 8 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1560975075
- ISBN-13: 978-1560975076
- Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 1 x 30.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #600,705 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Krazy & Ignatz: Komplete 1927-1928 Paperback – Apr 8 2008
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From Library Journal
Herriman's comic strip "Krazy Kat," which ran in newspapers from 1913 until Herriman's death in 1944, is widely regarded as one of the greatest examples of the comics as art. Comics creators from Charles Schulz and Bill Watterson to Jeff Smith and Art Spiegelman have sung its praises. This volume is the second in Fantagraphics's series reprinting the complete strips from the Sunday pages, picking up where an earlier series from the now-defunct Eclipse Books left off. The strip's basic situation is simple: Ignatz Mouse loves to bop Krazy Kat on the head with bricks. Krazy, who loves Ignatz, receives each blow as if it were a token of affection, and Officer Pupp, who loves Krazy, tries to thwart Ignatz's abuse. In most of the strips here, Herriman's boldness is hampered by the eight-panel format temporarily forced upon him, but his wit with words, constantly changing desertscapes, and inventiveness are in full play. The strips are presented in their original black and white. Smaller libraries might be content with a sample volume or with the out-of-print anthology Krazy Kat: The Comic Art of George Herriman (Abrams, 1986). Large libraries and specialists in comics history should kollect this klassic komplete.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
It isn't uncommon now for comics to aspire to high-art status, but Herriman's newspaper strip, "Krazy Kat," which debuted in 1913, reached still unsurpassed artistic heights during the medium's early, declasse years. It centers on the titular, apparently genderless feline; its nemesis and beloved, Ignatz Mouse, whose mission in life was heaving bricks at Krazy, who perceived them as love offerings; and Offissa Pupp, a dog policeman dedicated to jailing Ignatz and winning Krazy's affections. Herriman situated this simple triangle of misdirected and unrequited love in the vast universe of Coconino County--the scene would change radically from one panel to the next, independent of the characters' movements--rendered in a distinctively scratchy, idiosyncratic style; and he gave Krazy a fanciful argot based, maybe, on Yiddish-accented English: "There is a heppa lend, fur fur away." Simultaneously simple and profound, the strip was adored by the era's intelligentsia. This, the second volume of a project reprinting the strip's 28-year run, showcases the 1927-28 Sunday strips in black and white, for color wasn't used until 1935. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Krazy Kat can be classified as art, but hopefully it won't be classified TOO MUCH as art, because it can be appreciated on many levels as well as an artistic one. Krazy's worst fate would be to end up as solely a museum piece for aficionados. Krazy doesn't belong in a museum, he/she belongs in books; which is what makes this series so great. I just wish they could print all of them at once.
Krazy Kat works by means of the tension of 3 forces: innocence, evil, and justice. Krazy is the ultimate innocent who, when Offissa Pup pummels Ignatz with his club, merely says "Those two play so well togedda." Ignatz is evil and maybe obsession. His grand purpose in life is to "bean" Krazy with bricks. He sometimes goes to Rube Goldberg extremes to succeed. Offissa Pup is justice which is sometimes just, sometimes political, sometimes personal. In an old daily strip, Offissa Pup grabs Ignatz and says "To the jail, viper!" When Ignatz replies "Why?" Offissa Pup only says "Because it gives me pleasure." Things get more complex because Krazy loves Ignatz and Offissa Pup often insinuates that he loves Krazy. A futile love triangle and battle of good, evil, and justice gets mixed up in a strange salad.
It is simply one of the best comics ever produced.
Fantagraphics have done an excellent job of reproduction and annotation. The larger format allows you to fully enjoy Herriman's minimalist style, while laughing at the strip's fractured English and visual gags. Chris Ware's cover art for both volumes released so far in this series has also been a real treat, although I personally preferred the cover for the first volume.
Krazy Kat can be enjoyed on several levels, but the editors have made certain you can both appreciate the artistic aspects of the strip and have just plain fun reading it. I am also coming to understand Herriman's significant influence on such later masters as Johnny Hart and Charles Schulz.
Get in on the ground floor (or at most the second floor) of what will be one of the most important reprint series ever, and seek out the first volume.
Still, Herriman's playful and poetic language, his iconic characters, his weirdly abstracted and wildly shifting backgrounds, his gumbo of native and immigrant American voices and the overarching spirit of the proceedings--sweet, wry, optimistic, humble, curious, inventive as all get out--make this a work with few peers in any medium, a pleasure and inspiration for most who take the time to read a substantial number of the strips (as Krazy Kat is so much a "theme and variations," it really does require some investment of time). The best introduction remains the book about Herriman (by McDonnell, etc.) but one could start anywhere, and this volume does not disappoint.
Beginning in mid-2005, after having wrapped up the black and white period with KRAZY + IGNATZ 1933-1934 (which will contain some of the most difficult-to-find and almost-never-reprinted years) we will be releasing the five volumes containing Herriman's color years, starting with KRAZY + IGNATZ 1935-1936 -- in full color.
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