Alright, I've made up my limited mind and decided to go with Krazy Kat for this week's blog post on the comics of yore. Sorry to end the suspense.
Krazy Kat started as bit player as the family cat in George Herriman's zany strip 'The Family Upstairs'. (Sounds kinda creepy, now that I think of it.) The titular family was never shown, and always caused grief to the strip's protagonist, the head of the Dingbat family. Their cat appeared in a miniature strip at the bottom of the page, along with a prickly mouse named Ignatz (apparently the pet of the family that lived upstairs). In 1913, Krazy and Ignatz were given their own comic strip and The Family Upstairs faded into oblivion.
Krazy and Ignatz were joined by the new antagonist, 'Officer Bull Pupp, the constable. And a new, bizarre triangle was formed. For you see, Krazy was in love with Ignatz, who hated her; he often threw a brick at her head, which Krazy took as a sign of affection and always enjoyed getting hit with a brick now and then. But Officer Pupp was fond of Krazy, so he usually made life miserable for Ignatz by throwing him in jail at every opportunity. What kind of nutso world was this?! And the setting for all this was the southwestern American desert.
The American public didn't like it all that much, though the publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, who owned the syndicate, loved it. So it stayed until Herriman's death in April, 1944. History has been very kind to this comic strip, as several in the industry have regarded it as the greatest comic strip ever made. I disagree as it's not one of my favorites, but I do like it, still. And Fantagraphics (them again) has reprinted every Sunday page from 1925-1944, and is now preparing to publish three more volumes covering 1916-1924's Sunday pages (which were printed years back and now out of print).
8 years ago