Friday, December 17, 2010

31 Days Of Santa: 17th Day- George Herriman

George Herriman's Krazy Kat has been influential to many a cartoonist, be they strip or animated, that have come after it- C. Shultz, Bill Watterson, Chuck Jones, Patrick McDonnell, and more have named it as inspiration.

It broke ground or at least marked its territory with a few elements- though the scripting was often simply formulaic and repetitive (simple-minded, care-free, gender ambiguous cat's ga-ga over mouse, who's so distracted and disgusted by the affection that mouse finds sole comfort in pelting cat with a brick in each strip, which the cat takes as a return of mutual amour, all while dog officer tries to uphold the law by- sometimes successfully- apprehending mouse for recklessness and tossing him in jail... cat imagines this as a friendly game of tag), descriptive characterization, the surreal visuals of the oft-surreal,  ever-changing backgrounds, (from panel to panel, no less), and the dialog/ verbal play- Krazy Kat spoke in his own dialect, sort of reminiscent of New Orleans speak- all helped keep this strip going as a creatively successful entity.

It wasn't the most popular with readers because it broke formula, thus making simple minds afraid of creative evolution (sorry) wonder- but critics loved, and have continued to love the strip. Good thing to have a fan like William Randolph Hearst in your corner to keep the print going for a long, LONG time in his newspapers.

Had I the $$ I would most definitely own this collection. One day.

PS- some might say that I like the old paper effect. Well........... I do.

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