Krazy Kat is a American Comic strip created by George Herriman and published in the newspapers of the country, in week and the weekend, between 1913 and 1944. The first publication was done in the New York Evening Journal of William Randolph Hearst. The series mixes surrealism, poetry enjouée unconcern, which has done of it one of the data bases preferred of impassioned and criticisms for more than 80 years.
The strips are centered on a triangular relation between its character éponyme, a Chat innocent and off-hand of unspecified sex (but generally regarded as a female), its antagonistic Ignatz Mouse, and the sergeant Pupp ( Officer Pupp ), police officer. Krazy is stiff with love for Ignatz but this one mistakes it, and spends its time seeking to launch a brick to him to the head. What Krazy interprets like a proof of love… Pupp, as a guarantor about the area of Coconino, makes very to prevent Ignatz from arriving at its goal and very often locks up the mouse in prison.
In spite of the simplicity of the intrigue, the painting of the characters detailed, to which the verbal and visual creativity of Herriman is added, make Krazy Kat one of the first cartoons be regarded as art by the intellectuals. Gilbert Seldes, celebrates critic art of the time, wrote in 1924 a long panegyric of the strip, qualifying it then “work artistic more amusing, fantastic and satisfactory of contemporary America”. The famous poet E.E. Cummings, another admiror of George Herriman, wrote the introduction of the first album of Krazy Kat . More recently, much of scenario writers and draftsmen note that the strip had a major influence on their works.
SummaryThe action of Krazy Kat proceeds in a highly stylized version of the Comté of Coconino (Arizona). Herriman decorates the page with landscapes evoking the Painted Desert which is there, and these backgrounds tend to change as with the theater, even when the characters remain in place. The passages of account often mix a enjouée prose and alliterative with a poetic sensitivity. In its pages of Sunday, Herriman tries out atypical page layouts (frameworks of forms changeantes), in order to better serve the narration.
In spite of the simplicity of the intrigue, Herriman always succeeds in being renewed. Sometimes, Ignatz achieves its goal, and its brick runs up against the head of Krazy. Generally, the Pupp sergeant shows himself more malignant than the astute mouse and imprisons it. The intervention of other characters (of the inhabitants of the county of Coconino, them also animal anthropomorphic) or of the forces of nature, give time to other an unexpected turning with the stories. In others strips, the simplistic declarations of Krazy irritate so much the mouse which it will seek a brick in the last box. One finds also humor autoreferential: in a strip, the Pupp sergeant, after having stopped Ignatz, reprimand the draftsman not to have finished drawing the prison.
In its time, the series did not meet a very great success: many readers were obstructed by his refusal iconoclast to conform to conventions of the Comic strip which prescribe to present only simple gags. But thanks to the tycoon of the edition William Randolph Hearst, which adored Krazy Kat , it could continue to appear in its newspapers, sometimes directly under its orders.
Krazy KatA little simple spirit and very curious, the character éponyme with the series nonchalamment saw his life in the county of Coconino. He speaks in a Argot highly stylized (“has fowl konspirissy - is it pussible? ”) evoking English, French, Spanish, the Yiddish and other languages. When Ignatz is stopped before having been able to launch its brick, Krazy hopelessly seeks its “zery” and wonders where it could well pass.
The sex of Krazy is never clearly defined, but the majority of the post-Herriman authors (by beginning with E.E. Cummings) refers to it as being a female. Its creator preferred to let plane ambiguity, and played even above in several strips. When the scenario writer Frank Capra, afficionado of the strip, requested from Herriman a precise answer, the author answered that Krazy was “something like an elf or a spirit. Those do not have a sex. Thus this Kat cannot be male nor female. Krazy is a spirit - an imp - free to involve itself in what it wishes. ”
IgnatzIgnatz Mouse has fun naivety of Krazy, and nothing delights it more than to throw a brick on the head of the cat. To prevent that its plans are not thwarted by the Pupp sergeant, always vigilant (and always suspicieux), Ignatz hiding place its brick, is disguised, or engaged of other facetious inhabitants of the county (without never clarifying its intentions). The eagerness which puts Krazy to meet it anywhere and in order to receive brick any time that it believes mark of affection facilitates the task of the mouse largely.
The sergeant Pupp ( Officer Pupp )“Arm of the law and the order”, the sergeant Bull Pupp (also called “Flikard” or “Serzent”, to translate “Offissa” and “Offisa”), permanently tries - while arriving there sometimes - to make obstacle with the intentions of Ignatz. The sergeant Pupp and Ignatz are always given to the maximum in their confrontations, even when Krazy is not directly implied, because they adore to see the other passing for an idiot. In the French version published in Monthly Charlie , the inaccurate translation of “Pupp officer” had been selected.
Minor charactersIn addition to the three heroes, many characters populate the county of Coconino. Kolin Kelly, a dog, is brick-maker, providing Ignatz out of projectiles, although it does not trust him. Mrs Kwakk Wakk, duck out of hat, are a shrew who observes Ignatz assemble her plots then denounces it with the sergeant. Joe Stork (Stork), “supplier of the offspring of the princes like proletarians”, often delivers babies nondesired to various characters (in a strip, Ignatz tries to make him throw a brick on the head of Krazy since the sky). Some other characters rather frequently appear: Bum Bill Bee, insect of passage; Gift Kiyote, worthy Coyote member of the Mexican aristocracy; Moby Duck, poultry of Chinese origin which resembles a Coolie and directs a laundry; cousins of Krazy: Krazy Katbird (Mocker cat) and Krazy Katfish (Catfish).
Krazy Kat developed from an other comic strip of Herriman, The Dingbat Family , which began in 1910. The author filled bottom of the pages of this series with gags with the large strings on the adventures of a cat and a mouse.
This strip of bottom of page ends up being more important than the cartoon under whom it had been born. Krazy Kat did not become a daily comic strip having its own title (which was presented vertically on the side of the page) the October 28th 1913 then did not appear any more but Sunday, in black and white, starting from the April 23rd 1916. Following the protests of the editors who did not find that the series was appropriate for the heading “cartoons”, Krazy Kat appeared, in the newspapers of Hearst, under that of “Art and theater”. However, Hearst itself liked the series as well as it made sign in Herriman a contract with life all while guaranteeing a total freedom of creation to him.
In spite of its weak success near the general public, Krazy Kat was very followed by the intellectuals. In 1922, a Ballet Jazz inspired of the series was produced and adapted by John Alden Carpenter. Although the spectacle was played closed counters and receipt a positive reception of the critics of the NewYork Times and New Republic , it did not make it possible the cartoon to gain in popularity, as opposed to what Hearst had hoped. In addition to Seldes and Cummings, one found among the contemporaries admirors of Krazy Kat Willem de Kooning, H.L. Mencken, and Jack Kerouac. and of the Postmodernisme.
The publication in album color of the boards of Sunday began in 1935. Although the number of newspapers to publish Krazy Kat decreased after this date, Herriman continued to animate its characters - thus creating nearly 3000 boards - until his death in 1944. Hearst refused that another author takes the continuation of the series, contrary for the use of time, because it knew it closely related to his creator.
Adaptations in cartoons
Krazy Kat was animated many times. The first short-measurings were produced by Hearst since 1916, by its company Hearst-Vitagraph News Pictorial then later by the International Film Service (YEWS), without Herriman not intervening. In 1920, after two years of pause, the John R. Bray studio started to produce to him also a series of short-measurings Krazy Kat .
In 1925, the pioneer of animation Bill Nolan decided to again carry the series to the screen, while being produced by Margaret J. Winkler. Contrary to the preceding adaptations, that of Nolan was not based completely on the characters of George Herriman: the cat-like one of its short-measurings was a male whose aspect and personality pointed out to Felix the cat. That probably comes owing to the fact that Nolan worked with the studios of Pat Sullivan.
Charles B. Mintz, the husband of Winkler, took the control of the operations gradually. Its studio and began to him their court-measurings wired for sound with Ratskin in 1929. In 1930, it moved its team in California and changed the design of the characters, who hardly any more resembled those of the newspapers. Krazy Kat speaking about Mintz, as many cartoons of beginning of the year 30, strongly resembled Mickey Mouse, and its adventures were large not very subtle jokes which he lived with his boyfriend (a she-cat) and his domestic dog. In 1936, the organizer Isadore Klein, with the blessing of Mintz, carried out short-measuring Lil' Ainjil , only work of supposed the Mintz studio to resemble that of Herriman. But Klein “was terribly disappointed” by the result and Krazy imitation-Mickey thus made its return. In 1939, Mintz sold its studio with Columbia Pictures, near which it had been involved in debt. Under the name of Screen Gems, the studio produced in 1940 an ultimate cartoon of Krazy Kat The Mouse Exterminator ( the exterminator of mouse ).
Krazy returned to the screen in 1962, animated by the Czechoslovakian studios Rembrandt Films of Gene Deitch, with Prague. These cartoons were closer to the comic strip (especially decorations) and helped to make discover the cat of Herriman to the generation of the baby-boom. In order not to have troubles with the Censure (which could have accepted a Homosexualité), Krazy was presented like explicitly female. The music of the majority of the episodes was composed by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. The production stopped in 1964. In 1995, the series belonged to the 20 stamps emitted by the American post offices to celebrate traditional Comic strip.
If short-measurings Beep Beep and Coyote, carried out by Chuck Jones, are among the most famous cartoons inspired of work of George Herriman. Bill Watterson ( Calvin and Hobbes ) names Krazy Kat among its three major influences (with Peanuts and Pogo ). Charles Mr. Schulz and Will Eisner affirms being come to the cartoon in particular thanks to the impact produced on them by the reading from Krazy Kat at the time of their years of training.
Jules Feiffer, Philip Guston carries in their work the easily recognizable mark of Krazy Kat . The comic strip of Larry Gonick Kokopelli & Company takes seat in a “county of Kokonino”. Chris Ware admires the series, and Fantagraphics, its publisher, is republishing the integral of the strips.
Beyond the authors of cartoon, one finds the work of Herriman in the news written in 1987 by Jay Cantor Krazy Kat , which uses the characters of Herriman to analyze the human reactions to the nuclear weapons, while Michael Stipe of the rock group R.E.M. carries a tattooing of Ignatz and Krazy.
American editions in collectionThe very first edition of the strips of Krazy Kat was the fact of Henry Holt & Co., in 1946, two years after the death of George Herriman. It contained approximately 200 strips selected. However, no complete edition could be born before the Eighties, because of the problems of restoration of the images, the newspapers of origin being often damaged or untraceable.
All the Sunday strips of 1916 to 1924 were published by Eclipse Comics in co-operation with Turtle Island Press, but when the editor ceased existing, the project stopped. Since 1992, Fantagraphics took again the edition of Sunday strips after 1924, entrusting the graphic direction of the unit to Chris Ware. No integral edition of the daily strips still was born.
Edition of Eclipse Comics
- Krazy & Ignatz (strips of 1916) ISBN 0913035491
- The Other Side off the Shore From Here (strips of 1917) ISBN 0913035742
- The Limbo off Useless Unconsciousness (strips of 1918) ISBN 0913035769
- Howling Along the Halls off Night (strips of 1919) ISBN 0913035420
- Pilgrims one the Road to Nowhere (strips of 1920) ISBN 1560600233
- Sure Ace Moons is Cheese (strips of 1921) ISBN 056060330
- has Katnip Kantata in the Key off K (strips of 1922) ISBN 0560600632
- Inna Yott One the Muddy Germanium (strips of 1923) ISBN 0560600659
- Shed has Soft Mongolian Tear (strips of 1924) ISBN 1560601027
- Honeysuckil Love is Doubly Swit (strips of 1925) New.
Edition Kitchen Sink Near
- 1935-36 ISBN 0924359064
- 1936-37 ISBN 0924359072 (restricted distribution)
- Krazy & Ignatz in " There Has Heppy Lend Furfur A-Waay": The Komplete Kat Komics 1925 - 1926 ISBN 1560973862
- Krazy & Ignatz in " Coil Letters In Ancient Brick": The Komplete Kat Komics 1927 - 1928 ISBN 1560975075
- Krazy & Ignatz in " In Mice, Brig has, has Lovely Night": The Komplete Kat Komics 1929 - 1930 ISBN 1560975296
- Krazy & Ignatz in " In Kat Alilt with Song": The Komplete Kat Komics 1931 - 1932 ISBN 1560975946
- Krazy & Ignatz in " Necromancy by the Blue Bean Bush": The Komplete Kat Komics 1933 - 1934 ISBN 1560976209
- Krazy & Ignatz: The Supplements Sunday Strips 1925 - 1934 . Collection of the first five flexible covers volumes into only one with the hard-bound cover. Pulling limited to thousand specimens and commandable only near the editor; Unknown ISBN.
- Krazy & Ignatz in " In Wild Warmth off Chromatic Gravy": The Komplete Kat Komics 1935 - 1936 ISBN 156097690X (the first volume colors)
- Krazy & Ignatz in " Shifting Sands Dusts its Cheeks in Powdered Beauty": The Komplete Kat Komics 1937 - 1938 ISBN 1560977345
- Krazy & Ignatz in " With Brig Stuffed with Moom-bins": The Komplete Kat Komics 1939 - 1940 ISBN 1-56097-789-2
- Krazy & Ignatz: The Kat Who Walked in Beauty (strips daily, to appear in 2007) ISBN 1-56097-854-6
Edition Harry NR. Abrams, Inc.
- Krazy Kat: The Comic Art off George Herriman . Various strips. ISBN 0810991853 (flexible cover) ISBN 0810981521 (hard-bound cover)
Editions in French languageThe series, which was published only in 1965 in Europe (in Linus , Italian magazine), then in 1970 in France (in Charlie Mensuel ) was published for the first time in album by Futuropolis in the Eighties:
- "Krazy Kat" , 1981, including/understanding the daily boards of 1937 to 1938 and the boards of Sunday of 1922 to 1943.
- " Krazy Kat" 1921-1931 , 1985, drawn with 2500 specimens.
- the Integral colors of " Krazy Kat" , volume 1 1935-1936, 1990, a luxurious volume introduced by Rick Marshall and prefaced by Bill Watterson which will not know a continuation (seven volumes were announced) with the stop of Futuropolis. This volume is still available.
To publish Krazy Kat in French presents particular difficulties: the series is old and little known. Moreover, the translation is complex, in particular for the strange language spoken by Krazy, on which rest many strips. Since Futuropolis, no editor had courage to harness himself with this task.
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