George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat”, The Complete Color Sundays 1935–1944

George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat”, The Complete Color Sundays 1935–1944

George Herriman’s “Krazy Kat”, The Complete Color Sundays 1935–1944 is a beautiful book published by Taschen and is available on Amazon.

As with all Taschen books, they are beautifully printed with great layouts. This is the XXL version of the book and comes with a cardboard keepsake box with a handle. It is also great protection for the book. This volume presents all Krazy Kat color Sunday stories from 1935–1944 and a detailed introduction by comic expert Alexander Braun, who illuminates Herriman’s multi-ethnic background and reveals what makes this timeless work of art about a queer cat so extraordinary.

I already have the entire collection of Krazy Kat Sundays spanning from 1913 until 1944. I collected them over time. The series was first published by Eclipse Publishers and then Fantagraphics continued the series. They are now re-releasing the Sundays.

But why should you buy something you already have? It is the size. The Sundays were published in the Newspaper. This book comes close to the original size they were published in.

Krazy Kat

So what is Krazy Kat all about? Krazy Kat is a cat that lives in the Coconino Valley with other citizens. The main characters are Krazy Kat, a gender fluid cat. Ignatz, a hostile mouse that hates Krazy Kat and always throws a brick at its head. And Offica Pup, a dog that tries to protect Krazy Kat and locks up Ignatz, each time he throws a brick. It is actually a love triangle between these characters. The premise is always the same and Herriman managed to make new comics with this theme for 30 years.

Inspiration

Krazy Kat has been one of my favourite comics. I have collected many books of Krazy Kat and I even read the biography about George Herriman, the creator of Krazy Kat. I started to notice Krazy Kat through an interview with Walt Kelly, the creator of the Pogo comic. He was inspired by the art of Krazy Kat and used the whimsical and absurd humor of Krazy Kat. He was not the only one that got inspired by the art of George Herriman. Because of the strange dialect and sometimes poetic nature of the comic it became a favourite by artists like Picasso, Jack Kerouac and Willem de Kooning. The comic was also a big inspiration to comics artist Patrick McDonnell of the comic Mutts. But Krazy Kat was not loved by the general public, because it was too experimental and weird.

Original

It was thanks to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, a confirmed fan who gave Herriman carte blanche in his newspapers, that the artist was allowed to freely explore countless absurd and melancholy variations on the theme of unrequited love for years on end. Herriman unabashedly took advantage of this, radically exploring the medium’s potential and pushing all of its formal boundaries; readers had to put up with surreal, Dadaist sceneries, a language that whirled slang, neologisms, phonetic spelling, and scholarly references, and diffuse gender roles―making Krazy Kat probably the first gender-fluid star in comic history. The first comics of Krazy Kat were published in 1913 in the newspapers as a daily comic and on Sunday as a full page comic in the Comics section of the newspaper. In these Sunday pages Herriman thrived and experimented with layouts and other extraordinary visual solutions to tell the story. Especially in the beginning the Sundays were an exploration of the comic form. This book shows the last 9 years of the Sunday comics. They are less experimental but still a joy to read and enjoy. Taschen have printed the pages on an offwhite paper and have painstakingly restored the original Sundays and used beautiful blow ups of some panels to show the shear beauty of the art of George Herriman.

  • Hardcover: 632 pages
  • Publisher: TASCHEN (July 25, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.5 x 20 inches (30 x 44 cm)
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 pounds