Youse mean to tell me that there are long, praising odes to SinFest, Exploitation Now and MegaTokyo on this little all-encompassing website but there's a mere three perfunctory sentences about Krazy Freaking Kat?! This is crazy, stupid, and wrong. I shall attempt to remedy with my own little newbie explanation of sainted George Herriman's comic strip called...
Krazy Kat, is a feline of indeterminate gender, but it makes the most sense to me to make him a her. A little misty in the skull, she-a-he is sent into multiple euphorias of adoration every time a brick is targeted atta her noggin by a character named...
Ignatz, is a definitely male mouse. He has that weird comic friendship with Krazy that's simultaneously conversational and cruel, the same one that allowed Lucy to first exchange interested commentary with Mister Brown before always crushing his punt-related dreams. He throws bricks at Krazy's head, an act of meanness on his part taken as token of sincere affection by Twice-K. Although she likes it, and they don't seem to do her any permanent harm, he keeps on creasin' that lady's bean. A symbiotic relationship. One interfered with often by...
Offissa Pupp (real name Bull T. Pupp), is a male dog who loves Krazy. He disapproves of the relationship of Mouse and Kat, and seeks to protect Krazy from Ignatz's vile depredations. He does this by locking Ignatz up in his little ineffectual jail cell, but it never holds him long. Pupp is trying to help, but may not be succeeding, but may be succeeding after all. None of the characters or their nonsensical actions seem to get anyplace lasting. Does that sound a little like life to ya, Spunky?
The backgrounds, those of bizarre Coconino County, are a
weirder relative of the very same scenes of the American Desert that later featured so starkly, effectively, and coyote-threateningly in the cartoons of Chuck Jones. They don't play much direct role in the story, but are extremely fitting in their extreme abstractness.
Krazy Kat was created by Herriman, originally, as a sidebar to his earlier strip The Family Upstairs that overflowed the border and became a strip in its own right. e. e. cummings wrote an essay on it. Jack Kerouac called it a predecessor of the Beat Generation. Herriman used Kat-style art, and a little bit of Krazy herself, as illustrations in the archy and mehitabel compilations. Krazy Kat is currently owned, from a legal standpoint, by King Features Syndicate.
Hey Pete! Krazy & Ignatz is the title of a series of compilations of old Krazy Kat strips, published by Fantagraphics! They're about $16 at Barnes and Noble. They are almost ten times better than any other comic you can find on the Internet that isn't by Schulz, Breathed, Watterson, Larson or O'Donnell. Buy them.