Krazy Kat Kartoon Klassics
June 12, 2009 11:04 PM   Subscribe

George Herriman's Krazy Kat (previously, previouslier) has been animated several times: in 1916 under the aegis of William Randolph Hearst a series of at least ten shorts was made, including "Krazy Kat Goes A-Wooing," "Krazy Kat Bugologist," and "Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse at the Circus." By 1930, under the control of Charles B. Mintz Krazy Kat had lost much of the Kat's own look, and had become, in films like "Alaskan Knights," a knockoff of Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse. In the 1960s, Gene Deitch's Krazy Kat series got back to the original look of the Kat, but animation quality was poor, and the Kat was—GASP!—made explicitly female. In 1996, director Derek Mogford gave Krazy the stop motion treatment in a well-made short that's meant to be an introduction to Herriman's kooky love triangle of Kat, Mouse, and Pup.
posted by ocherdraco (24 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Gene Deitch? As in the father of certified comix genius Kim Deitch? Because if so, Waldo the Cat has a deeper parentage than I had realized. He of course, is explicitly male.
posted by mwhybark at 11:25 PM on June 12, 2009


/me tosses brick at ocherdraco.
posted by shoesfullofdust at 11:26 PM on June 12, 2009


Oh, l'il ainjil!
posted by ocherdraco at 11:28 PM on June 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The little table lamp near the table on which my diapers were changed had a lampshade illustrated with Krazy Kat characters. My mother is surprised that I can remember that.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:08 AM on June 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


SPOOF!

SKAT!

Thanks for this! I liked the Mogford video especially--whichever direction the characters turned, they still looked just like Herriman drew them.
posted by A dead Quaker at 1:45 AM on June 13, 2009


I wanted to like the Mogford effort, but that narration-- dreadful. Just go buy some of the books.
posted by Scoo at 5:29 AM on June 13, 2009


Just go buy some of the books.

Yeah, I understand and admire the desire to honor the strip with suitable animation, but only half the genius of the strip is the art/design—the rest is the mindboggling use of the English language. A random sample from the Feb. 1, 1925 strip:
Ignatz: I have a neat notion, "Officer Pupp" of tossing this "brick" at yon cliff to see if it too would bounce back, an "echo" - as would a yodel, or a yoohoo -

Pupp: It is no mean desire, "Mouse", I must say - and I would urge strongly that you attempt the experiment - it were safer for your own welfare that you toss that "brick" at a cliff than at the noble noodle of that amiable "Krazy Kat" - and at the same time I deem it a not unworthy assay in "acoustics" - yeh-h-
As I said elsewhere, in comparing him to another great American original, Emily Dickinson:
Dickinson is perhaps America's greatest pure poet (in the sense that she has no interest in propagandizing for religious or political sects or in telling stories) and Herriman is without question America's greatest pure comic-strip artist (in the sense that he has no interest in writing for the market or in telling stories); her self-limitation to an apparently simple hymn form for her verse is as striking as his self-limitation to an apparently simple triangular structure for his strips (Ignatz heaves a brick at Krazy and is chastised by Officer Pupp), and both have been condescended to for these alleged faults, which in fact allowed them to refine their art and bring it to unmatched levels.
In conclusion: the more Krazy Kat posts, the better!
posted by languagehat at 7:06 AM on June 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, man, that Mogford short is gorgeous.
posted by egypturnash at 7:23 AM on June 13, 2009


This is probably not a useful comment, but it's 8am and I just read "bugologist" as "bulgogist" (is Krazy Kat a connoisseur of Korean food?).
posted by mirepoix at 8:20 AM on June 13, 2009


Ocherdraco - the gauntlet has been laid down. Metafilter: Expect a fantastic Little Nemo in Slumberland post courtesy of Yours Truly sometime this week.

Nice job, man.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:21 AM on June 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the kudos LT. Fwiw, I'm not a man, but a woman.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:14 AM on June 13, 2009


It IS worth something, Ocherdraco! It's worth EVERYTHING! Oh god....

I should have checked your profile. I went instantly into assumption based on nick. I.e. "Ocherdraco = shades of Dungeons and Dragons monster lore = comicfanboy = male."

I can do stupid things sometimes. It's how we learn!

posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:48 AM on June 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


George Herriman is God.

And I thought Krazy Kat *was* female! I seem to remember a monograph about the constant romantic undertone to Krazy & Ignatz's interactions.
posted by Aquaman at 10:47 AM on June 13, 2009


I have to admit, I share this opinion of Gene Deitch. That stop-motion animated short is a doozy, though, in the best possible way.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:26 PM on June 13, 2009


And I thought Krazy Kat *was* female! I seem to remember a monograph about the constant romantic undertone to Krazy & Ignatz's interactions.

That's kind of the point. There is a romantic undertone to all of it. But, the Kat is not explicitly male or female--I don't think Ignatz is either.

It's off in deep weird territory.
posted by Netzapper at 3:47 PM on June 13, 2009


For all the sensitive prizewinning novels and plays I have read or will ever read, this remains my favorite love story of them all. It's got all the cruelty, absurdity and joy of Luff, wrapped around a brick and lovingly delivered.
posted by Countess Elena at 4:20 PM on June 13, 2009


> It's off in deep weird territory.

And I'm off to crease this plate of beans with a brick.
posted by ardgedee at 5:12 PM on June 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks!

A-and now I really need to look for a nice big juicy book of Krazy Kat.
posted by asusu at 10:18 PM on June 13, 2009


Of all the books I bought last year, this is my favourite: The Kat Who Walked in Beauty. (juicy preview)
posted by shoesfullofdust at 11:28 PM on June 13, 2009


The Mogford short .. I dunno, it's very well made, but somehow it just doesn't get the 'feel' of the original strips. It's something about the light, I think: in Herriman's cartoons it always seems to be either noon or midnight (the sky tends to be either brilliant white or pitch black), but here the shadows are longer and it feels more like early evening.

In 1922 Krazy Kat was turned into a ballet, with music by John Alden Carpenter and designs by Herriman himself. Now that I would pay good money to see.
posted by verstegan at 7:06 AM on June 14, 2009


Of all the books I bought last year, this is my favourite: The Kat Who Walked in Beauty.

Thanks! I just added it to my Amazon wishlist, highest priority. My birthday's coming up, and maybe this year someone will actually use my wishlist!
posted by languagehat at 7:48 AM on June 14, 2009


I've unsuccessfully tried to explain the appeal of Krazy Kat to several friends. Particularly, one of them is an extremely intelligent professor of English Literature. I've yet to succeed on passing on my fondness for the Kat. I'm thinking I might be going about it wrong. Any suggestions?
posted by JHarris at 8:57 AM on June 14, 2009


JHarris: How ARE you going about it?
posted by pxe2000 at 9:33 AM on June 14, 2009


But, the Kat is not explicitly male or female--I don't think Ignatz is either.

The Kat is only referred to as male in the original comics. As to Ignatz, not only is he male, He's a married man with a passel of kids!
posted by lekvar at 10:32 AM on June 14, 2009


« Older Some comics about mental illness by Darryl Cunning...  |  "This is the first show I've e... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments