Sunday, April 23, 2017

Krazy Post

I have to admit, I don't always get George Herriman's Krazy Kat, particularly the adulation over it.  It is droll at times, but in many ways exhausting to see Herriman returning to the same themes over and over and over.  (More often that not, the backgrounds of the Sunday comics are far more radical and interesting than the love triangle that is driving the plot.)  Nonetheless, to remain a member of the intelligensia in good standing, I have bought the entire run of the Sunday comics from Fantagraphics, though I've probably only read through about 25% of the books.  I don't know if I would get the dailies if they put them all in one place -- probably only if there was an on-line subscription somewhere.

That said, I do appreciate Herriman's art in small doses.  I really liked his art for Don Marquis's Archy and Mehitabel.  I keep hoping that Fantagraphics will go ahead and release Stumble Inn, which collected Herriman's strips about humans.  (It's going on 4 years overdue at this point.)  Here is a run-down of the main characters in Stumble Inn.

I'm bringing this up, since there was a recent piece about Florence Nightingale and her trip to Egypt.  While she didn't rate them all that highly, some of the amulets have turned out to have historic significance, while the seals that she liked so much were all forgeries.

This was my favorite of the amulets.

The stance reminded me just a bit of how Herriman drew his characters at least some of the time.  Herriman picked up a bit on the Egyptian craze and this portrait of Kleo Kat (one of Krazy's ancestors) came out in 1919.

Incidentally, Mehitabel claimed she was Cleopatra reincarnated as a cat (this is one of the first entries in archy and mehitabel).  It isn't entirely clear whether this was first published in the New York Sun prior to Kleo Kat's appearance or a bit later on, perhaps in the New York Herald-Tribune.  I suppose it doesn't really matter.  There was just something in the air at that time.

I don't have anything particularly profound to add, so I will give Mehitabel the closing lines:
there s a dance in the old dame yet
toujours gai toujours gai


No comments:

Post a Comment