» » The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat (Volume 1: 1935-1936)

Download The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat (Volume 1: 1935-1936) epub

by George Herriman,Rich Marschall,Bill Watterson

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Download The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat (Volume 1: 1935-1936) epub
ISBN: 0924359064
ISBN13: 978-0924359064
Category: Humor
Subcategory: Humor
Author: George Herriman,Rich Marschall,Bill Watterson
Language: English
Publisher: Kitchen Sink Pr; First edition (May 1, 1994)
Pages: 96 pages
ePUB size: 1575 kb
FB2 size: 1770 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 827
Other Formats: docx lit azw mobi

Several years ago, a friend forwarded me an article that contained two lists about the best comics of all time: one a collection of critics and another a vote from the public. Krazy Kat was on both lists, and was one of two books that I was unfamiliar with (Dave Sims's Cerebus was the other). I bought this volume and read a few pages. George Herriman began his work on Krazy Kat in the 1910s, but this collection contains color strips from the Sunday papers from 1935-36. By the time of this collection, Herriman was a quarter century deep into his characters.

The introduction by Bill Watterson (creator of Calvin and Hobbes) is glowing in its praise. He sums up Herriman's work and influence quite well, and gives very solid reasons on why he found Krazy Kat so influential.

The first few strips I read I had a hard time getting into. There is a mouse, a cat, and dog. The mouse likes to throw bricks at the cat. The cat (Krazy Kat) likes the mouse despite being hit by bricks. The dog is a cop that likes that cat and constantly arrests the mouse. Almost every strip is a variation on that basic theme. As I read on though, I was completely charmed. Herriman infuses his characters with, at times, complex alliterative language. Other times, he penned original rhymes. He discussed topics likes taxation, unions, the dole, free will, too many laws, corporate fat cats, snake oil salesmen, gossip, love and a variety of other subjects. All of this was done quite cleverly. Sometimes he found humor through words, other time from situations and still yet others through physical jokes.

The art is truly unique. He changes landscapes from panel to panel (something Watterson would do too) and conveys action adroitly. This is interesting and relevant now. The fact that he made this in the 1910s through 30s is extraordinary.
Krazy Kat was never popular; it is probably the most under-appreciated influential comic strip of all time. Artists in other genres, not just comic strips, cite it as an inspiration.
Because Krazy Kat had such a limited appeal, both then and now, reprints have been few and far between, taken up by small publishers who know that sales are going to be slow and small. Modern reprints began in 1990 with Eclipse/Turtle Island's collections of Sundays, one volume for each year. They managed to print the first decade of the strip before folding. In 2002 Fantagraphics picked up where Eclipse left off, and has been publishing reprints in two-year volumes. As I write this (Dec 2003), they are up to 1930.
During the gap between Eclipse's demise and Fantagraphics's release, Kitchen Sink Press tried their own series of Sunday reprints--also in a two-year format. But they began in 1935 when the Sunday strip began running in color. They planned for seven volumes, which would take the strip through the end of its run in 1944. Volume 1 got mass distribution. Volume 2 got a very limited run and is very hard to find. Volume 3 has an Amazon listing but I do not know if it really exists, or in what numbers.
As an edition, the Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat, Volume 1 is nearly everything one would hope for. The size is large enough to make the comics reproduce well. The colors look lively. I think the strip was reproduced better here than it was in The Smithsonian Book of Comics.
Plus there are a couple of extras--introductions by both Bill Watterson (who drew "Calvin & Hobbes") and Bill Blackbeard. Both offer insights and comments that are worth reading. Hopefully Fantagraphics will reprint these as well if and when they catch up with their own releases.
All in all, a great find if you like Krazy Kat.