Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cartoon capers: Krazy like a Kat

Ignatz hurls a love token at KrazyI was going to write a bit about the differences between American and British comic book cultures today and I may well do some time but at the moment I just can't be arsed.

Instead, from the excellent "Origins of American Animation" section of the Library of Congress' American Memories collection here are a selection of silent shorts featuring Krazy Kat.

None of them come close to matching the sheer genius of George Herriman's newspaper cartoons. I love and admire these greatly but, strangely for me, I cannot read a collection of them in one setting. After about ten I am exhausted. Which is difficult to explain because at first sight the cartoons look scratchy and primitive and not very much happens. At the risk of sounding poncy (ah bollocks to it - go for it Kevin!), it's the comic strip equivalent of a Samuel Beckett play.

Krazy Kat kartoon from 6th January 1918

Bill Watterson, the creator of the wonderful "Calvin and Hobbes" recently wrote an essay on the subejct for The Komplete Kolor Krazy Kat which provides some useful insights from an artist's perspective. You can see it on the "This Recording" site so long as you don't mind scrolling down a lot too many links and adverts.

Want more Krazy Kat? The Comic Strip Library.


inkspot said...

After about 2 minutes of this sort of thing (including Betty Boop and Koko the clown) I am less exhausted than disturbed. Deeply disturbed. No doubt that is the point.

Kevin Musgrove said...

My word yes, Inky! The Fleischer Brothers cartoons can give you the yips if you watch them in the dark.