The basic concept is simple: a black cat has fallen hopelessly in love with a cunning white mouse that keeps throwing bricks at its head, while a dog policeman named Offissa Pupp, secretly in love with the cat, tries to thwart the mouse’s attempts.
George Herriman endlessly plays with the above formula in his legendary newspaper strip, Krazy Kat, published from 1913 until his death in 1944. Through his wit, detailed characterization, and visual-verbal creativity, Herriman introduced even the least comically-inclined to the young medium of comics; Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, US President Woodrow Wilson, Jackson Pollock, Charlie Chaplin, Frank Capra, P.G. Woodehouse, Willem de Kooning—all KK fans among many others.
It was thanks to media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, a confirmed fan whom had given Herriman carte blanche in his newspapers, that Herriman was allowed to freely explore absurd and melancholic variations on the theme of unrequited love for years on end; and that he could openly challenge convention, expecting readers not only to accept his surreal, Dadaist sceneries and a language that whirled slang, neologisms, phonetic spelling, and clever references, but also his diffuse gender roles, which makes Krazy Kat probably the first gender-fluid star in comic history.
This volume contains all Krazy Kat color stories from 1935–1944 and a detailed introduction by comic expert Alexander Braun, who illuminates Herriman’s multi-ethnic background and traces the extraordinary nature of this timeless work of art starring a queer cat.