Page 45 Review by Mark
Pretty, pretty, pretty. Fantagraphics take up the long-dropped baton from Eclipse to bring another hefty chunk of Picasso's favourite comic. Now there's a recommendation! This time they've got Chris Ware to let loose with his oblique lines and nostalgic, autumnal colours on the cover, making the whole package come across like Drawn & Quarterly's GASOLINE ALLEY reprints.
Krazy Kat came along so early in the development of the comic strip that it's difficult to say "Ooh, it's like this" or "like that". You can see echoes in Tom & Jerry, Woodring's FRANK, Dave Cooper, BEANWORLD and others. The only reason it ever stayed in newspapers was due to the publisher, William Randolph Hearst (the starting point for CITIZEN KANE) constantly battling with his editors and demanding that it stayed.
The premise is simple enough, there's a cat (or kat) in love with a mouse, the mouse doesn't care for the cat and is constantly launching bricks at the feline skull, only to be stopped and jailed by the policeman/dog. That's what happens. Forever. But it's much more than that. Herriman constantly produced more variations on the theme of unrequited love, the eternal triangle, always inventing new backgrounds, showing us more of the landscape and copping more native American designs.