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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Krazy Kat gets animated

Posted By on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge A title card from the 1936 animated Krazy Kat cartoon Li'l Aingil.
  • A title card from the 1936 animated Krazy Kat cartoon Li'l Aingil.

For this week's cover story
, I talked with Michael Tisserand, author of Krazy: George Herriman in Black and White — the first in-depth biography of the New Orleans-born illustrator who created the seminal comic strip Krazy Kat. (After we went to print, Krazy was named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Nonfiction of 2016.)

One subject we didn't broach in our conversation was Krazy Kat's animated adaptations, which were of varying quality. This 1936 Krazy Kat cartoon, Li'l Aingil, is close to Herriman's spirit, but the drawing of Krazy in the title card resembles Felix the Cat more than the Krazy of the comics:
click to enlarge The 1962 version of Krazy was a rounder, cuter cat that was definitely female.
  • The 1962 version of Krazy was a rounder, cuter cat that was definitely female.

Krazy also had a run on American television in the early 1960s, in a series by King Features. Keeping Up With Krazy (1962) is typical of those features, with a more rounded, "cuter" Krazy (who was also definitely a female in this incarnation), along with more limited animation and a distinctly "Fifties" style: For more information on Krazy Kat, read this week's cover story.

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