Thursday, August 16, 2012
appreciate many comic art enthusiasts rank George Herriman’s comic
strip as one of the greatest of all time, I have never been able to
approach it with much enthusiasm. I see the three main characters
and recognize them as classic. I enjoy a strip here and a strip
there. But I can’t muster the same zeal for the material as do
others. Mostly, I share these feelings with fellow Kat-challenged
readers in darkened corners of comics conventions, pariahs united
by our shared lack of passion.
I haven’t given up on Krazy Kat. I have a collection or two of the
strip. On occasion, I dive into them searching for enlightenment.
It eludes me, but I still keep hoping for that glorious epiphany in
which all becomes clear and wondrous to me. Different strokes or
hopeless unawareness? Who knows?
Not that I would have seen Krazy Kat #4 [Dell; February-April 1952]
when it appeared on newsstands in my birth month of December 1951,
but, if I had, I think I would have liked it a little more than its
inspiration. More akin to the funny animal comic books of the era,
It was written and drawn by John Stanley...and Stanley, a creator
whose work I discovered as an adult, seldom fails to entertain me.
The Stanley Stories website has posted at least one story from this
issue, an untitled 10-page tale which begins with Krazy watching a
snowfall: “Ah, snow fallin’ on Koconino Kounty” and deciding it’s
a good time for “a bowl of pleasureful hot soup.”
With a bogus television broadcast, Ignatz Mouse tricks Krazy into
leaving his house and starts eating the soup. Offissa Pupp arrives
to kick Ignatz into the cold.
Krazy builds snowmen of Offissa Pupp and Ignatz. But, when he goes
to get the lawman to show him the sculptures, Ignatz remakes them
in a manner insulting to Pupp. What follows is a funny sequence of
Krazy remaking them, Ignatz remaking them before Pupp can see them
and the eventual discovery of his mischief, which brings the mousy
miscreant back to his original dilemma of finding shelter on this
cold winter’s night.
This isn’t one of Stanley’s best comics by far, but it delivered a
few laughs along the way. I’d read more.
Keep watching this bloggy thing for more vintage comics covers from
the month of my birth.
“Krazy” is a good adjective for the past several days of my life.
It was a roller coaster.
My garage sale last Friday and Saturday had to overcome sometimes
torrential rain. Which is why I decided from the start that all my
garage sales would take place completely inside my garage. Paper
and water...not a good match.
Even with the rain and the absence of some regular customers, the
garage sale was a success. It was down about fifty bucks from the
previous garage sale, but still resulted in a good paycheck for the
I didn’t keep track of how much restocking I did between Friday and
Saturday’s sales, but I paid more attention when I consolidated the
boxes on Sunday. My very rough estimate is that I sold close to a
thousand comic books on Saturday, 50-75 trade paperbacks and a few
dozen hardcovers. So, for my next garage sale on August 24 and 25,
I’ll be adding at least that many new comics, trades and hardcovers
to what’s already in the garage.
Saturday night I received an e-mail that I won’t be able to write
about for a while. But it was exceedingly good news and, tired as
I was after the garage sale, it gave me a boost of energy. Sadly,
I would soon hit the downhill part of the ride.
In previous columns, I have alluded to a troubling situation with
someone I care about, though I stress that someone is not a member
of my real family (Barb, Eddie, Kelly, Simba, my dearest friends,
etc.). While that situation has caused me much grief, it remains
something I can’t address in detail.
I visited the “someone” on Sunday. This person has already faced
some serious life changes as result of his own actions. He’ll be
facing more. I do what I can for him. That I can’t and won’t do
more, that I won’t make his self-inflicted misery the center of my
universe, has created an appreciable enmity towards me from others
who are involved with him. I’d like to think he himself gets where
I’m coming from, but I can’t know for certain.
The visit was pleasant enough. I brought him some gift cards for
a grocery store and a pie. I tried to be as encouraging as I could
be, given the circumstances. I explained what I could and couldn’t
do as his situation moves forward.
But I never addressed the elephant in the room. That all my life
people I trusted have cheated me, stolen from me, and slandered me.
And that what he did to someone else is different from what’s been
done to me only in its greater magnitude. I have trouble getting
around that, but I’m making the effort.
When I got back home on Sunday, I learned of Joe Kubert’s passing.
Except through his work, I didn’t know Kubert well. Even so, the
news hit me hard.
The downhill slide continued.
I was appalled to see DC Comics shilling Before Watchmen under the
pretense of honoring Joe Kubert. DC corrected their churlish press
release after literally hundreds of people, including some leading
comics professionals, called them on it.
I was appalled, but not surprised. This is DC Comics. This is the
kind of thing the company does. Literally nothing the company does
can surprise me.
Scratch that...DC would certainly surprise me if it suddenly began
to conduct its business in an ethical manner. I don’t think I need
fear any sudden shocks.
As bad as the DC Comics press release was, there was a far worse
commentary from a friend of mine. In a truly horrible, insensitive
piece, he used Kubert’s passing as a soap box to castigate Kubert
for inking his son’s pencils on a Before Watchman series and even
compared working on Before Watchmen to child molestation. It was
a monstrous performance.
I have more to say about Before Watchmen and the attitudes of fans
and professions toward it, pro and con, but that’s something for a
bit later in the month after I consider what I want to say and feel
I can express it in a thoughtful manner.
Monday morning continued with an avalanche of robo-calls from GOP-
holes. It’s the curse of living in a swing state. Whatever energy
I should have had on Monday faded away.
Which is why I decided to blow off the rest of the day and see The
Amazing Spider-Man with my daughter Kelly. That turned out to be
an excellent decision, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for
my review of the movie.
Tuesday? I was sick as a dog in ways I don’t even want to remember,
much less share with you.
Which brings us to today, which is Wednesday for me writing this
bloggy thing and Thursday for you reading it.
“Krazy” is what I expect from the next several days. I’m writing
blogs, taking care of household business, helping Kelly get ready
for her move back to Columbus and the start of her junior year at
The Ohio State University.
When Kelly returns to Columbus, she’ll be driving Barb’s car. With
brother Eddie now living in Marietta, Barb and I felt Kelly needed
her own vehicle. This leaves Barb and I sharing the van I usually
drive, which, in reality, means I’ll be without a vehicle most of
the time. Until we buy a new car.
We’re trading a college tuition (now that Eddie has graduated) for
a second car payment. Thankfully, the van is ours free and clear.
Even so, money will continue to be tight. In other words, come to
my garage sales. Buy lots of stuff. Please?
My online sales of stuff will resume as soon as we sort out the car
situation. Watch for them here and on eBay.
After we move Kelly back to Columbus and have an empty van again,
I’ll be making a trip to the Fortress of Storage to get stock for
the next garage sale. I don’t know what wonders I will find, but
that’s part of the fun for me.
That catches us up for now. I’ll be back tomorrow with reviews and
nothing but reviews.
© 2012 Tony Isabella
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Wow! I have always been afraid to admit that I don't completely get the awe in which this strip is held. Like you, I admire Herriman for being a pioneer in the comics field, but I often look at the strips and wonder what I'm not getting. Thanks for letting me admit this publically!ReplyDelete
Well, Dee and I are praying that the downhill starts up again for you. Sorry we live so far apart, I think we'd be swell neighbors to each other.ReplyDelete