Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Krazy Kat and Peanuts

George Herriman's Krazy Kat and Charles M. Schulz's Peanuts are two major newspaper comic strips that bookend the twentieth century.  They are works that provided daily entertainment for their readers, but also had a unique artistry.

Deep thinkers found much to think about in these series.  The New York Review of Books has published philosopher, critic and novelist Umberto Eco's 1985 article "On 'Krazy Kat' and 'Peanuts'" on their website.

image source: "Some Say it With A Brick": George Herriman's Krazy Kat," by Elisabeth Crocker

Regarding Krazy Kat, Eco notes "a certain lyrical stubbornness in the author, who repeated his tale ad infinitum, varying it always but sticking to its theme."  Writing of Peanuts, Eco observes that could never grasp the poetic power of Schulz’s work by reading only one or two or ten episodes: you must thoroughly understand the characters and the situations, for the grace, tenderness, and laughter are born only from the infinitely shifting repetition of the patterns... 
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image source: Peanuts Wiki

After reading Umberto Eco's essay you will, of course, want to view the source.  Thankfully the Library has large and growing set of reprints of these timeless comic strips published by Fantagraphics.

Here is a book list for your reading pleasure. The Peanuts sets often have introductions written by celebrities from many creative fields.  Many of these volumes are available at the Main Library and the branches.

Krazy & Ignatz. Love in a Kestle or Love in a Hut: Convening the Full-Page Comic Strips, 1916-1918.

Krazy & Ignatz. A Kind, Benevolent and Amiable Brick : Convening the Full-Page Comic Strips, 1919-1921.

Krazy & Ignatz. There is a Heppy Land, Fur, Fur Wwa-a-ay: Comprising the Complete Full-page Comic Strips, 1925-26.
Krazy & Ignatz. Love Letters in Ancient Brick: Continuing the Complete Full-Page Comic Strips, 1927-28.

Krazy & Ignatz. A Mice, a Brick, a Lovely Night: Cataloging the Complete Full-Page Comic Strips, 1929-30.

Krazy & Ignatz. A Kat a'Lilt With Song: Convening the Complete Full-Page Comic Strips, with Some Extra Dailies, 1931-32.

Krazy & Ignatz. Necromancy by the Blue Bean Bush: Compounding the Complete Full-Page Comic strips, with Some Extra Rarities, 1933-34.

Krazy & Ignatz. A Wild Warmth of Chromatic Gravy: Coalescing the Complete Full-Page Comic Strips, with the Usual Extra Rarities, 1935-36.

Krazy & Ignatz. A Brick Stuffed with Moom-Bims: Congregating the Complete Full-Page Comic Strips, with Addenda, 1939-40.
Krazy & Ignatz. A Ragout of Raspberries: Culling Together the Complete Full-Page Comic Strips, with Addenda, 1941-42.

The complete Peanuts.  1950 to 1952.

The complete Peanuts. 1953 to 1954

The complete Peanuts. 1955 to 1956.

The complete Peanuts. 1957 to 1958.

The complete Peanuts. 1959 to 1960.

The complete Peanuts. 1961 to 1962.

The complete Peanuts. 1963 to 1964 [foreword by Bill Melendez].

The complete Peanuts. 1965 to 1966 [foreword by Hal Hartley].

The complete Peanuts. 1967 to 1968 [introduction by John Waters].

The complete Peanuts. 1969 to 1970 [foreword by Mo Willems].

The complete Peanuts. 1971 to 1972 [introduction by Kristin Chenoweth].

The complete Peanuts. 1973 to 1974 [introduction by Billie Jean King].

The complete Peanuts. 1975 to 1976 [introduction by Robert Smigel].

The complete Peanuts. 1977 to 1978 [introduction by Alec Baldwin].

The complete Peanuts. 1979 to 1980 [introduction by Al Roker].

The complete Peanuts. 1981 to 1982 [foreword by Lynn Johnston].

The complete Peanuts. 1983 to 1984 [introduction by Leonard Maltin].

The complete Peanuts, 1985 to 1986 [foreword by Patton Oswalt].

The complete Peanuts. 1987 to 1988 [foreword by Gary Trudeau].

The complete Peanuts, 1989 to 1990 [introduction by Lemony Snicket].

The complete Peanuts, 1991 to 1992 [introduction by Tom Tomorrow].

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