Krazy Cat Cartoon
A still from the video below
The thread that runs through this very early cartoon cat series (the Krazy Cat cartoon started in 1910) is an unusual relationship between Krazy Cat and a mouse called Ignatz Mouse, in which the mouse repeatedly throws a brick at the cat (and connects) and the cat treats this as an acceptable part of the relationship (perhaps an expression of love or affection although a very strange way to express affection). Perhaps it is simply a funny thing to do, which gives plenty of opportunity for Krazy Cat to respond (maybe he is called Krazy Cat because of his crazy acceptance of being hit by a brick all the time? However, on one occasion the cat gave the mouse a rubber brick so when it was thrown at him it bounced back and hit the mouse not so crazy after all! Also the throwing of this well documented brick is probably a metaphor for the tribulations encountered in all relationships.
A third player plays a major role. This is a dog called Officer B. Pup a police officer whose role is to throw Ignatz into jail when he attacks that crazy Cat.
Krazy Cat Goes A-Wooing
It should be mentioned that Krazy Cat began his career playing a secondary role with a bulldog in the Dingbat household. The Dingbats were the leading players. Mr. Mouse joined the cast after a month. Mr Mouse was to become Ignatz Mouse and became a central player with Krazy Cat thereafter.
There were three separate series of silent animated Krazy Cat cartoons. Being silent films, speech was transmitted through the written word on screen, which brings me to another interesting thing about this comic strip character. He used some pretty quirky and interesting language as you can see from the video above. George Herriman created the characters and, of course, the language.
When Krazy Cat expresses his love for Ignatz Mouse he uses prosaic and verbose language such as, "E'en but to gaze at thy picture fairest one, gives big pains to my heart - fain, sweet face, would I kiss thee o'er and o'er" (fain means "happily" or "gladly" in this context but it is archaic language. It does rhyme with "pains" in the sentence however. The word "E'en" means evening). The language, as written, indicated an amalgam of immigrant and regional accents (e.g. "Offissa" meaning "Officer").
International Film Services released 13 Krazy Cat cartoon films in 1916. RC Pictures released 19 between 1926 and 1927. Then Parammount-Famous Lasky produced 41 films. The films probably didn't add much to the comic strip, which was very animated. As a comic strip it appeared in U.S. newspapers between 1913 and 1944, being published in William Randolph Hearst's New York Evening Journal.
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