on this U.S. postage stamp, Ignatz the mouse throws a brick at Krazy Kat, a black cat with a pink face

Krazy KatGeorge Herriman


Impossible love, requited with a brick, is always true. * Krazy Kat is in love, and every brick naïvely proves Ignatz willing to please. * Ignatz Mouse will have none of it. Throwing his brick is not a sign of affection, but revolutionary individualism.

Officer Bull Pupp

His own desire would seem to coincide with his duty until it begins to gnaw at his soul; however, remember he’s only a cartoon.

Only playing

Krazy Kat thinks Ignatz and Pupp are only playing. Pupp doesn’t understand why Krazy Kat’s attracted to the mouse, and Ignatz doesn’t see that he actually loves Krazy Kat.


Ignatz throws his brick at Krazy Kat whenever we would choose to groan: Krazy’s reward for silliness or for a bad pun.

Left to the imagination

Herriman left white spaces for the imagination to fill, and,like a sprite or elf, he gave Krazy Kat no gender.

Temporal art

Krazy Kat speaks Yat, a dialect from New Orleans, but lives among yuccas and mesa in Coconino County, Arizona. The Sunday panels can span the page, overlap, or disappear. The Kat’s words are not misspelled. The landscape’s not merely a fantasy. Affectionately surreal, stylized whimsy, Navajo designs, trees in pots, adobe buildings with tile roofs, this was art intended each day to be tossed into the trash.