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Krazy & Ignatz In Tiger Tea Hardcover – January 1, 2010

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Krazy & Ignatz In Tiger Tea + Krazy Kat and The Art of George Herriman: A Celebration
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 122 pages
  • Publisher: Idea & Design Works Llc (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600106455
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600106453
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 8 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,290,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Widely acclaimed as the greatest comic strip of all time, George Herriman's Krazy Kat began publication in 1913 and ran until the author's death in 1944. The strip featured a love triangle of sorts between the titular feline, Ignatz Mouse, and Officer Bull Pupp, with Ignatz frequently beaming Krazy with a thrown brick, an act Krazy interpreted as affectionate.

Over the past several years, Krazy Kat has become more and more accessible with Fantagraphics release of Herriman's full-page Sunday strips, but the dailies have remained by and large unavailable. Which is why IDW Publishing's release last Wednesday of Krazy + Ignatz in Tiger Tea proves so refreshing. The slim volume collects close to a hundred daily strips from the series only extended storyline, published at intervals between May 1936 and March 1937.

In the storyline, Krazy attempts to help his friend, Mr. Meeyowl, revive his katnip business by going in search of a new product, stumbling only to discover the strange Tiger Tea concoction. When brewed, the substance gives its drinker a ferocious burst of energy, making them feel as if they could take on the whole world...or, in other words, it makes them into mini tigers.

The Tiger Tea storyline has all of the dynamics and elements that make Krazy Kat so memorable, but taken as a whole and collected between two covers it also reveals some truly revolutionary and ahead of their time moments in the development of comics as an art form.

As the collection's editor, Craig Yoe, points out in his introduction, a possible impetus for the Tiger Tea storyline could lie in the fact that, just two years prior in 1934, serialized adventure strips became all the rage with Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon, Milton Caniff's Terry and the Pirates, and Lee Falk's Mandrake the Magician, among others, making their debut.

While none of these strips could be described as having overly complex or intricate plotlines compared to today s standards, they did have a density of plot that was lacking in comic strips before hand, complete with twists and major climactic segments extended over several days.

Tiger Tea, on the other hand, reveals a much more decompressed style of storytelling in comparison to the work of someone like Raymond or Caniff. The plot is simple: Krazy finds the Tiger Tea, hijinks ensue. Every now and then he might try to hide it and scare the other characters away from it, but beyond that the story follows one simple throughline, which is really just about the different characters experiences with Tiger Tea.

More than that, though, Herriman will at times devote a whole day's strip to nothing more than setting up atmosphere. Early on in Krazy's quest, two strips dated June 2 and 6, 1936 are completely silent. The first features Krazy stumbling across a river and swimming along it until it ends in a waterfall; the second begins by Krazy noticing a coming sandstorm, then features two panels of Krazy lost in the storm until the wind pushes him off a cliff and out of the blinding whirlwind.

Neither strip features much of a punchline, nor do they move the plot forward in any substantial way. Instead, they only serve to illustrate the environment through which Krazy travels. While Herriman couldn't have imagined that his storyline would one day see print as a single book edition, the effect of strips like these is to create a more fulfilling read when the strips are placed in sequence. They let the story breathe in ways that action/adventure strips like Flash Gordon never could.

Krazy + Ignatz in Tiger Tea represents a small sliver of Herriman's genius, but since it doesn't look like any publisher is planning on mounting a full-scale reprint series of the daily Krazy Kat strips, fans will have to make due with what little helpings of brilliance they can find in this forward-think

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Salenia on April 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A wonderful little book containing about 90 daily strips of Krazy Kat's mystical quest for "Tiger Tea" inevitably leading to the unanswerable question: Was Tiger Tea alcohol, marijuana, or something even more powerful? The strips are reproduced one per page of about 8 by 7 inches, perhaps the largest reproductions of these daily cartoons, enabling the reader to appreciate the details of Herriman's exquisite drawing style.

The book itself is beautifully designed and manufactured, with a printed hardcover, and with enlarged single panels on the endpapers and on several preliminary pages, some of which have added color highlights or backgrounds. There also is a wonderful photograph of Herriman wearing a Mexican sombrero, holding a hand rolled cigarette, with a look that is purely enigmatic. The book will make a wonderful gift, especially for those new to the world of Krazy Kat, and at a list price of $12.99 (even less on line), is a true bargain. (How can they make any money at that price?)

The primary criticism I have is that the book does not expressly inform the reader that it contains only a portion of all the daily strips comprising Krazy Kat's Tiger Tea adventure. According to the printed text, Krazy was on his quest for TT from May 15, 1936 through March 17, 1937, so there should be about 255-260 daily strips (excluding Sundays which were independent and did not follow the daily story line). From this one can deduce that the strips reproduced are only a "selection", yet there is no statement on the title page or cover of this fact. There is absolutely nothing wrong with reproducing a sample of the strips (which will whet the desire of readers for the complete series), but the fact that the book is not complete should be made clear to the reader.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By 2.0 on April 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're still thirsty for Tea after finishing this book, it's because it is not complete. Containing 91 days worth of the Tiger Tea storyline, there is a great deal of work left to be desired. This book also contains two introductions, one by Craig Yoe and one by Paul Krassner. Both introductions contain no information that has not been printed many times before in other Krazy collections or on wikipedia for that matter. Yes, it's better than nothing, but not much more than nothing (over half the story is absent, sometimes entire months worth).

Keep in mind, Kim Thompson of Fantagraphics said on the company blog:
"We have all of these strips ourselves (scanned, ready for the eventual complete KRAZY KAT dailies books we'll get to after we finish the Sundays) and a spot check from our resident scanmaster/organizer Paul Baresh confirms that most or all of the ones missing from the Yoe book are in fact part of the 'Tiger Tea' continuity..."

Just wait for the Fantagraphics collection to come out. This is a half empty cup of tea...literally.

If you can't wait, then buy my copy used.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Incomplete. Laid out on a hideous flecked background. Terrible introductory essays (with ridiculously wide line spaces).

All in all, it does nothing to complement the majesty of the original strip. Yoe owes me ten English pounds...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barat on April 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The most notable things that have been said about "Tiger Tea" -- by far, George Herriman's most notable "experiment" in the KRAZY KAT daily strip -- are either demonstrably false or completely unprovable. It is not "Herriman's great adventure story," as some folks would have it; it's more like a running theme that recurred at intervals for almost a year (May 1936 to March 1937), probably because Herriman was able to mine more gags out of it than he had expected at the beginning. I also rather doubt that it was Herriman's surreptitious lobby for legalizing marijuana or celebrating its use, as some of the great cartoonist's "artsy-fartsier" fans would no doubt LIKE to believe. Herriman was probably aware of the existence of hallucinogenic substances, thanks to his friendship with the Navajos of Monument Valley, but, as Michael Tisserand (the author of an upcoming Herriman biography) admits in Craig Yoe's introduction, there is no evidence that Herriman ever "indulged" in any way, and that he simply took the idea of an elixir that caused individuals to act out of character as a convenient excuse to have some fun with his cast. I'm nonetheless happy to have the entire (I think...) collection of "Tiger Tea" strips between hard covers at long last. It doesn't measure up to the spectacular work Herriman did in his Sunday pages, but, as a window into Herriman's thoughts on the whole subject of continuity, it is a valuable piece of work.

"Tiger Tea" begins with katnip (yep, that's how it's spelled) magnate Mr. Meeyowl going bust.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Rogers on April 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Krazy Kat by George Herriman was the greatest American comic strip ever. A collection of these stories is a trip into a strange fun fantasy world you'll enjoy.
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More About the Author

Vice magazine calls Craig Yoe the "Indiana Jones of comics historians." Publishers Weekly says he's the "archivist of the ridiculous and sublime" and calls his work "brilliant." The Onion calls him "the celebrated designer." The Library Journal, "a comics guru." BoingBoing hails him "a fine cartoonist and a comic book historian of the first water." Yoe was Creative Director/Vice President/General Manager of Jim Henson's Muppets, and a Creative Director at Nickelodeon and Disney. Craig has won an Eisner Award and the Gold Medal from the Society of Illustrators.

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