15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Yet Another Great Trip Into The Past,
This review is from: Krazy Kat, A Celebration of Sundays (Hardcover)
I love George Herriman and Peter Maresca. Mr. Herriman created Krazy Kat and Mr. Maresca has brought him to me in his original size, shape and format.
A hundred years ago life was very different, and most people looked forward to their Sunday newspapers, and the people I would have liked back then made straight for the comics pages. I discovered Little Nemo in the 80's when I went to a lecture about the strip, and bought an over-size book on his adventures, and I thought "I know Nemo." Then I discovered the first of the two full-sized Nemo books produced by Mr. Maresca and his Sunday Press Books. It was only when I found "So Many Splendid Sundays" that I understood the art, the wonder and the magic of Little Nemo. That "over-sized" book I'd bought long ago wasn't big enough to do what Sunday Press' full-sized strips did, and now I really knew Nemo.
So I started buying Sunday Press' yearly output, and although Sammy Sneeze interested me as a footnote and Gustave Verbeek only slightly, the Gasoline Alley book was another revelation. The love, the tenderness with which Walt brought up Skeezix should be a lesson in parenting today, and I would never have known the joys of their adventures without Sunday Press Books.
But another surprise awaited me when I bought "Krazy Kat." I'd heard of them, I'd seen them referred to as influential, but... I had no idea! It was my trust in Maresca that made me buy it at this year's Comic Con, where he had a booth and I was able to speak with him and tell him how much I admired his dedication to an important, if almost forgotten, part of American history.
In "Krazy Kat," there is a richness to the panels that filled out and filled in as I entered their world. The kind of travel I like best is the trip I take when I am immersed in a book like Krazy Kat. Did I say "a book like Krazy Kat?" Okay, there is only this one book in the category. Thanks to the panels being in the size originally intended by Mr. Herriman, I am able to live again in the mindset of one hundred years ago, and experience the newness, the innovation, the surreal quality of the panels. Not to mention the humor. I was surprised at how funny a Mouse, a Kat and a brick can be. Ever laugh at Lucy pulling the football away from an eternally trusting Charlie Brown? Wonder where that came from? Can you say... "Ignatz?" I had already reached the Ignatz/Peanuts connection when I read in the text that Shultz had been influenced by Herriman and made the stripe on Charlie Brown's shirt an homage to him. Didn't know that, didja? Neither did I.
I like that stuff, so I especially value that Mr. Maresca also includes experts who provide the backdrop, the history, the stories behind the strip, and the cultural settings behind it all.
The more you know, the more you know, and these delightful excursions into such an exotic, (literally) funny history is a valuable contribution to understanding our history, and a fabulous way to spend a rainy afternoon lost in another world.
I love this stuff! Can't wait to see what Mr. Maresca has up next.
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Initial post: Apr 27, 2013 4:16:39 PM PDT
D. Harrington says:
It's about the comic, not you
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