George Herriman integrated full spectacular color into Krazy Kat in June, 1935. The gorgeous evolution continues in this third color volume, which includes the Sunday strips from all of 1941 and 1942. The color format opens the floodgates for a massive amount of spectacular rare color art from series editor Bill Blackbeard and designer Chris Ware's files, including an unpublished Herriman painting from the 1920s and other surprises.
Krazy Kat is a love story, focusing on the relationships of its three main characters. Krazy Kat adored Ignatz Mouse. Ignatz Mouse simply tolerated Krazy Kat, except for recurrent onsets of targeted tumescence, which found expression in the fast delivery of bricks to Krazy's cranium. Offisa Pup loved Krazy and sought to protect "her" (Herriman always maintained that Krazy was gender-less) by throwing Ignatz in jail. Each of the characters was ignorant of the others' true motivations, and this simple structure allowed Herriman to build entire worlds of meaning into the actions, building thematic depth and sweeping his readers up by the looping verbal rhythms of Krazy & Co.'s unique dialogue. Most of these strips in this volume have not seen print since originally running in Hearst newspapers over 70 years ago.
For this volume, critic Jeet Heer contributes an essay about the friendship between Herriman and John and Louisa Wetherill, who ran a trading post in Monument Valley where Herriman often visited. It was through his friendship with the Wetherills that Herriman absorbed much of his knowledge about Native American culture, specifically Navajo, which made its way into Krazy Kat. Heer's essay is based on interviews with the current members of the Wetherill clan, who have provided access to family papers and shed new light on Herriman's life.