Krazy Kat

That Krazy Kat

That's what's behind it.

Or, in other words,

"I ain't a Kat,

and I ain't Krazy" (Seldes 234)

"It's wot's behind me that I am" (Herriman 28)

krazy is as krazy does

and an identity is developed through a plot,

while a plot is developed through an identity

in fact, "the plot was she herself" (Cantor 8)

although, over 30 years, it's never known

whether it's a he or a she (Goldbarth 11)

but that doesn't disguise the fact

that she's our heroine (cummings, 1st page of Introduction)

and just cause we don't know,

don't think for a second that s/he don't

cause even if s/he don't

at least s/he knows it

she has that "certain I don't know what it is that I have" (Cantor 118)

in this world, the kurious kat is self-reflexively aware

Walking by Himself (Seldes 231)

or is it herself? or itself? and shouldn't it be dancing?

dancing through this process of panels,

day after day, year after year

endless variations on the theme, the plot, the unkrazy unkat

(re)presenting each day, performing again, dancing through

the usual of the picture

gathering together

Ignatz Mouse

our li'l dollink

Officer Pup

the law to you

and Krazy Kat

our heroine

And the plot, as always

The Brick

like a bud, it "swells unfolds and flowers"

finis, overture, and next

"we rehearse" (Herriman 207)

As love triangles bloom in between the panels of coconino

panels and frames that show a narrative, of sorts (Eisner 46)

with the enchanted mesa miraging into cacti, sage,

tumbleweeding back again to a tree, of sorts

and a soft taco moon hangs above

oblivious to the constant state of flux below (McDonnell, O'Connell and Riley de Havenon 27)

a navajo beauty

a star gleam moon beam, sun sheen beauty (Herriman 74)

in which gentle, odd love triangulates

around our kat and centers there as well

the pain and pleasure of luv

in a heppy land fur, fur a way a kat touches us anew as we touch it again

"Do you think . . . that [it] will heppen again?"

Yeah, "It most certainly will . . .

history, events, accidents, thoughts, jokes, you, I,

anything and nothing each must repeat itself,

everything is just nothing repeating itself . . .

so don't worry it'll happen-" (Herriman 27)

although "some folks say that tomorrow never comes" (Herriman 97)

but, with the next strip, it does

as we return to the painted words and poetic images of coconino anon

and painterly poetry it is

for those literate in the visual

as well as the verbal

can read this artistic writing or vice-versa (Eisner 122)

as it dances "outside the poem" per se (Goldbarth 12).

not just in comics, but in multiple, mixed media,

a ballet, a poem, web pages, a novel, a Moo even

and now, as ever, a performance

it has always had "such a dramatic appeal to it" (Herriman 78)

this performative (re)presentation

has sounds, images and words

a veritable poifick patois, yezza, a vocabulary composed of

the play of images and words (Eisner 8)

so "that we may mis-unda-stend each udda" (Herriman 61)

s'turbil to think wot it would be udda wides

and other ways, just

"plain language, but in a higher plane" (Herriman 28)

where form is content and vice-versa

and "krazy just bums around along the Baseboards" (Herriman 28)

and you can hear and see it all,

even though no one says a word (McCloud 25)

and images as you know, are treacherous (McCloud 24)

especially in comics

a (re)presentational, sequential art form indeed (Eisner 91)

"with images, pictorial and other, juxtaposed in deliberate sequence,

intending to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in

the viewer" (McCloud 9)

" the why, nor whom of which

meaning nothing to us

[filling our lives] with nothing of something less

and something of nothing more . . .

yes- of course not" (Herriman 184)

or something like that

You see, "You're not seeing what you're looking at, it's a mirage"

the kat ponders, "Do my eye dissive me, or do I dissive my eye?"

"Now do you see it?" says ignatz

"How should I know if I dun't see it, wen I din't know if I seen it wen I was looking at it?" and

"If I din't see wot I was looking at. How do I know I was hearing wot you was telling me?" queries krazy

"Oh, you just think you do, but you don't, just as you don't, but do," replies the mouse

"I wunda if I am me, am I here, or am I there?" Or

Am i "only a obstikil dillusion"? (Herriman 193)

if you know what she means

"real or not, fact or unfact, it [is] a beautiful vision." intones occifer pup (Herriman 196)

but i digress

back to the kat, even though we never left

a kat animated on paper, not in drawing

but in what isn't drawn, at least not by the pen

in "the gutter," perhaps (McCloud 66-67)

in the closure between two panels or the lack there of

we're given so much, but so much more is asked of us

what's drawn in the mind of the reader

is our participation

as we join in this dance of seen and unseen

of harmony, melody and rhythm, a tango to

enter world(s) of imagination (McCloud 92-93)

(re)presenting the kat through a similar process

the peanut gallery can now begin to heckle (McDonnell, O'Connell and Riley de Havenon 43)

in our performance of reading

without us, a kat alone, with us

a heppy, heppy, kat.

urkrazy urkat

that is us, or better yet, we're the kat

or, in other words,

we see the kat in us

or something like that

you see, the boss himself, George Herriman, inked that,

Our "strange interest in my efforts sure has me in a quandary-

Yes sir I can't add it up at all-

It must be something you give to it." (Herriman 25)

"You birds are so kind to me" (Herriman 182)

in the end, there is no end, my friends, but

the responsibility is ours

whether he is a she or t'ain't or t'isn't

is neither here nor there

Krazy Kat is not just only wot's behind it, but what's ahead

take care, my friends, take care

read well

for this model is no fancy

and the proof is in the pudding

as the boss muses,

(Herriman 121)

in other words, this performance, this (re)presentation

will not let you know,

it is merely a small part of the process, although

it hints at how to look at things, for (Eisner 148)

and because of all

(Herriman, end page)

which begins with the kat

and you or us


"what wundafil day-drims I've had today-

be still my heart, flutta not so, I wunda is it 'love'"

"'Krazy' wonders if it's 'love' and we wonder if you do-

and maybe you wonder if we do-

and then again, maybe you're not 'wondering' at all-

how should we know" (Herriman 28)

"who are we to wax further,

let they who will

do this or that

according to his or her desire" (Herriman 188)

And yet... And yet...

"the question tickles" (Goldbarth 13)

and now, the brick (McDonnell 77)

The end...

...wot for to begin