Slapstick and Self-Reflexivity in George Herriman’s ‘Krazy Kat’

Ben Juers


George Herriman’s newspaper comic strip ‘Krazy Kat’ has been cited by cartoonists and intellectuals over the years as a surrealistic masterpiece. It has been read as psychoanalytical, racial, socio-political and religious allegory. Yet attempts to define the strip do not do justice to its multifaceted nature, and its self-reflexivity. This essay examines how ‘Krazy Kat’ simultaneously invites and avoids interpretation, and how it fits into the slapstick tradition.

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