"So this is Krazy's Uncle Tom's cabin, heh?“
Medium: Ink over graphite on Bristol board
Dimensions: composition: 4 1/4 × 20 in. (10.8 × 50.8 cm)
sheet: 7 1/8 × 22 1/2 in. (18.1 × 57.2 cm)
Illustration Citation: "Krazy Kat" daily comic, published August 30, 1932 (King Features Syndicate, Inc.)
Credit Line: Acquisition Fund, 2017
About: The comic strip Krazy Kat uses two animals to reference race and gender. Black cat Krazy (at right in last panel) and white mouse Ignatz (in first panel) are sometimes friends. Krazy changes between male and female identities, while Ignatz is always a male. In occasional plot twists, they temporarily turn each other's color. Frequently, the characters speak in puns or riddle, sometimes in ways that point to racial meanings.
Krazy Kat may be interpreted as a statement that race and gender are not fixed categories, something that would reflect the artist's own experience. His New Orleans family was of mixed race for generations. When they moved to California in the 1890s, they decided to self-identify as White. Twenty-seven years after George Herriman's death, the discovery of his birth certificate revealed that he was a person of color.
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