A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017
WINNER OF THE EISNER AWARD FOR BEST COMICS-RELATED BOOK
FINALIST FOR THE NBCC AWARD IN BIOGRAPHY
FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JACQUELINE BOGRAD WELD AWARD FOR BIOGRAPHY
In the tradition of Schulz and Peanuts, an epic and revelatory biography of Krazy Kat creator George Herriman that explores the turbulent time and place from which he emergedâand the deep secret he explored through his art.
The creator of the greatest comic strip in history finally gets his dueâin an eye-opening biography that lays bare the truth about his art, his heritage, and his life on Americaâs color line. A native of nineteenth-century New Orleans, George Herriman came of age as an illustrator, journalist, and cartoonist in the boomtown of Los Angeles and the wild metropolis of New York. Appearing in the biggest newspapers of the early twentieth centuryâincluding those owned by William Randolph HearstâHerrimanâs Krazy Kat cartoons quickly propelled him to fame. Although fitfully popular with readers of the period, his work has been widely credited with elevating cartoons from daily amusements to anarchic art.
Herriman used his work to explore the human condition, creating a modernist fantasia that was inspired by the landscapes he discovered in his travelsâfrom chaotic urban life to the Beckett-like desert vistas of the Southwest. Yet underlying his own lifeâand often emerging from the contours of his very public artâwas a very private secret: known as "the Greek" for his swarthy complexion and curly hair, Herriman was actually African American, born to a prominent Creole family that hid its racial identity in the dangerous days of Reconstruction.
Drawing on exhaustive original research into Herrimanâs family history, interviews with surviving friends and family, and deep analysis of the artistâs work and surviving written records, Michael Tisserand brings this little-understood figure to vivid life, paying homage to a visionary artist who helped shape modern culture.
About: A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2017WINNER OF THE EISNER AWARD FOR BEST COMICS-RELATED BOOKFINALIST FOR THE NBCC AWARD IN BIOGRAPHY FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JACQUELINE BOGRAD WELD AWARD FOR BIOGRAPHYIn the tradition of Schulz and Peanuts, an epic and revelatory biography of Krazy Kat creator George Herriman that explores the turbulent time and place from which he emerged—and the deep secret he explored through his art.
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