The Secret Life Of Legendary “Krazy Kat” Cartoonist George Herriman

Mar 8, 2018

On this edition of “Two Way Street,” we’re diving into the extraordinary life of “Krazy Kat” cartoonist, George Herriman.“Krazy Kat,” which ran in American newspapers from 1913-1944, featured characters Krazy and Ignatz in the setting of Coconino County, Arizona. Our guest is Michael Tisserand, author of the biography “Krazy: George Herriman, a Life in Black and White.”

Herriman lived with a closely guarded secret: he was born into a Creole family but passed for white his entire life His racial heritage wasn’t brought to light until 27 years after his death in 1971, when a comic historian located Herriman’s birth certificate. Hear how this secret history made it into the strips of “Krazy Kat.” Tisserand reinterprets old punchlines for us with this new understanding of Herriman’s racial identity.

Author Michael Tisserand.
Credit Courtesy of the Author

Learn about Herriman’s high sources of inspiration, including how cutting edge surrealist art influenced his craft. Hear how the 1913 “Armory Show,” an art show that showcased European modern artists, influenced Herriman and other cartoonists of the time.