March 10th, 2004

krazy koati

There is a heppy lend, fur, fur a-way

Bright, sunny morning, for which I was too busy. Afternoon, light rain turning to a heavy rain that came out of nowhere, according to the weather people. No sign of the campus squirrel.

Great and effusive thanks are owed spengler, who finally had enough of my going about icon-less and drew my new persona. Coatis are hard to draw -- the nose rarely looks plausible -- and the George Herriman ``Krazy Kat'' style is very nearly inimitable despite my (and many actual artist's) attempts. But then spengler just goes and hits it, exactly, perfectly right, right off the bat. It's beautiful and I urge everyone to tell spengler that. I haven't been able to find an instance of Herriman ever drawing a coati (it's not clear we were even in Coconino County, Arizona, when he was), but he drew some creatures quite close in shape (Ignatz Mouse and Don Kiyoti particularly), and I'm positive the icon is exactly how it would have looked.

I'm a fan of George Herriman's Krazy Kat -- the undeveloped areas on Spindizzy are taken pretty directly from backgrounds of his strip, right down to the randomization effect changing their appearance every time one looks again -- although it was weird even for a pre-1950 comic strip, and pre-1950 comic strips (a big exception being Percy Crosby's Skippy) generally aren't funny the way modern comics are. It's a dense mix of wordplay and subtly varied scenarios and epic myths told in twelve panels and vaudeville jokes and incredible sight gags and fourth-wall shatterings and awesome graphical design. I think people either bounce right off it or get it, and I get it. I couldn't be happier with this icon. Again, spengler, thank you. I'm just sorry I can't return the favor in kind.

Trivia: Wartime shortages so depleted Confederate railroad supplies that railroads had to lay not just strip track (a bare ribbon of metal), but recycled strips that had previously been removed for metal fatigue. Source: The Railroads of the Confederacy, Robert C. Black III.

Currently Reading: Journey To The Moon: The History of the Apollo Guidance Computer, Eldon C. Hall.