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HERRIMAN, GEORGE - Krazy Kat daily 7/6 1936, Kat Family & Krazy Kat passed out on Tiger Tea, classic story! Art Spiegelman's favorite
Krazy Kat's most surreal adventures were the famed "Tiger Tea" sequence where Krazy Kat imbibed of the psychedelia-inducing substance. This is George Herriman at his best in the only full-length Krazy Kat adventure story of his career presented in the same era as Terry and the Pirates and Captain Easy. The strips that make up Tiger Tea unfolded over the course of almost a year in 1936-37, and it marked the longest serialized storyline in the strip’s entire history. In his introduction, Yoe wonders if it wasn’t the debut of adventure strips such as Flash Gordon and Mandrake the Magician—-which had long-running storylines—-that inspired Herriman to try this longer narrative. Whatever the inspiration, the outcome is nothing like the work of his contemporaries. Tiger Tea is more like spending 12 months eating magic mushroom for breakfast everyday. There’s a rogue theory out there that “tiger tea” was actually a code word for weed and these comics seem to include many nods to dope culture. These strips are surreal, hallucinogenic snapshots that wander through worlds and realities without much regard for the reader’s sanity. The series begins with Krazy heading out on an adventure to bring good fortune back to the destitute former owner of Katnip Konsolidated, and this serves as jumping off point for all sorts of whacked out encounters. Nothing is out of bounds or seemingly beyond Herriman’s imagination, which can be as confusing as it is delightful.
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