58 Facts About George Herriman


George Joseph Herriman III was an American cartoonist best known for the comic strip Krazy Kat.


George Herriman lived most of his life in Los Angeles, but made frequent trips to the Navajo deserts in the Southwestern United States.


George Herriman was drawn to the landscapes of Monument Valley and the Enchanted Mesa, and made Coconino County the location of his Krazy Kat strips.


George Herriman's artwork made much use of Navajo and Mexican themes and motifs against shifting desert backgrounds.


George Herriman was a prolific cartoonist who produced a large number of strips and illustrated Don Marquis's books of poetry about Archy and Mehitabel, an alley cat and a cockroach.


Newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst was a proponent of George Herriman and gave him a lifetime contract with King Features Syndicate, which guaranteed George Herriman a comfortable living and an outlet for his work despite its lack of popularity.


George Joseph Herriman was born at 348 Villere Street in New Orleans on August 22,1880.


George Herriman was born into a mixed-race family and came from a line of French-speaking Louisiana Creole mulattoes who were considered free people of color, and were reportedly active in the early abolitionist movement.


George Herriman attended the Catholic boys' school St Vincent's College.


When he was 20, George Herriman clandestinely boarded a freight train bound for New York City, hoping his chances as an artist would be better there.


George Herriman was unsuccessful at first, and survived by working as a barker and billboard painter at Coney Island, until one of the leading humor magazines of the day, Judge, accepted some of his cartoons.


George Herriman often used sequential images in his cartoons, as in the emerging comic strip medium.


George Herriman still produced syndicate work, such as Major Ozone's Fresh Air Crusade for the World Color Printing Company beginning January 2,1904.


George Herriman drew sports cartoons in an office alongside Frederick Burr Opper, James Swinnerton, and Tad Dorgan, who was popularly known as "Tad" and was considered a star at another Hearst paper, the New York Evening Journal.


Tad and George Herriman were often assigned to cover the same sporting events and became close friends.


George Herriman continued with Hearst until June 1905, when he left the paper, possibly because of the new sports editor's unsympathetic attitude to cartoonists.


George Herriman returned to Los Angeles in the latter half of 1905.


In California, George Herriman continued to mail in work to the World Color Printing Company.


George Herriman began to work with the Los Angeles Times on January 8,1906, before returning to Hearst that summer.


George Herriman's artwork began to appear on nearly every page, resulting in greatly increased sales for the newspaper.


Six days after arriving in New York, Herriman began The Dingbat Family, starring E Pluribus Dingbat and his family.


George Herriman used typed lettering on the strip on July 26,1910, but quickly went back to hand-lettering.


George Herriman said he did this "to fill up the waste space".


George Herriman incorporated unusual details into the mini-strip's backgrounds such as cacti, pagodas, fanciful vegetation, or anything else that struck his fancy; this became a signature of the later Krazy Kat strip.


In July 1912, while Herriman had the Dingbats on vacation, Krazy Kat and Ignatz Mouse took over the strip, which was retitled Krazy Kat and I Mouse for the duration.


George Herriman made full use of his imagination and used the whole page in the strip's layout.


George Herriman visited Monument Valley in Arizona and similar places in New Mexico and southern Utah, and incorporated the distinct forms of the desert landscape into his strips.


George Herriman later introduced the main characters' wives, and after a run as a domestic strip, with occasional appearances of characters from Krazy Kat's world, it ended in January 1919.


George Herriman developed ties with members of the film industry; he knew Hal Roach Studio members Tom McNamara and "Beanie" Walker from their newspaper days.


George Herriman met celebrities, including Will Rogers and Frank Capra, and presented them with hand-colored drawings.


George Herriman loved Charlie Chaplin's films, and reviewed The Gold Rush in the magazine Motion Picture Classics in October 1925.


Autumn 1922 saw the first daily installment of Stumble Inn, the first non-Krazy Kat strip George Herriman had drawn since 1919.


George Herriman lamented intrusion on his page designs, and the artwork of the period took on a rushed look.


George Herriman did little work on these excursions, and it is likely that he drew his strips in hurried bursts when in Hollywood.


In 1928, George Herriman took over the strip Embarrassing Moments, which had begun in 1922 and had been drawn by several cartoonists.


The strip appeared in few papers, and after it ended in 1932, George Herriman worked only on Krazy Kat, although he provided illustrations for Don Marquis' popular Archy and Mehitabel, a series of books of poetry about a cat and a cockroach.


In 1930, George Herriman sold his first Hollywood home to a friend and moved his family to 2217 Maravilla Drive, a Spanish-style mansion atop a hill.


George Herriman later bought the lot across the street and turned it into a public park.


George Herriman developed a close relationship with cartoonist James Swinnerton's first wife Louise, with whom he frequently exchanged letters.


George Herriman underwent a kidney operation in spring 1938, and during his ten-week convalescence King Features reran old Krazy Kat strips.


George Herriman realized his $750-per-week salary from Hearst's King Features Syndicate was far more than the revenue the strip could be generating, but Hearst refused George Herriman's offer to take a pay cut.


Hearst let it be known that George Herriman was to continue the strip as long as he liked.


From 1935, Krazy Kat appeared in color, of which George Herriman made bold use.


George Herriman reduced the amount of hatchwork and used larger, more open panels.


George Herriman died in his sleep in his home near Hollywood on April 25,1944, after a long illness.


George Herriman was described as self-deprecatingly modest, and he disliked being photographed.


George Herriman was generous to his friends, and sold his first Hollywood house, which he had bought for $50,000, to a friend for $40,000.


George Herriman had a great love of animals, and had a large number of dogs and cats; he had five dogs and thirteen cats in 1934.


George Herriman usually kept to a vegetarian diet, except when it made him feel too weak, and he refused to ride horses.


George Herriman so admired Henry Ford's pacifist stance that he would only buy Ford automobiles.


George Herriman married his childhood sweetheart Mabel Lillian Bridge in Los Angeles on July 7,1902.


George Herriman was born to mixed-race parents, and his birth certificate lists George Herriman as "colored".


George Herriman said that he dreamed of being reborn a Navajo.


Later research at the New Orleans Public Library by cartoonist Brian Nelson showed that George Herriman's maternal grandmother was born in Havana, Cuba, that all his relatives were listed as "mulatto" on the 1890 census, and that George Herriman may have had Spanish or Native American ancestry.


In 1921, composer John Alden Carpenter, who had long been an admirer of George Herriman's work, approached him to collaborate on a Krazy Kat ballet.


George Herriman's stature was such that decades after his death, his work was displayed in art galleries.


George Herriman made creative use of language with a poetical sense, employing multilingual puns in a fanciful mix of dialects from different ethnic backgrounds.


George Herriman used metafictional techniques associated with postmodernism; his characters were self-aware, he frequently drew attention to himself and his drawings as drawings in his strips, and he emphasized the subjectivity of language and experience.