The inaugural volume of Library of American Comics Essentials features Baron Bean, by one of the greatest comic strip stars of all time: George Herriman. The creator of Krazy Kat drew Baron Bean for three years beginning in 1916. The humor and graphic technique of Bean prelude the comedic and artistic styles emergent in his later, more famous work.
From his earliest cartoons, Herriman found few themes as fascinating as the power of titles and the ways in which worth in society is determined based on a hat, a name, or the color of one’s skin. Baron Bean quickly developed into one of Herriman’s richest and funniest creations, second only to Krazy Kat, whose citizens would occasionally grace the panels of Baron Bean. Each day Herriman gives reason to question not only the superiority of would-be “Barons” over their vassals and retainers, but equally the superiority of so-called “humans” over the animals they call “pets.”
LOAC Essentials reprints, one year at a time, the daily newspaper strips that are essential to comics history, in a format that preserves, as closely as possible, the original reader experience. By reproducing the strips one per page in an oblong format, it allows us to have the experience of reading the comics one day at a time. Each volume contains seminal strips that are unique creations in their right and also contributed to the advancement of the medium, along with panel-by-panel annotations.
This volume collects Bean‘s first year, while the second year of Baron Bean forms Library of American Comics Essentials Volume 6.