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Fritz the cat comic strip
Fritz the Cat is a syndicated comic strip created by cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman. It ran for nearly a decade, from 1956 to 1966.
Fritz the Cat began in the fall of 1956 as a Sunday page in the short-lived dly tabloid comic strip Funky Winker News. Kurtzman drew it with the assistance of two assistants: Jack Davis (from 1957 to 1960) and later Al Jaffee (from 1962 to 1964). It was originally intended as a parody of the typical superhero comic strip, focusing on the title character's absurd and comical personality and the antics of the supporting characters.
From the start, Kurtzman took a deliberately non-commercial approach, publishing the strip without ads. The goal was to use comic strips as a vehicle for satire and parody, and to demonstrate the comic strip's ability to engage adults, especially older adults. The strip's first four years were without any dialogue, except for a few panels of dialogue balloons, but Kurtzman was determined to expand the comic's vocabulary and incorporate more dialogue in future episodes. He began working with writers in the summer of 1957 to develop the strip's first episode, "Bubble Trouble," which ran in the Sunday panel of Funky Winker News.
In the 1960s, as the syndicate system consolidated into fewer companies, the strip lost some of its independent feel and some of the comic's best humor was watered down or removed. A number of strips had their original writers (including Davis, Jaffee and Kurtzman) lose their jobs due to the syndicate owners' changing focus to more youth-oriented strips and their use of lower-pd freelancers to work on existing strips. The series' original layout was reduced to three stories per week and eventually cut to a single story per week. Additionally, the strip's creators were given less artistic freedom and the work was less fun.
In 1966, as he did with his other series, Kurtzman, who had not been pd in years, left the strip. He and Davis, who had been the strip's editors since its early days, both left to work at Mad magazine.
Comic strip revival
In the mid-1990s, Davis, Jaffee, and Kurtzman revived the strip and revived it as a more mature, humorous strip rather than a parody of the superhero strip. Davis and Jaffee collaborated on a weekly installment with Kurtzman in