Ignatz Mouse

Created by George Herriman [1880-1944]. Ignatz was a character in the comic strip Krazy Kat which ran from 1913 to 1944. He is an angry little mouse whom Krazy Kat has an obsessive, irrational crush on. This love is unrequited and Ignatz schemes to throw bricks at Krazy’s head, an act that’s interpreted as affection.

I like Ignatz for the way he is drawn. I can remember being fascinated by the way he looked as a kid when an animated version used to appear sporadicly on Australian TV.  In form he’s a kind of bubble with skinny stick limbs that improbably propel heavy bricks through the air. The other thing that is amazing in Herriman’s work is his surreal, inventive, dramatically lit desert landscapes.

Herriman’s off-beat surrealism and the innocent, playful and poetic language have made his creations a favourite of comics aficionados and art critics up to the present day. His graphic style has been an influence on many cartoonists and artists. Ignatz predates Micky Mouse by more than ten years and although these two characters are opposite in nature there are physical similarities. The artist Phillip Guston sites Herriman’s style as an inspiration in the way he approached the scathing, figurative paintings of his late career and a working of the landscape and architecture that is reminiscent of Herriman’s can be seen in the WarnerBros. cartoons, [Loony Tunes and Merry Melodies]. Continue reading “Rascals”



Alex De Large


Alex De Large is the anti-hero from the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange, and the 1971 film of the same name. His white obtuse costume and single eye with mascara gives off an unusual sense of fashion, almost reminiscent of old styles, yet appearing to be from the future (which he is). Alex is a highly violent character, yet his inner dialogue and unique slang make him surprisingly charming. It is almost bizarre how his character manages to appeal to so many people; he is the embodiment of rebellion and juvenile anger. Even on the written page his character is endearing, with his perspective and friendly nature towards the reader, his transition to screen is equally so in approach.

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Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking, created by Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren is my favourite rascally character. I think the term rascal may dependant on from which perspective you are viewing a person.  As nuisance, or, I think in 9 year old Pippi’s story someone that courageously questions and subverts the dominant paradigm, such as authoritarian and condescending adults, including the law.

‘As recently as the mid-1990s, a Swedish social commentator argued that the ‘Pippi cult’ had had a highly detrimental effect on both school children and pre-school children in Sweden. ‘Pippi-worship has turned everything upside down, in schools, in family life and in terms of normal behaviour’, the commentator wrote in a leading Swedish daily.’

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Top 5 Rascals, in no particular order

Bender – Futurama

His pastimes include watching TV, smoking cigars, stealing and basically being a nuisance. To be able to function properly he needs the chemical energy from alcohol, so excessive drinking is mandatory or he will become sober and unable to control his body. But he is still the most lovable character in Futurama.

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