Garge’s House


I was in the neighborhood, so I thought I’d drop by. The last time I visited 2217 Maravilla St. herrimans-address.jpgwas more than 30 years ago. The little dead-end street has certainly gentrified. There was a time when you could see the Herriman house clearly from the street, complete with the remains of the old weather vane. herriman-weather-vane.jpgNow there is a big wooden gate and a high hedge blocking the view of the house. It still retains the Spanish design that Garge wanted. He designed the place back in 1931, it once held an art gallery full of Jimmy Swinnerton’s and Maynard Dixon’s paintings of Monument Valley, a lot of Indian baskets and pottery and some Navajo slashes and other designs painted on the outside walls. Herriman’s little studio was in there, too, herriman-portrait-for-jack-kent.jpgwhere he drew Krazy Kat strips until he literally died on the job. This house means a lot to me, and should to every lover of the great American cartoonists and their creations. For this house to continue as a private residence, is a crime! It should be set aside and restored to what it looked like when Garge lived and worked there. He even bought the lot across the street and made it into a little park with benches for all who stopped by. Here’s what that park looks like now: herrrimans-park-view-2.jpg Squeezed out by mansions. If you try hard, you can catch little views of the upper story of the house: herrimans-balcony-from-across-the-street.jpgherrimans-view-through-the-trees.jpgherrimans-house-view-from-wall-2.jpgherrimans-balcony-view.jpgherrimans-balcony.jpgherrimans-view.jpg This one might have been the windows of the studio. I’m really glad I made the pilgrimage to see this wonderful house again, a house that George Herriman personally designed, and that in a city with so few shrines to it’s great cartooning past, should be treasured and set aside for everyone to visit. Here’s what the current owners did to the garage:herrimans-garage.jpg It just makes me sick to think of this art treasure being turned into just another suburban dump by a family that probably knows nothing and cares little about the artist who created their house.  This post is turning into a tribute to George Herriman’s memory. We will now dive into two more weeks of Krazy Kat from 1940:


The KKs are from 11-25 to 12-7-1940 this time. In the first group, Krazy literally “draws” a pail of water from the well in the 11-26, is called “loony” in the 11-29 and in the 11-30 lives in a nicely drawn cave with Ignatz, right under the Pupp’s nose. In the 12-2 through 12-7 strips, a political intrigue is developing as Mrs. Kwakk Wakk and Mimi the humanesque French poodle are running for police chief against Offissa Pupp. I wonder who Al LeBamm in the 12-7 represents? Perhaps he was a reporter who knew Garge, or whom Garge is ridiculing. Matilda Mouse shows up in the last panel with the infants.


In Felix from 1-21 to 1-27-1935, Felix tries to foil the evil sailor’s plot to discredit Danny by planting a stolen watch in his duffel bag. Danny is afraid that Felix will be detected, but Felix escapes over the side in an inner tube. In the 1-27, Danny introduces Felix to the crew as a “good luck” mascot, and all they can say is “Fine”, in a Messmer understatement. I love the way Otto draws and groups figures, as in the 1-27 with the sailors linked together, and in the 1-23 with the evil sailor leaning against the rail. I love those hands, big circles with tiny stubs for fingers.


The dates on Patrick this week are really uncertain, but there is a definite continuity here so they are probably the last week in September, 1966. Patrick can’t watch TV because Mommy is punishing him, so he buddies up to Godfrey, Suzy and Elsa to watch theirs. Patrick’s tantrum in the bottom strip this time is real over-the-top. Hancock liked to really push the emotions in his drawings.

No John Sparey letters this time. I couldn’t wait to share my trip to the Herriman house with y’all.  See you next time, and thanks for all the comments!

5 Responses to “Garge’s House”

  1. Ha Kaus…..Do you know if the weathervane is still on the house? One sure hopes so. Well got to get back to the valley…..JTW

  2. Mark says:

    Hey James,
    I looked all around the roof, and couldn’t see the weathervane at all, I remember 30 years ago it was pretty far gone, so they probably just destroyed it. I would have given them 30 bucks for it! Enjoy your stay in the valley,

  3. Will says:

    Mark, thanks for all these KRAZY KAT strips. I think I turned on to Herriman around the age of 10 and while familiarity often breeds contempt, I have to say I love his work more and more over the years. It is just about the only highly-praised thing that I don’t consider over-rated any more. Really a work of art beyond anything else in the medium… Whatever’s second isn’t even close…

    P.S. I used to live in the Outpost area but I didn’t ever see the house. Cool photos…

  4. Kimberly Florez says:

    Hey Mark, saw your blog. Went down to mom’s saw the old place on Main Street and the new Duck Productions on Stoner next to where my daughter was dancing with the LA ballet. Started to feel nostalgic for all of the old Popeye Movies and Mickey Mouse movies you provided us as kids and the great times we had, wanted to say thank you personally… just wanted to say hello…Mel Sommer’s daughter…Kim.

  5. Mark says:

    Hi Kim,
    Thanks for writing to me! I’m glad you remember all the cartoon shows we used to do. Your dad was one of nature’s nobelmen, a fondly remembered artist. Your daughter sounds like she is very accomplished at ballet. A dear friend of mine is still taking ballet classes at 60-something! Ballet can be a life-long passion. I enjoy drawing ballet dancers, but I’m lucky to be walking, let alone dancing! I have fond memories of the old Duck Soup studio on Main. Corny Cole just went to cartoon heaven at 81. He used to have his “Corny Films” studio in the same building as Duck Soup, he and Duane Crowther teamed up on commercials many times. Those were fun times, better than we knew. Take care, Kim, write to me again! Mark

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