On this day, 23 July 1977: Krazy
On this day, 23 July 1977 … Here’s Krazy for you! Krazy is a difficult comic to pin down. If it was a footballer it would be a maverick – a Paul Gascoigne: full of fun and tricks and surprises, never quiet for a second, but independent and difficult to fit into any sort of team structure. Which is mostly better for a comic than it is for a footballer, I suppose. I know that many people loved Krazy and remember it as one of the favourite comics of their childhood, and it was its maverick nature that would have contributed to that. It had fewer regular comic strips than most other titles but packed out its pages with loads of other features, such as tricks, cartoon gags, a text story, puzzles and celebrity rip-offs. Even reading back today, there’s a winsome excitability that continues from page to page. There are loads of winks and nudges to the reader, with sneaky tips on how to fool the teacher or custard-pie-clobber a sibling or annoying celeb, jokes about slapstick and stink, crazy page layouts and oddball notes and doodles in the margins.
But ultimately Krazy’s idiosyncrasies played a part in its downfall. After two blazing years as a comic in its own right, it went the way of all IPC funnies (with the exception of Buster) and was merged into another. But, being a maverick, it didn’t adapt well to the team game. Whizzer and Chips was a disciplined outfit, with a proven team structure (you’re either a Whizz-kid or a Chip-ite, mate) that wasn’t going to make allowances for the cocky flair player which played by its own rules. Several of its comic strips were slotted into the merged edition, but those elements that made Krazy unique – its format, its non-strip content, its unpredictability – had no place in Whizzer and Chips with Krazy and so were lost for ever.