Monday, June 28, 2010
Every generation has its cartoony bad kid(s). Max and Moritz, German prototypes of the Katzenjammer Kids, were a 19th century series of stories by Wilhelm Busch.
Like Hans and Fritz, Max and Moritz' only purpose in life was to play sadistic, practical jokes. Originally published in 1865, and consisting of a mere 7 episodes, the comics were reprinted in over 30 languages, so reports Lambiek.
Rudolph Dirks was inspired, and created THE KATZENJAMMER KIDS -- perhaps the most significant and longest running "bad boy" comic strip. A tradition continued by other characters like DENNIS THE MENACE, Calvin -- as well as supporting cartoon players like Reggie (both in ARCHIE and RICHIE RICH -- although, of course, not the same "Reggie," natch!), Spooky (from CASPER), Goofus (of GOOFUS & GALLANT) ... and, well, I'm sure there are more.
Bad boys are still popular. MAX UND MORITZ continues to live today, with numerous adaptations of their adventures; most recently, the German theatrical film MAX UND MORITZ RELOADED in 2005.
Here is a black and white stop motion version below (coupled with an ad for the new DVD set). While I cannot place this, it sure looks like its 50+ years old -- if not older:
And here is a link to the first part of a 1956 color, singing, live action (with a bit of animation) version.
Related: what looks like the 1978 Austrian animated German TV version of Max und Moritz.
Related: Steve Bissette's Wilhelm Busch profile at the Schulz Library Blog.