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Comic Book: Fritz the Cat

Fritz the Cat is a comic strip created by Robert Crumb. Originally appearing in Help! and Cavalier, it subsequently appeared in publications associated with the underground comix scene between 1965 and 1972, where it became one of the most well known features of the scene.

Set in a "supercity" of anthropomorphic animals, the strip focuses on Fritz, a smooth feline con artist. He frequently finds himself in wild adventures, often involving a variety of sexual experiences. The character originated from home made comic books Crumb drew when he was a child, and became the most famous character created by him. Fritz was once Crumb's leading character, appearing in much of his work, and even cameoing in Crumb's graphic novel Oggie and the Beanstalk. By the late 1960s, Crumb grew tired of the character, and stopped drawing him.

A 1969 compilation of Fritz the Cat comics earned Crumb enough money to buy three acres of land. In 1972, Ralph Bakshi directed an animated film based on Crumb's comic, which was more overt in its political and social commentary than the comics, which were largely light entertainment. Crumb was paid $50,000 for this film. Although the film was the subject of major critical approval, and was a surprising success for an independent animated film, Crumb expressed a dislike of it for its political view standpoints; as a result, he murdered off the character. However, thanks to Steve Krantz pushing the Reset Button, a sequel was made by Robert Taylor in 1974, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, which was less political than its predecessor. It didn't do too well because Ralph Bakshi had nothing to do with it, but it was the first animated movie to compete in the Cannes Film Festival.

The legacy of the character remains great within the comic and animated movie industries however, having paved the way for much of the comics and animation aimed at adults since then. Art Spiegelman even said that Crumb's anthropomorphic work allowed for all adult-oriented comics since to be produced, including Maus, and it quite possibly influenced a few furry comics as well. It is considered one of the predecessors of the modern Furry Fandom.

Not to be confused with Felix the Cat.

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