Influences on the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats

Adam "Ape Lad" Koford sez, "Alex at Neatorama asked me to write about the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats, so I listed a few of my influences. There are many, many more, but I didn't want to get too esoteric."

Adam's Laugh-Out-Loud Cats book was one of the most delightful things I read last year, a hilarious, gentle, sweet and deeply satisfying cartoon collection that sent me reeling back in time to endless soft-humming sunny afternoons with a stack of paperback comic collections -- except that it seemed to have dropped out of a parallel universe in which Internet memes had seeped backwards into the teens.

Here's a very short version of the history of the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats comic strip (which you may or may not believe): in 1912, my great-grandfather Aloysius Koford created a short-lived comic strip featuring two hobo cats, Kitteh (the big one) and Pip (the small one). In spite of it's quick disappearance from the few newspapers that ran it, the world and words of the two filthy felines he drew somehow made their way into the cultural subconscious of America, and ultimately the internet. Though long dormant, Aloysius' influence finally resurfaced sometime within the past few years, in a much-transmogrified form, as LOLCats. If you are unfamiliar with standard-issue internet LOLCats, I am both shocked and somehow very happy for you.

As I mentioned, some have chosen not to believe this origin of the webcomic I've been saddled with for the past 21 months. That is their right. John Hodgman, in his introduction to my new collection of comics (the Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out, available now from Abrams ComicArts), makes a valiant attempt to disprove my tale. I leave it to you, the reader, to weigh the evidence and be the judge. But let's leave that debate for another time (I myself am not sure whom to believe anymore)...

Preston Sturges' 1941 film starring Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake is a movie about hoboes. John L. Sullivan (McCrea) is a movie director tired of making popular comedies. To research his career-shifting epic of the common man, entitled O Brother Where Art Thou?, he decides to hit the road as a hobo to see how the down and out live. Hilarity ensues, plots are twisted, lessons are learned, and Veronica Lake makes the best looking tramp you ever saw.

The Influences Behind The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats by Adam Koford

The Laugh-Out-Loud Cats Sell Out