On the long road to becoming an Oscar-winning animation director, Gene Deitch became an intense jazz fan. At the age of 21, he discovered The Record Changer magazine, a jazz collector's magazine filled with fanatical, scholarly, and purist essays about jazz as well as listings of hard-to-find jazz albums. Every jazz swinger in the '40s was called a cat (as in "cool cat"), so Gene Deitch created a cartoon feature for Record Changer titled "The Cat," which quickly became a fixture of the magazine. He also started drawing the covers, which graced almost every issue from 1945 to 1951 along with "The Cat." Deitch's stylistically virtuoso images exquisitely embodied the essence of jazz and became a visual paean to the joy of collecting and appreciating jazz.
Fantagraphics Books is proud to collect all of Deitch's Record Changer covers and "Cat" cartoons in one coffee-table, landscape-format art book, reproducing his covers in the same gorgeous colors in which they first appeared as well as the black-and-white Cat cartoons, with commentary and reminiscences by Deitch himself. Originally published in 2003 in hardcover and out of print for years, this redesigned, first-ever paperback edition will delight a new generation of fans.
"This oversized volume... is a hipster's delight nonpareil." – Booklist
"Anyone hoping for a contact high from the manic crazy-man pulse of the '40s hipster should look no further than here. To momentarily slip into the vernacular, this really is a bitch. Five stars." – MOJO
"Deitch achieves what only the greatest cartoonist can — a deep spiritual resonance with minimal representation. The Deitch covers are thrilling for their quiet beauty. [...] This is a terrific rediscovery of a forgotten giant of a small world." – New York Press
"This book is a must for any collector of vinyl, shellac and even wax. Four stars (and a thousand laughs) for this volume." – Anything Phonographic
"Excellently reproduced volume. [...] Hard to think of a better present." – Jazzwise