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Crockett Johnson and Ruth KraussHow an Unlikely Couple Found Love, Dodged the FBI, and Transformed Children's Literature$
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Philip Nel

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617036248

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617036248.001.0001

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“We Met, and That Was It!”

“We Met, and That Was It!”

(p.51) 7 “We Met, and That Was It!”
Crockett Johnson and Ruth Krauss

Philip Nel

University Press of Mississippi

In the summer of 1939, Ruth Krauss joined Maggie Parry in an expedition to the Blackfeet Indian nation in Montana. Led by Columbia University anthropologist Ruth Benedict, the expedition broadened Krauss’s perceptions about anthropology. When the expedition ended in August, Krauss returned to New York, but World War II broke out when Germany invaded Poland. Meanwhile, editors of the Communist magazine New Masses were trying to explain that the Soviet Union signed the nonaggression pact with Nazi Germany out of necessity and not because communists supported fascism. Ruth met Crockett Johnson at a party in Greenwich Village or on Fire Island, and the two felt an immediate attraction toward one another. Ruth liked to say that “We met and that was it!” On March 9, 1940, Johnson’s Little Man with the Eyes comic strip debuted in Collier’s. While still in New York City, Johnson decided to create a new comic strip around a precocious five-year-old boy that he would call “Barnaby”.

Keywords:   expedition, Ruth Krauss, anthropology, Crockett Johnson, World War II, Germany, Soviet Union, Little Man with the Eye, comic strip, Barnaby

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