Jerry Beck of Cartoon Brew is excited about the upcoming DVD release of “Herman and Katnip” cartoons. Herman and Katnip were among the many cat-and-mouse teams created for theatrical and TV cartoons in the wake of Tom and Jerry, and they’re famous for being the most gruesomely violent and mean-spirited of all of them. (This was par for the course for Famous Studios, whose cartoons were among the most violent and cruel – rarely very funny, but sometimes interesting because of that.) Matt Groening has cited them as being among the inspirations for Itchy & Scratchy, because as Simpsons writer Mike Reiss put it, the fascination of H&K is that “there’s nothing deft about them. It’s just ugly violence.” Herman and Katnip are what Tom and Jerry would be if it looked like Tom was really in horrible pain and if the sadistic subtext became text; Itchy and Scratchy are just Herman and Katnip taken to their logical conclusion.