Can you hear me now? Cat-Tales Audio BooksSeptember 11, 2013
Back when Cat-Tales started its original website, having a Flash splash screen was pretty spiff. I recorded a few lines that seemed “Signature Catwoman” from Selina’s monologue in A Girl’s Gotta Protect Her Reputation and set it against some visual or other. Ever since, I’ll get a request about twice a year to read complete tales as audio books – or at least “Please please please” some favorite bit, be it Selina’s stage show performace or the origin story Cattitude, the first person passages from String Theory, etc. Everyone has their own favorites.
It was always an appealing idea but a little too daunting for me personally. Then I met Caroline Sharp, a wonderfully talented actress who was not only a Cat-Tales reader, she had an instinctive feel for the fun and good humor that is the core of a proper Selina and the Cat-Tales universe generally. (Seriously, if you think her Selina is spot on, wait ’til you hear her Harley Quinn.)
The goal is to present one or two short stories from each of the collections, starting with Book One. There was no question that we would have to begin with the first tale: A Girl’s Gotta Protect Her Reputation. the impetus for the series.
In 2001, what DC Comics called its new direction obliterated everything that identified Catwoman except her name.
From Selina’s iconic purple costume to her supporting cast, her personality, intelligence, sophistication and lifestyle, her status as a world-class thief and the tone and content of her adventures, everything that drew fans to the character in the first place was gone.
The Nostalgia Critic recently speculated what the fictional characters of Avatar: The Last Airbender would think if they were real and saw the unspeakably awful portrayals in the M. Night Shyamalan fiasco. Reputation does something similar, presenting the DC Comics outrages as the work of a sleazy tabloid called The Gotham Post. The stage show in which she responds wound up opening a door into this real Gotham. If the comics didn’t present the real story, the real characters, then who were were these people, really?
Picking a second tale was more of a challenge. The early tales were essentially an in-joke for a niche audience, loaded with comics references, nods to and inversions of related fan fiction clichés and tropes of the time. Could I find a story that stood alone, gave a glimpse of the fun to be had for people who simply like Batman without reading or caring about the dysfunctional freak show in official comics?
I could! Fun & Games was first introduced with the old Monty Python line “And now for something completely different” and allowed readers to get deep into the first scene without realizing it was a continuation of the series begun with Reputation.
Today, I introduce it this way – Catwoman is a fantasy. Either you get that or you don’t, and if you do, you should probably realize that whatever you’ve dreamed up in your imagination, Bruce has imagined quite a bit better.
Once they got together, you don’t think our kinky pair took a few of those ideas out for a spin?
Cat-Tales audio books, like all offerings, are available for free on the CT website. Listen online or download to your portable player.