Posts Tagged ‘dc comics’

h1

Inside an Enigma Part II – Cognitive Dissonance

May 6, 2013

When we last left Gotham, Selina had also left Gotham – to look into a certain diamond heist in her old fence’s back yard.  Now she’s on her way home – to WHAT is the question.

Inside an Enigma Chapter 2 teaser
Oh, Gotham, you turn your back for three weeks, for three short weeks, and there’s no telling what will be waiting when you turn back (but you can be pretty damn sure that whatever has happened, the Gotham Post has got it wrong.)

Inside an Enigma Chapter 2: Cognitive Dissonance is now available on the Cat-Tales website and mobile-friendly Cat-Tales.mobi

Advertisements
h1

Cat ears, Cat-Tales, and Catwoman’s costume on and off

September 26, 2011

You know that old zinger flung at Trekkies “Get a life”?   I have a life, and I spent the weekend with it.  Apparently while my life and I were enjoying some quality time together, All Living Hell broke loose on the internet.  So for the convenience of those people who are just finding this blog and Cat-Tales and the fan art gallery and the forum, I’m going to take a moment and direct traffic.  There’s 10 years of Catwoman stuff around here and you’ll never find what you’re looking for on your own.  I know just how frustrating it is to be googlng for information on a bicycle race and, for reasons unknown and unknowable, you get links to oil rigs in the North Atlantic.  So I’ll be linking like mad to all the recent posts that may have brought you here…

The Dark Knight Rises Catwoman Costume

Costume Spoilers ahead

A couple weeks ago Warner Bros. released the first picture of Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises, the Internet took one look at her goggles and zip-up biker chick outfit and said with one outraged voice “That ain’t Catwoman!”  This despite the fact that she was riding a motorcycle, which is the one instance where goggles are kind of appropriate – curiously for the same reason they’re not appropriate in any other context.

Mask 101 – real quick, this will be fun – from Van Helsing’s Diary in Cat-Tales Capes and Bats:

“The eyes, windows of the soul, are where the vampire make his bid to take the mind, and control the mind.”

Or from my Red Room piece on Italy and why so much of Selina’s origin story is set there.

“The eyes are the windows to the soul” as the saying goes, and the purpose of masks at Venetian Carnevale, Mardi Gras and Masked Balls has always been to reveal, not to hide.   The mask conceals the face, but leaves those windows to the inner person exposed.  The effect—and this has been the experience of those wearing masks for centuries before Batman and Catwoman arrived on the scene—is to release a part of one’s personality that one often didn’t know was there.  It is an incredibly freeing experience.  It is incredibly right for a Selina Kyle or Bruce Wayne to discover these hidden parts of themselves in that way. 

That’s why such a big deal is made of Catwoman’s first mask in her origin story Cattitude.

That’s why one fan didn’t even like one of the Cat-Tales poster I made up for this year’s Comic-Con, because it created a purple film, a goggle-esque barrier, between the viewer and Catwoman’s eyes.

And while that makes goggles completely inappropriate for a regulation Catwoman costume, subverting the very notion of what a mask is and what it’s for, it is exactly what you want on a motorcycle.  It shields the eyes, not from the VIEWER but from SHRAPNEL!

Now, Mrs. Nolan obviously didn’t raise no fool, because yesterday (or the day before, I don’t know, at some point recently while I my back was turned), we have more pictures of Anne Hathaway in the Catwoman costume.  And the loathed un-catwomany goggles—in an act of satiric fashion-dadaism fusing form and function in an act of ironic symbolism that challenges the viewer to imagine Coco Chanel at an exhibition of Marcel Duchamp—the goggles slide up onto her head forming the cat ears.

Catwoman Costume from The Dark Knight Rises: Cat ears, Stiletto heels and No Goggles

Bene.  With that lovely long hair and the cat mask, she looks just like Julie Newmar doesn’t she?  (And speaking of Julie, she is featured in the History of the Catwoman Costume which has brought so many of you here, along with Practical Cats: Reflections on the Catwoman Costume.)

So, Googlers, while there are fun snippets of TDKR news and commentary in this blog, it’s not really my raison d’etre and you may want to bookmark these guys for a regular stream of news.

Cat-Tales

What this blog IS about, overall, is Cat-Tales.  That’s a Catwoman Metafiction Series I write based on the simple principle that most of what you read in comic books is wrong: the lies and distortions of a sensationalist tabloid called The Gotham Post.  Cat-Tales is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year, so there are “Look Back” entries to be found highlighting a favorite tale from each year.  Currently up to Year 8.

There is a fan art gallery, and if you love the glorious purple sex appeal of the Jim Balent Catwoman or the fabulous curves of The Brave and the Bold Catwoman in her classic skirted costume, GO!  Click the link, click it now.  The gallery will be expanding at some point soon, so if you’re an artist and a fan of the Tales or just have some nice pieces in these costumes that you’d like the world to see, you can get in touch through the forums, on deviantART, Facebook, etc.

Oh, and speaking of Jim Balent, in all the fuss about the ears, not everyone has noticed that The Dark Knight Rises Catwoman is also wearing stiletto heel thigh boots.  I believe all fans of the Balent costume know where those came from.

Catwoman #1
aka The Reboot Catwoman
aka The New 52 Catwoman
aka “Most of the costumes stay on”

So, Cat-Tales basically began back in 2001 when The Gotham Post (aka DC Comics) went too far, wiping out all Catwoman was and was supposed to be and “reinventing” her to the point where she was no longer recognizable as the character we all knew and loved.  They still called her Selina Kyle and had Catwoman on the cover page, but as in the case of that Anne Hathaway goggle picture, all sane and sentient fans took one look at it and said “That ain’t Catwoman.”

Now, it’s been a bad decade for DC Comics.  The Catwoman blunders were not an isolated case, and they’ve lost a lot of readersa lot of readers.  The LA Times reported that Dan DiDio was at a comic shop in New Jersey and over the course of an hour, 2 customers came in.  That’s not a typo.  Two.   As in 1+1.  “And this was a Saturday, the busiest day of the week for most retailers.”

So, a couple weeks ago, they took a very brave and difficult step: they wiped out all the crap that has happened since Crisis on Infinite Earths, rebooted every character and relaunched every comic.  From what I understand, Catwoman #1 which came out last week goes a long, long way in at least trying to restore the sexiness and fun of the Volume I comic that was decimated by the ‘new direction’ 10 years ago.  In fact they have a huge advantage over the original Volume I Catwoman #1, because the Bat-editor at that time didn’t even want to acknowledge Selina was in Gotham City let alone – God forbid – allow Batman within a city block of her.

Apparently, as of issue #1 of the new Catwoman comic, that policy is now flushed with the rest of the post-Crisis refuse.  Depending on where you work, this picture may not be worksafe, so I’ll just say this for those who fear to click through:

1) The title of the issue is “Most of the costumes stay on” and if you think the rest of that sentence is “when we fuck” you’d be right

and

2) Oh THAT’S what they meant by “practical.”

Um,

Well, gee…

Now that they put it that way, yeah, a costume that zips up the front definitely IS more practical.

(The goggles, however, still have to go.)

Okay, seriously, is this the big turnaround for DC Comics?  I don’t know.  I’m one of the readers they lost, remember?  I haven’t been inside a comic shop for more than 4 years.  So I’m really not in a position to judge if any of this is real or if it’s another cheap stunt: a mean-spirited attempt to lure back fans so they can punch them in the stomach one last time.

I will say this to both sides, both DC and the ex-readers like myself:

Ex-readers,  we need to be patient.  The DCU took 25 years to break, the dysfunction took a quarter of a century to create, it can’t be fixed in 3 months.

DC, see above.  It took 25 years to break – not just the FUBAR of your universe but the trust of ex-readers like me.  You’re not going to fix that in 3 months either.

One of my readers who knows I’m a huge Aaron Sorkin fan sent me this, framing “The New 52” in the spirit of Studio 60.

A Commentary on DC Comics "The New 52" as an homage to Studio 60

And that’s a great quote, but there’s a different line from that same pilot episode that came to mind for me:

“I have no reason to trust you and every reason not to.”

I know it sounds ominous, but it’s not.  Not really.  Trust is earned, and what’s broken can be fixed, and heroes press on even when it gets hard…

Hey, Winnick, psst.  <insert sexy double entendre here if you dare>.

Meow.

h1

The Summer in Cat-Tales: My Precious, The Bat Walapang, The Dark Knight Rises and the Return of the Gotham Post

September 4, 2011

It’s been forever since I did one of those weekly updates, hasn’t it?  Let’s see, what all has been happening…

I got a new laptop, henceforth to be known as My Precious. As long-time readers are aware, the previous laptop was originally known as Precious, but as Adobe Programs and Second Life videos began clogging up its innards, it came to be known as “the workhorse” and finally as “that $#@^*&@^*! @&&*$# *}}@\&*(!!!!” While this may not seem like Cat-Tales news, getting set up on the new machine did take a bite out of writing time somewhere between Chapters 3 and 4. On the up side, new screen width for me tends to mean new wallpapers for everybody,  If you haven’t sought out Cat-Tales on Facebook, be sure to come like us to unlock some exclusive high-def wallpapers. Meow!

The 10th Anniversary is still under way, and our Look Back at Year 6 and the bat Walapang brought an interesting question to the Ask Catwoman feature.

That Nolan guy is making a Catwoman movie, er, I mean, you know, a third Dark Knight movie, and that led to a few pieces I wrote for outside sites.  Not Cat-Tales-specific, but let’s call them Cat-Tales-adjacent: Why Ninjas Don’t Wear Purple and Christopher Nolan, The Dark Knight Rises, Catwoman’s Goggles, and an Offer You Can’t Refuse at Blog Critics and O for a muse of #fire at Red Room.

batman-detective-comics-532 RIP Gene Colan one of the great Batman artists

The news isn’t all good, unfortunately.  Gene Colan died in June, and it threw something of a pall over DC’s Retroactive Batman.  More than one person mentioned that Tom Mandrake, the artist brought back for Batman of the 1970s issue was more of an 80s artist, and the sad fact was, he was used for the 70s because many the real stars of that earlier decade are gone.  Colan, like Aparo, drew the Batman many of us grew up with.  He drew a magnificent Catwoman too, and oh yes, of special interest to Cat-Tales fans, he drew Nocturna and Nightslayer, aka Natasha “damn that woman can work a metaphor” and Anton “looks like a potato” de Nuit.

cat-tales-catch-up-rip-gene-colan-one-of-the-great-batman-artists-nightslayer-cover-cat-tales-anton-knight-whats-new-pussycat

Most of all his covers are alive with movement and energy we seldom see anymore.  His passing was a loss, but a reason to go back and look at those wonderful old pages, to post them in our blogs, and, frankly, to show the AH fanclub what great comic art actually looks like.

And finally, speaking of covers, something I really thought would have passed unnoticed but since a few eagle-eyed readers caught it…

Cat-Tales: Comedy of Errors concluded last week in a farcical extravaganza that, as one reader put it, owes more to Hepburn, Lombard and the screwball comedies of the 30s than the Shakespearean title implies, and now “all we need is a leopard.”  (Long story if you don’t know the classic Bringing Up Baby, but take my word for it, considering who we’re talking about, it’s apt.)  Thing is, the latest Cat-Tale owes a little something else to somewhere else.  As more-than-casual readers are aware, Cat-Tales began by lampooning developments in DC Comics as the lies and distortions of a tabloid called The Gotham Post—up until the end of Cat-Tale #46, also called “The Gotham Post.”  In that final chapter when Eddie says “Fuck the Post,” that is pretty much the end of DC Comics mentions in Cat-Tales—up until last week.  The gag with Oswald replacing the staid and conservative Gotham Times distributed by the hotel with a sensational Post displaying a hot Batman/Catwoman kiss on the cover is indeed based on this cover in the solicitations for October or November’s comics, the rebooted and relaunched Catwoman #2.cat-tales-catch-up-dc-comics-relaunch-new-catwoman-batman-kiss-the-gotham-post

Everyone, please calm down.

I don’t know anything about the relaunch beyond what I said back in April in Retro-Active and Reichenbach Falls.  I don’t even know if it’s Retro-Active or Retroactive, what the difference is between that and Flashpoint, or what if anything is the difference between a relaunch and a reboot.  I. Don’t.  Know.  If I did, I’m sure I couldn’t tell you or I’d have to kill you, but since I don’t, not an issue.  All I can say is that a friend showed me that cover, and since Bat and Cat were already on the table in Oswald’s machinations against the imagined Bruce-Selina wedding, I tossed it in. That’s all.

As Oswald said: It wasn’t part of the original wreck-the-wedding plans, but one doesn’t let a gift like that pass unused.

It doesn’t mean we’re back to Cat-Tales #1 and regular commentary on the machinations of The Gotham Post.  It doesn’t mean I’m reading again.  It doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten the very real Possibility #3 laid out in that Reichenbach Falls entry.  It is simply too early to say.  I do think the world of DC’s creative director Geoff Johns, and this blog has seen an actual love letter to Jim Lee.

I wish them both all the luck in the world as the Matt Albie and Danny Tripp of DC Comics.  Break a leg, guys.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com
cattales.yuku.com
cattales.wikispaces.com

h1

Dear Santa, All I Want for Christmas is… Wait, does Barbie come with a latex catsuit?

September 1, 2011

catwoman-selina-kyle-anne-hathaway-princess-little-girls-castles-when-i-grow-up-i-want-to-be-2Goggles aside, Catwoman fans and Cat-Tales fans in particular have three very good reasons to be excited about Anne Hathaway playing Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises. We can’t know what’s in the script, naturally, but there were two recent episodes that lead me to believe that, as far as the actress is concerned, this is a Catwoman we can get behind.

Most of us made the acquaintance of the beautiful 28-year-old actress waaay back in 2001 when she starred opposite Julie Andrews in The Princess Diaries. At the time, Anne told Access Hollywood, “a lot of questions that I used to get asked were, ‘So, every girl when she grows up wants to be a princess, did you want to be a princess when you grew you?’ And I so wish I’d said what I felt back then, because the truth was, ‘No, I wanted to be Catwoman!’ And now I am… That dream came true, for sure.”

That’s it. Game. Set. Match.

She wanted to be Catwoman. The way some little girls dream of fairy tale castles, handsome princes, white weddings and My Little Pony (not necessarily in that order), some of us dreamed of being Catwoman. When modern comics have gone off the rails, it’s because they forgot that core truth: we want to be these characters. Look, up in the sky, it’s Superman! You’re a kid, you’re small, you’re weak. Imagine being able to fly! Imagine being strong enough to pick up a train and hurl it like a javelin! We grow up wanting to be these characters.

Ms. Hathaway has clearly not forgotten. “That dream came true, for sure.” So far, so good.

Now obviously there is only so much an actress can do if the material misses the mark. Back when Tim Burton was making Batman Returns, Sean Young was clearly in touch with her childhood dream to be Catwoman. Her stunts to get Burton’s attention got her a ‘crazy actress’ label and no role, but there is perhaps a better insight into the desire we girls have to become that powerful and sexy feline fatale than there is in what actually hit the screen. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Burton’s movies at the time, but his Gotham is, by his own admission “a freak show” and his Batman and Catwoman are the very much product of that era’s comics: damaged freaks that no sane person would want to be. His Catwoman’s power, like so much what comes out of the comics origins, is not a natural part of the woman animal. Selina isn’t simply beautiful and sexy and smart and strong because she is born that way. As if beautiful, witty and savvy women don’t occur in nature, her amazing power to make the Dark Knight… rise must be explained with an origin. It is, invariably, a reaction against oppression, exploitation, or abuse.

We’re getting back to Anne in a minute, I promise.

How exactly does a smart, sexy, witty and talented woman react when she’s been misrepresented in the press? When she is not a damaged psycho that can only snarl and hiss, when she has a sense of humor and a playful instinct for mischief? In Cat-Tales, Selina uses her celebrity as Catwoman to mount an off-Broadway show and uses that spotlight to call out the tabloids about the lies they tell about Batman, about Catwoman, and what really goes on in Gotham after dark.

It’s not exactly the same, but Anne Hathaway recently appeared on Conan and vented her frustrations with the paparazzi – seriously – in a rap in the style of Lil’ Wayne.

anne-hathaway-catwoman-selina-kyle-rapping-paparazzi-on-conanThat’s… Selina!

That’s my Selina. I don’t know what Messers Nolan, Nolan, and Goyer have written for her, but that woman could play the Selina Kyle of Cat-Tales without bothering to act.

Back when the casting was first announced, Christopher Nolan said when we see the movie in 2112, we will understand why Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy are perf…

Oh wait, I said three reasons, didn’t I?

Sexy. DC Comics is relaunching their universe today and the writer of their new Catwoman comic apparently used the word “sexy” 40 times in an interview. That shouldn’t surprise anyone outside of the comics world. Catwoman = sexy. Everybody knows that. And let’s face it, what we’ve seen of the zip-up biker chick outfit isn’t. But everything we have seen of Ms Hathaway exudes that confidence and good humor, that energy and vivacity that is the essence of sex appeal. I don’t know about still photos, but seeing her interviews of the past few weeks, I think the lady can be sexy wearing sack cloth.

So, Christopher Nolan said when we see the movie in 2112, we will understand why Anne Hathaway and Tom Hardy are perfect casting as Catwoman and Bane. In the former case, he is 11 months ahead of schedule.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com
cattales.yuku.com
cattales.wikispaces.com

catwoman-selina-kyle-anne-hathaway-princess-little-girls-castles-when-i-grow-up-i-want-to-be

Article first published as Santa, All I Want for Christmas is… Wait, does Barbie come with a latex catsuit? on Blogcritics.

h1

The Dark Knight Rises meets Flashpoint

May 21, 2011

(aka The Week Outside of Cat-Tales)

Two big events in Comics Goodness this week*: The Dark Knight Rises started filming in London  and DC Comics launched their latest Crisis/Mega Event Flashpoint.

Now, one of my favorite running gags in the Robert Altman’s movie about movie-making The Player:  Every time we hear a screenwriter pitch a script, they fall back on “It’s X meets Y”  “It’s Out of Africa meets Pretty Woman”

To celebrate The Dark Knight Rises and DC Comics milestones, I submit to you a little something JLAin’t author MyklarCure whipped up at the fantastic Florida F/X school: Dave School.  I like to call it: The Dark Knight meets Flashpoint:

Best. Project. Ever. LOL – We were given a 20 second audio clip to animate. The clip: Christian Bale’s infamous rant on the set of Terminator: Salvation. LANGUAGE WARNING! (Duh).
The instructor said he couldn’t give mine a review during class because he was laughing so hard that he couldn’t concentrate on it. 😉

*3 if you count #thefirerises viral launching thedarkknightrises.com.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com

Thank you for reading. If you are viewing this post anywhere other than The Catitat you are reading a mirror. Please visit the original posting in The Catitat to leave a comment.

h1

Cat-Tales Trailer

May 21, 2011

Finally got around to uploading the video trailer for Cat-Tales, made for our Facebook page.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com

h1

Believing in even the possibility of a happy ending is a very powerful thing

May 18, 2011

Comic books and fairy tales.  Stories we revere from childhood that fired our imaginations and at the same time slipped in some principles on how to live our lives, what we can become, what we can achieve.  Some of our parents thought we had to put that aside when we grew up, but since the Baby Boomers came of age, we’ve embraced the idea that this doesn’t have to be kid’s stuff.  From Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to Star Wars, Lord of the Rings to Nolan’s The Dark Knight, we’ve seen that fantasy, science fiction, and comic book stories can be told for adults.  Of course, every good story is grounded in a battle between Good and Evil.  There’s a reason for that.  We tell these stories to prepare us for life, and in real life, that battle between Light and Darkness rages.

ABC’s Once Upon a Time has the potential to bring that battle elegantly and beautifully into the mainstream.  From the writers of Lost, the world begins as we might expect: with a tantalizing mystery.  28-year old Emma Swan finds herself in Storybrook, a mysterious place where some strange rules seem to apply – rules that don’t quite seem to jibe with the laws of nature. In the First Look video…


Okay, a young boy tells Emma it’s all the work of a wicked queen, “She sent everyone from the Enchanted Forest here” and they don’t know that they’re characters from fairy tales.  Sounds kinda cool, I liked The Sixth Sense and Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods.  But none of that is what made me sit up and take notice.  What did it was that moment after the screen went black  and those 4 gleaming words appeared:

THERE ARE
TWO SIDES

And so there are in every genre that touches on those cherished childhood memories.  From comic books to movies, there are those who claim writing for an adult audience means a nihilist and cynical world in which there are no real heroes and no real hope.  Those who cannot dream will always try to destroy yours.  They have been trying to poison our childhood memories and destroy our heroes for years.  Until Geoff Johns’s Infinite Crisis and Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, that divide in the comics world was confined to the non-fictional arenas.  Nolan’s Dark Knight fictionalized it in a battle for Gotham’s soul.  Joker’s view being the cynic’s “When the chips are down, all these civilized people will eat each other”  and Batman believing in the people of Gotham City.  When his faith is proven right, when the people of Gotham decine to “eat each other” as Joker predicted, he asks pointedly “What was your point, that everyone is as ugly as you?”

Will Once Upon a Time take that battle to the next level?  Is this a tale of Darkness and Cynicism versus Light and Hope?

I give you two moments from that FIRST LOOK: 

Trollish man in a cage:
Everything we love will be ripped from
us while we suffer for all eternity.

v.

Girl:
Believing in even the possibility of a
happy ending is a very powerful thing

FIGHT!

Once upon a time Hope fought Despair.  Once upon a time Light fought Darkness.  Once upon a time Good fought Evil.

Once upon a time…  Damn, I’m there.

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com

%d bloggers like this: