Posts Tagged ‘jim balent catwoman’


#CoughDidItFirst THEME PARK EDITION – The Catworthy jewelers is now a thing. WB themepark has a jewelry store based on Catwoman

October 15, 2018


#CoughDidItFirst THEME PARK EDITION – The Catworthy jewelers is now a thing. According to The Thrillist’s video on the Warner World theme park in Abu Dhabi, the Gotham area has a “Catwoman-themed jewelry store based on the famous cat burglar.” Jim Balent’s Catwoman too.


A jeweler’s billboard advertising its wares as “Catworthy” became a fixture in Cat-Tales Gotham in the Book 3 story An Iceberg Tale.

You know, the world-class jewel thief who was never caught, rather than the small time bottom-feeding loser so many writers have served up since.

So, I know it’s way over in Abu Dhabi but how the f- does this leak through on something DC/WB did on purpose? Who signed off on this? And can I, like, buy them a steak or send a bottle of wine or something?




Gallery Spotlight: Selina Kyle Unmasked

October 3, 2012
Selina Kyle Unmasked

Selina Kyle Unmasked

Yesterday’s curvacious Catwoman was so popular, let’s double down with Selina Kyle Unmasked by the same artist, Anya Uribe


Gallery Spotlight: Gotham Queen

October 2, 2012
Catwoman: Gotham Queen

Catwoman: Gotham Queen by Anya Uribe

vo·lup·tu·ous adj. 1. Curvaceous and sexually attractive 2. Today’s Gallery Spotlight, Anya Uribe’s Catwoman: Gotham Queen


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.


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


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


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>.



From The Cover of Vogue to The Long Halloween: A Look Back at Year 8

September 21, 2011

I can’t do it.   I cannot choose a single Cat-Tale from 2008 to feature for the look back.

Bruce Wayne in front of Wayne Enterprises "I believe in Gotham City"

I Believe in Harvey Dent was not like any other Cat-Tale.  Beginning on February 2nd, in tribute to its titular hero, it was an unprecedented event in Cat-Tales since it was not only to launch our virtual own alternate reality game at Friends of Harvey Dent, it incorporated a few details we knew about The Dark Knight movie (Gotham General Hospital and GCN), elements of the official Dark Knight viral (Gotham Intercontinental Hotel, Boss Maroni’s lawyer Joseph Candoloro and John Tortericci, the father mourning his daughter Gina killed in the escalating mob violence) and a great deal of the original story of Harvey’s scarring in what is probably the best Batman story on record: The Long Halloween.  The tribute began with line 1:  Bruce’s “I believe in Gotham City.”

Yet, for all that, I Believe in Harvey Dent is a Cat-Tales story.  It is not set in Christopher Nolan’s Gotham City nor in Jeph Loeb’s.  When at ancient episode of Catwoman finding the warehouse of mob money is mentioned, it is in the context of her own money-disposal problems at the temporary Iceberg-substitute nightclub Vault:

Since Vault’s opening, everyone had apparently gone on paying the house its cut of whatever they did on the premises. It was news to Selina when she discovered it, but it certainly made sense: Gotham crooks were creatures of habit, and if you were supposed to be paying off somebody, it was better to be safe than very, very—HAHAHAHA! Closed casket due to the death smile—sorry. On the same death-avoidance premise, Sly had apparently been converting all this ill-gotten gain into gems and gold bars, replacing the faux riches of her old Cat-Tales set with the real thing.  It left her with a very tricky problem: what to do with it?

Her mulling over that problem leads to possibly the most bizarre but quintessentially Selina piece of Bruce/Selina dialogue in the Tales:

“Out of curiosity, would you have an aneurysm if the Foundation got an anonymous donation for, say, $800,000?”

Of her ultimate solution to the dilemma… well, I won’t spoil it here, but if you’ve read the tale, enjoy a trip back to the Epilogue and relive the moment.

And the insertion of pop culture into the storyline has nothing to do with Nolan’s Dark Knight, it’s viral, or the goings on at the Gotham Post.  It’s from the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Vogue!  Because in the real world, the Fashion Institute at the Met and the iconic arbiter of all things fashion Vogue had done an exhibit and feature respectively on Superhero Fashions.  Catwoman was featured the as “The Paradoxical Body” at the Met and it was all purple Catwoman: the iconic Jim Balent costume and Catwoman #1 and the classic Bob Kane original skirted costume on their website.

Catwoman Costumes and Fashion: Iconic Jim Balent Catwoman Purple from Catwoman #1 and Classic Original 1940s skirted costumeVogue followed suit, having the greatest talents in fashion create designs based on the movie versions of these figures, and Dolce and Gabbana’s take on the Michelle Pfeifer costume from Batman Returns, complete with the iconic and indispensable cat cowl studded in Swarovski crystals—meow!

Catwoman Movie Costumes and High Fashion: Dolce and Gabanna's take on Catwoman costume for Vogue: complete with the iconic and indispensable cat cowl studded in Swarovski crystals—meow!

It—along with some complimentary things “Domenico and Stefano” had to say about Catwoman and why they chose her of all the heroine and villainess costumes they could have picked—was sure to draw Poison Ivy’s ire.  As Bruce put it:

“You’re on the cover. Ivy is on page 26. After all the bimbos, socialites, divorcees and models, you think I don’t know what that means? A Vogue cover, thumbnail on the table of contents, splash page on the article. Bruce Wayne has seen slights like that ignite socialite wars that make Superman and Darkseid look like drinking buddies by comparison.”

Plus, I Believe… has what is, to my mind, the closest thing to an explanation of Catwoman’s criminal-versus-hero stature that you are ever going to find:

Catwoman's Declaration of Principles from Cat-Tales: I believe in Harvey Dent

It was the dawn of the 22nd dynasty.  In the delta region of Lower Egypt, just southwest of Tanis on the River Nile, the capital city of the nome of Am-Khent rose to prominence, becoming the royal residence of Pharaoh Shoshenq I, and by extension, the power center of the ancient world.

This was Bubastis, the center of worship for the cat goddess Bast.  Within the greatest temple dwelt the Mau-im-dwo, what the Greek settlers came to call the Oracle of Bast.  Within the innermost sanctum, the priests of Bast learned a language, the Mau-im-dwo, by which they could speak with divine and mortal cats… assuming, of course, the cats were in the mood. 

Near the end of the 26th dynasty, a cat which called itself Apekteina Pontiki condescended to explain the very complex and very specific feline dogmas of right and wrong.  The priests were utterly mystified.  The nuances that were so obvious to cats seemed, to them, nonsensical contradictions: It was natural and permissible to kill a mouse, a bird, an insect, and any other creature whose size and speed was such that it could be killed.  In some cases, it was permissible—and even laudable—to play with one’s prey, prolonging its demise and torturing it with false hope.  At other times, this was the most grievous of sins.  There was one set of rules for morning, one for night, and none at all for midday, for nothing that hunted under a high sun was fit to call itself a cat.  There was one rule if your belly was empty and another if it was full.  There were rules for the flooding season, for the season of planting and for the harvest.  Yet the priests could never understand which rules took precedence.  If your belly was full, but it was evening and during the drought, but you were outdoors and the moon was waning, didn’t that mean you were both required and forbidden to kill and ignore the mouse in the doorway but not the lizard on the well?

Apekteina Pontiki looked on the befuddled priests of Bast, and she pitied them.  The word spread among the cats of the temple and then to the ones beyond: the two-footed creatures were nice enough, but they could not wrap their simple minds around the complexities of the Feline Way.  That same Feline Way that governed the torment of mice dictated that Man could not be taunted with a wisdom he could never understand.  With heavy hearts, the cats resolved to spare him the frustration.  As one, they stopped acknowledging the language of Mau-im-dwo. 

It took the priests a while to notice, for the cats often pretended not to understand.  You just had to wait for the right day and approach them in just the right way… Then the Persians invaded, and the priests, like the rest of Bubastis, had other things on their mind.

Two thousand years later, very little had changed.  The woman who was born Selina Kyle had so embraced her feline nature that she was, in every way that mattered, a cat-woman.  She too had a very complex and very specific code of right and wrong.  She didn’t care any more than the cats of old that her rules were different from other people’s, nor that they would never be able to grasp it if she tried to explain.  She only knew that her code worked for her: Her right was right, and she would keep it.  Her wrong was wrong, and she wouldn’t do it.  So it was and would ever be, meow and amen.

And that isn’t even touching on the main story: Harvey’s story.  So with a Tale this rich, how could I possibly NOT look back at I Believe in Harvey Dent as the Look Back for Year 8?  But then again, how can I ignore War of the Poses and Armchair Detective?

To be continued…

Chris Dee

Oh and P.S. to the new staff writer at The Gotham Post: Meow and godspeed.


Cat-Tales Poster for Comic-Con 2011

July 22, 2011

It’s that time of year again, and since 2011 is celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Cat-Tales, some new artwork was called for.

Cat-Tales Comic-Con 2011 Poster The Classic Catwoman, Jim Balent's Purple Catwoman, Selina Kyle in her best mask and costume

Cat-Tales Comic-Con 2011 Poster: Selina's startling eyes at her most beautiful shining through the night from behind the classic Balent Catwoman mask.

Cat-Tales Comic Con 2011 in Classic Catwoman Purple, Jim Balent Selina Kyle beautifully masked

%d bloggers like this: