Posts Tagged ‘sexy’

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A Catwoman Renaissance

April 26, 2017

“For me, Catwoman has always been fun to write. I think it’s because she actually likes herself and enjoys life. That’s so rare in a modern comic book character.”
– Chuck Dixon, Poplitiko

The statement will probably confuse the modern Catwoman fan.  Selina fun?  A winner who likes herself and enjoys her life?  How can this be?

a-catwoman-renaissance-jimbalent-catwoman1

Jim Balent shares Catwoman Issue #1

Cat-Tales fans are not confused, and Cat Tales fans can rejoice for that fun, winning, sexy, resourceful Selina that we never gave up is (finally!) making a comeback!  Coming this September, DC is releasing the first volume in the collected edition of Jim Balent’s 1990’s Catwoman series.  It will include issue 1-14 written by Mary Jo Duffy and issue #0 by Doug Moench who is simply the gold standard of Bronze Age Bat/Cat.

Jim Balent remains “the epitome of Catwoman artists” (Amazon), delivering an unapologetically voluptuous feline fatale whose look fits her brazen personal style. Consider the episode from the first story arc, “Life Lines,” which Chris Dee cites in her 2011 Blogtalk interview: Selina infiltrates a wealthy man’s apartment during a party, posing in the dark as his wife fresh from the shower and wrapped in a towel. She gets away with the goodies and gets back into costume just as quickly as she had come (so much for it being impractical) but Chris’s point was the daring nature of the move, the fun – this Catwoman’s essence and appeal is the fun of being bad (and getting away with it).  Though before we close the book on practicality, it’s worth noting that this costume defined it for those who know the meaning of the word rather than using it as code: it was noted that while the rest of Gotham fought a fully-functioning Batman, Selina only had to contend with 1/5th of him.

Writer Jo Duffy catches Selina’s voice perfectly. She catches her good and bad sides, her tenderness and cattiness (and another feature that Cat Tales fans know about, her utter contempt for Azrael, the man who took Bruce’s place – in his view, anyway – when Bane broke his back).

If you’re tired of a Trinity cosplayer with Snoopy goggles being presented as Catwoman, tired of “complexity” (i.e. short hair and small boobs passed off as characterization), or just want to see what was so special about the era when Selina was sexy, sassy, confident and the world’s best cat burglar that fans refused to give her up despite a full court press from her publisher that went on for a decade and a half, you can pre-order here on Amazon, or visit your local comic shop who are apparently unable to preorder for several months yet.  Make sure they (and DC) know that we want this.

One final note on what may be a renaissance for the smoking hot, purple kitty: Brazilian pop culture company, Iron Studios, is going to release a gorgeous statue of the stunningly beautiful, purple clad, long haired Selina based on the artwork of long time DC artist, Ivan Reis (famous for his Aquaman run with writer, Geoff Johns).  a-catwoman-renaissance-ironstudios-ivanreis-maquette

Models and maquettes have come a long way since Denny O’neil’s day when depictions of the Balent Catwoman were marred by unattractive snarls and poses as if by editorial mandate, but nothing – nothing like this – has been seen for the absolute love that has gone into every angle and detail.  This hand-painted, 1/10 scale, 18cm model is simply the sexiest tribute to the purple Selina you can find, and rivals the Tweeterhead Julie Newmar statues in my opinion.

Iron Studios full photo album is here.  (Unfortunately, how you could go about buying one, I have no idea.)

So… whether it’s actually a sexy, purple, long-haired, cat-burglar Catwoman renaissance, a test balloon or simply a very lucky coincidence, the time is now.  Break out your wallets.  Vote with your wallets.  You know how Selina gets when you make her do it herself.

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Gallery Spotlight: Goodnight, Kitten

September 27, 2013
Bruce and Selina, a sweet intimate scene inspired by Cat-Tales

Goodnight, Kitten by Remidar

“Goodnight, Kitten” a sweet Bruce & Selina companion piece to “Morning, Handsome” both by Remidar in the Cat-Tales Gallery.   Selina has been living in Wayne Manor since Highland Games at the top of Book 3. There are a number of bedroom scenes since then.  Chris chose one from Go Rin No Sho to illustrate the touching intimacy of the moment captured in this beautiful illustration by Remidar.

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Gallery Spotlight: Pretty Poison

October 5, 2012
Poison Ivy: Pretty Poison

Poison Ivy: Pretty Poison

Keeping the Femme in Femme Fatale, a very Jessica Rabbit take on Poison Ivy rounds out this week’s Gallery Spotlight on Anya Uribe
with “Pretty Poison”

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Gallery Spotlight: Goodnight Gotham

May 4, 2012

Gallery Spotlight: Goodnight Gotham

Today’s spotlight is this sexy sketch from the solo gallery: Goodnight Gotham by kyriadalyn. Something about the sensuality of the pencil strokes, I actually prefer this to the colored version that came out later.

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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.

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Selina Kyle the Fashionista Returns, this time on the set of The Dark Knight Rises, and the Final Word on the Catwoman Costume Controversy from none other than Christian Bale

September 14, 2011

Selina Kyle: Fashionista Under the Mask has to be one of the most surprise-popular entries in this blog.  I only made that particular fashion spread because there was some disappointment with Selina dressed so casually on the cover of A Girl’s Gotta Protect Her Reputation (although to be fair, backstage and out of costume is a place for t-shirt and jeans… maybe one of these days I’ll add her show jacket.)  Anyway, looking at the popularity of those pictures and the upsurge in readers on stories mentioned where Selina’s wearing Chanel or the Dior Red Goddess #6*, it’s obvious there is a real desire for the classy Selina Kyle, who has been missing from non-Cat-Tales Catwoman appearances for far too long.

Which brings us to The Dark Knight Rises and these wonderful pictures of Anne Hathaway’s Selina, dressed to the nines for day and evening.

Selina Kyle, Fashionista, Sexy and Classy in The Dark Knight RisesSelina Kyle, Fashionista, Displaying her very sexy legs in The Dark Knight RisesSelina Kyle, Fashionista, Sexy and Classy in The Dark Knight Rises

In the words of the gal who sent me these, and believe me she speaks for all women :  I WANT THAT SUIT!  I know you guys will be more interested in that hailing a taxi long-shot that shows off Selina’s famously sexy legs, but I really wanted to include that OOC shot with the jacket off so you could see the beautiful lines of the sleeveless dress underneath.

Of course for evening, you want something more formal.

Selina Kyle, Fasionista, Elegant and classy in an evening gown, The Dark Knight Rises

Meow.

The Catwoman Costume Controversy is ended thanks to Christian Bale, Batman and Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises. "Cape is not practical."Now, before we leave the set of The Dark Knight Rises and the subject of how Selina Kyle is dressed, I have some sad news for the goggles-are-practical crowd.  It is, quite simply, the final word on the Catwoman Costume Controversy, and it comes from none other than the Batman himself, starring as Bruce Wayne in all three Chris Nolan Dark Knight epics, Academy Award winner and my favorite human: Christian Bale.

“Let me say whichever superhero first came up with the idea of wearing a cape, he wasn’t really onto anything good. The number of times I’m treading on that damn thing or I throw a punch and it ends up covering my whole head. It’s really not practical.

That’s it, guys. Game over.  Either you must now get rid of Batman’s cape, or you have to come with some other reason you want Catwoman to wear Snoopy the Dog’s goggles, subverting the whole notion of what a mask is and how it works, while making her look like a bee.  Good luck with that.

The rest of you get some art:

The Catwoman Costume Question has been settled thanks to Christian Bale, Batman/Bruce Wayne in The Dark Knight Rises.   "The Cape is not practical."

Click for full-size (i.e. legible) image

And finally, for anyone who is still taking the whole thing too seriously, despite the send-up of Selina ranting against the Post-goggles in the last tale, you can now revisit the classic Clayface-as-Selina scene in print or ebook form.  Cat-Tales: Comedy of Errors is now available for download in print-quality PDF, Kindle/Mobi, and Epub the universal ebook format.  Enjoy.

*No, seriously, more people are currently asking which tales have the fashion plot points than which stories contain the suggestive Batman-Catwoman stuff.  *looks around, concerned* This is still the internet, isn’t it?

Chris Dee
www.catwoman-cattales.com

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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.

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