Monday, August 19, 2013

Terror of the Cat-Men

We're still in Meow Mode this month with a furry, freak-out, feline classic from the February-March 1952 issue of Dark Mysteries #5. Classy 'n sassy Doug Wildey art on this one too-- ENJOY!


Brian Barnes said...

There's some real interesting production things in this one -- some obvious last minute changes and/or additions in the text like "The natives say she is a witch".

We were treated to skulls and monsters on the caption panels, until the artist seemed to grow tired of doing it!

I like the art, the witch and the transformation panel are all shades of goofy (but fun!), but the crazy skulls, aloof women, accurate cats, and some Ditko touches (last page, 2nd panel) are great.

I'm not sold on everybody in Argentina being a pale shade of yellow, though!

Mestiere said...

"Help us... we are not cats!" Did they meow that or did they say that? And if they said it, would it have been more useful to say it in Spanish? Since Steve had been narrating the story all along presumably he can at least think in English while in cat form.

Both the story and the artwork seem to get a little rushed as we approach the ending. The number of panels per page suddenly increases and the pacing gets a little awkward. A bracelet was introduced into the story that hadn't been mentioned before. The witch gets stabbed off panel and we suddenly see her transformed into something that has nothing to do with cats. But seeing Steve's pants turning into cat legs was an interesting image.

The story presumably happens in a parallel world were Argentina —apart from being inhabited by a bright yellow race— is a tropical country with palm trees and according to the first panel on page four, they drink tequila instead of their national drink, mate. Actually Argentina is almost entirely in the temperate zone and in 1950 had the 12th highest per capita income in the world, ahead of Norway and Germany.

Mr. Cavin said...

I like the slow-burn of the first few pages here. Especially the introduction of both characters at the funeral of their mutual girlfriend. All of these extraneous, thematic story details make me think this was adapted from another source, but who knows? I think that the main character is a little hasty with the knife there at the end, though. If a lady told me she was a witch and she was going to turn me into a cat, I might assume she was suffering a schizophrenic episode or maybe she was sky-high on some Argentine mezcal worm. I certainly wouldn't start stabbing her till she actually turned old in front of my eyes.

Daniel [] said...

Fine comments from Mestiere.

There's not much plot to this story. Seven or more pages might have made sense were an interesting atmosphere created, but there wasn't.

Karswell said...

I too love learning that when men turn into cats that the pants are included in the transformation process! Does the belt become the tail? What happens if he leaves his hat on?

Daniel [] said...

If the fellow was wearing a hat, then he continues to do so, and begins to speak in rhyme.

Mestiere said...

Thanks, Daniel, for the compliment!

Grant said...

I agree with Mr. Cavin. In fact, even AFTER being convinced, stabbing her was a bit much. For one thing, who's going to FEED he two of them now?
Also, they might have felt the same letch for her even after becoming cats (as in "tom cats").

I wonder if the line about Sandy becoming "the house guest of a senorita" is strong enough to be considered a "pre-code" kind of line?