Prism Comics logo
Support our advertisers
Prism Comics logoFriday, September 19th, 2014.
Prism Comics logo
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
MORE FEATURES...

Webcomics
THE WEREWIF
Written by Michael Wakcher and Gwydhar Bratton
Illustrated by A. Gwydhar
BOYS & BERRIES
By Alejandro Morales
RAINBOW WARRIORS
Written and created by Manuel Ríos Sarabia
Pencils by Gared Campos
Digital Inks and color by Evim Aguilar
THE FEARLESS ZOMBIE HUNTERS
Written and Created by Manuel Ríos Sarabia
Art by Gared Campos
Lettering and tweaking Sadhaka
SAINT CARRIE OF THE DIVINE PAGEANT
Story and Lettering by Brian Andersen
Art and Colors by Michael Troy
THIS GAY EXISTENCE
by Adam Fair
PINK TIE
By Rob Dennis
ANOTHER TIME
By Richard Crockett
BORDERLINE
Lorin Arendt
THE CATTY CORNER
by Joe Carr
MY BEST FRIEND IS GAY
by Jessica Zimmer
AARON FREY
Written and drawn by Aaron Frey
UNABASHEDLY BILLIE
Words and Pictures by Brian Andersen
Inks and Letters by Preston Nesbit
LOVE, DEATH, AND UFOS
Story & Art: Mark Andrews
Graphics & Lettering: Bretton Clark
Titles: Aenigma:design
PRIDE HIGH
Story by Tommy Roddy
Pencils, Inks, & Colors by Brian Ponce
Edited by Carl Hippensteel
MADKAT THE KOMIC
Writer and Artist: Rick Dilley
EMANCIPATION
Tony Smith, Story & Letters
Rick Withers, Original Pencils & Inks
Giuseppe Pica, Colors
SPARKLE #1: THE LOST PAGES
Paige & Kevin Alexis (PKA)
LOVE
Written and drawn by Matt Fagan
ANGLE #1: THE LOST PAGES
Paige & Kevin Alexis (PKA)

Queer Eye on Comics
CARD TRICK
Posted February 24th, 2013
"A GENERAL FAVORITE"
Posted February 17th, 2013
HEARTS AND POWERS
Posted February 10th, 2013
"CONVERSION PERVERSION"
Posted February 3rd, 2013
MORE QUEER EYE...

Color Commentary
WHEN HORROR INTRUDES – PART 2
Posted October 31st, 2012
WHEN HORROR INTRUDES – PART 1
Posted October 30th, 2012
ASTONISHING X-MEN #50
Posted May 22nd, 2012
THE INITIATION #2
Posted March 24th, 2012
MORE COLOR COMMENTARY...

Spectrum
SAVE THE DATE! AN INTERVIEW WITH MARVEL'S DANIEL KETCHUM ON NORTHSTAR'S WEDDING
Posted May 22nd, 2012
COMING OUT IN COMICS
Posted November 19th, 2010
BLONDE AMBITION THE AMAZON WAY
Posted September 12th, 2010
PAM HARRISON INTERVIEWS CO-RECIPIENTS OF THE 2010 PRISM COMICS QUEER PRESS GRANT
Posted August 30th, 2010
MORE SPECTRUM...
External Features
ALA’S GLBT ROUND TABLE HONORS GAY-THEMED GRAPHIC NOVELS
Posted January 30th, 2014
on Robot 6
The Over the Rainbow Project, sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table, announced its 2014 book list, containing works recommended for adults that “exhibit commendable literary quality and...
NEW QUEER COMICS ANTHOLOGY WILL BRING TOGETHER ARTISTS FROM ACROSS THE GLOBE
Posted October 12th, 2013
on Daily Xtra
New queer comics anthology will bring together artists from across the globe
HIV TAKES CENTER STAGE IN NEW COMIC OUT THIS WEEK
Posted June 29th, 2013
on Graphic Policy
PAUL KUPPERBERG ON "LIFE WITH ARCHIE" AND HIS NEW KEVIN KELLER NOVEL
Posted April 17th, 2013
on Comic Book Resources

MORE FEATURES...
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Queer Eye on Comics 

Detective Comics #311
"Challenge of the Cat-Man"
Writer: Bill Finger
Penciller: Dick Dillin
Inker: Jim Mooney
Cover Artist: Sheldon Moldoff
Editor: Jack Schiff

DC Comics, 1963


Share
"Conversion Perversion"
by Terrance Griep
[Print-ready Version]

California Senate Bill 1172 is a morsel of mandate passed by the Golden State's Legislature that is currently tarnishing its weary way through the Circuit Court system. The bill, when enacted into law, will prohibit state-licensed psychiatrists from administering to underage patients "conversion therapy" which purports to change a teen's gender identity from Broadway Showtunes to Western Ballads. If the Circuit judges are searching for precedent in connecting conversion to perversion, they need look no further than the premiere of DC's Cat-Man and the pride of conversions therein.

Secretly-inveterate gambler Tom (as in "tom CAT," y'dig?) Blake (as in...um) is plagued by a problem: his life as a millionaire jungle cat catcher has become sigh-enducingly boring. Since Tom-Tom lives in Gotham City, the cure for all sigh-enducing boredom is to match animal-themed wits with the municipality's pointy-eared, self-appointed protector, Batman. Of course, the Dark Knight doesn't necessarily frown upon millionaire jungle cat catchers, so Tom Blake, in order to attract the Caped Crusader's order-oriented attentions, enacts the most sensible-in-a-codependent-way option, converting himself into a gaudy outlaw.

Blake performs a personal evaluation, critically considering what Tom-O-Centric parachute color he might bring to Caped-Crusader-worthy villainy while feeding calcium phosphate-powdered steaks to a penned-up lion. Sure, Capone possessed oodles of ruthlessness, and Manson possessed scads of crazy, but what will put a villain mask and shoulders over Batman? Tom shares his epiphany with his black-spotted pet leopard: "Imagine what I, with my knowledge of cat lore, can do!" Ah, yes—cat lore, of course. Should have seen that one comin'.

One short week later, the Gotham Museum's Bast-pinioned Egyptian wing unfurls, and the Dynamic Duo appear as honored guests which is just asking for trouble. Sure enough, trouble arrives in the form of Gotham's debuting pheline pharaoh who springs from a sarcophagus wearing yellow and orange bandages that closely resemble a skin tight cat costume.

Snatching the Bast bust from the trust of the upper crust, Cat-Man brushes past the Cowled Crusaders. Robin proves a leetle too big for his scaly, green britches when he reaches for the quipping, receding scoundrel. In response, the Cat-Man perpetrates a demon pimp kick from hell, tearing the Boy Blunder's yellow cape because its elven collar makes it slightly more fab than Cat-Man's uncollared one.

Cat-Man then converts himself into an absence, eventually arriving via Cat Car at his cat-acomb headquarters (because calling his lair the Cat Cave would be one stalactite to far) where the feline felon considers the implications of his puss-in-booty. "Hmm! I wonder if I REALLY turned to crime to escape boredom?" the newly-minted malcontent muses. "Maybe I've been hiding the truth for myself...I secretly WANTED to steal to regain the wealth people still think I have!" Hey, it worked for Eddie Van Halen, so why not?

Cat-Man resolves to convert himself further from a rich super-villain to an even-richer super-villain, and he catches a lucky break toward that end when a clue menagerie sends Batman and Robin to the wrong locale for the Catty Crusader's sophomore effort. Batwoman—think an even-more-bungly version of the Silver Age Lois Lane but with a pointy, red mask to becloud her bungle-oriented blushes—challenges Cat-Man to a duel that will decide which of them is Batman's Most Effective Stalker. Happily, this duel delays he of the yellow tights long enough for Batman and Robin, backtracking from their initial wrong-caped deduction, to re-engage their cat-and-flying-mouse game, but the bad guy slips away again.

Batman and Robin deduce Cat-Man's civilian identity, tracing that shredded calcium phosphate—"It's put on meat fed to big cats!" Batman just happens to know—to Gotham's only millionaire jungle cat catcher because they are the world's greatest detectives (man and boy cat-egories). The Dynamic Duo then employ their clever minds to consult an off-panel Yellow Pages, arriving at the sub-suburban address of Blake, Thomas. There they unearth the cat-acomb headquarters but fail to factor in the whole "bad guy wanting to trap intruders" thing. Instead of caging Cat-Man, the Masked Manhunters are penned in by floor-up-pushing, electrified bars—the metal ones, not the Midori-Sour-serving ones.

The good guys escape, only to find themselves confronted by an...unlikely threat. "Great Scott!" the Dark Scoutmaster laments. "The Cat-Man—atop a colossal robot cat!" This isn't some kind of Singaporese sex slang, or anything—he means it all literal-like. The colossal robot cat—the crowning achievement of what must have been a berry busy week for TomCat—tries to make prey out of Flying Mouse Man and Canary Boy who seek sanctuary within Cat-Man's workshop. Batman proves there's such a thing as being too crowning-achievementy when he scoops up a bucket helpfully labeled "Nuts & Bolts," tossing its motley contents into the big pussy's metal manpleaser, foully fouling its feline flywheels and converting it into a humongous heap of a high-tech scarp iron.

The still-slippery sinner manages one more escape, venturing further into the Dante-esque cat-acomb's butt end where awaits secret salvation. "Batman doesn't know that tunnel beyond is a short-cut to my Cat Car!" Cat-Man mentally chortles as he slinks toward a single impediment—a surging rapids. The caped crook performs a rapids-traversing cat-leap, but, perhaps due to a case of cat-aracts developed on the way, Cat-Man chooses as a landing pad a midstream boulder composed of gravel, a decision that ends about as well as inviting super-heroes to be the honored guests at your museum opening.

Cat-Man would return, of course, surviving a number of conversions—from maladjusted misfit to harried has-been to antiquated anti-hero...but what's been consistent in his C-list character has been his attraction to flamboyant thrill...and any "therapy" designed to "convert" him would be as futile and as purposeless as trying to get his pet leopard to change her black spots.

###


The sworn enemy of all aerobics instructors, Terrance Griep works as reporter, columnist, essayist, playwright, and comic book scripter. He darkens the airwaves of the midwest United States and western Europe as professional wrestler Tommy "The SpiderBaby" Saturday. The International Gay Outdoors Organization recently named him one of the Nine Toughest Gays in America. He can be reached at Sp1derBaby@aol.com.

Prism Comics promotes the works of the LGBT community in comics. It does not implicitly endorse any other material or products associated with those works. Any opinions expressed are those of the author(s).


 Return to the Features page
 Discuss this article on the Prism Connection board!

News | Features | Profiles | Gallery | Grant | Forum | Links | Shop | Advertise | Donate | About | Contact | Volunteer Login