Monday, April 20, 2015


In the Forties, there probably wasn't a better-drawn or less-advisable series of informational interstitial features than the judo lessons as taught by Hollywood's Glamorous Detective Star, The Black Cat!

The quality of the instruction is up in the air, but then again, what better way to learn a martial art than from a series of still pictures? I'm sure that's how Jackie Chan got started.

Kids have the unfortunate habit to imitate, which in this case may very well have resulted in a lot of younger siblings receiving bone bruises and dislocated shoulders. Observe this exercise, which asks of the practicer to stuff their foot into the gut of the practicee, and probably hurl them headlong into the staircase. Dad's gonna be furious when he gets home and finds the blood everywhere!

The Black Cat's judo lessons were also equal opportunity, so there's no reason that the sisters couldn't get into the act, providing they had a handy chair.

Also a handy way to take care of your least-favorite schoolteacher.
The following lessons also double as An Introduction To Fetish Culture

Just in case you weren't quite convinced that these judo lessons would probably end up having sent a lot of kids to the hospital - and the smaller ones to a tiny morgue - please note the following lesson which no kid will resist using as an excuse to slap their friends in the fucking neck. Please note the Black Cat giving some dude a karate chop in the larynx. 

"This should make him behave" indeed.

Still, in the plus column of these lovingly-drawn features, it's an almost alien experience to see a female character in a comic comfortably and almost casually deal with threats to her safety, without it becoming gruesome or overtly male gaze-y. Just the Black Cat, quietly and calmly dispensing with lunkheads and jerkwads, although she never gets around to teaching the reader how to pull this one off:

"The ol' number twenty-two!"


Ted Hobgood said...

Oh no, these were the BEST! I love me some Black Cat; a great kickass character from the Golden Age.

A friend of mine used to have a bakery that made comic book cookies, and I made a (semi)-animated promo for her Kickstarter where we adapted a bunch of Black Cat comic panels into a new story. You might be amused by it (the Kickstarter is long over, so no plugs!)

Oddly, in that last panel you posted, Black Cat may be going for an unorthodox application of a real MMA move, the gogoplata. (Or I could be reading a lot into a mere comic panel, which is far more likely.)

Keep up the fun posts!

neofishboy said...

Worst strangle technique ever. I really hope that guy lost his thug certification.

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