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So in my travels, I've picked up a fair bit of Batman-related swag of the disposable, forgettable kind. Coloring and activity books, riddle books, puzzles, that sort of thing. This merchandise is generally pretty unremarkable and isn't very highly sought after, and since it's 'kid stuff' and considered unworthy of being collected, not much of it survives long enough to make it online. The Super Dictionary is one of the exceptions, but there's a lot of fun stuff out there if you know where to look.

One of my favorite coloring/activity books I've come across in the past few years has a handful of Catwoman pages that tell their own little stories, just in the space of a few images. It's pretty easy to add your own captions, or build a simplistic story around them using your imaaaaginaaaation.

Today, I bring you three of them, depicting a fun little Harley Quinn/Catwoman team-up:

The Cat and the Clown Girl, behind the cut! )

Interestingly, Poison Ivy, the other best known Gotham Femme Fatale, doesn't make a single appearance in the book. Also, Harley Quinn makes more appearances than Catwoman--and Catwoman shows up something like twelve times, so that's nothing to sneeze at. Especially if you take into account that Harley Quinn is barely two decades old, hasn't made an appearance in any of the Batman films and seems to be relatively unknown character outside of people who read comics or are intimately familiar with Batman: The Animated Series, whereas Catwoman has been part of the pop culture landscape in one highly visible fashion or another since the nineteen sixties. I find this fascinating.

Classic!Harley is, of course, an incredibly iconic looking character, so I suppose it's understandable. Her red and black costume is a fashion designer's wet dream, with its clean lines and symmetry, she's a fun, bouncy character in an otherwise grim!dark! universe and, I imagine, for a child, she'd be incredibly fun to color.

(She's certainly fun enough to draw that, despite the fact she's not one of my favorites, she constantly pops from my pencil when I sit down to doodle, whether I want her to or not.)

Still, it raises the question (for me, at least): just how familiar with Harley Quinn is the truly casual Bat-fan, versus Catwoman?
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Me: "I, Dr. Von Fangirl, will totally start updating in a timely manner!"

The Universe: "HAHAHAHA, Yeah you think that."

...

Okay, so you know what? Screw it. I will update when I update when I can, because babies are very, very time consuming. And that isn't even taking into consideration the fact that I'm in the process of moving from one state to another and have experienced an earthquake and a hurricane in the last week. HAHAHAHA, Universe, I see you thur, having fun at my expense!
Soooo. The Super Dictionary. If you've been on the internet for any decent length of time, and reading up on comics, or are an old scans_daily alum, you've definitely heard of it. It's arguably one of the most spectacularly cracktastic things that DC Comics has ever put their official stamp of approval on.

Published in the 1970s's, it's an educational tool for children--I'd guess somewhere between the ages of six and ten--that uses well known superheroes to define words. Only a handful of scans exist online, but there are enough that the book is pretty infamous.

The love of my life, the apple of my eye, the cream in my coffee, [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, A.K.A. [livejournal.com profile] thehefner, decided to sink a substantial amount of effort into locating a copy of the book for our newborn son Hal Tiberius so that he too could grow up learning about the horrors of Lex Luthor's cake stealing habit. Of course, there being many, many Catwoman related entries, I couldn't very well deprive you all! :D

Be forewarned: The scans are REALLY LARGE, and of decent quality, but some are a little lopsided, thanks to the rather slippy, slidey forty year old hardcover. I've only included the entries with illustrations, but there are several more text-only entries that mention our girl, Selina.

I also had a hard time deciding whether to post these all at once, or one by one. while it'd be fun to post each of these one at a time, I have no way of knowing when I'll be able to actually crack my laptop open again. Besides that, the Super Dictionary has a strange kind of narrative, which is really better served by seeing all the entries in one chunk. The Super Dictionary has actual read-between-the-lines continuity!

For example, apparently, Black Canary and Green Arrow were off having hot sex while Green Lantern was in serious trouble. You may think I'm kidding, but it's pretty clear from a handful of the entries just what was going on. I know I've been corrupted by the internet and all, but Lantern's in trouble and Canary and Arrow are just lying on the grass behind a hedge within earshot. Come on now.

(There's also an entry or two in which the Penguin pretty much propositions Robin. SUBTEXT IS THE GREATEST THING EVER.)

What kind of continuity/subtext does Catwoman get? Well, let's have a look!



There are forty Catwoman entries in the Super Dictionary. That's as many as four tens! )


So, readers, what manner of madcap adventures can you come up with, based on these entries? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
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I actually managed to get my hands on a copy of this after a lot of effort. Expect scans eventually!

STUFF AND NONSENSE

This is the back-up account for what I hope will be the Ultimate Catwoman Fan Blog--Dr. Von Fangirl on LiveJournal. You should go check it out over there. I much prefer the original article.

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