Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Patience of a Cat

I'm sure you've all heard of 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' where almost anyone who has worked in Hollywood can be linked to Kevin Bacon in six steps, or less.

It's even easier for comic book characters...

OK, let's take Jughead Jones and Betty Cooper who have been been appearing together since 1941 in the pages of "Archie". They have a separation number of ONE.

But could we link up Jughead with the 'not-so-nice' blonde bombshell (and transsexual) Dagmar Laine from Howard Chaykin's "Black Kiss" in less than 6 steps?

Jughead Jones is owned by Archie Comics Publications Inc. In April 1974, Howard Chaykin drew 'The Patience of a Cat' for Archie Comics under its 'Red Circle Imprint'. Howard Chaykin wrote and drew 'Black Kiss'. That's right, three steps!

And speaking of 'Six Degrees of Separation', I truly believe that Gray Morrow is one of those industry greats whom you could link anyone in comics to in less than six steps. Gray edited and drew the cover for our next submission. And don't even get me started about Carol Seuling, who could be linked to just about anyone in comics through her late husband Phil Seuling.

“The Patience of a Cat”

Originally Published: “Red Circle Sorcery” # 6, Archie Comics Publications Inc. (Red Circle Imprint), Apr 1974

Script: Carol Seuling

Pencils: Howard Chaykin

Inks: Howard Chaykin

Colors/Letters: ?

Editor: Gray Morrow

Cover Art to ‘Red Circle Sorcery’ #6: Gray Morrow

Greater Comics Database Link:

(As usual, click image for pdf.)

This story really got me thinking about the role of hubris in the modern horror archetype. I could postulate that the modern horror story (especially in comics) is either:

1. The Revenge Tragedy (The Guilty Are Punished, Good is Avenged)
2. The Averted Tragedy (The Good Triumph and Tragedy Passes)
3. The Black Tragedy (The Bad Triumph)

In a Revenge Tragedy, it's much more palatable to see revenge carried out against someone guilty of the crime of hubris. The more heinous the crimes, the more horrific the punishment. Horror is, if nothing else, an eye for an eye, a fang for a tooth...