Hallowe’en Countdown VI, Day 22

« A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere. » — Groucho Marx

Linda Turner, a.k.a. the Black Cat, made her debut in Pocket Comics no. 1 (Aug. 1941). She was first drawn (and probably written) by Al Gabriele. After passing through the hands of a few other artists (Pierce Rice, Arturo Cazeneuve, Jill Elgin…), she landed in Lee Elias‘ lap in the post-war years.

She was a stunt woman, and combined physical prowess with mental agility gleaned from her father, an amateur detective…. and fought crime in a glamorous and revealing black bodysuit.

A perfectly Hallowe’en-themed cover, this is Black Cat no. 14 (Nov. 1948, Harvey); cover (bearing his signature and everything!) by Lee Elias. Read this issue here!

Why waste a good title? As fashions changed in the comic book field, and superheroes — and heroines — lost ground to all manner of horrors, Black Cat, clearly a versatile and catchy moniker, switched hats and mission statements on a slew of occasions over the course of its healthy run. To wit:

BLACK CAT COMICS 1-15, 17-29
BLACK CAT WESTERN COMICS 16, 55-56
BLACK CAT MYSTERY COMICS 30-53, 57
BLACK CAT WESTERN MYSTERY 54
BLACK CAT MYSTIC 58-62
BLACK CAT 63-65

A man’s got to have a hobby. This is Black Cat Mystery no. 34 (Apr. 1952, Harvey). Cover artist regrettably unknown.

This issue happened to contain a lovely little Halloween tale:
Halloween Nightmare was pencilled by our pal Manny Stallman and (likely) inked by John Giunta. Scripter unknown, wouldn’t you know it?
The series, whatever title it bore, featured scads of great covers. This is Black Cat Mystery no. 37 (July 1952, Harvey); cover art by Harvey art director and resident genius Warren Kremer. Read this issue here!
« Dear Lord, someone’s coming to rescue me! At long last… oh, it’s YOU. » Working from a Kremer layout, Mr. Elias brings us the darker flip side of the old desert island fantasy. This is Black Cat Mystery no. 48 (Feb. 1954, Harvey). Read it here!
And since we’re on the topic of black cats, meet our resident King o’ the Cats, Barnabas!

-RG (with a kind assist from ds)