Sunday Fun Day: Where’s Waldo, Jim Balent Catwoman Style (Week Six)

Really late post this week (hungry, stressed, and struggling, unfortunately, so anyone who can throw a donation my way to help out would be much appreciated 🙂 – info at the end of the post), but – we’re almost out of the end of the Balent era! I would be merciful and skip back to earlier in the run, but I’ve already put in the work on the remaining late Balent era covers in finding and making answer keys for the hidden cats and I think we’ll all feel better once they’re done and over with. 🙂

Seriously. This has been driving me nuts for weeks. And I don't even like nuts. Just legumes.

Of course, this one still has me stumped. The answer is either the live cats hanging out with Selina or he did a ‘really’ good job of hiding a cat. No idea where though. And sometimes Balent does live cats and a hidden drawing of a cat.

This week I want to finish out the 60s with an homage to another superhero, Catwoman as blind justice (and with another team-up with another blond male villain), aaaand dreadlock cyborg Catwoman. Yes, really. It was the 1990s and many things happened in comics. Not all of which should have happened, but they indeed did.

Giving a shout-out to Superman while still staying in Gotham, it’s … Catwoman #61, 1998, written by Devin Grayson and drawn by Jim Balent:

Also, she has to rescue hapless bystanders while still pulling off her robbery. Competition does make Selina's job any easier.

There’s some late Balent era going on and the differences in paper type and coloring, but this is a fun cover and Balent is still giving Selina personality and playfulness.

Continuing the trend of saddling Catwoman with blond guys that get on her nerves (although, really, working with anyone tends to get on her nerves), Catwoman #62, 1998, written by Devin Grayson, drawn by Jim Balent, and featuring a guest appearance by Suicide Squad member Nemesis:

Or be coerced into it. She has a whole story arc where she's a globe-trotting international spy/agent ... just because someone blackmailed her into it.

Also, this is yet another time when Catwoman helps someone out. Not actually atypical for her, but she is still someone who prefers to work alone. And also not receive continuous calls for assistance.

I feel bad for this cover, I really do. I also feel bad for Catwoman. Technically not a boobs and butt pose, but still rather … not comfortable. But maybe being a cyborg makes you extremely flexible? Catwoman 1,000,000, 1998, written by Devin Grayson and drawn by Jim Balent.

A DC ONE MILLION tie-in! The Catwoman of the future may be the only person on the prison planet of Pluto who can circumvent the state-of-the-art security of the Batcave to steal a teleporting Boom Suit from the cavern that is the home of the Dark Knight of tomorrow!

This issue falls between issue 62 and issue 63 … and also kind of falls down on trying to do some kind of cool, indie, serious, etc cover for this tie-in to the DC One Million event. On the plus side, the really long description/promo text for it is kind of hilarious in how busy it is (see the mouse over/alt text).

And now for the answer key …

Make sure you’re ready …

Are you done looking and trying?

Okay, here you go!

Took me quite a while to notice it. Clever without being totally evil though.

The cat is actually part of the shading on the left lens of Catwoman’s sunglasses that she is taking off as part of her Superman homage.

It looks cool but I think something is ever so slightly off with the angle of the scale on Nemesis' left and the positioning of his leg.

Nemesis is trying to distract us all from the answer, but the cat is hidden in the cloud above his left knee.

I think at this point it's best not to expect anything on this cover to make too much sense.

The cat is hidden as part of the design work on Catwoman’s right boot. Spat. Bootspat? Weird cyborg piece of not quite footwear. 😛

And that’s it for this (last?) week’s Sunday Fun Day. Next post is late Sunday evening and will hopefully be the second to last of the late Balent era posts (there is still most of the 70s to go, although I’ve already covered Balent’s final issue of Catwoman). As always, all images belong to their respective copyright holders and are used for fun review purposes only. And in case anyone can help out, my donation page is located here, or if one wants to or only can donate via PayPal, you can donate using ittousagi AT hotmail DOT com as the email address. 🙂 Thank you all and have an awesome evening. 🙂

3 thoughts on “Sunday Fun Day: Where’s Waldo, Jim Balent Catwoman Style (Week Six)

  1. Glad to see you back. I was worried about you, especially with the heath difficulties.

    I bought a couple of Balent Era issues recently, (#0 and #54). I found the hidden cats fairly easily. They were very different issue, no doubt in part because of the the different writers. Still it was interesting to see some of the reoccurring themes, like how often her origin story involves authority figures trying to kill her, and that part of the appeal of stealing is an attempt to understand how people value objects. The art looked pretty different between the two too. The #0 issue had Balent at his most restrained, knowing better than to overly sexualize a child. #54 is much looser, and goofier. At one point I thought I saw Dave Johnson’s signature as some graffiti. I had to owned if Johnson was signing uncredited fill in work or if Balent was copying other artist’s signatures as graffiti (there were other tags, I didn’t recognize them).

    I also read the Chase 1,000,000 issue. Not sure how into the who 1,000,000 issue things I am

    • Thank you. 🙂 Things actually haven’t improved at all (and we really need funds to start appearing to help out, and not just to help with hungry stomachs – the car is in danger, plus electric and internet went unpaid this month and if they don’t get paid next month there will be shut offs, which means I can’t work, the apartment can’t combat the hot climate, and, well, we can’t really do much of anything with no power or no power + no internet), but I didn’t want to skip out on posting entirely.

      And it’s good to hear your thoughts. 🙂 Balent is really interesting just because he was actually quite good on the series (I’ve seen some of the letter columns from early on in the series and they’re filled with praise from men and women on how expressive and dynamic his poses and facial expressions are and how much people love his Selina – the only comment about her breasts was a guy writing in to thank Balent for giving her a breast reduction from issue one) … and then just started kind of phoning it in and letting the anatomy really run wild. And, also, I think, started drawing Selina with less expressiveness and personality, especially on the covers. And, as I think you’ve mentioned before too, Balent was the unifying element on the series. It circulated through writers but people could still expect Balent on art and expect a certain quality and level of personality and playfulness and dynamism in the series … and then Balent’s work started going downhill in quality (I’ve noticed it started with the covers first and then spread to the interiors too), and then of course he left the book and it moved on into the women in prison arc and the Officer Down arc and the arc where they killed Selina and Catwoman off. And good observations about her origin stories. It’s really interesting to see how much it differentiates her from someone like Magpie (or from some people’s imaginings or desires on what they want Catwoman to be like – namely that she steals just to steal and/or is addicted to shiny objects and danger and adjectives and nouns and verbs), who is the character they tried to use as a substitute Catwoman on the Beware the Batman tv series (although eventually they gave up on their whole no well-known/top-tier Batman villains premise). Which of course didn’t work, in part because Magpie is a kleptomaniac type burglar/thief and Catwoman has other and many reasons for stealing and for being Catwoman. Also because the show just wasn’t very good.

      I haven’t actually read it (I try to wait until I have a physical copy, but I’m also having a harder time letting myself, and getting to, sit down and read a comic or two), but just off of the cover and seeing the official synopsis/description I’m not overly impressed. It almost gave me the impression that they were trying to style the covers after a different company and it just did not come off well (partly because the cover info is very difficult for me to read – I’m just glad I already knew who the writer and artist on the issue were).

  2. The 1,000,000 issues were part of a crossover with what Grant Morrison was doing in JLA, so it very well might have been designed to be a comment on another comic company. (Morrison also later tied the Superman story one to his and Frank Quietly’s All Star Superman)

    I haven’t watched any of the Batman cartoons. I was kind of responding to the vitriol that out going Catwoman writer Ann Nocenti got. Her #0 issue included Selina being thrown from a building, through awning and rescued surrounded by cats. Everybody saw it as a reference to Batman Returns (Nocenti has said in interviews that she liked the film) and many bashed her for using that reference. Some more friendly people pointed out that the Returns scene drew on various comic histories including Her Sister’s Keeper and the stewardess who bumped her head origin from the Silver Age. I don’t know if anyone was connecting he trapped in a bag and flung into the river part of the Moench/Balent issue with those earlier stories, but in 2012 it was deemed too “Looney Tunes”, Nocenti was called a hack and people assumed that what ever she wrote would be based on Returns. When it was announce that there would be a Penguin story in it it was taken as proof an people assumed that there would be rockets on penguins like in the movie. There weren’t, though a later issue of Batman Eternal included just that and one of Nocenti’s most loud haters begged for that issue’s scripter to take over Catwoman in his review. (The other thing that was most hated about the Nocenti’s #0 issue was that Selina had amnesia, or was at least confused be seeing records of things she supposedly did of which she had no memory. That was never referenced again in Catwoman, but in JLA it was stated that someone stole her identity. Frankly, I find that as problematic as amnesia.)

    Anyway the whole experience made me wonder to what exactly people are reacting? Is it the style of writing? Feeling differently about types of stories at different times in their lives? I’m not saying they should like what she was writing, but some of the hatred towards it just went beyond “I don’t like these stories”.

    I hope things get better for you. I’m keeping on the Patreon and hope that helps.

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