Thursday, June 7, 2012

BLACK CAT MYSTERY "Colorama" Before and After the Comics Code!

One of the most notorious stories in 1950s comics went thru some changes...
Art by Howard Nostrand
 ...when it was reprinted after the Comics Code Authority came into existence!
Actually, the theory that "Black" has all the colors together is true only in printing!
It's called "subtractive color", and when you combine all the inks in four-color printing (CYAN, MAGENTA, and YELLOW) as solid colors, they DO produce a BLACK effect on the printed page!
However, the effect that light produces when it's reflected from objects around you (or generated from a tv or computer screen) is called "additive color" and when all the colors are added together, they produce WHITE!
But, at the point where this story appeared in Black Cat Mystery #45 (1953), there were no computer screens and what little commercial tv existed was almost totally b/w!

When the story was reprinted in Black Cat Mystery #61 (1958), the Comics Code insisted on some alterations, beginning with the cover...
Art by Bob Powell from Page 1 with additional art by Howard Nostrand
...adapted from the first panel on Page 1, but featuring a character not seen in the story itself, and with the protagonist shown in the rear-view mirror wearing glasses he doesn't wear until the end of the story!
Quite frankly, there's nothing too gross or disgusting about the original cover, so why it wasn't used is unknown...
Page 1 in the reprint is unaltered.
Page 2 has only one minor change; the policeman's less-snarling expression in Panel 5...
There are no changes on Page 3
Page 4, on the other hand, has a major change...the optometrist survives!
And the final page is unchanged.
Script and art are by Golden Age great Bob Powell.

Join us next week as we present another tale your grandparents didn't want your parents to see!

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