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Alias the Cat

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Hardcover published by Pantheon (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
At the center of the novel Kim Deitch deftly places himself and his wife Pam–a passionate collector of Halloween cats from the 1920s and 30s, whose collection is impressive to say the least. But when she buys a mysterious old cat costume, she and Kim find themselves in wholly new territory: the lost world of Alias the Cat who, in 1915, appeared not only in a comic strip and film serial, but in real life as a freedom-fighting superhero.

When Kim begins to research this forgotten figure, he uncovers one almost unbelievable story after another: about the Furries, a tiny subculture of people who dress up as cartoon animals in order to have sex; about Keller and Frankie, two seamen stranded on a Pacific island, forced to make cat toys to appease the natives; about the secret lover of Alias’s alter ego, Malek Janochek; and, of course, about Deitch’s own Waldo the Cat, the common thread weaving the stories together as Kim and Pam move toward a fateful showdown in Midgetville...New Jersey, of course.

Alias the Cat is Kim Deitch at his eye-catching, mind-bending best.
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At the center of the novel Kim Deitch deftly places himself and his wife Pam–a passionate collector of Halloween cats from the 1920s and 30s, whose collection is impressive to say the least. But when she buys a mysterious old cat costume, she and Kim find themselves in wholly new territory: the lost world of Alias the Cat who, in 1915, appeared not only in a comic strip and film serial, but in real life as a freedom-fighting superhero.

When Kim begins to research this forgotten figure, he uncovers one almost unbelievable story after another: about the Furries, a tiny subculture of people who dress up as cartoon animals in order to have sex; about Keller and Frankie, two seamen stranded on a Pacific island, forced to make cat toys to appease the natives; about the secret lover of Alias’s alter ego, Malek Janochek; and, of course, about Deitch’s own Waldo the Cat, the common thread weaving the stories together as Kim and Pam move toward a fateful showdown in Midgetville...New Jersey, of course.

Alias the Cat is Kim Deitch at his eye-catching, mind-bending best.
Product Details
Hardcover (136 pages)
Published: April 17, 2007
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Pantheon
ISBN: 9780375424311
Other books byKim Deitch
  • The Amazing, Enlightening And Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley

    The Amazing, Enlightening And Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley
    This is a story about a girl, born at the beginning of the 20th century. She grows up in a small river town in upstate New York. One day the mysterious Charles Varnay, an eccentric who dresses in the style of an 18th century dandy, comes to town, his sole companion a remarkably intelligent dog named Rousseau. Varnay wants to star Katherine in a movie serial he plans to make, called The Goddess of Enlightenment. Katherine is rather put off when she discovers that he expects her to appear nude in this film. But even more strange is the film’s subject matter: It has to do with 12 metal cylinders that Varnay claims are actual recordings of the voice of Jesus Christ which, he says, contain an urgent message that the modern world needs to hear! Varnay also claims that his dog, Rousseau, is the product of experiments he has been making in advanced selective breeding. He’s eager to continue these experiments with human subjects; Katherine realizes that he’s expecting her to be a part of this, and it worries her... The Amazing, Enlightening and Absolutely True Adventures of Katherine Whaley is a full-length graphic novel created in a striking “widescreen” landscape format that allows Deitch to give full rein to his astonishing graphics.

    Henry Speaks For Himself

    Henry Speaks For Himself
    What is it about odd-looking comic strip characters that catch the public’s attention? Carl Anderson’s classic comic strip character Henry was certainly not your average-looking youngster, with knobby knees, a pencil neck, and a bulbous, bald head but, for years, he entertained millions of readers worldwide with his pantomime pranks. He was also the subject of a long-running comic book series, with one significant difference from the newspaper strip – in the comic books, Henry spoke! Written and drawn by John Liney, who also handled art chores on the daily Henry strip, these stories were done in a Tintin-esque clean-line art style that made them attractive to the younger set, but with writing clever enough to cause the adults to chuckle while reading to their children. These 1940s-’50s stories have never before been reprinted, and this collection provides a long-overdue look at a forgotten “kid’s comic” masterpiece.

    Deitch's Pictorama

    Deitch's Pictorama
    Kim Deitch, creator of the acclaimed Fantagraphics collection Shadowland and the Pantheon graphic novels Alias the Cat and Boulevard of Broken Dreams, has recruited his siblings to produce a unique, all-new "picto-fiction" pocket book. Alternating between heavily illustrated near-comics stories and outright prose pieces, Deitch's Pictorama is a testament to the Deitch family's amazing yarn-spinning abilities! The book leads off with Kim's lengthy picto-story "The Sunshine Girl," a typically Deitchean tall tale involving bottle cap collectors, drug dealers, family secrets, and the innocents who wind up in the middle of the hullaballoo. Then it's time for Seth's prose short story "Children of Aruf," about a man and his very unusual dog; "Unlikely Hours," a paranoid picto-story about a conspiracy of sentient rats written by Seth and illustrated by Kim; the prose novella "The Golem," once again written by Seth and decorated with a series of superb pencil illustrations by Simon; and finally Kim's autobiographical "The Cop on the Beat, the Man in the Moon and Me." This entire "Deitch treat" is wrapped up with an introduction by legendary Academy Award-winning animator, cartoonist and illustrator and proud papa Gene (Tom Terrific, Terr'ble Thompson, Tom and Jerry) Deitch.

    The Search for Smilin' Ed

    The Search for Smilin' Ed
    Originally created in 1997 and 1998 for the underground anthology Zero Zero, The Search for Smilin’ Ed! is the latest of Kim Deitch’s graphic novels to showcase his obsessive burrowing into the nooks and crannies of vintage American popular culture. Where Boulevard of Broken Dreams focused on the earliest days of the animation industry, Alias the Cat delved into the history of comic strips, and “Molly O’Dare” (collected in Shadowland) concerned vintage movie serials, The search for Smilin’ Ed! explores the wacky world of children’s TV shows. Launched on his latest investigation by a remark from his brother about a shared childhood favorite (“Y’know, I heard that when Smilin’ Ed died... his body was never found!”), Deitch begins to uncover some truly amazing things about the kiddie-show host and his malevolent sidekick, Froggy the Gremlin. Meanwhile, Deitch’s muse and nemesis Waldo the Cat abandons Deitch to hang out with some demon buddies, and soon both Waldo and Deitch are closing in on the mysteries of Smilin’ Ed and Froggy. Ranging across the entire twentieth century, replete with flashbacks, stories within stories, and guest appearances from other Deitch regulars, The Search for Smilin’ Ed! is a narrative whirligig that shows Deitch at his wildest and woolliest. For those whose heads have started to spin at the complexity of “Deitch world,” Deitch scholar Bill Kartalopoulos offers a lengthy essay on the ins and outs of this ever-evolving, ever-expanding world where fantasy, reality, and satire combine, clash, and are sometimes downright indistinguishable. Bonus! Deitch has also created a brand new story starring Waldo in his twenty-first century post-Alias The Cat state of domestic bliss, stumbling across an army of (French-) talking beavers. Of course, there’s a story behind that...

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