Friday, October 1, 2010

SUPERKAT

Created by cartoonist Leandro S. "L.S." Martinez, Superkat was a popular series that ran in Pilipino Funny Komiks (published by Islas Filipinas Publishing Co., Inc.) from 1978 to 1983.


[Edit: I just realized October 4 is World Animal Day. Interesting how things work out.]

Receiving super powers from a diwata, a mild-mannered kitten named Ming shouts the magic word "Katsum" and transforms into the heroic high-flying fighting feline Superkat.


The cool thing about the strip is that although it typically falls under the classification of "funny animal comic," it's pretty action-packed. Superkat himself took fighting evil rather seriously. Make no mistake; if you're a bad guy, HE WILL BEAT THE KITTY LITTER OUT OF YOU!


Needless to say, Superkat possessed your basic superhero powers; namely, super strength, speed, flight and invulnerability.





FRIENDS
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BIK AND ALI PATO
Ming's mischievous buddies who always manage to get themselves into trouble.


AMPY
Ming's butterfly pal and the only other person (so to speak) who knows Superkat's secret.
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RAT PROBLEM
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In western cartoons, the audience usually roots for the cute little mouse who's always getting chased around by the mean old puddy tat. In this series, however, the roles are reversed, with the not-too-small rodents portrayed as the vermin that they are in real life. In fact, it seemed as though the cats and rats in this comic had practically declared jihad on each other.
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Superkat often defended the town of Mapusa from the devious machinations of the dirty, dastardly rats. They are led by the mad scientist Propesor Kirat, who is assisted by his loyal, uh, assistant (I don't know if he has a name).


ROBOT FIGHTER
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In their ongoing bid to dominate cat-kind, the rats would unleash one giant robot after another to battle their nemesis Superkat. Here are a few of them:
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This last one is really a rat in a suit of armor, not a robot, but I'm including him here anyway.


BAD DOG!

Canines occasionally appeared in the strip, but they usually showed up in the roles of petty criminals, kidnappers and such.













CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
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Naturally, Superkat has also faced his share of alien invaders.
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THE FIGHTING EAGLES

NONGNAMBER

KING UGGAM AND THE UGGAMYANS
(Though these guys weren't so bad)
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XPT AND XZT


MONSTER SLAYER
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And as if rat infestation, killer robots and alien attacks weren't enough, the town always seemed to be on the path of some rampaging monster every so often. Fortunately, Superkat would always be on hand to put them down for the count.
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Smart move, buddy.

The only surviving Superkat cover in my collection!
(Art by Roni Escauriaga)
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L.S. Martinez migrated to Los Angeles in 1981, but he continued to work on the strip (sending his work from the States) until 1983. When Superkat ended its run, its slot in Funny Komiks was taken over by a new anthropomorphic hero, Superdog. But that's a story for another time.

7 comments:

  1. Giant robots as adversaries weren't very surprising at that time, since this was the height of the Japanese Giant Robo craze in the Philippines. :)

    It's great to see Funny Komiks again at its best, not the poorly-drawn anime imitation it had become during its waning years. :(

    I hope you do a post about Rex Agila in the near future!

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  2. Sadly, I don't have anything on Rex Agila. I do vaguely remember him, I know I used to have an issue of Funny with him when I was little.

    The Superkat robots definitely had a Super Robot influence. As for the later "anime" Funny Komiks, yeah, it's just too bad. It really looked more like a manga fanzine at the end. On the plus side, though, I know a lot of younger people who got interested in komiks because of it. But man, I do miss classic Funny.

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  3. Superkat was my favourite PFK character since i started reading this kiddie komiks back in 1981. Glad to see images here that i don't think i have in my collection from 1978-81. Hope you can join the PFK Facebook fanpage and join in the discussion,and hopefully post more from your collection.

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  4. Thanks for the invite, I'll check out the page.

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  5. naalala ko tuloy yun kabataan ko..

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  6. hello sir,
    I'm doing my thesis on children's komiks.

    I'm wondering lang po kung saan ako magkakaroon ng access to full komiks like Super Kat. Salamat po!

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  7. The rat scientist with the afro is actually DOKTOR MAWS. PROPESOR KIRAT is the older balding scientist. LS Martinez might have been confused in the later years as to who is who. Another rat villain in the series is SENYOR GADA.

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