Tuesday, May 24, 2011
FIRST COLOR EDITION OF FELIX THE CAT IN TURKEY (1938)
'Felix the Cat', the biggest star of early American animation, had been adopted to the newspaper comics medium in 1923. Felix comics debutted in Turkey in the weekly children's magazine Yarutürk in 1936, retitled as 'Kara Kedi [the Black Cat]'. Published in monochrome on either the reverse of the back cover or on the back cover itself, the earliest Turkish editions of 'Kara Kedi' were reformatted with speech balloons deleted and text material added beneath the panels (scan of a sample from this period was earlier posted in this blog). 'Kara Kedi' appeared in this format in Yavrutürk till no. 125. When it resumed at the reverse of the back cover of no. 135 (dated Nov. 26th, 1938) with a new continuity titled 'Kara Kedi Gemici [Black Cat the Sailor]', it was not only in proper comics format with speech balloons and no text outside the panels, but also in color (see above scan), marking the first time a comics was published as such in Yavrutürk. Actually, I think this was the first time ever any comics was published both in color and in proper format in Turkey (there had been comics published in ull color since 1935, but they had extra-panel texts; and comics in proper format had been published since the same year, but they were in monochrome).
The first installement of 'Kara Kedi Gemici' had clearly been intended to be printed on the back cover itself, but shifted to the reverse side due to an editorial decision at the last moment to allocate the front cover to a photo of the cascet of the recently deceased Kemal Atatürk, the founder of the Turkish Republic, and shift the original front cover to the back cover. With the subsequent issue, 'Kara Kedi Gemici' took its place on the back cover:
Nevertheless, the series was shifted to interior pages with no. 143 and began to be printed in b&w, although still in proper comics format. Unfortunately, while earlier 'Kara Kedi' continuities often entailed fantasy elements and hence had very imaginative narratives, 'Kara Kedi Gemici' was a fun, but more routine affair, as exemplifed in the below cannibal sequence from no. 159:
'Kara Kedi Gemici' ended in no. 165 (dated June 24th, 1939). The subsequent four issues of Yavrutürk featured 'Kara Kedi' once again in the outmoded reformat of extra-panel texts to compansate for deleted speech balloons. Afterwards, no 'Kara Kedi' comics were published in Yavrutürk for more than two years. 'Kara Kedi' returned to Yavrutürk when the magazine started its vol. 12 with new enumeration on Oct. 25th, 1941 (previous 11 volumes had consequitive enumeration). Proper format with speech balloons and no extra-panel text was resumed with no. 28 (dated July 18th, 1942). When Yavrutürk was replaced with Çocuk Haftası from the same pulisher at the beginning of 1943, 'Kara Kedi' continued in this new childre's magazine.