Comic Book Cats, number nine: The Witching Hour #44

Comic Book Cats, number nine: “Color the Dead Black” from The Witching Hour #44, drawn by Ruben Yandoc and written by George Kashdan, published by DC Comics in July 1974.
In a small town near London, the citizens are suffering from the Black Death. The townspeople are suspect a newly-arrived family has brought the plague to their community, and when they discover the family’s grandmother has a black cat, i.e. “a witch’s consort,” they believe their fears have been confirmed. Driving off the cat with stones and knives, the townspeople then arrest the old lady and prepare to execute her. In literally the nick of time the Mayor’s son arrives home from university in London with the knowledge that the plague is being spread by rats, and so it is cats that actually prevent it. Releasing the old lady, they go searching for her cat, only to discover it has died from its injuries, but not before giving birth to a litter of kittens, offering the town a glimmer of hope.
Today’s entry feels an all too appropriate one to showcase during the current pandemic. It offers a valuable reminder that fear and superstition are no substitutes for knowledge and science.
Philipino artist Ruben Yandoc, who often signed his work as “Rubeny,” drew numerous stories for DC’s various Bronze Age horror anthologies, as well as the occasional job for G.I. Combat and Sgt. Rock. “Color the Dead Black” is a fine example of Yandoc’s detailed, illustrative style.

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