We are proud to announce that we have a new handy collaborator for our editorial office. A witty mascot that will be on line from now. Let’s introduce you to our new manga character, Cat Op, created by Japanese artist Megumi Imai. Born in Japan and emigrated in the Uk, he’s a clever, ingenious and hardboiled cat who will now attend as an investigator for our editorial staff, being in charge every week of a new fashion case but not only…
Are you snoopy?
Would you like to know where Cat Op is named after?
It is loosely (of course) based on a fictional character created by Dashiell Hammett, The Continental Op. He is a private investigator employed as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency’s San Francisco office. His personal name is never mentioned in any story. The Continental Op is a master of deceit in the exercise of his profession. He made his debut in an October 1923 issue of Black Mask (“An Illustrated Magazine of Detective Mystery, Adventure, Romance, and Spiritualism” launched in April 1920, which contained an even dozen stories on 128 pages), making him one of the first hard-boiled private detective characters to appear in the pulp magazines of the early twentieth century. Later developed in characters such as Hammett’s Sam Spade, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, and others.
So, if you want to enjoy one of the finest mystery writers of all time you should read Dashiell Hammett’ books (Time magazine included Hammett’s 1929 novel Red Harvest on its list of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005). In a few years of extraordinary creative energy, he invented the modern American crime novel.
A number of collections of Hammett stories, both books including all Continental Op stories (The Continental Op, The Return of the Continental Op) and others with miscellaneous Hammett stories, were published as Dell Mapbacks. These collections boast introductory essays by Ellery Queen. A more recent edition encloses an astute short introduction by Columbia professor Steven Marcus.
Hammett’s novels and stories also had a significant influence on cinematography. In 1978, The Dain Curse novel was turned into a six-hour CBS television miniseries starring James Coburn. For the miniseries, the Op was named Hamilton Nash (his creator’s name ‘spelled sideways’.). In 1995, Christopher Lloyd played The Continental Op in Fly Paper, an episode of the TV anthology series Fallen Angels adapted from Hammett’s short story, co-starring Darren McGavin as The Old Man.
Decades of witnessing human cruelty, misery, and ruin, as well as being instrumental in sending hundreds of people to jail, or to the gallows, have greatly weakened the Op’s natural sympathy with his fellow men. In the penultimate chapter of The Dain Curse, a female client, whose life the Op has saved three times, says to him: “You came in just now, and then I saw… ”
“A monster. A nice one, an especially nice one to have around when you’re in trouble, but a monster just the same, without any human foolishness like love in him, and… What’s the matter? Have I said something I shouldn’t?”
Surely, because this is not the matter with funny Cat Op. Our manga investigator is not as inhuman, even if he’s a cat, but cutthroat to fulfil every assignment he will be appointed by the magazine.
We love Cat Op and he loves himself and Collectible DRY (and we think you’ll love him too).
Take your time and don’t miss Cat Op’s weekly investigations, our colleague intruder will push himself into everything that smells like fashion and more…!
Born in Tokyo, Japan, Megumi Imai graduated in History of Art at Waseda University, Tokyo. During her studies, she became famous as a model for fashion shows and appeared on the most important fashion magazines. In her native country, she dealt with antique prints and books, especially from the Edo period (1600-1868). She moved to Italy in 2002, where she devoted herself to the creation of exquisite jewelry. Her last work is a children’s book “Oggi cucino il sushi” (Vallardi, 2016) for which she created texts and illustrations.