Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Searching (The Courthouse) For Count Dante

Well, you gotta' hand it to Floyd Webb; he's getting his Black Belt in multiple diciplines: Film making, Chicago martial history, and copyright litigation.
Floyd has been diligently working on his film "The Search For Count Dante", about the enigmatic and ethically challenged Karate master of 1960's Chicago. A trailer for the movie can be found at the highlited passage above.
Dante (AKA John Keehan) captured the ideals of young martial artists across the country, by hawking his "Deadliest Fighting Secrets" booklet in the back of comic books. A picture of Dante and crew appears at the top of the Dojo Rat Blog, something I have been mildly threatened about (See "Of Dante And Dojo Rats").
In the course of filming the movie, Floyd has run into a great deal more than he anticipated. This includes elements of organized crime, military operatives, Voodoo Gurus, and charges of copyright infringement. It seems everybody wants a piece of the action, with generational family legacies hanging in the balence.
Floyd is currently in court, being challenged by William Aguiar jr. over the copyright for Dante images and effects, many of which had already appeared in the public domain.
The court case could be settled next week. For a complete update with details only Floyd can explain, drop on by Floyd's website at THIS LINK.


Charles James said...

Hi, Dojo Rat

Funny, I actually remember that ad in the comics. I never bought the book tho...I visited the site and watched the trailer and I have to say I would watch it just for its historical perspective.

I feel it is hype and not necessarily true but then again, who knows...I am intrigued and regardless of its validity I like viewing things of MA value.

Kanpai Count Dante! hehehehehehe

Charles James said...

Oh yea, there was a book one time written by a prominent MA in the early years and his current book admits that he manufactured the book and the guy.

I have both books and really enjoyed the read.

Who knows if Count Dante is a figment of someone's imagination. Sometimes belief can make things real.

Hand2Hand said...

That ad is a classic. I must have hundreds of copies of that ad in my comic book collection.

I remember National Lampoon did a great spoof of that ad. The spoof ad went something like, "People picking on you? Try Hara Kiri!"

It tied in Yukio Mishima's suicide with martial arts advertising.

Meanwhile, best of luck to Floyd. It sounds to me like he has the makings of a great movie.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...


I'm actually in the movie and the guy who pointed out the occult B.S.

When it's all said and done. And little pecker Billy Aguilar gets his 15 minutes or just cut. I'll fill you in on some of the back story (I don't know it all just my piece) of what couldn't be proven to make the cut. Like the ritual of the "man king" see Crowley ..

If you thought I was crazy before (never mind Bertiaux, just Ji Do Kwan!) (I only wish I was talking trash) The truth is far far stranger than the fiction.

Wait until you see the flick!

Oh Charles, you REALLY need to check your facts (and respect) .. His name was John Timothy Keehan a student of Robert Trias, a red haired Irish from Chicago's south side .. son of a doctor and a U.S. Marine .. a guy who wore a leotard and cape to be a bouncer for the Playboy clubs, just to see if anybody had s*** to say ("Hey, queer in the cape!") .. He was REAL alright but .. The rest belongs to Floyd :)

Thanks H2H, Floyd is doing the best he can when you see it, it will make the white belt in all of us ache. I saw a preview .. neener, neener, neener!

I don't care who you are, if you're a ture martial artist you can't help but like "the karate kid" either .. only this time no "crane technique" :)

DR your site I posted on Floyd's blog you should get some readers. And check your email and stop contacting me at the other one.

floyd webb said...

Thanks for the interest folks. I am not sure what happens next. Whatever happens the film goes on. I still have no funding but what the hell. Gotta keep moving and make digittal work for me. When the court case is over I am doing major fundraising so I can be finished by fall.

I really appreciate the support. Rat, you got a great blog going here. I read it a lot believe it or not. I am still looking for other people who actually send away for Ciount Dante's book back in the 60s and 70s. It you know any send them my way.

Dojo Rat said...

Hey Floyd;
I didn't get Dante's book, but I did get the "Ketsugo" book from the same era. It was actually pretty good, I wish I had it as a collector's item now.

doc D said...

Wow this brings back memories!!! I remeber those Count Dante and Ketsugo ads in the backs of comics. That was back when , if you wanted a martial art book and went to the average bookstore, you'd probably find nothing other than a book by Bruce Tegner ( remember him?). If the movie comes out , I'll definitely watch it !
Warm Regards ,
Doc D
Dallas Tx

floyd webb said...

Fellas fellas, let's stop saying if the film comes out and say WHEN it comes out. I need some encouragement here. This is serious for me and I need all the positive vibes I can get to counteract the Fall River crap.

I need to do a survey of all of those ads. What I need form people is why Dante's ad was so appealing. This is what I am looking for.

The film is about all of us martial arts nerds in the end. Dabte was just a vehicle for our empowerment, even if we never bought the book.

Sa Bum Nim Pieschala said...

OK Floyd, WHEN it comes out! And it better!

I plan to milk every second of my fifteen minutes of fame. I have a family to feed; I never knew a 1 year old baby could cost that much. (I'm keeping a tab though)

But seriously, people have no idea what Floyd has been through on this one, nor do I for that matter.

For instance, today I met a Green Dragon guy. The first thing he asked me was about that "Count Guy". I said, "You're a Green Dragon?! Great! I'll call Floyd right now, I'm sure he'd love to interview you."

Of course he said "no", but I do think he was a Green Dragon he definitely looked like he took the "Brown Acid at Woodstock" if you get my meaning.

So if you're really a martial artist and enough in touch with your feminine side enough to admit you liked the Karate Kid (even though the Cobra Kai's were cooler, like Dante) you'll be thankful for Floyd's work. I know I am, and my instructor would be (rest in peace).

Also, Floyd needs money to market this thing (see "milking my 15 minutes"). I suggested an almost tournament-like event with the motley crew he's had to work with.

So Dojo Rat, I have you down for the "breaking event". Apparently you'll be breaking baseball bats with your shins and showing everybody "beard technique" and the "Chewbacca Defense" whatever that is :)

I'm joking a bit, but I believe this work should be taken very seriously.

Dojo Rat said...

Okey dokey;
I'll be getting ready for the big event-- breaking baseball bats across my shins and biting the necks off beer bottles (after I have drank them, of course).
We're all with you Floyd!