And now, my Moon Maid comments:
Coming back to Dick Tracy after all these years, as well as rummaging the Internet for old DT reprints, I think I have put my finger on Moon Maid’s popularity.
Already pointed out, Gould entered the realm of sci-fi when he introduced the two-way wrist radio. In the sixties, that morphed into the two-way wrist TV. Today, we have a “wrist wizard,” but I have no idea what the thing does – though Mike and Joe gave us a hint when he had Tracy and Honeymoon shut their WWs down to avoid being “tracked” (excursion to the moon around Christmas). (Is the WW a glorified cell phone?)
Now, let’s go back to the sixties.
John Kennedy had just been shot. Bobby Kennedy was shot. Martin Luther King had been shot. Slide slightly into the seventies, and John Lennon was shot. In the sixties again, many of our cities were on fire with riots, looting, and violence. In the meantime, a war was winding up that few understood and served to undermine our confidence in our government.
Except for the moon program. And, let’s face it, Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo were all about getting to the moon. First. Which we did.
I humbly submit that, when Gould introduced the Moon Maid, it was meant as a diversion from all that appeared to be decaying in our world. And why the diversion? While Tracy could stop criminals, he wasn’t stopping crime. And Tracy’s world had become as dark as our world. Or, was it that our world was becoming as dark as Tracy’s?
Sadly, the results of the Apollo missions pretty much eliminated the possibility of such a creature as Moon Maid, not to mention the civilization she came from. And it is worth noting that Mike and Joe are not allowing the possibility of returning to Moon Valley, even if they are teasing us with the (hopeful) return of the Moon Maid.
Now, back to today.
Last week, the Boston Marathon was bombed. At the beginning of the marathon, a moment of silence was offered for the Newtown victims. Last summer, the latest Batman movie was interrupted by another madman in Aurora (CO). In Denver, the first “legal” 420 celebration was broken up by gunmen still at large.
A few months ago, someone on these pages posted a Dick Locher cartoon from 2012, was it? – in which Dick Tracy, surrounded by rats, was digging through dirt for clues. And perhaps the most “popular” recent villain, Sweatbox, had stuffed something like fifty years of corpses into his family mausoleum.
Yes, gritty crime and detective work is the “bread and butter” of Dick Tracy.
But sometimes, when his world gets a little too dark, maybe when our world gets a little too dark, that’s when the Moon Maid fantasy is needed the most.
Last, and certainly least:
After all the teasing, if this current Moon Maid turns out to be any kind of a hoax, I, for one, would be seriously “bummed.”
Moreover, Honeymoon would be seriously “bummed,” too. Remember how she looked when they got to Moon Valley and there was no one there?
Given all the “bad guys” who have been “raised from the dead,” I think it would be a grave mistake not to raise Moon Maid from the dead.
Right now, the world is a bit too dark.
It’s time to bring back the Moon Maid.