Thanks to Ray Toler, who sent me a link to of Moon Maid’s death scene. That has got to be one of the most violent ends to a Dick Tracy character that I have ever seen. And it helps illustrate why some people, perhaps many, are so passionate about her.And the 25 October 2012 strip, by Mike and Joe, only helped reinforce the notion that the original Moon Maid had, indeed, died: The original strip, 06 August 1978, showed only the steering wheel as keys were inserted; the October strip showed Moon Maid’s face attached to the person who was inserting those keys. (Sort of in the vein of “Last Kiss”)Two other violent ends come to mind – the recent character, Sweatbox, and the “Rhodent” from 30 August 1959. Still a child in 1959, this death scene would leave me with nightmares for some time afterward.While my gap in following Dick Tracy began in 1972, when I moved away from Chicago, I’m not sure there have been other violent ends to match these three: Sweatbox, Rhodent, and Moon Maid.And it has already been pointed out that, in Moon Maid’s case, Big Boy, the man who planned this murder manages to die peacefully in his own bed.When I saw that panel from 1978, I had other emotions, as well. While this is a comic strip, and of the fictional characters in it, Moon Maid had to be the most fictional, with the exception of Honeymoon, I came away angry anyway. But not at Big Boy.I was angry at the creative team.The strip Ray Toler shared with me had no credits on it and, while it appeared to be a Sunday panel, it could have been three dailies spliced together, as well. See Ray Toler’s response to me yesterday for a copy of the linkThe problem I had here was, if you (the artist) didn’t like a certain character, or wanted to discontinue that character, why the complicated murder plot gone wrong? While it was Big Boy’s alleged plot that went wrong, clearly, this was an editorial decision by the then current Team Tracy to eliminate that character.In this sense, it was a cold-blooded murder plot. And, unlike Big Boy’s alleged plot to get rid of Tracy, which failed, this murder plot, of Fletcher (? – needs confirmation) against Moon Maid, actually succeeded.So, yes, there are lots of reasons to be passionate about the death of Moon Maid. And the 35 year hiatus, mentioned by those who have managed to stay tuned to Dick Tracy all these years (I’m not one of them) is yet another valid reason for people to be upset.Being “cheeky” for a moment, it comes to mind the way that Lucas got rid of Jar Jar Binks in what is now Star Wars II: The character was simply told to “go away,” which he did. Surely, Moon Maid could have been “disposed of” in a more gracious – and merciful – manner.Still puzzling to me after all these years, if it was Fletcher’s (?) intent to end absolutely all traces of the Moon Maid and the “Space Era,” why didn’t he have Honeymoon crawl into the seat next to mommy in 1978?The reader’s reaction to the above statement should give a sense of just how cruel this whole story line has been.So, all you Moon Maid fans for the last four decades, my hat’s off to you! You have obviously put up with more than I can imagine, at least from a form of fiction (and not real life).And, let’s hope that, in the end, this Moon Maid is the “real deal” and not a “hoax.”Even if Honeymoon is as fictional as Dick Tracy, after all of this teasing and buildup, for this Moon Maid to be a hoax would be the final cruelty of all.
Jul 27, 2017