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  1. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy 6 months ago

    Other Jim,
    .
    “Federal authorities are likely to get involved either way, but the anti-terrorist mission of the latter would probably bring a lot more heat, a lot sooner.”
    .
    The FBI, which is not part of Homeland Security, is the nation’s primary domestic counter-terrrorism agency.
    .
    Homeland Security is really just a bureaucratic excuse to bring a lot of agencies that, prior to its formation, came under different Cabinet departments under the same umbrella.
    .
    Hence, the Secret Service, once part of Treasury; the Coast Guard, once part of the Dpeartment of Transportation; and the Federal Protective Service, once part of the General Services Administration, are now both part of D.H.S.
    .
    Customs, once part of Treasury; and Immigrnation & Naturalization, once part of Justice; now are combined into a single agency I.C.E., under D.H.S.
    .
    The Bureau, whether it’s a common bank robbery, or a terrorist attack, would handle the case.

  2. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy 6 months ago

    This is coming a few days late, but I am no longer involved with the DICK TRACY strip. My last official day as the strip’s police consultant was Dec. 31. Before that date, I stockpiled enough CRIMESTOPPER and HALL OF FAME entries that there should be enough to last through 2016, should Mike and Joe choose to use them, but a new police advisor has been hired, and I will no longer be involved in consulting on the strip.
    .
    It was fun while it lasted, and I’m sorry to be going, but some things can’t be avoided.
    .
    Thanks for your attention.

  3. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy 6 months ago

    Gweedo,
    .
    Holton was a captain (the highest civil service rank in the Chicago PD) and had been a commander (one rank above captain, serving at the pleasure of the chief).
    .
    The title of the book was THE THIN BLACK LINE. I used “African-American” in the next sentence to avoid redundancy.

  4. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy 9 months ago

    Rsketch and Neil,
    .
    Re your comments below:
    .
    “Timing is everything. Don Easton … released the ninth book of his Jack Taggart series yesterday.”
    .
    I had no idea that was going to happen. Nor, I imagine, did Joe, who decides which “Crimestoppers” and “HoF’s” will appear on which Sundays.
    .
    “That’s probably a happy coincidence. I don’t suppose that Jim Doherty knew the exact date of the new book and I don’t suppose that Don Easton knew he was going to be featured in today’s strip.”
    .
    Right on both counts. I wrote the profile months ago, and didn’t know that a new book was being prepared for release (though I assumed he was probably working on one).
    .
    Nor did I notify Mr. Easton that he was going to be profiled ahead of time. I wrote him an e-mail today to let him know that he had been featured, but he had no prior notification.
    .
    That today’s HoF appears the same day as the new novel is being released is simply unplanned serendipity.

  5. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy 12 months ago

    John,
    .
    Re your comment below:
    .
    “Turning to the sidebar, if I recall aright, the original name was ‘Special Irish Branch.’”
    .
    You’re absolutely right. It was set up, at first, primarily to combat Irish “Fenian” terrorism. As its scope widened to include other forms of terrorism and domestic counter-espionage (in conjunction with MI-5), the “Irish” modifier was dropped.
    .
    Several of the earliest members, such as Det. Supt. William Melville and Det. Sgt. Patrick McIntyre, were assigned to the unit at least partly because of their Irish ancestry.
    .
    Melville eventually was placed in command. He and McIntyre had some kind of a falling-out, which led to McIntyre’s demotion and transfer out of the Branch. McIntyre later resigned and wrote a book detailing his grievances.
    .
    In 1903, Melville resigned from the Yard, and was transferred to the War Office, where he became head of an intelligence unit that eventually evolved into both MI-5 and MI-6, separating into two separate agencies, the former (also known as the “Security Service”) involved with domestic counter-intelligence, and the latter (also known as the “Secret Intelligence Service”) involved in foreign intelligence.

  6. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy about 1 year ago

    Neil & Jonathan,
    .
    Re your question:
    .
    “’Tracy’s Hall of Fame’ features a poet today. I am wondering if this is a nod to the poetic fans who post here on the comments board."
    .
    “I was wondering the same thing. It’s pretty obvious that many of the regular posters here are highly appreciative of poetry. Even if it wasn’t on a conscious level, Jim had to mention it. Maybe Jim will comment.”
    .
    This year I am honoring cops who write cop novels.
    .
    I chose Edwin Brock because his only novel, THE LITTLE WHITE GOD, is regarded as one of the best, and one of the most authentic fictional depictions, of what it’s like to a member of the London Metropolitan Police.
    .
    But, since the bulk of Constable Brock’s writing was poetry (and he was regarded as one of the finest contemporary poets of his generation), I couldn’t not mention it.
    .
    You can read more about him here:
    .
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Brock
    .
    You can read some of his poetry here:
    .
    http://www.poemhunter.com/edwin-brock/
    .
    And you can read about THE LITTLE WHITE GOD here:
    .
    http://www.classiccrimefiction.com/british-policeprocedural.htm
    .
    This last link is to an article generally about British cop stories, written by Michael Gilbert, a British lawyer (solicitor) and crime novelist who himself wrote some very fine cop novels. The article originally appeared in a collection of articles about mystery fiction called WHODUNIT?, edited by H.R.F. Keating.
    .
    Gilbert’s article is, as I said, about British cop fiction in general, but, in the last two paragraphs, he singles out THE LITTLE WHITE GOD for particular praise.

  7. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy about 1 year ago

    Regarding comments made yesterday:
    .
    Gweedo, the two “live-action” Superman movies that co-starred Noel Neill as Lois Lane (the part she would play in the TV series from the second season on), were the two Columbia movie serials, SUPERMAN (1948) and ATOM MAN VS. SUPERMAN (1950).
    .
    They may have been re-released after being condensed down to feature-length (Republic Studios did this for many of their serials).
    .
    Also, re Batman villains who might have been inspired by the Mole, the one who has the closest connection is a character called the Gopher. Like the Mole having a hideout in the abandoned sewers of the City, the Gopher is a operates a criminal business out of the abandoned sewers and subway tunnels of Gotham. He never appeared in the comic books, but was featured in a Sunday story in the McClure Syndicate’s BATMAN comic strip. The story ran from 6 May 1945 through 17 July 1945, while a different story ran during the daily strips.
    .
    The fact that this story ran just four years after the Mole story was featured in TRACY, and, moreover, ran in Batman’s newspaper strip rather than either BATMAN or DETECTIVE COMICS, suggests that the similarities between the characters is not coincidental.

  8. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy about 1 year ago

    Neil,
    .
    Re your question below:
    .
    “I’ve never heard of an “undersheriff” before. I wonder if they are common and what they do. Second in command of the force?”
    .
    Not every Sheriff’s Office has one, but, in those that do, the undersheriff is, as you infer, the second-highest raking member of the dept.
    .
    Since sheriffs are elected, the undersheriff (or chief deputy, or assistant sheriff, or whatever) might be a professional cop who actually runs the day-to-day activities of the dept. while the sheriff attends to political details.
    .
    That’s not always the case, or even usually the case, but it’s not unheard of.
    .
    Large metropolitan sheriff’s offices that use the rank title, include the largest, the Los Angles County Sheriff’s Office; the second largest, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office (in Dick Tracy country); the San Diego County Sheriff’ Office; and the Jackson County (MO) Sheriff’s Office. OTOH, the King County (WA) Sheriff’s Office; the Bexar County (TX) Sheriff’s Office; and the Shelby County (TN) Sheriff’s Office, all have either Chief Deputies or Executive Chief Deputies at the number 2 slot.

  9. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy about 1 year ago

    Slick,
    .
    Re your comment:
    .
    “Re: Crimestoppers Textbook; Sgt. Jim, Charlotte and Mecklenberg County is in North Carolina, not GA.”
    .
    Quite right. And, as I went to Police Academy in GA (FLETC in Glynco, GA), and have been to Charlotte, I should have caught that.
    .
    Copy goes through several levels of editorial examination, but sometimes errors creep through.

  10. Jim Doherty commented on Dick Tracy over 1 year ago

    Phil,
    .
    Re your comment below:
    .
    “You ever notice that the policemen featured in the hall of fame have careers of under 20 years. Presumably after that they retire, in their thirties, early forties, I guess? "
    .
    Today’s Hall of Famer had a 27-year career, and it says so right in the copy.
    .
    Her LAPD colleague, Det. Paul Bishop, from just a few weeks ago, spent 35 years behind the badge before pulling the pin.
    .
    The very first Hall of Famer, Chang Apana, was in the Honolulu Police for 34 years. He died a year and a half after retiring, and his pension was so generous, that he had to supplement it by working as a private security guard at the Hawaiian Trust Building.
    .
    Frontier Marshal Bill Tilghman served almost a half-century as a peace officer at various, city, county, state and federal positions, and was over 70 when he died in the line of duty serving as police chief of Cromwell, OK, so he never collected a cent of pension money.
    .
    His colleague, Marshal Bass Reeves, served 34 years as a federal deputy, and another 2 years as a Muskogee policeman. He was forced to retire, at the age of 70, due to illness, and died less than a year later.
    .
    LAPD Homicide Detective “Jigsaw John” St. John served in the LAPD for 51 years. After retiring, he spent a whole 2 years collecting his pension before passing away.
    .
    I grant you that’s just a few off the top of my head, but I suspect if I went through each one since the feature began, most would have had similarly long careers. While your point about long pensions after short service may be well-taken, I fail to see how my Hall of Fame selections prove that point.