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Dick Tracy by Joe Staton and Mike Curtis

Dick Tracy

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  1. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy about 6 hours ago

    A perfect Sunday morning time
    To be amused at Pequod’s rhyme.

  2. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 1 day ago

    It doesn’t look like it is going to be a good opening night for Vitamin Flintheart.

    When he opened in the play SLEUTH, his co-star Barry Moore (Putty Puss in disguise) began to have a face melt during the performance. Tracy recognizing Putty Puss jumped onstage to apprehend him. Putty Puss disarmed Tracy and grabbed a sword from the set to threaten him. Tracy grabbed another sword and the two proceeded to engage in a sword fight while the audience thought it was all part of the show.

  3. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 1 day ago

    Major plot points have to take place partially on a Sunday and partially on an adjoining weekday, to accommodate papers that only run the Sundays and other that only run the weekdays, so we have to see something on Sunday.

    Are you sure that is still true? During the Chester Gould days, one used to be able to read only the Sundays and not miss any major plot points.

    It always seemed to me (and I don’t know if this is accurate) that Gould would write and draw the Sundays first then flesh things out in the dailies later. This, I believe, is why Chet’s dailies and Sundays did not always match up. But the point is, any major action that was shown during a weekday, it was reiterated again on Sunday and vice versa. Sundays were generally briefly recapped on Monday so that daily-only readers would not miss out. Alley Oop is currently an example of this system to the extreme. Bender simply repeats complete panels. This was Locher’s habit as well. Like Bender, Locher also took exact repetition to the extreme. Gould was more clever. Gould would break things up by showing other characters discussing the Sunday events or Tracy briefing the squad about the events of Sunday, etc.

    Now, I’m not so sure that one could still get the story by only reading the Sundays. Mike’s plot points seem to fall where they may; Sunday or daily and there is not much reiteration.

    I would be interested to know how many papers only run the Sundays or only run the dailies.

  4. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 1 day ago

    Mike, Joe, Shelley, Shane and Jim produce the best strip in syndication!!!


    I agree. When are they going to change the banner on this page to reflect the double Harvey Award wins?

  5. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 3 days ago

    Happy birthday, Chester Gould.

  6. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 4 days ago

    It’s the same story B.O. has told so many times, only Gertie’s family is going east and the Plenty’s were going west.
    Totally similar.

  7. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 5 days ago

    Ian Keith as Flintheart in the Morgan Conway Dick Tracy movies of the 40s. Pretty good adaptation.

  8. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 5 days ago

    You are correct, Stagger. Vitamin has always had an affinity for young actresses. His marriage to his former wife Snowflake was also a May/December romance.

    If you look at famous actors today, you will see many of the old timers with sexy young chicks on their arms (Jack Nicholson comes to mind).

    Vitamin is also wealthy as evidenced by the fact that not only is he starring in what is the equivalent of a Broadway show, he has a business manager, an office, and a full-time secretary. I believe that in the past it has been stated that he was also a partner in a Vitamin company that bears his name. in addition to acting, he also acts or has acted as an agent to various other performers (Themesong, Snowflake, Summer Sisters, Fame, and even Mole when he wrestled Thunderchild). Because of his wealth, he has often been the subject of various extortion schemes over the years.

    Many young girls are attracted to those with fame and money. I’m not saying that all of Vitamin’s flings were gold diggers, I’m just saying that sometimes, young girls get stars in their eyes when confronted with fame and fortune.

  9. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 5 days ago

    The references to Margot and Lois is implied rather than explicit, as was the reference to “Oswald’s brother.” And, the comment about wearing a cape could refer to either Lois Lane from Superman or Margot Lane from the Shadow (since both wear capes) or neither. Apparently, Kandikane does not realize that Vitamin Flintheart has, in the past, been shown flamboyantly wearing a cape in winter as did the actor, John Barrymore upon which Flintheart is based. (Vitamin has also been shown wearing a full fur coat, a double-breasted overcoat, and an overcoat with a fur collar and cuffs.)

    Writers and artists draw upon their own personal experiences when creating their art.

    Mike Curtis is the third largest collector of Superman memorabilia in the country. Superman and the Superman characters are obviously an important part of his life as any hobby would be to anyone. I would find it remiss of him as a writer if he didn’t draw from his personal experiences while creating the storyline for Dick Tracy. Beside his love of Superman lore, Mike has pulled from other aspects of his personal experiences in past Tracy storylines. Mike once played the horror show host “Count Basil.” Recall that Count Basil made an appearance in the first Abner Kadaver arc. As a former theatre manager and author of his own Shanda the Panda comic, Mike’s love of old movies has also found a home in his writing of Tracy with all of the movie-themed plots.

    Joe Staton has worked for DC and has drawn both Superboy and Batman for the DC imprint.

    In other words and in my opinion, if they want pay homage to their personal experiences, more power to them. Perhaps Bates’ previous city (never explicitly stated) was not Gotham. But the allusion that it could be was a fun reference. The fact that Joe’s backgrounds which displayed searchlights in the sky or shadows resembling the bat cowl only added to the fun. The words “Batman” or “Penguin” never appeared in the arc. I enjoyed the tease.

    The same holds true in the case of Kandikane’s sisters. The reference could equally apply to either the Shadow or Superman or both or neither. That also is part of the fun since the reference was obviously meant to be a humorous line in the script and not an integral part of the story.

    I was watching a documentary on the History Channel about the discovery of a tomb in Israel which had remains of a family with a patriarch Joseph and a matriarch Mary, another Mary, a James, and a Jesus—indicating that these were the names of the members of Jesus’ family. The expert being interviewed cautioned that the coincidence does not indicate explicitly that this was the tomb of Jesus’ family. According to the expert, there were likely many families from that time period with similar names in the same family.

    Likewise, there could be other Lane families with daughters named Lois or Margot. In addition, if Bates has a brother, Oswald Bates is not the Penguin’s name and I have never heard Bates referred to as Broadway Cobblepot.

    These fun allusions are just that—for fun. None are consequential to the plot being presented and should be taken for what they are, humorous wise cracks that relate to both Joe’s and Mike’s hobbies and interests. Nobody is attempting to change either the Dick Tracy or Superman canon by the oblique references.

  10. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 7 days ago

    It does seem unusual to me that the play has progressed to the point of holding “dress rehearsals” and Gruesome has not yet met his co-stars.

    This might be more realistic if this were a movie where actors are called to the set only for their own scenes. In movies and TV shows, it is possible even to perform a scene without ever meeting the other actor in the scene. Since it is film, his questions could have been filmed yesterday without you present, and your answers could have been filmed today without the other actor present. Edited together, the final scene appears that both actors are standing together in the same room at the same time having a conversation together—the magic of film.

    But in a stage play, the actors all spend a great deal of time together. During rehearsals for a professional production, actors generally spend 8-hour days practicing with the Director and other Actors. Following each rehearsal, it is common for the Director to call all of the actors together for a meeting where general notes are given, timing problems are worked out, staging and blocking is perfected (Blocking is the general movement and positioning of actors on the stage. For example, if it is important for an actor to be standing by a window at a certain point in the play, he will be “blocked” to move to that position at an earlier point in the dialogue by the Director so that he will be in the correct position when necessary.), and Actors chat with each other concerning interpretation and pacing of the dialogue.

    In a slapstick-style play such as Arsenic and Old Lace, it would also not be unusual to have a “fight choreographer” who works with the Actors on all of the physical fighting and extreme movement so that the slapstick can be performed in a controlled manner without the actors killing each other.

    However, today’s strip basically serves the purpose of introducing a new character to the readers and teasing Tracy’s attendance at opening night. I understand that the exact details of how plays are rehearsed and performed are inconsequential to the thrust of the story and most people are not aware of these details anyway. Consequently, I am willing to accept this unlikely development. After all, Gruesome would not be the first actor in the cast you would warm up to if you were another actor. But being a professional in Show Business, I just found it a bit odd that Gruesome at dress rehearsal had not yet met his co-stars.

    As to Sydney’s point: A.A. Stone could be both her maiden name and her stage name. Neither preclude that her married name is “Plenty.” There could still be hope for your theory.