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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 2 days ago

    ray, wasnt he nicknamed gruesome because of his appearance?
    Gruesome was a character in a Dick Tracy film in the 40s and has never been a part of the comic strip until now. I am not familiar enough with the film to know the answer. He has recently had plastic surgery and you can see what he currently looks like. If he was given the nickname “Gruesome” before he had plastic surgery, he must have really been a horror.

  2. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 2 days ago

    Maybe all of those skulls in Sweatbox’s family tomb were actually remains of where Gruesome stashed his victims.

  3. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 2 days ago

    I have been wondering why the actual murder of Otis was not shown. Did Gruesome shoot him? break his neck? stab him?

    I understand that TMS probably does not want the strip to become too graphic but it is a crime strip and showing the murder would not be any different than on a police program on television.

    We know that Gruesome is a murderer now but not showing the murder does not instill hate or disgust for him—it only makes him more creepy. His name is Gruesome. Did he get that name because of the gruesome way he murdered his victima? If so, what was gruesome about Otis’ murder? It was a murder but did not seem particularly gruesome to me. Perhaps there will be more murders in Gruesome’s wake which will be more indicative of his name.

    Still, I am enjoying this story and appreciate the quickened pace in the last couple of days.

  4. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 2 days ago

    Did Tess have a botox job on her lips today?

  5. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 3 days ago

    I’ll bet that’s not easy to do within the limits of a small newspaper comic strip panel.
    The technique of varying the perspective and depth of field keep the strip visually interesting and is very much a technique used in movies. Virtually every movie hires artists to draw detailed storyboards of the various shots in the movie.

    Joe, unlike Locher before him, visualizes the entire setting. Consequently his backgrounds are remarkably consistent when shown from different points of view. Locher, in my opinion, was unconcerned by consistency (one glaring example was the changing face of Lt. Teevo).

    A few days ago I posted a Locher Sunday strip highlighting Vitamin Flintheart’s opening night in the play SLEUTH with Putty Puss. In the lead-up dailies to the strip I posted, the scenery for the play, the placement of the furniture, the wall decorations on the stage set all changed on a daily basis. On the other hand, the glimpses of the stage setting for Arsenic and Old Lace have been consistent. Compare the staircase in the background in yesterday’s 2nd panel with the staircase on November 13th. Notice the detail of the lamp standing in front of the bannister—not necessary in either panel but indicative of extreme attention to detail when creating the background for the action of the strip. Obviously, Joe considers the entire surroundings of his panels and consequently his renderings are consistent no matter the POV of the panel.

  6. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 4 days ago

    Too bad we couldn’t see Teddy charging up the stairs!

    We did see it:

  7. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 5 days ago

    I’ll save you some time looking it up. Here is a cut and paste of my message to you from that day:

    You had mentioned that you had never seen the play or movie version of Arsenic and Old Lace.
    Arsenic and Old Lace is a mystery-farce (actually a comedy of murders) involving a Movie Critic named Mortimer Brewster. Mortimer’s entire family (with the exception of himself) are criminally insane. His two sweet elderly aunts have a hobby of murdering old men by poisoning them with arsenic-laced home-made wine.
    One of Mortimer’s brothers believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt and believes that he is digging the Panama Canal in the basement (his trenches are convenient graves for his aunt’s victims). Teddy is the role being played by Vitamin. The references by other posters to stashing bodies in the window seat is where the old ladies keep the bodies until they are buried by Teddy.
    A second brother, Jonathan (being played by Gruesome here) is a homicidal maniac on the run from the law. His associate, Dr. Einstein, is a plastic surgeon who has re-done Jonathan’s face. Unfortunately, he has just seen the movie Frankenstein and Jonathan’s face ends up looking like Boris Karloff (similar to the events in this story arc).
    As with many farces, the plot becomes comically complicated Mortimer finds out about his relatives’ murderous behaviors and tries to hide all of this from his fiance and the police and stop the murders without going insane himself.
    The play was originally written in the late 1930s (it debuted in 1941) and contains many political references and jokes pertinent to that time period. The dialogue in yesterday’s strip concerning Woodrow Wilson were exact quotes from the script.
    Despite the many untimely references, the play, if done correctly, is still quite hilarious today and is periodically revived professionally. Unfortunately, it has been done by so many high schools and community theatres that is has gained the status of “an old chesnut” (kind of like Vitamin, egad) by many in the professional theatrical community due to the number of poor-quality amateur productions over its almost 75 years. However, the plot is so wacky that even the bad productions tend to get laughs from the audience. Teddy shouting “Charge” and running up the stairs (as shown in today’s strip) is a running gag of the show.

  8. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 5 days ago

    It is a very famous American farce.

    See the explanation I wrote to you on November 13.

  9. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 5 days ago

    Teddy, the character being played by Vitamin, is crazy and believes himself to be Teddy Roosevelt. A repeating joke in the show is Teddy yelling, “Charge” and running up the stairs believing he is going up San Juan Hill. I know that doesn’t sound very funny but when you see it, it is hilarious…well, I guess you had to be there.

  10. Ray Toler commented on Dick Tracy 6 days ago

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