Excellent reference! That was one of the first things I thought of too.
I enlarged the strip to 400% – I think he is drinking a glass of ice water. The top of the glass crosses over his nose, which you can still see through the glass. I think he must be talking to an as yet unseen person there in the room with him.
Since it came up again this morning, I will repeat, and elaborate on, a comment I made the other day. There have been other incidents of this strange “characters from the strip’s own world appearing in comic books, advertisements, etc. within the strip” phenomenon.
A kid in the hospital recovering after Tracy and crew rescued him, sitting up in bed reading a Dick Tracy comic book, drawn to look just like the covers on the Harvey re-print books.
Several billboards, roadside signs, etc. announcing “Watch for Braids” or similar wording, in the months before Bonny Braids was actually born within the strip.
Tracy using a Sparkle Plenty doll as a decoy during the time TV Wiggles was extorting Vitamin Flintheart, by threatening harm to the real Sparkle. Jay Maeder called this “a wonderful instance of art’s imitation of life’s imitation of art,” in his book Official Biography of Dick Tracy
Although I don’t think the term had been used in this way at that time, I almost think these are sort of “Easter Eggs” that Chester Gould used to tease his readers a little bit.
Tracy and Sam seemed to at least be available 24/7 under Gould – but then, Tracy could sometimes be seen leaving HQ to go help B.O. Plenty with some non-police problem, or visit Diet Smith during the day, and fly off to Egypt in the Space Coupe.
I just realized that the pose of the lady wearing diamonds, with the press photogs in the background, in the strip you posted above, is extremely similar to Lizz, dressed up as a starlet to bait the Chameleon and Pouch, in their first appearance circa 1971.
Somewhere in the Dick Tracy re-print series, probably around late ’49 or early ’50s, (Sam was in the strip at the time), I remember a story where a kid was rescued, and while he was in the hospital recovering, he was actually reading a Dick Tracy comic book. Plus, of course, Chester Gould had the Sparkle Plenty doll in the strip, right along with the Sparkle Plenty character.
Yes, and in turn the whole idea of a strip within a strip is a parody of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, which had a series where Abner would read his favorite comic strip, Fearless Fosdick, which was Capp’s parody of Dick Tracy
WHAT are you seeing that is different? A few more leaves are showing, I guess. The glass vase is exactly the same shape, texture and even color. If there is a difference that you really and truly are seeing, please spell it out.
I may be misremembering, but I think that was actually dialog from the Hard Day’s Night movie, although it certainly did fit Lennon’s personality to a T.
In those 1950s era comic books, it looks to me as if the colorists were fairly haphazard, too. Superman’s logo, on his chest, was so often just a splash or two of red, not even coming close to the shape of the black outline.
But to be fair, I don’t know how much register control the presses had. I know they were using curved letterpress plates, and printing on newsprint at high speed. Process color for actual newspapers was pretty much unheard of.