Happy Veterans Day

We here at the Depot would like to wish all our veterans a wonderful Veterans Day and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all that you do or have done.  Thank you!

Detective Tracy and creator Chester Gould have long had a special affection for those in the military and this was never more apparent than during World War II.  While the top cop battled Nazi forces like Pruneface stateside, he transcended the newspapers to sell war bonds, take part in Armed Forces Radio, and frequently make his way to the battle-front by way of postcards, operation names and dropping bombs.  Browse a quick Veterans gallery of pictures and video below, to see what we’re talking about.

In addition to our best Veterans day wishes, the Depot would like to congratulate Mike Curtis and Joe Staton for winning the 2016 Akron Comiccon Excellence Award for their work on Dick Tracy.  The duo was presented with the award while at their Nov 6th panel in Akron.  Well done gentlemen!

Dick Tracy to meet the Spirit

tracyandspiritThe Baltimore Comic-Con has come and gone, leaving us excitedly looking ahead to the next Dick Tracy crossover!  With all four members in attendance (handing this out!), the Dick Tracy creative team unveiled the awesome poster to the left, teasing an incredible future meeting with The Spirit!  Coordinating and getting permissions for these crossovers is no doubt a exhaustive effort and credit to Mike for making these things happen!

“So”, some of you might be asking, “I know the name, but who is the Spirit?”  The Spirit was created by Will Eisner at the behest of newspapers looking to get in on the emerging comic book market in 1940.  Eisner’s new crime fighter was a 7-8 page comic insert inside of newspapers called “The Spirit Section”.  The artwork and writing for these comics was top notch but due to specialized printing requirements and costs, the Spirit was only carried by a select group of newspapers.

thespiritsectionThe Spirit himself was a young detective by name of Danny Colt who was presumed killed in the first pages of the premiere story but awakens from suspended animation (for reasons) in the Wildwood Cemetery where he establishes a base and begins fighting crime while wearing a small domino mask and fedora hat.

Originating but not tied to his home city, the Spirit’s adventures took him around the globe where he met all manner of upper and lower class citizens, bringing his own form of justice to all of them.  The story style and tone frequently changed as Eisner’s interests led him to explore different genres but certain themes remained constant: the love between him and Ellen, the annual “Christmas Spirit” stories and his arch-nemesis, the Octopus, a criminal master of disguise.  According to Eisner,

“When I created The Spirit, I never had any intention of creating a superhero. I never felt The Spirit would dominate the feature. He served as a sort of an identity for the strip. The stories were what I was interested in.”

The Spirit slid away into the night around 1952 although comic reprints are common.  In any case, I’ll stop regurgitating Spirit information you can probably find on Wikipedia.  The exciting part is the Spirit and Dick Tracy will be meeting this coming January!  It will be very interesting to see what foe (foes?) the pair will match wits with and how deep the crossover goes.  Will we get a Fearless Fosdick style mini-story or a full on Little Orphan Annie length crossover?  I’d wager somewhere in between, but we’ll find out together!

2016 Harvey Awards Nominees Announced

harvey_nominee_logoGood luck and congratulations for the fourth year in a row to Mike Curtis and Joe Staton who have been nominated for the 2016 Harvey Award for Best Syndicated Strip or Panel. Team Tracy has won the award for each of the last three years (2013-2015) are in the running to be the only comic strip other than Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) to have won four consecutive years in a row.

The Harvey Awards are a leading comic award that is presented each year at the Baltimore Comic-Com and recognizes outstanding work in comics and sequential art in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993). Nominations are chosen by and voted on by other comic book professions (i.e. those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, edit and otherwise create), meaning the honors are given out by peers in the industry.

This year there are seven nominees, a couple more than normal.  The full list of nominees for “best Syndicated Strip or Panel” are,

  1. Dick Tracy, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Media Services
  2. Bizarro, Dan Piraro, King Features Syndicate
  3. Bloom County, Berkeley Breathed, Universal Uclick
  4. Pearls Before Swine, Stephan Pastis, Universal Uclick
  5. Mutts, Patrick McDonnell, King Features Syndicate
  6. Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Dana Simpson, Universal Uclick
  7. Zippy and the Pinhead, Bill Griffith, King Features Syndicate

Competition looks fierce this year with some fresh challengers and balloting will continue until August 8th.  As is tradition, all Harvey awards will be presented at the Baltimore Comic-Con taking place September 2nd-4th. I have not heard one way or another but in previous years Mike and Joe have both been in attendance and would expect the tradition to continue.

Dick Tracy Volume 20 Released

DickTracyVol20We’re back!  So server upgrades can be tricky and you may or may not have noticed the Depot was up and down for about a month following a painful and worrying failure of the aforementioned upgrade by a hosting service once represented by Danica Patrick.  But, finally, the worst is past, and if we can keep Matty Squared out of our system we should be sailing smooth now, giving us time to talk about IDW’s latest Dick Tracy book.

Volume 20 of IDW’s professional hard cover Complete Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy series is has at long last been released and is for sale and shipping now. Even though 20 hardcovers on a shelf take up a lot of space, we love IDW’s Dick Tracy collections and this volume, which reprints strips between February 20, 1961 and August 26, 1962 passes the 30 year milestone of Chester Gould strips.

In this edition, Dick Tracy embarks on an epic manhunt to track down the Brush (featured on the cover) and a million-dollar sack of cash―but with his foe on the lam without his trademark face wig, Tracy doesn’t even know what the murderer looks like!  The dauntless detective also encounters killer chimps and deadly panthers, protects Little Boy Beard from a deadly revenge plot, investigates a shady surgeon named Keip Choppin, and finds himself immersed in a forty-year-old cold case suddenly turned very hot. The strip enters its fourth decade as Chester Gould also presents a poignant story that rivals the “Model” narrative, when Tracy protects Junior from disturbing news about an important figure from the boy’s past.

Honestly, my favorite parts of these collections are the additional content at the beginning, and this one includes a look at the Dick Tracy television show and one of my favorite black and white actors, Ralph Byrd.  With only a few months in 1962 left, we are staring at a pivotal volume 21 that should kick off the Dick Tracy space period with the arrival of Moon Maid at the end of 1963.  It might be a hot seller and we’ll let you know when it goes on pre-sale.