Curtis makes the Funnies

LUMandABNER_212

Happy belated Father’s day to Dick Tracy readers.  Fresh off having attended the Lum and Abner festival in Mena, Arkansas, Tracy writer Mike Curtis finally made the funnies with Snuffy Smith’s John Rose in last Sunday’s Father’s Day edition of Lum & Abner.  Even better, you can listen to an audio adaption of Mr. Curtis with Sam Brown, Tim Hollis and John Rose reading the above comic strip here.  Now we know the voice of Dick Tracy!

The above visual and audio comic strip come courtesy of the Lum and Abner Society.

Annie Returns to help Dick Tracy battle Bullying

BullyingRuss Burlingame of ComicBook.com broke the news that Little Orphan Annie will return to Dick Tracy in the near future to help young Honeymoon Tracy deal with bullying.  This is a nice move by Curtis and Staton to help bring attention to a real issue for many kids.  Anyone who has read Annie understands that the little orphan has dealt with bullies much of her life, making her the perfect guest star for a story of this sort.  Russ’s article is a nice piece with comments by Mike and insight into the story development.  I encourage you to give it a read!

Old Time Radio in Kentucky and a Costume Review

Creative Art League of Jessamine CountySometimes I feel like Dick Tracy is regional and I’m in the wrong region.  If you live in central Kentucky near Nicholasville (pop 28,000), the Creative Art League of Jessamine County will be doing 3 performances of the Old Time Dick Tracy Radio play, “The Case of the Big Top Murders.”  The March 7th and 8th showtimes are already sold out but tickets for the March 14th show were available when last I checked.

The show involves a cast of 13 performers doing the April 6, 1946 radio play live for an audience, complete sound effects, original commercials and a pair of Frank Sinatra songs that should help extend the normal 30 production.  You can read more about it on the Jessamine  County Journal.

Many Dick Tracy radio broadcasts have survived to the digital age and the Depot has cherry-picked several for our radio section.  The Big Top Murders case, however, is not one of them.  Instead it has the distinction of being the only Tracy radio show with a full script easily found online.  The Create Art League is the latest to take advantage of this script.  Doing a Google search on Case of the Big Top Murders will reveal several amateur reproductions of the episode.

dick-tracy-boardroom_510Now if you are into fashion, costumes or are just a big fan of Warren Beatty’s 1990 film, Dick Tracy, Arts Illustrated magazine has an article on the vibrant costume design of the movie.  With its solid primary colors taken straight from the comic pages and the 20’s and 30’s gangster style, the Dick Tracy movie looked different from anything we’ve seen before or after.  While you will have to buy the magazine online or paperback to read the article, Clothes on Film has a preview I found worth reading.

Happy Chester Gould Day

Happy Chester Gould DayThe city of Woodstock, Illinois has declared February 22 Chester Gould Day in honor of a documentary airing on the local WTTW-Channel 11 that day about the late Chester Gould.  Titled “Chester Gould: An American Original”, the documentary follows the celebrated cartoonist’s life from his childhood in Oklahoma to the farm where he and his wife, Edna, settled to raise their family.  While most of us will be unable to watch the documentary, a nice article about Chester has been written by Jami Kunzer and can be read here.  The work was spearheaded by Tom Firak and his sons, John and Steve and based on their comments they hope to fund raise enough for another piece focused on the artistic perspective of Dick Tracy.  Some WTTW documentaries have been made available online, so hopefully we’ll find this one on WTTW’s website in the future.

premiere on Sunday in Woodstock as well and was attended by a number of Dick Tracy dignitaries, including Dick Locher, Max Allan Collins and Jean Gould-O’Connell.  Max in particular has written very nicely about the event on his blog at his personal blog.

 

Stepping Up

ShelleysSundayHopefully Joe Staton won’t mind if I boost one of his comments regarding today’s Sunday (1/18/2015) strip.  I found it pretty cool and goes to show the talent working for Team Tracy with inker/letterer Shelley Pleger it stepping up.

“Secrets of the comics revealed. Mike Curtis and I had some problems with the original version of this Sunday and we were running out of time.Shelley Pleger, our resourceful inker/letterer sprang into action. “Here’s a sketch, guys, maybe this will work,” she said. “Perfect!” we replied, and I inked her sketch and it was done. We’re sure she could go on without either of us if the need ever arose.” – Joe

Let me add my voice to chorus, well done Shelley!

Also check out the Ask Chris series on comicsalliance.com where Chris explains the recent Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie crossover to the lay person, describing it as the weirdest crossover of 2014.  It’s a humorous yet very accurate piece!