Many Dick Tracy fans know Jim Doherty as the strip’s police technical advisor and writer of the crimestopper panel that appears with each Sunday panel. They might be surprised (or not) to know that Jim is also a career police officer and author with a new edition of his book, “Just the Facts, True Tales of Cops and Criminals” now available for purchase in either paperback or e-book.
Doherty’s “Just the Facts” tells the stories of law enforcement legends and the people who stood on the other side. Brought to life in this new edition are Bill Tilghman, legendary Oklahoma lawman and town-tamer from the Territorial era to the Roaring Twenties. Richard Crafts, an airline pilot who killed his stewardess wife and fed her frozen body into a rented woodchipper. Hawaiian Policeman Chang Apana, the real Chinese-American detective who inspired Earl Derr Biggers to create Charlie Chan and many more.
“This book,” says Tommy Hancock, Partner in and Editor in Chief of Pro Se Productions, “is amazing. Jim Doherty brings stories of the good and bad guys of crime to life with a style that lets you know not only is he a law enforcement professional, but he’s also a fan of the history itself. Real life figures, both those everyone probably recognizes and so many that most of us have never heard of, don’t just leap off the page. They shoot, drive, roll, tumble, and fight their way from Jim’s wonderfully handled prose into a sort of new reality all their own for the reader.”
Famed former Dick Tracy writer Max Allan Collins, author of Road To Perdition also piles on praise. “Jim Doherty combines the cool eye of a law enforcement professional (which he is) with the fiery enthusiasm of a fan (which he also is) in a superb collection of essays detailing the true-crime back-stories of some of mystery fiction’s greatest yarns. These crisp, no-nonsense accounts are hypnotically readable, and the Eliot Ness chapter alone is worth the price of admission.”
If you are at all interested in reading some amazing real life police stories, the Depot encourages you to pick up a copy of Jim’s new book. It is available on Amazon (In paperback and kindle). Many thanks to the people at Pro Se Productions for providing us some quality quotes for this post. Check out their blog here.
The 16th volume of IDW’s awesome hard cover Dick Tracy series was released yesterday and at least one source, Amazon, quickly sold out of this hot item…which sounds like a good sign for the growth of the Dick Tracy fan base and additional copies should quickly become available. This volume reprints the Dick Tracy strip from October 25, 1954 through May 13, 1956 and begins with the villain Rughead returning from hiding out in Mexico to get revenge on a fence who betrayed him. Violence and death follow.
The Rughead story is followed up by the return of another great Dick Tracy foe, Mumbles, who did not die as we were led to believe in 1947 but was instead rescued by eccentric millionaire George Ozone. Mumbles, always looking for a way to scam money begins to tutor children Neki and Hokey while learning yoga and exercise from Ozone until he finds out about Ozone’s treasure cache.
Dick Tracy next faces his biggest villain yet, the 467 pound killer Oodles who is friends with nightclub owner Nothing Yonson. A photographer working for Nothing, a woman named Lizz comes forward to help and nothing’s man Joe Period roughs her up. Keeping her cool as she will for years to come, Lizz helps Dick take down Oodles gang.
The final of this volume is Lizz’s first case as she joins the police force and begins to hunt Joe Period for the killing of Mr. Pocketclip and night club singer Julie Marrlin, who happens to be Lizz’s long-lost sister. Joe flees the in a classic chase sequence and joins forces with Flattop’s son, Flattop Jones Jr. and his amazing car. The bulk of this story will come with the next Volume 17 installment and we can’t wait!
For those of you collecting the Complete Dick Tracy collections, Volume 16 is now available for pre-order with delivery expected around March of next year. This assuredly awesome hardcover will reprint strips from October 25, 1954 through May 13, 1956 and includes a number of great villains including Rughead, the enormous Oodles, George Ozone, Nothing Yonson and the young teenager, Joe Period whose story introduces us to a nightclub photographer named Lizz Worthington. The collection also includes the return of Mumbles (last seen in 1947) and the beginning of the great Flattop Jones Jr. story.
For the comic strip collectors among you, Volume 15 of Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy series has been released in all it’s hardcover glory. The cover features 3D Magee one of several sociopathic villains introduced during this collections time period, April 19, 1953 to Oct 24, 1954. Like the previous volumes, former Dick Tracy writer Max Allan Collins writes a detailed introduction filled with images of old advertisements for the Dick Tracy comic strip.
In the last volume we were introduced to Odds Zonn, the new Mr. Crime and his daughter Susie who he abandons near the Plenty farm, a cliffhanger ending. B.O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie of course take little Susie in, calling her Little Wingy and are concerned to find she glows in the dark. Little Wingy is suffering radioactive poisoning and Diet Smith asks Dr. Von Nucleus to cure her. Her criminal father’s fate comes to a more tragic end with a bullet to the head and Susie is adopted by the Plenty’s, becoming a sister to young Sparkle Plenty.
Sparkle, a recent addition to the strip has been a marketing hit for Gould, with a very popular Sparkle Plenty doll in stores. Chester may have hoped to repeat this performance with Little Wingy, pairing the two little girls together and putting them in peril when 3D Magee and Pony use their lives (and some lethal ants) to blackmail rich Uncle “Canhead” Plenty. 3D and Pony are clearly sociopaths, willing to kill to achieve their goals and the chase to arrest them lasts for the remainder of 1953. Uncle “Canhead” seems to have filled the role of Vitamin Flintheart in the strip during this time period and a new character Chick Smithly seems like an beta test of a Lizz Worthington like female crime fighter.
The time is now. The place is the City by the Lake. The man is Dick Tracy. Decades after the era of Al Capone, Pruneface, Ma Barker and Flattop, the good guys are still fighting the bad guys with guns, guts and technology in the continuing saga of Dick Tracy.
Volume one of the new “Calling Dick Tracy!” eBook series by noted artist Joe Staton (Justice Society of America, Green Lantern) and writer Mike Curtis (Richie Rich, Casper the Friendly Ghost) features the new teams first 20 weeks including the storylines, Flyface and Fifth Return, Flakey Miscuit Makes the Dough, Doubleup and Scarlet Sting and B-B Eyes and Honeymoon. Word is out each strip comes to us in color, even the dailies which many readers have only ever seen in black and white. Now available in Apple’s iBook and also Amazon e-readers, we can’t wait to get our hands on it!