Curtis makes the Funnies


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.

Catch “Dick Tracy” at Lum and Abner Festival

LumAndAbner2Time for a road trip.  Our very own Mike Curtis will be a special guest at the 38th annual Lum & Abner Festival in Mena, Arkansas June 5th and 6th.  Mike will be joined by “Snuffy Smith” cartoonist John Rose and Lum & Abner cartoonist Donnie Pitchford at the Ouachita Little Theater from 12-2 on Saturday the 6th.

These special guests and others will help perform a new “Lum and Abner” radio script with several famous characters joining the Lum and Abner cast.  It should be a laugh and Mike will be joining the likes of Ned Wever, Matt Crowley and Bing Crosby in voicing our favorite detective.  Also of note, Vitamin Flintheart’s adviser, Coffee (who has shown up in Lum and Abner and Gasoline Alley), will be played by the real life Coffee Jeff Sinsley.  So if your in the area, mark you calendars.

And, if you need to remind yourself about Lum and Abner, let the experts help….



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 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!

Congratulations Team Tracy on 2014 Harvey Award!

HarveyAwardsLogoThe Depot sends out heart-felt congratulations to Joe Staton and Mike Curtis for winning their second straight Harvey Award for “Best Syndicated Strip or Panel”.  The win was announced at the Baltimore Comic-Con where Mike, Joe and the rest of the team have been in attendance.

Here’s a full list of the 2014 Harvey Winners:

  • Best Letterer: Terry Moore for Rachel Rising, Abstract Studio
  • Best Colorist: Dave Steward, Hellboy: The Midnight Circus, Dark Horse Comics
  • Best Syndicated Strip: Joe Staton and Mike Curtis for Dick Tracy, Tribune Media Services
  • Best Online Comics Work: Battle Pug by Mike Norton,
  • Best American Edition of Foreign Material: Attack on Titan, Kodansha
  • Best Inker: Wade Von Grawbadger, All New X-Men, Marvel Comics
  • Best New Series: Sex Criminals, Image
  • Best New Talent: Chip Zdarsky, Sex Criminals, Image Comics
  • Special Award for Humor in Comics: Ryan North for Adventure Time from KaBoom
  • Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers: Adventure Time from KaBoom
  • Best Graphic Album Previously Published: Mouse Guard Vol #3: The Black Axe, Boom! Studios/Archaia
  • Dick Giordano Humanitarian Award: Won posthumously by Stan Goldberg and received by Dan Parent.
  • Best Anthology: Dark Horse Presents, Dark Horse Comics
  • Best Domestic Reprint Project: Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground, Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse
  • Best Cover Artist: Fiona Staples, SAGA, Image Comics
  • Best Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic  Presentation: The Fifth Beatle: The Brain Epstein Story, by Vivek J. Tiwary, Andrew C. Robinson and Kyle Baker, Dark Horse
  • Special Award for Excellence in Presentation: Best of Comix Book: When Marvel Comics Went Underground, John Lind, Kitchen Sink Books/Dark Horse Comics
  • Best Graphic Album, Original: The Fifth Beatle: The Brian Epstein Story, Dark Horse Comics
  • Best Continuing or Limited Series: SAGA, Image Comics
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hero Initiative: This award was given to a very deserving Herb Trimpe whom many might know for his defining work on The Hulk and Wolverine
  • Best Writer: Brian K. Vaughan, SAGA, Image Comics
  • Best Artist: Fiona Staples, Saga, Image Comics
  • Best Cartoonist: Paul Pope, Battling Boy, First Second
  • Best Single Issue or Story: “Pizza is My Business“, Hawkeye #11, Marvel Comics

In addition to the above award winners, the very first Harvey Kurtzman Hall of Fame Awards was presented to “Peanuts” creator Charles M. “Sparky” Schulz.  Karen Johnson, director of the Schulz Museum and Research Center accepted the award on behalf of the late cartoonist and his family.

“Jeannie Schulz’ suggested a quote from Sparky,” said Johnson when accepting the award. “Sparky said I want to be remembered as EB White remembered James Thurber: “He wrote like a child who could skip a rope.

“Peanuts,” is without a doubt one of the greatest comic strips since the dawn of the art form and Schulz’s characters and we applaud the committees choice for their very first Hall of Fame winner.

Jim Doherty’s Just the Facts

JustTheFactsMany 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.