Hopefully fans of the Annie comic strip are reading because Oliver Warbucks, The Asp and Punjab are making a crossover appearance this weekend in the Dick Tracy comic strip! Tracy has been investigating Moon Maid sightings and Oliver Warbucks Lazarus Project might be a clue. Even more exciting, we get to see what might be happening in the world of the cancelled Annie with Warbucks, Asp and Punjab preparing for to search out lost Annie. Warbucks even asked for Tracy’s assistance should their expedition fail!
If you’re feeling a little in the dark on the whole Annie angle, the Little Orphan Annie strip made it’s debut August 5, 1924, rougly seven years before Dick Tracy. Annie was written by Harold Gray until this death in 1968 and was the inspiration of the play and movie by the same name. In the strip, the mop headed little orphan girl is adopted by Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks and goes on many exciting adventures with her dog Sandy. Additional foreign characters joined the strip, including The Asp, Punjab and Mr. Am.
After Gray’s death in 1968 the strip was taken over by artists and writers hired by the Tribune Media Services, the same owners of the Dick Tracy brand. Some artist/writer teams fared better than others but sadly the Annie strip slowly declined popularity and was finally cancelled on June 13, 2010. At the time our little Annie was kidnapped in Guatemala, leaving us with a cliffhanger ending that may never be finished. With a new Annie movie possible in the next couple years, perhaps the Tribune will restart the comic strip, hopefully with a pair of writers as skilled as Dick Tracy’s Mike and Joe!
For an excellent in-depth read on the Little Orphan Annie, check out the Comic Journal’s “The Orphan Epic” article.
Long time Dick Tracy police collaborator and Sunday crimestopper writer Jim Doherty was kind enough to allow to provide us with two of his Dick Tracy articles which have been attached in the new Books, Collections and Articles section of the Depot. The first gives a history of Dick Tracy and Chester Gould and the second is a great piece on Dick Tracy in Prose. Jim has a deep knowledge of the world of Dick Tracy and the history of American law enforcement and his work is definitely worth the read. Also, take a look at the Novels, Collections and Big Little Book pages, they might just trigger a desire to start a collection like us.
Ever since Mike and Joe took over Dick Tracy, we’ve seen a flood of comic strip “cross-overs.” Ok, cross-over is a strong word, we’ve seen a ton of homage’s and call outs between the friendly comic strip writers and artists. Sunday’s strip of Marty and Spud is the latest example of this, with Matt Hansel’s strip starting an homage to Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy.
Moon Maid ZAPPED Sparkle!! Check out the May 28th strip to see MM (real Moon Maid, clone, someone else brain washed?) zap Sparkle Plenty in a bit of a cat fight over Honeymoon and Junior Tracy. Ok, really it was a sucker punch, Sparkle didn’t even see it coming and neither did we!
It was a fun day and after boarder Dick Tracy yahoo group Willy Carlson coined the assault on Junior’s wife a “Sparkle Zap”, Mike Curtis (DT writer) challenged a digital artist to produce a cereal by the same name. Willy took on the challenge and gave us quite the cover! A whole lot of fun and we have to admit interest in that Mysta doll as well! Check out the yahoo boards on DT for a full sized version.
Dick Tracy artist Joe Staton was kind enough to share with the Depot a few pictures from his trip to Illinois. Joe met fans and former Dick Tracy collaborators at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) and also took a grand Tracy tour through Illinois. Staton was lucky enough to see the Chester Gould estate and studio in Woodstock, spent the day with Ross Fletcher (son of late Tracy artist Rick Fletcher) and visited with previous Dick Tracy artist/writer, Dick Locher.
If you have a few spare minutes, take the time to click through Joe’s photos here. Hopefully like us, they will give you a warm fuzzy feeling.