This last weekend was quite interesting for Dick Tracy comic strip readers. Most of us have been busy digesting the day by day twists and turns of the summer’s Moon Maid saga. Over the weekend we were interested in the last major player in the current story line, Mr. Méliès, a moon-faced individual in classic Gould fashion.
Méliès is of course is an homage to George Méliès, a French illusionist and filmmaker famous for leading many technical and narrative developments in the earliest days of the cinema. Sometimes called the first “Cinemagician”, He developed many special effect tricks and was one of the first to use multiple exposures, time-lapse photography, dissolves and hand-painted color in his work. Two of his most well-known films are A Trip to the Moon (1902) and The Impossible Voyage (1904). Staton and Curtis reference A Trip to the Moon in the Sunday strip and with the Méliès character. Those who have seen the recent movie, Hugo might be familiar with Méliès, who was portrayed by Ben Kingsley. We wonder if the comic Méliès will be taking a bullet to the eye.
On Monday and Tuesday we’ve seen Junior and Honeymoon visiting a collapsed granary to take pictures for a new Dick Tracy book. Dick and the serial killer Mordred took shelter in the granary during storms and flooding in the Dr. Mordred story, the last to be written by Dick Locher. While Mordred ended up killed by rats at the end of the story, it was a soft death and the door is open for the return of another villain…or it might simply be a place for Junior to find his missing wife Sparkle. We’ll find out soon!
Imagine if you will a theme park set in the 1930’s Chicago, with all the warehouses, streets, cars and trappings of the gang land we’ve come to expect from the era. You race through the streets in your vehicle, using your tommy gun to battle villainous gangsters like Flattop and Itchy who are working for Big Boy Caprice. Bullets fly an errant burst sends the lids of nearby trash cans flying through the air. This was the vision of Disney’s Dick Tracy Theme Park, the park that never was.
Congratulations to Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, who have been nominated for a 2013 Harvey Award, which is a leading comic award (a successor to the Kirby Awards) and will be presented at the Baltimore Comic-Con. The awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art and are named in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993), one of the comic industry’s most innovative talents.
Mike and Joe have been nominated in the “Best Syndicated Strip or Panel” category. Nominations are chosen by and voted on by other comic book professionals (i.e. those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, design, edit and otherwise create), meaning the honors are given out, not by fans, but by peers in industry.
The full list of nominees for “Best Syndicated Strip or Panel” are,
- Cul De Sac, Richard Thompson, Universal Press Syndicate
- Dick Tracy, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Media Services
- Get Fuzzy, Darby Conley, United Feature Syndicate
- Mutts, Patrick McDonnell, King Features
- Pearls Before Swine, Stephen Pastis, United Feature Syndicate
Balloting will continue until Monday, August 19th and we are the Depot are of course rooting for Mike and Joe but there is some stiff competition. Mutts has won seven times in the last 14 years and Cul De Sac won last year. Winners will be revealed on September, 7, 2013 at the Baltimore Comic-Con.
Good Luck Mike & Joe!
Hey all, if you have the time, take a stroll on over to Sam Tweedle’s Confessions of a Pop Culture Addict where Sam interviews Dick Tracy writer Mike Curtis. It’s a great interview with some very detailed answers by Mike with a great deal of focus placed on the current return of Moon Maid plot line. The interview teases us with upcoming stories including a possible appearance by Gordon Tracy (a brother and key player in the first Dick Tracy serial). As collectors of all things Tracy on the Depot, we are super excited about these developments!
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.