Supporting our friend Mike

Mike Curtis and Chowderhead

When I first started the Depot I was illegitimate. Documenting old stories, making lists of characters and using panel art, secure in my opinion I was lost on page 100 of most search algorithms. So my stomach dropped like a brick when I received a “To whom it may concern…” email from the TMS licensing department. To my amazement, it wasn’t a bad email. Instead I was told the current Dick Tracy creators had came across my little website. Praising me for enthusiasm, TMS granted permission to continue with some very minor legalize at the bottom of the page. I was (and still am) thrilled and I know I have Mike Curtis to thank for it.

How do I know? Three days after that heart-dropping email I received another email, this time from Mr. Curtis. “Hi, Joe and Hilarie are on their way home from the convention and took pix at the DT statue with Jim Brozman and Dick Locher. I asked him to send you the pictures when they return. Take care, – Mike” Yes, yes, yes I’m sure I replied.

Since that day six years ago, Mike has consistently kept me abreast with Dick Tracy news, dropping crossover teasers, convention notes and so much more. And I’m not the only one. Following various Dick Tracy groups, I see Mike interacting with all of them. Always friendly, always sharing. Take the Dick Tracy free comics for example. Not everyone can make a convention. Mike takes the time to personally make their day, sending comics to any who ask. As someone who’s done wedding invitations, that can take a lot of time!

Call to Action

Currently, my friend, our friend, Mike Curtis is having a serious health problem. He has been diagnosed with a brain aneurysm. The doctors don’t know everything yet, but what is known is that tests (and now more invasive tests) are expensive. Mike could use some help with those costs, he has said as much. Comic writers, Joe Staton unfortunately informed us, are not covered by Detective Tracy’s health plan.

A GoFundMe Page has been set up to help Mike out. If you can make a donation, or even if you are just wanting to support in spirit, I ask you to visit the page and see how things are going. Every little bit we do can help relieve some of the stress.

Thanks for reading,
Jeremy @ the Depot

Fall Action, Updates from Mike

Frisk as drawn by Locher, Staton imitating Locher and finally Staton’s version.

Leaves are dropping and cold weather is moving in, hopefully you all have been enjoying the current Mike Curtis story featuring the return of tough as nails Detective Frisk. It’s been 16 years since Frisk graced the comic panels of Dick Tracy and I love Mike’s dedication to creating a consistent Tracy continuity, tying together past and present. I am also thrilled to see Joe Staton’s rendition of the detective and am impressed when he chooses to adapt the style of other artists, in this case Dick Locher who originally drew Frisk.

Last Sunday’s Halloween one-day tribute to cartoonist Charles Addams, the inspiration for the Addams Family was a great holiday curve ball, delightfully keeping us unexpectedly on our toes. I love Halloween and with no Abner Kadaver or Bela Legosi to remind us of the season, I certainly got a smile by Sam and Tracy’s strange house call.

Admittedly I’ve been shy about writing posts lately, life gets busy. But Mike Curtis was kind enough to drop a line and let me in a a few secrets (or not so secrets). After Frisk, the coming Dick Tracy story will be the next full on crossover, but with whom remains a mystery. We’ve seen Annie, The Spirit and many others. I’m excited.

Also, the next Dick Tracy free give-away comic will be “ONLY TIME WILL TELL”, featuring an appearance by George Takei. After it goes to print, Mike and Joe will be giving it away. Free means free. All you need to do is track them down and ask for it. Success most likely at their convention booths or similar appearances, don’t do the alternative. While there you can grab one of the brand new Dick Tracy pins. I haven’t even seen a a picture and I want one. Visit Iowa please.

Ok, I’m done with the Curtis updates, you leave if you want, but I’ve been asked and feel I must answer. Who is Detective Frisk? A Mike Kilian creation, in 2003 Frisk was introduced as a hard working, rough around the edges detective who initially locked horns with Tracy on the Filligree case during the time of the “cop house mole”. Frisk and Tracy were initially at odds, suspecting each other with limited circumstantial. Frisk was soon falsely accused and suspended until Tracy was able to redeem her and invited the detective to join his team. The stay would not be long.

Over the holidays that same year, Frisk began working on the cold case of Sal Monella, a garbage themed villain.  Frisk was trying to get ahead in the department and kept her investigation from Tracy.  The detective found Monella and began to trail him as he gathered several bums together and formed a band.  Frisk suspected they carried weapons in the guitar cases and would take part in a robbery.  During a strange garbage themed stadium concert, Frisk tried to arrest the criminal for his past crimes.  Monella resisted and the two engaged in a shoot-out before both fell into a garbage truck that dumped its load into the bay.  Both were thought to have perished but neither body was recovered.

Jim Doherty Minit Mystery Arrives April 28th

Before Mike Curtis and Joe Staton took over the Dick Tracy comic strip from a retiring Dick Locher in 2011, they collaborated on a Plainclothes Dick Tracy tribute site. Mike penned a Major Crime Squad story, Joe provided the artwork and law enforcement officer and writer Sgt. Jim Doherty contributed prose Dick Tracy stories. They we’re not trying to slip past syndicate copyright, that was clearly displayed, it was a work of love, and as it turns out, an audition for Dick Tracy.

Eventually the syndicate became of aware of the website, and while Plainclothes and it’s content was sadly discontinued, the team was asked to take over Dick Tracy from retiring Dick Locher. Of course we know they said yes!

Now those of you who have read Dick Tracy Sunday’s are no doubt familiar with the Crimestoppers and Hall of Fame panel at the start of the strip. Chester Gould started this signature of the Dick Tracy Sunday and Team Tracy has kept the tradition alive with Jim Doherty writing almost all of the panels from 2011 to 2016 when Jim took his leave to pursue other interests.

So it’s very exciting to have heard Jim Doherty is returning to the Dick Tracy team as the guest writer of a new Minit Mystery. Minit Mysteries are one or two week stories. Jim’s mystery will begin Sunday, April 28th. Knowing his love of early era Dick Tracy stories (we’ve published a few of his articles), I’m not surprised to hear there will be a 1930’s style to this Minit Mystery and I’m also excited to see Joe Staton take a crack at that original Gould drawing style.

Dick Tracy Forever arrives in April

Credit: Michael Avon Oeming (IDW Publishing)

Hot on the heels of their soon to conclude Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive series, IDW Publishing is at it again with Dick Tracy Forever, a new series written and drawn by Eisner award winner Michael Avon Oeming. With the four-issue series beginning this April, Dick Tracy Forever is described as “The proverbial Sisyphus, pushing the law boulder up the hill as he struggles for reason and order in a world with none. His attempts at delivering justice are met with crime and chaos in the form of unpredictable and absurd villains. But Dick Tracy will never give up trying, no matter the era or incarnation… even when his startling new case defies all notions of time and space!” (IDW)

Michael Avon Oeming has a growing history with crime-fighters, having worked with both The Spirit and Batman but this is first shot at Dick Tracy, whom he has openly talked about for over a decade.

“I’ve gotten to write and draw most of my bucket list characters, from The Spirit to Batman and more, but I never dreamed that Dick Tracy would even be a possibility,” Oeming said. “It feels completely natural and I cannot wait to show why he’s such a relevant character for all times.”

Oeming will be joined on the Dick Tracy Forever series by colorist Taki Soma. For the debut issue, Oeming will provide the main cover and a noir-inspired spot color variant, with the greatest cartoonist of all time, Kyle Baker contributing a special incentive cover variant.

Dick Tracy : Dead or Alive

This year has been a busy one for Dick Tracy publishing and it looks to get busier.  Courtesy of IDW Publishing, Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive! is a four issue comic series that can be found in comic stores starting in September.   IDW Publishing, the publisher of the popular Chester Gould collections is backing the team of Michael, Lee and Laura Allred and Rich Tommaso as they re-image the illustrious crime fighter.

In Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive, our favorite investigator has lost his job after making the biggest collar of his career.  Packing his bags, Tracy heads for “the city by the lake,” ready to take on strange new villains and crooked cops.   Facing enemies at every turn, Dead or Alive promises plenty of gunfights and action.

Brothers Lee and Mike have joined forces to write the series while Mike also joins the art team with his wife (and favorite colorist) Laura.  Mike and Laura have a long scrolling list of comic’s under their belt but are probably most well known for Madman, iZombie and work with Silver Surfer.  Rich Tommaso brings his amazing pencils to the team and is known for some amazing artwork.  One of the hardest working cartoonists in the business, Tommaso’s works have an incredible thematic range. has a great article on the best of Rich’s work, but they might soon need to amend that list!

As stated before, the Dead or Alive #1 can be found in comic book stores in September and it will also be available on Amazon Kindle starting September 26th, and monthly after that.  You can also expect a full four issue paperback next April.  We can’t wait to review the first issue!