The Energizing Art of Joe Staton

Hey Joe Staton fans, you don’t want to miss out on the current issue of the COMIC BOOK CREATOR which includes a very, very, very lengthy interview with both Joe and his wife Hilarie covering all manner of topics from their family and early inspirations through Joe’s many works including Green Lantern, Scooby Doo, The Huntress and of course Dick Tracy.  This interview is not a page or two of questions and answers you might see elsewhere.  Joe and Hilarie really spend their time with CBC and we are graced with roughly 40 pages of discussion complemented by Staton pictures and a well chosen samples of his artwork.

COMIC BOOK CREATOR is wise enough to provide a shareable sample of their interview, which you can read below.  At the end you is a link to buy a copy of the full issue, in paper or digital (which is only $3.95).  Cheers all!


Silver and Sprocket Nitrate Going to Print

FilmPiratesComicTime to tune the car and find a map Dick Tracy fans.  Mike Curtis dropped fantastic news today that he and Joe will be producing a comic book featuring the first story of Silver and Sprocket Nitrate which the pair plan to give away at their appearances.  The comic book will likely debut when Mike and Joe hit the stage at the Baltimore Comic-Con where we are hoping the duo will win their third Harvey Award.

According to Mr. Curtis’s remarks on the Dick Tracy Fan Club page,

“…Joe and I have wanted to have some of our TRACY work in print for years. Those of you who know me, know that Carole and I were comic book writers and publishers for 15 years.”
“It will have several pinups and new art, and a new poem by the noted Poet Laureate of Go Comics Tracy page, Pequod!”

The pinups sound interesting and I wonder if we might have a nice one that looks a bit like this.  The Depot is also super happy for Tracy poet Pequod getting recognized for his frequent skillful contributions on the Go Comics Tracy forum and here at the Depot as well.   Congratulations Pequod!  Now if some of you are like me and live nowhere near Baltimore, keep your eyes peeled for conventions closer to home so you can get a copy.

Bribery’s Return Confirmed!

BriberyReturnsMr. Bribery’s return has been finally confirmed.  Teased and hinted at for months, Bribery’s return comes nearly on the 50 year anniversary of his first appearance on July 3rd of 1965.  Bribery was a clever and colorful villain with loads of personality and was behind most crimes and attempts on Tracy’s life between 1965 and 1967.  He is certainly one of the most remembered villains of Chester Gould’s space period.  His rather unexpected death with no body shown at the hands of the Chin Chillars in 1967 seemed to put an end to his career but the loose ends were never tied up, leaving open the possibility of a return.

Now unless you are a newspaper strip collector it can be difficult to re-read Mr. Bribery’s entire arc as they have never been published in their entirety.  To help out the casual Dick Tracy reader, below is the Depot’s history of Mr. Bribery….if you need it.  Enjoy!

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2015 Harvey Awards Nominees Announced

harvey_nominee_logoGood luck and congratulations for the third year in a row to Mike Curtis and Joe Staton who have been nominated for the 2015 Harey Award for Best Syndicated Strip or Panel. Team Tracy has won the award in both 2013 and 2014 and are only the 3rd comic strip to have won in consecutive years. We wish them luck as they try to make it three years in a row!

The Harvey Awards are a leading comic award dthat is presented each year at the Baltimore Comic-Com and recognizes outstanding work in comics and sequential art in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman (1924-1993). Nominations are chosen by and voted on by other comic book professions (i.e. those who write, draw, ink, letter, color, edit and otherwise create), meaning the honors are given out by peers in the industry.

The full list of nominees for “best Syndicated Strip or Panel” are,

  1. Dick Tracy, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, Tribune Media Services
  2. Dilbert, Scott Adams, Universal Uclick
  3. Fox Trot, Bill Amend, Universal Uclick
  4. Get Fuzzy, Darby Conley, Universal Uclick
  5. Mutts, Patrick McDonnell, King Features SYndicate

Competition looks fierce this year with some well known challengers and balloting will continue until the end of August and this year the Baltimore Comic-Con will take place September 25-27th. I have not heard one way or another but in previous years Mike and Joe have both been in attendance.

Dick Tracy and the Phantom Ship

BetterLittleBook1940DickTracyandPhantomShipShortly after I began working on the Depot I found myself collecting 1930’s and 1940’s era Big Little Books.  With over two dozen BLB’s to find and a limited budget I focused on those BLB’s featuring stories not found in the daily comic strip.  I first reviewed Dick Tracy on Voodoo Island last year and the book to the left, Dick Tracy and the Phantom Ship, is another such kids novel.  Published in 1940 as part of Whitman Publishing second series, The Better Little Books, this thick hand sized book was taken directly from Ned Wever’s Dick Tracy radio broadcasts.

GhostShipRadioPlaySponsored by Quaker Puffed Rice and Wheat, these short radio shows usually ran a complete case in about a 15 episodes (3 weeks) and this particular case was sold in 1939 as a radio play called Dick Tracy and the Strange Case of the Ghost Ship.  The Depot doesn’t have a copy of this script, but it can be found in the Ohio State University Library where a trove of Dick Tracy treasures from the Chester Gould family reside.  In this book, the play has been novelized as a 13 chapter story complete with picture panels on each opposite page.  While the artwork is unique to this Big Little Book, the dialog itself reads as if directly from the radio script itself and one can imagine the voice of Ned Wever (Tracy), Walter Kinsella (Patton) and Andy Donnelly (Junior) speaking from a sound stage.

The case begins with Dick Tracy receiving a request from a whaling captain friend named Billy the Kid (not the cowboy) who needs help with a troublesome racket taking place down in the Antarctic.  Remembering for a moment we are in 1940 and whaling is an accepted past time, Tracy’s jaunt down to the Antarctic Ocean follows the global theme of other radio cases such as the Purple Rider in northern Canada.

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