Thursday, August 15, 2013

BOOK REVIEW! THE COMPLETE DICK TRACY VOLUME 15, (1953-1954) by Chester Gould (IDW 2013)

Yeah I know. A whole lotta the original TRACY thrust was starting to wear down by the early-fifties and the new characters just weren't hittin' hard like they used to. None of the grotesque badskis since Mumbles really had the same impact as the ones who were giving Tracy such a bad time during the World War II era, while the new crop of good guys like Uncle Canhead, Bonnie Braids and the rather innocuous "Little Wingy" just didn't capture the public's imagination the way Sparkle Plenty did. I guess that since we were now entering into the age of tee-vee and sleek sports cars such a Roosevelt-era concentration on comic strips and other cheap forms of entertainment to bide the time just didn't fit in anymore. But hey, I could care less!

Still a whole fugguva lotta action in these amid the b-film melodrama and lessons in modern day police research and tactics. The 3-D Magee/Pony storyline has its share of creepiness (esp. the part where Magee, disguised as an ice cream vendor, drops a few poisonous Peruvian blue-black ants on Sparkle Plenty and Wingy to "persuade" BO Plenty's brother Canhead to pay up big bux), while the Dewdrop/Open Mind thread (for wont of a better way to describe these weave in/out sagas) is attention-grabbing enough even if your mind keeps tellin' you the glory days are over.

You can tell that Chet Gould and co. only plotted these stories two weeks in advance to keep things fresh, because sometimes certain parts of the story get neglected then, months later, we finally get to find out whether or not a certain character recovered from that mysterious malady because all of a sudden there's this break in the continuity with Gould telling us that readers wonder what happened to so-and-so, and of course we see them in their hospital beds and well 'n recovering! Sheesh, what a way for the writer(s) to tell the world that they forgot all about one pertinent part of the plot while concentrating on another!

As usual, the volume stops right at the beginning of the Rughead story and even though it ain't as crucial as the ones that'll be appearing in #16 (mainly the return of Mumbles and Flattop Jr., perhaps attempts by Gould to regain some lost forties fortune) you can bet I'll be holding my bowels in waiting until that 'un arrives! Until then I guess I'll just have to be patient and whatever you do remember, while riding subway trains with the windows open, hold on to your purse (page 211's Crimestoppers Textbook entry!).

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