Thursday, January 14, 2016


Is DICK TRACY getting better or izzit my imagination goin' whacko again??? I'd definitely say the former, for Vol, 19 in this long-running series of the original Chester Gould strip is tip top on just about every level one can imagine from grosser villains, disturbing story lines, sicker art and just about everything custom-made for your standard suburban slob who eats this stuff up for breakfast and poops it out right before taking a bath. Of course it helps that by this time in history we were well on that great slide into postwar/prehippie fun 'n jamz that was beneficial to anyone with a level head whether it be via tee-vee, music or food for that matter, and that ride was goin' on for a good seven or so years before it all fizzled out into a faint shadow of its former self but you know that already.

The Rhodent story finally comes to an end which is good considering the part where the Rat-faced badboy's '59 Ford gets hitched to the back of a train and dragged a good ten or so miles before the car bursts into flames, while the Fifth/Flyface saga's even cooler what with us thinking that the guys were captured and imprisoned only they break out in time for the next storyline dealing with a strange mystery a-brewin' in the latest and hula-est state ever to enter the union, Hawaii. Even after Fifth and Flyface (one of the better sickos Chester Gould came up with in the post-forties era) are bludgeoned to death in a tsunami the Hawaiian adventure continues with the appearance of a li'l wahini who just happens to be heir to a huge fortune and well---uh...

That's where Spots and Ogden come in, the former a weirdo guy with spots in front of where the eyes should be who kinda looks like that baby from ERASERHEAD grown up who pals around with this poet obviously named after the great Ogden Nash. Even these two manage to make their way into the next storyline having to do with the abandonment of Little Boy Beard, an infant with a goatee and the strength of at least ten average comic strip babies including Swee Pea and Trixie and throw a few Bunkys in for good measure.

Beautifully strange and somehow totally in groove with the swinging mood of the day, you can't put these comics down no matter how hard you try and reading 'em over and over while sweet sounds blare from my bedroom boom box has made the past few days a rather enjoyable way to slip myself into slumberland. The only bad thing I can say about it is that #19's definitely a slimmer'n the rest volume, though I wonder if that's not just for the typical greedy reasons and only because IDW wants to categorize this series prudently before TRACY gets into the Sci-Fi moon stories and law and order-based strips nobody seems to like. Dunno about you, but I'll be tuning in for those even if you won't!

Oh, and one more thing...last time I reviewed the entry in this series I made some comments about former TRACY author Max Collins' opening pep talks regarding the stories to follow, perhaps being a tad too harsh on the man which did elicit some critical if puzzled responses from him. So I guess you're wond'rin what I think about Collins' forward to this edition, right? Well, in typical BLOG TO COMM fashion I decided to do the only honorable thing that I should given how I don't want to rankle the ire of anyone who I don't have a fight with and certainly don't want to get fired from any gainful employment.

I simply just didn't read it.

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