Wednesday, June 08, 2016


Now we're really headin' into hotcha TRACY territory what with the early-sixties storylines getting in gear and the TRACY environment that I could remember from my very own "youth" starting to come into focus! Yes even this late inna comic strip game when other strips were starting to flounder TRACY was pumping out the intense, energetic sagas it was know for for quite awhile, and although a lotta the fans had poo-poo'd the strip for quite some time (y'know, the ones who think that after Mumbles it was nothing but down hill) it was more'n obvious that TRACY was still a top notch read on any comic strip fanabla's list! Oh, if I could only get my hands on those grade school teachers of mine who thought us kids so "immature" because we read the comic pages before everything else (which in my case was the tee-vee listings and that's that) 'stead of the front section with all of that war and atrocity and violence...sheesh, I got enough of that via TRACY to care about it in real life, and what else would you expect from an eight-year-old anyway???

The "Spready" saga at first disappointed me because well, I thought the villain might have been a female and with a name like that... But eh, it was a great read having to do with this former obese criminal on the prowl who has something strange sewed into the right portion of his abdomen, and whatever it is it's sure hard and magnetic!!! However the "Brush" saga is once again a return to the TRACY of yore, a grotesque criminal whose face is completely covered in hair due to him being a POW in Hiroshima back August '45 he's running this scam ostensibly having something to do with a crusade against nuclear radiation and his staff is made up of a couple of trained chimpanzees!

For a change from the usual blood 'n gore there is a comparatively short storyline that grows out of the "Spready" saga featuring the brief return of none other than Junior Tracy's real mother. And for another change there is some sad poignancy slipped into the strip when the former "Mary Steele" (now Mary Smith) is killed by a golf ball from a nearby course that hits her in the temple and kills he while she is reading to her adopted children, with Tracy keeping the truth about the woman's identity from Junior who wouldn't remember it anyway. Now given how Junior's mother got written outta the strip I just figured that her disappearance was just one of those loose ends about as relevant as both of the dogs Junior owned who somehow got forgotten over time, but the heartstrings are sure to be tugged over this particular TRACY saga even if you for the life of ya would have thought that Junior would have remembered his real mother considering he was about a hefty seven or eight by the time Tracy officially adopted the brat! Whatever, better stock up on the Kleenex because you too will probably be shedding a tear or two like I did...inside that is.

Topping off this book is something that I really relished, an article on the infamous DICK TRACY cartoon show that the UPA people of MR. MAGOO fame released way back in the early-sixties! This series (back when it was running on THE BARNEY BEAN SHOW) was where I first even knew that Tracy existed, and of course I was always front and center for these cartoons which usually pitted one of his "underlings" like Joe Jitsu, Hemlock Holmes, Go Go Gomez or Heap O'Calorie against the likes of Flattop and Mumbles. (In fact, I remember when my dad'd read me the funnies I'd have him read me TRACY only the grim aspect of the real deal was totally different than the light-hearted cartoons and boy was I surprised!) These cartoons, like a lotta the cartoons coming out on tee-vee during the early-sixties, had an interesting sorta "adult" appeal to 'em as well...nothing as strong as ROCKY AND HIS FRIENDS mind you but some pretty good gags only the parents could get were definitely peppered through these episodes. Whaddevva, reading this piece was a nice reminder of my turdler past which I sure wouldn't mind experiencing to its fullest these sorry days, even if I probably would have an "accident" or two that would embarrass me to no end in front of the entire fambly.

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