Thursday, January 30, 2020


Hoo boy, now we're gettin' nicely snuggled into the seventies with these tales, and if you're under the delusion that by this time TRACY was but coasting into some late-life bouquet of Middle Amerigan snozejams boy are you typically as out of your gourd as you usually tend to be!

Considering what an old crotchety type many people envisioned Chester Gould as being during those latter years, it may be surprising to some that TRACY seems to be fitting into the whole seventies modus of deep down and grisly police fiction that tended to be rather popular with the moom pitcher and tee-vee crowd back then. A case can be made that TRACY was indeed the comic strip equivalent of such long-time classic police dramas as  DIRTY HARRY, McQ, THE NEW CENTURIONS and that Vince Edwards classic THE MAD BOMBER...without the bared suckems 'natch but with plenty of that BLOODY VIOLENCE that kept the kids sneakin' in through the fire exit. Believe-you-me, if anything captures the jaded seventies miasma that came about after the Youth Culture collapse and during the Watergate Hearings and growth of Porn Chic it's these TRACY comics and they even do it better than any of your favorite cop shows both then and now!

The annoying child radical turned Law and Order kid Peanut Butter is here and he's not only working in the crime lab but actually making moves on Moon Maid, who's employed in the clay model room at the station where she walks around in this skimpy two-piece outfit that would give any self-respecting adolescent boy more impure thoughts than a Sears catalog. Naturally Junior ain't havin' none of that which does lead to a comedic episode lasting a week or so, but don't let that dismay you for some crazed action is comin' up what with Peanut Butter trying to get the reward money for finding the moolah picked up in a heist which leads to an old farm silo and a new grotesque criminal called Button (he wears a brash looking suit and midriff shirt which exposes his...well... button). Anyhoo, the Button guy ends up kidnapping a one-legged newspaper columnist and gets into some pretty violent escapades himself such as getting dragged by a taxi cab when the handcuffs he is wearing get attached to the door handle givin' him a pretty bouncy ride inna process. You expectin' maybe LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE???

'n that ain't exactly countin' the rest of the action found within these almost two years of strips, from a hippie who turns Born Again in order to keep from being tagged on a more serious than sniping charge, to Peanut Butter's mom being arrested as an arsonist after her push broom starts a deadly fire! And I ain't even talkin' a case of decapitation via guillotine or the freaky guy breaking into television broadcasts selling quack brass cure-all rings which are rakin' in the bucks---even BO Plenty and Gravel Gertie are usin' 'em! (His own demise really brought in the complaints from self-serving all-pure newspaper readers who actually wrote in saying that Chester Gould was a fascist for having Tracy put an end to a rather dangerous hostage situation instigated by the pirate pitchman "Big Brass" in such a brutal way. Well, all I gotta say is that if Chester Gould was a fascist then give me a snot-stopper mustache and call me Adolf!)

Yes, when it comes to Chester Gould and DICK TRACY the pulse-racing never ends, and the stabs at comedy relief seem to do well if you have the same kinda sense of humor that """""I""""" do. Best of all the artwork's actually getting even more grotesque with more flaring nostrils and high and wide cheekbones that really mirror the already strange going on's that are passing before your very eyes. When I read these TRACY comics I sure flash back to the days when newspapers were dropping it because of the violent nature and people actually believed that if we got rid of all these aggressive comics and BUGS BUNNY the world would just become one big mass of mellow marshmallow with us all singing in harmony like those people on the old Coca-Cola commercial. Now that these altruistic types have gotten their way and have effectively banned action under the guise of violence don't you think we're living in a way better world? Quick, give me my patchouli and a James Taylor album and head me for the nearest commune!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

lol funny books? lol ps: james taylor is the greatest