Wednesday, July 05, 2017


Hokay, now we're gettin' into the era of DICK TRACY that I can remember being part of my mental maturation days! Yes, I'm talkin' the mid-sixties, a transitional time in my life like I'm sure they were for many of you reg'lar readers (with me goin' from turdler status to grade school drudgery in one felt swoop) and it was strips like this that really brought back the memories...memories of just how fun life was until I was forced into learning things that I really didn't need to know and suffering all that horrid humiliation at the hands of EVERYONE involved. But eh, I don't want you to feel sorry for me! I do a good enough job feeling sorry for myself so lemme can the personal persecution complex for awhile, savvy?

But man---is TRACY on a roll and I don't mean Kaiser! Junior and Moon Maid are really hitting it off, running away to the moon in a stolen Space Coupe, returning to get married, then having a baby which doesn't even ruin Moon Maid's figure in the least! And it's a good thing that the earthlings do not know how long lunar pregnancies are since well---they are longer for Moon females and I'm sure there just hadda be some pre-marital hanky panky goin' on in space ifyaknowaddamean. Don' wanna get all the parents' groups inna uproar so maybe I should stay mum about this wink wink nudge nudge!

Besides birthing a baby, Moon Maid is on a tear as a vigilante using her zap beam on do-badders to the point where they either fall into a coma, become immobile or suffer some hefty burns either way being pretty much outta commission 'n for good! The strange thing about it is that when she is discovered by Tracy to have been the culprit stopping acts of wanton violence while the onlooking populace does not want to "get involved" he and his co-horts happily remain mum about it because hey, she's doin' a good job of bringing criminals to real justice and someone is getting things that the police can't do by law or ethics!!!!

And of course for the old-tyme readers who liked their TRACY loaded with action we see the Master Detective doin' some police work tryin' to solve the mystery of a skeleton found in a tree not to mention the weird case of Matty Square (who high-lariously keeps mentioning how his constitutional rights are being violated every time one of his cronies gets offed!) and his ever-dying gang, not to mention the weird beyond belief Mr. Bribery, an Incan cohort who's a cocaine brewer who also shrinks heads, and Bribery's stylish sister Ugly Christine who ain't that bad looking next to the quality of wimmen seen these days who are straight from Bowzerville and would make any Gould gal look like Brigette B.!

One longtime memory that was shed light on after all these years was the appearance of the extremely wasted away Mr. Jade, the old (and pretty frightening to a five-year-old) man of skin and bones who lived in the upstairs area of an old house for 46 years after killing his business partner and placing his body in a split oak, hence the aforementioned skeleton found all those years later. Back when the Jade episode was running his mere visage scared the bejabbers outta me even producing a nightmare in my yet-to-jello up mind, and for years I wanted to read these strips again to see what all of the frightening fuss was about. Turns out the man wasn't really a bad guy since he only killed his business partner in self-defense, and although Jade coulda gone to the cops and told them the truth and gotten off 'stead of hide the "crime" I did feel some sadness after he confessed and immediately died closing that case for good. Sheesh, and all those years I was under the impression he was a deformed monster and now I feel like shedding a tear for him!

And oh yeah, these comics also introduce the "strip within a strip" SAWDUST, an extremely primitive effort mostly consisting of a pile of dots drawn by four men (!) and for awhile written by Moon Maid, the "strip" undoubtedly being Chet Gould's commentary on the new minimalist post-World War II-styled gag comics that seemed to be edging longtime faves like TRACY off the pages of your local comic section. Now to some of you readers I'm sure the arrival of SAWDUST into the TRACY canon of overall bizarrities woulda seemed like a really bad case of sour grapes conjured up by a member of the old guard of stripdom but hey, fiftysome years later one glance at the comics'll prove to you that Gould was right all along given the horrid offal one generally sees there. That's one reason I need more of these classic reprints from TRACY to FRECKLES and NANCY and please, don't even try to tell me different!

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