Wednesday, March 10, 2021


Well, here it is, the final volume in the Chester Gould-helmed DICK TRACY series, and now that I've finished the entire run of what I would consider the best detective series of the funny pages under the tutelage of its creator I can rest a little easier knowing that one of my life's goals has been consummated. Of course there are plenty of what some would consider MORE IMPORTANT goals in this life of mine that I should have aspired to, but since the run of Ernie Bushmiller NANCY comics has been put on hold what else can I do?

Still it was a fine wrap up to a career that I don't doubt has made Gould a proud man in his own Midwest cornballus sorta way.  After all, the guy didn't just coast through the final days of his career giving not a whit like some relative of yers who decided to use up alla his vacation and personal days right up until the very end --- he sure knew how to go out on a pretty hotcha BANG! what with the stream of interesting new characters and bad boys doin' their best to make Tracy's life one not quite as peaceful as that of Horace Dripple's.

The saga of Pucker Puss, the hitman with the denture gun (sorta reminds me of that new "artiste" who takes pictures through her tuna taco) is wrapped up 'n no, the "gun" didn't backfire on him, while a singing trio called the Gallstones nudge their way into Tracy's existence after he suffers some not-quite-life threatening burns over most of his carcass. Their manager is a guy named Bolo who turns out to be involved in the pirating of his own clients' records. Not only is he ripping off the 'stones , but Bolo wears his hair tied back in a ponytail which really is surprising since that didn't become popular with a good portion of the male populace until the late-eighties. Gould really was ahead of his time predicting these new and wanky fashion statements now, was he?

And talk about keeping the energy levels on full tilt! Not only do we get to enjoy the saga of some guy out of prison getting revenge on the judge, jury and Tracy for putting him there inna first place (him conning some photographer geek to take pics right off the tee-vee screen), but we also get to see a few new members of the Plenty clan, mainly model Perfume and ne'er do well Dade entering into the pic! The story of Dade, a wayward JD fashion designer who is pardoned by the Governor of whatever state TRACY is supposed to take place in (which I always assumed was Illinois though it just might also be that mythical place where GREEN ACRES took place) has as much energy as those earlier sagas with those malformed manglers who liberals always berated Gould for because well, they were ugly and we all know that portraying bad people as such is being lookist against them. 

As for the image-conscious Governor, he turns out to be not as upstanding as he should which may just be Gould commenting on either bleeding heart politicians or Watergate-era high crimes. Whatever message it is that we're supposed to get from this episode it is played serious with the reader actually finding both Dade and the Governor contemptable on one hand yet not quite the same kind of villains seen in a TRACY strip to the point where hey, maybe we can ooze just a li'l tad o' empathy mebbee just this time. Could Gould have been going a little soft on crime himself? Not really, 'n it was a nice way to put the ol' lid on things.

But now that I've read the entire run of Chester Gould DICK TRACYs you think I'm gonna curl up in one-a those fetal balls and cry myself to sleep knowing I have no more worlds to conquer? Heck no! I'm gonna start all over'n read the entire run from the beginning again and again and again! It certainly will be just as exhilarating an experience as it was the first go 'round not only because of the incredible tension these strips exude but well, I do have that sieve-like memory and have forgotten those early sagas so it'll be like reading 'em all for the first time and the first time and the first time...


Sick Dick & the Volkswagens said...

Does anyone read more about Dick, write more about Dick, or think more about Dick than our steamed host, Stigs?

I think not!

Christopher Stigliano said...

Next stop...Dick Van Dyke!

Ill Will & The Saabs said...


debs said...

lol try doonesbury someday lol you might learn something :) half-century of doonesbury! yay!