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Comics archive! Dick Tracy

Genuine love for Tuesday

Heathcliff, 10/21/14

I genuinely love that Heathcliff’s owner-child has been so defeated by his cat’s weird, off-putting text-flag antics that he doesn’t even draw attention to them as he walks resignedly home. “Yep, that’s our house. The one with the cat outside it. The meat house. We’re the meat house today, I guess. Better than being the meh house. Yeah, meat, the house is like, made of meat, or full of meat, or something meat, I dunno. Do you wanna hang out together after school again tomorrow? No? That’s OK, I totally understand.”

Blondie, 10/21/14

I genuinely love how sad Dagwood looks in panel three. He’s never once stopped Elmo from just wandering into his house and doing whatever he wants, so presumably he’s bummed out because now his teenage daughter is going to be married to a prepubescent child and there’s nothing he can do about it.

Dick Tracy, 10/21/14

Having finally wrapped up its Little Orphan Annie crossover fake time travel story, Dick Tracy has clearly concluded that mid-20th century nostalgia is the core of its brand. So, why not just spend the next three to six months re-enacting all of Arsenic and Old Lace? I loved that movie, didn’t you?

Dawn of the darkness

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Gil Thorp, 8/30/14

Oh ha ha, a nationally-ranked star quarterback just fell into Gil’s lap because Valley Tech “didn’t feel right” or some such B.S. Panel-2 Gil can barely suppress his glee (that’s Gil glee – trust me on this). With True on board, he’ll be able to bluff his way through the entire season and still win a game or two; maybe even make the playdowns. Of course rivalries will tear his team apart and his betrayal will scar his young charges for life, but let’s keep our eye on the bigger picture here, shall we?

Dick Tracy, 8/30/14

In their vulnerable moments, even law-abiding citizens of peaceful countries can be overcome by dark paranoid fantasies in which armed officers chuckle as they blithely ignore law and principle in service to their wealthy masters. For more than 80 years, it has been the role of Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie to present this paranoid hellscape as a kind of utopia.

Citizens! Don’t let the face of Sam Catchem be the last face you see! Comply!

Apartment 3-G, 8/30/14

I bow to no one — not even the Comics Curmudgeon himself — in my devotion to Apartment 3-G, which I have been following since the Kennedy administration, and daily for the last eight years. But when I saw today’s strip, I realized I had absolutely no memory of this “Rick” (Tommie’s recently deceased fiancé was named Jim). That implies that Rick is unmemorable even by the standards of Apartment 3-G men — a sort of black hole of interest from which nothing can escape. A long grind through the archives yielded this image from the March 2012 “Tommie is going to be a singer or some damn thing” story, so yup:

Apartment 3-G, 3/9/12

The steady degeneration of Tommie’s boyfriends brings a chilling thought. What if all this didn’t begin in May, 1961, but further back — say, at the Dawn of Time? Imagine Tommie as not a woman but as Woman Herself: Eve, Helen of Troy, Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra, Wu Hou, Jeanne d’Arc, Nzinga Mbande, Pocahontas, Florence Nightingale, Colette, Lucille Ball, Eva Perón — all hanging around with the likes of Gary from IT, ol’ Doc Buckethead, and this “Rick” here. It’s disgusting.

Mary Worth, 8/30/14

Predictably, Dr. Drew has been secretly replaced by some kind of insane judgmental robot, condemning his fellow doctors as much for their humanity as for their errors. He seems quite certain about Kaphut’s fate, probably because he plans to carry it out himself.

Mary’s point, of course, is that Kaphut should suffer worse than merely being torn apart by a crazed homicidal machine, even though such a thing is not possible. That way both Drew and Kaphut come up short, so it’s win-win in her book.


Westward Bound! Day Five



Splashdown — in Austin! Midway through their 3,000-mile trip, with a well-earned day of loafing ahead. Then off again, into the searing West Texas heat.

– Uncle Lumpy

Hasn’t the Rust Belt suffered enough

Family Circus, 8/22/14

Sure, we’ve always joked about the way the Keane Kids are drawn in this strip, with their hugely spherical noggins. Called ’em “melonheads.” It’s always been in good fun. We just figured it was a quirk of the artists’ style. But what if we’ve been wrong? What if these children are an intermediary stage in a selective breeding program with the goal of producing a monstrous post-human superbeing with the largest, roundest head possible? “No, PJ,” Dolly admonishes. “That chair is not for you. It is not for any of us. We are mere forerunners of He who is to come. That chair is a throne for the megacraniumed God who will eventually arrive to rule humankind. He will place it atop a pyramid of his enemies’ skulls. Their puny, puny skulls.”

Crankshaft, 8/22/14

Never forget that the central “joke” of Crankshaft, the “fun” Funkyverse strip, is that Ed Crankshaft is so terrible at his job that all the parents in town actively seek out information on school district transportation staffing decisions that in most jurisdictions would be of interest to nobody, because they fear for their children’s lives. Today we see that his reign of awful bus driving terror has concrete and negative economic impacts on this poor city’s real estate market.

Dick Tracy, 8/22/14

SORRY PROFESSIONAL CRIME-SOLVERS BUT I THINK YOU FIND THAT IF YOU TAKE AWAY SOME OF THESE LETTERS AND RE-ARRANGE THE REST YOU GET THE NAME OF SOMEONE WE ALREADY DISLIKE WELP GUESS WE’RE DONE HERE