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Dick Tracy, 12/3/08

Since I’m in a vaguely good mood today, let me say something nice about the art in Dick Tracy: The art in Dick Tracy is really pretty good. Today’s strip strikes me as a particularly fine example of how Locher uses blacks and whites to very striking effect — no endless slathers of zip-a-tone here! I love the shocked face of Braces’ henchwoman in panel three quite a lot — it looks like a print, or a woodcut, and I think it could stand alone as a sort of minor pop art masterpiece.

Of course, all this visual appeal is deployed in the service of violence and insanity. At long last, we learn today why villain-of-the-month Braces has braces — so that his dismembered robot could electrocute him through them, obviously. Remember, no Dick Tracy storyline can end until somebody dies in agony.

Gil Thorp, 12/3/08

Speaking of violence and insanity, check out panel three of today’s Gil Thorp. You can try to tell me that we’re seeing the Mudlarks put a short running play into action to get that first down, but if that’s the case, why isn’t number 22 holding the ball? Why does the Valley Tech player in the middle of the panel look like he’s about to shiv someone, and why is the Milford player just to right of him clawing one of his opponents’ eyes out? No, it’s clear that this game has completely collapsed into an anarchic brawl. Assistant Coach Kaz (recongizable by his now-almost-sedate earrings), with his well-known propensity for savagery, cannot be counted on to put a stop to this madness; indeed, his defensive corps (whom he has reduced to mindless obedience by refusing to acknowledge them as individuals) will soon run onto the field to join in the melee.

Crock, 12/3/08

Yes, I’m sure the US tax authorities are very interested in auditing the income of a French military officer, stationed in North Africa.