Dick Tracy, 1/27/17
As I always note with increasing nostalgia, ever since the switchup of creative teams in 2011, Dick Tracy plots rarely end in insanely violent and gory death anymore. But Joe Staton and Mike Curtis do have a knack for unearthing the most horrifyingly deformed villains from the strip’s decades-long history and fitting their traditional look into today’s more modern art style. “The Brush,” whose head is completely hairless except for a drooping reverse mullet covering his entire face, is a particularly vivid example of this, and it says a lot about our society’s tolerance that someone so profoundly unsettling looking can find work in the landscaping industry.
According to the Dick Tracy Wiki, the original Brush was a scam artist who claimed that radioactive fallout from A-bomb tests had caused his condition, when he was actually just wearing a face-wig (face-merkin?). After raising a bunch of sympathy money in a preview of modern GoFundMes, his scheme fell apart and he fled to the countryside one step ahead of Dick Tracy, only to die when the dynamite trailer he was hiding out in got struck by lightning (!!!!!!!!). So I’m not sure what relationship this dude has with the one who was blown to bits in an act of a particularly vengeful God, but if this storyline is half as bonkers as that one, I am very much looking forward to it.
Sorry I haven’t been keeping you up to date on the current Phantom storyline, which, no lie, has involved a guy determined to get the Phantom on a Bangallan stamp. Anyway, the second panel is a great example of why the big purple guy is so philately-worthy: he’s punched this criminal so hard in the jaw that the dude’s head has partially phased out of our dimension, allowing it to become hopelessly embedded in the bars of his prison cell in a queasy-making, Escher-esque mess.