Here’s a question that I genuinely don’t know the answer to, and I ask with no particular malice: do you think Shoe strips like this, which consist entirely of two characters in a well-established Shoe locale talking to each other in vaguely joke-like ways, are drawn to order? Or are there like tons of templates on file where an intern at the Brookins-MacNelly Foundation For Laffs can match up the number of word balloons with the joke assigned for the day and just let ‘er rip? This is, again, not meant to be a criticism of the latter strategy — it’s the only logical and efficient way to approach it, after all. But I’m asking because in today’s trip, there seems to be even less of a connection between the joke and the visuals than usual. In panel two in particular, Roz and her customer are narrowing their eyes and leaning towards each other, almost as if they’re about to launch into a physical fight, which would definitely be more interesting than a “death and taxes” gag.
Dick Tracy, 5/3/19
Anyone who’s ever read a single entry on this blog knows that I can very easily achieve a state of “Oh no, I thought too much about this thing that hate and now I accidentally love it,” and this insanely wordy Minit Mystery is now one of those things. I still refuse to attempt to “solve” the mystery or even get a firm grasp of what the hell is happening, but am I going to lie back and enjoy the sensation of letting this tsunami of backstory wash over me. This plot has it all! Authors Pat Culhane and Austin Black! Suburban slashers! Farm gals who are racist against Italians but marry Italians anyway! Can’t wait to sort of understand whatever happens next!