Dick Tracy, 6/16/23
Dick Tracy is, indeed, a rich tapestry: one of its supporting characters, Diet Smith, is a wealthy scientist whose inventions have conquered both space and time, which led to sci-fi adventures on the Moon (whose people are now hiding in Antarctica), but the strip’s world also has room for comical rustics like the Plenty family with their old-timey phones and in-home poultry. These two storylines have collided both in Dick’s family, because his son married Moon Maid, the Moon Governor’s daughter, who later got blown up by car bomb, and then he married Sparkle Plenty, Gertie and B.O.’s daughter, but then Moon Maid came back and everyone got uncomfortable for a while until it turned out she was just a gangster’s girlfriend modified with moon DNA and forbidden science. Whew! That’s quite enough Dick Tracy backstory for the moment, so we’ll have to leave for another time the questions of whether the Moon Governor is aware that he’s named a new space coup after his dead daughter’s widower’s second wife, or why he uses “M.G.” as his initials. (Is “Moon Governor” his name?)
All of us, pluggers and cosmopolitans a like, define ourselves and our tribes in part in terms of the qualities and habits in the Other that we lack. I am surely guilty of this in my many comments on the Pluggers syndicated newspaper panel, but I feel confident the panels themselves engage in the same practice, and I cannot look at this one without assuming that your typical plugger thinks my razor blades, my face, and indeed my entire coastal elite bathroom are simply awash in blood.
Judge Parker, 6/16/23
[extremely “LET’S GET READY TO RUMMMMMMBLE” voice] LET’S GET READY FOR THE SUMMER 2023 JUDGE PARKER POLYCUUUUUUUULE