Archive: Dick Tracy

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Gil Thorp, 12/6/18

Well, our Gil Thorp plots have, in traditional Gil Thorp fashion, combined into a semi-satisfying conclusion: Tiki Jansen, forced into a little light address fraud in order to escape his erstwhile criminal associates, enlisted the help of irritating movie buff and emergency substitute punter Joe Bolek in recording himself fleeing in terror from his old schoolmates, with the resulting piece of cinéma vérité praised both for its polemical power and for its mise en scène. I’m reasonably sure that it’s been established that the Mudlarks are in no way in playdown contention, which leaves only one loose plot thread remaining: namely, that Kaz holds his girlfriend Kelly and her intellectual film tastes in open contempt. Things could get really interesting if, for instance, some young Fellini aficionado like Joe Bolek were to wander into Kelly’s travel agency and told her he was “thinking about Italy,” if you know what I mean. (“Italy” refers to watching some Fellini movies and then having sex, and then talking about the movies afterwards, instead of just rolling over and falling immeidately sleep like certain assistant coaches we could mention.)

Barney Google and Snuff Smith, 12/6/18

Hear that, whiny libs? You don’t need big government helping you with your medical bills; you just need someone to beat the shit out of you so you can’t actually spend money other frivolities like poker. Wait, is the implication here that Snuffy got beat up during a poker game, because he cheats all the time? This is really a self-solving problem when you think about it.

Dick Tracy, 12/6/18

Ah, it seems that Polar Vortex’s sinister plot, focused on faxing and slow-walking invoice payments, has been brought down in ironic fashion, because the evil crime syndicate’s record-keeping was too meticulous. We’ve heard enough — time for the cops to show up and brutalize a lot of people with flagrant disregard for due process!

Mary Worth, 12/6/18

I guarantee that Mary doesn’t remember who or what “Jimmy” is, but it doesn’t matter. She learned from the sad story of Saul’s lost love Mia that an animal can plug the emotional hole that a dead human left behind, and she learned from the sad story of Saul’s lost dog Bella that you can also just plug the hole a dead animal leaves behind with another animal. So … do you like cats, Estelle? Remember, as building manager Mary has keys to everyone’s apartments, so even if you say no she’s just going to put the cat in there anyway.

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Gasoline Alley, 11/24/18

Today is the actual 100th anniversary of Gasoline Alley — the longest-running comic strip still publishing new material ever since The Katzenjammer Kids went into reruns back in 2006. Sincere congratulations to Jim Scancarelli for his gorgeous old-school draftsmanship — that’s an actual pen he’s using right there — and a daily look back at a mythic America that disappeared after World War II — one populated by comical junkmen, back-alley auto mechanics, lovable hoboes, itinerant fraudsters, and radio voice actors.

Now can we please end the four-month self-congratulatory wankfest, park Walt in the Old Comics Home for good, and get back to wallowing in lovingly rendered Hoogy tush?

Crankshaft, 11/24/18

You know, I think Mary may be on to something here. We all think of Crankshaft as a bitter, self-loathing ignoramus, and who will say us nay? But what if the root cause of his repulsiveness is that he’s completely incapable of abstract thought? It would explain his rage as he careers randomly through an incoherent universe of punctate sense-experiences, comforted only by chance repetition — the droning monotony of football plays, familiar snap of a mailbox behind his bus, annual blast of fire from an overfueled grill, or daily necrotic reek of Lena’s coffee.

You object, “But he’s just being an asshole!” and Ed cracks a little grin. That word, like all others, is just noise to him, but at least he’s heard it before. So many times, it feels like an old friend.

Dick Tracy, 11/24/18

I’m really starting to worry about this Vorkov guy here. Near as I can tell, he’s taking funds legally entrusted to him and spreading them around in ways that are pretty routine but don’t match the beneficiary’s intent. That’s all loathesome ‘n’ stuff I guess, except:

  • The beneficiary, Peter Pitchblende, is a moron, squandering his inheritance trying to resurrect the reputations of long-forgotten third-rate Martin and Lewis copycats. In the very worst interpretation, Vorkov merely missed the filing deadline to have Pitchblende declared incompetent.
  • This is essentially the same con outlined in the Parable of the Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1-13). How bad can your grift be when it’s approved in the New Testament by Jesus the Actual Christ?

Maybe Vorkov, a second-generation crime boss, isn’t really evil at all, but was brought up to think he’s a criminal mastermind? So he spends his ordinary days faxing, paying bills, and managing payroll, but all in that ridiculous makeup, tenting his fingers and gleaming his teeth, pausing now and again to cackle “BWA-HA-HA.”

Curtis, 11/24/18

Greg, let me bring you up to date: these days, a million-dollar 2BR in Harlem looks like your place. No hovering required!

Mark Trail, 11/24/18

Heads up, kids! David Lee Roth is closing in!


Hello again, faithful reader! I’m sitting in for Josh through Sunday December 2, so if you’ve got any site access or other issues, reach me at uncle.lumpy@comcast.net. Enjoy!

— Uncle Lumpy

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Mary Worth, 11/22/18

This Thanksgiving, I am extremely thankful that Mary Worth is going to be adopting, or possibly fostering, a cat. Am I a cat guy? Follow me on Instagram to find out how big a yes that is! Am I concerned that, like many stories about cats, this one will involve negative behavior that puts my favorite domesticated animal in a bad light? Also yes! Am I ecstatic about the image of a horrified Mary Worth trying to figure out how to get cat vomit — or, better, cat urine — out of her her precious, precious upholstery? You’d better believe that’s a yes.

Dick Tracy, 11/22/18

Apparently I’m not the only one miffed that Dick Tracy is taking time away from its usual focus on crime to diddle around with fax machines and invoice processing! Indeed, these tedious details have in fact distracted Polar Vortex’s crime syndicate from its primary focus (crime). Maybe if we only get all the criminals into legitimate side hustles like estate management, they’ll be too busy to do crimes!