Archive: Dick Tracy

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Shoe, 5/26/23

I know that restaurants generically calling side dishes like potatoes or rice or whatever “starches” was a thing at one point, but is it still a thing? I’m sure someone’s going to be like “there goes Josh the coastal elitist again, who only goes to hip, Instagram-savvy restaurants when real Americans in the heartland are happy to order a side starch whenever they go out to eat,” but the joke’s on you because the hip restaurants have started eschewing that bland Instagram aesthetic and are pivoting to TikTok, which rewards motion and video so now they’re doing frankly gross shit like serving dishes where the waiter breaks it open for you and cheese gushes out everywhere. Where was I? Oh, right, I was talking about the phrase “with your meal, you’re allowed a starch,” which honestly doesn’t seem that appetizing to me, and I don’t think Roz saying it with come-hither eyes while holding the menu three feet away from the Perfesser really helps.

Dick Tracy, 5/26/23

Dick Tracy is doing a plot about how boring film-themed villain Silver Nitrate is in prison, and in case you were wondering how he’s doing: he’s doing pretty well! He knows who to avoid now, and it’s the other Dick Tracy villains who tell him, explicitly, that they don’t want to hang out with him. Honestly seems pretty straightforward!

Beetle Bailey, 5/26/23

A group of Walker-Browne Amalgamated Humor Industries LLC staff sit around a table, sweating. They’ve just broken open the “IN CASE OF EMERGENCY (THE KIND WHERE YOU RUN OUT OF BEETLE BAILEY JOKES) BREAK GLASS” case that’s been hanging on the wall of the office for as long as anyone can remember. Inside is a single scrap of paper, on which someone has written four words that terrify them: “Sgt. Lugg gets horny.”

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Dick Tracy, 5/18/23

A question I have often had reason to contemplate is “Who is [any given legacy comic strip still being produced in the year 2023] for, exactly,” and it’s pretty clear that the answer the current Dick Tracy creative team has landed on in their own case is “longtime fans of Dick Tracy and other classic comics and adjacent memorabilia.” Which is fine, really, but it does meant the strip can get loss in a self-referential haze now and then, producing storylines fully baffling to the uninitiated, like the occasional dreamworld interactions between Dick Tracy and Fearless Fosdick (seen on the right in panel one here). Fosdick was a long-running spoof of Dick Tracy in Al Capp’s Li’l Abner strip, and given how reverential towards the strip history modern Dick Tracy is overall, it’s kind of funny how often Fosdick shows up, because by “long-running spoof” I mean a not particularly friendly parody that Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould apparently hated. (Gould himself was lampooned as “Lester Gooch” in the multilayered narrative in which Fosdick appeared within Li’l Abner.) Anyway, today’s strip is truly incredible because it asks the question “What if Li’l Abner had lasted long enough that Fearless Fosdick could have spoofed the 1990 Dick Tracy movie,” and the answer it comes up with is “it would have a parody version of Madonna named ‘Fuddonna.’”

Hi and Lois, 5/18/23

I don’t know who Hi and Lois is for, really, but I’m excited to see the strip start to work its way through some serious philosophical problems. The Flagston children represent theological concepts of increasing sophistication: Trixie’s belief system is “God is visible in the sky and is my friend,” whereas Dot and Ditto think that God exists to hand out rewards and punishments based on a moral code that they’re capable of understanding, even though they disagree on the particulars. Can’t wait for us to get to Chip’s chapter in this saga; hopefully it’ll be some really esoteric and mystical stuff.

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Mary Worth, 5/8/23

Welp, looks like Ed and Estelle are happy and Ed’s workplace problems are squared away, and Wilbur is emotionally processing his heartbreak the best he can (i.e., not particularly well), so it’s time for a new adventure … a nautical adventure, for Jeff and Mary. What surprise does Dr. Jeff have for his longtime beau? Is this going to be yet another failed marriage proposal? Or is he going to take Mary to the private island he recently acquired, where he can hunt men for sport without meddling Big Government getting in his way?

Gil Thorp, 5/8/23

Meanwhile, Gil is bringing his mother to see one of the little games he coaches, so she can die in the pleasant afternoon air, knowing her son could’ve been a doctor or lawyer or something but instead decided to do this, and do it pretty half-assed.

Dick Tracy, 5/8/23

It feels on-brand for Dick Tracy that this guy is threatening to set off an explosive device in a crowded exhibition hall and all the talk is about the potential damage to a rare World War II-era Monopoly game. “No! No! Our blood and viscera will be smeared all over these collectables! Their condition will have to be downgraded to ‘Fair’ and their resale value will plummet!”

Pluggers, 5/8/23

On January 12, 2007, the nationally syndicated newspaper panel Pluggers declared that the front of a refrigerator, covered with various notes and such held up by magnets, was “a plugger’s MySpace.” Today, MySpace is long gone, but Pluggers? It’s still going strong — plugging away, if you will, bringing joy to newspaper readers everywhere. What I’m trying to say is that TikTok is on notice.