Archive: Dick Tracy

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Beetle Bailey, 5/31/23

The whole “Beetle and Miss Buxley are dating” bit is a recent development in this strip and I’m on the record as strongly opposed to it. Today we learn that the whole thing is just a way for Beetle to express his dominance over senior officers in the only way he can. Of course, while this struggle is clearly sexual in nature, it’s several levels removed from actual sex, since we know Beetle simply dozes off whenever his “girlfriend” tries to get amorous.

Dick Tracy, 5/31/23

One of the underappreciated tragedies of the past few years is that spammers and scammers are increasingly turning ordinary phone calls into a widely avoided and increasingly useless form of communication. The federal government refuses to take action, so local authorities in Neo-Chicago are trying to help by issuing every old person a scam-detecting chicken.

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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.