Archive: Dick Tracy

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Dick Tracy, 2/12/18

Hey, so, remember last year when the xenophobic Congresswoman Bellowthon tried to pass a law restricting the rights of Lunarians and Lunarian-Americans, but then she got murdered and the legislation never went anywhere? You namby-pamby libs were probably pretty pleased about that, but now that the leader of this alien species is on Earth, smoking fine cigars with a prominent military-industrial complex CEO and casually mentioning that his people are abandoning “Moon Valley” and journeying to our world, planting secret colonies everywhere, you wish Congress had fully funded the Space Wall!

Marvin, 2/12/18

Maybe I spend too much time dwelling on the romance plots in Marvin. I mean, technically, they can be framed as stories about “the sex lives of babies,” but in reality they’re all pretty chaste, and the cartoon convention where infants and animals are given adult-level cognitive capabilities makes everything more or less on the level. Here’s the thing, though: half the time the punchline to these strips are about how Marvin, who has a girlfriend, smells like feces all the time? Because he shits his pants? And enjoys it? And it makes you realize, “Oh, this guy who has a girlfriend, he’s literally in infant. That’s bad!” Anyway, here’s another strip about diaper-wearing babies who poop themselves but also date each other, I guess!

Pluggers, 2/12/18

Pluggers know that a good way to sleep as long as you want in the morning is to unplug your clock so it doesn’t even tell you what time it is. And then when you do wake up, if you have a beard you can paw at it and go “Oh no! How long have I been asleep?” like you’re Rip Van Winkle. It’s a classic bit!

Mary Worth, 2/12/18


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Blondie, 1/24/18

This strip definitely has the smell of a scenario that was jury-rigged to fit a predetermined punchline. Like, “Ha, wouldn’t it be funny if Mr. Dithers watched Dagwood napping on the couch via Facebook Live? But wait, why would Dagwood be home? Is he playing hooky? But if so why would Blondie film him? He took the day off, I guess!” But still, I think this has produced a genuinely hilarious scenario, in which Dagwood, who is of course infamous for napping at work, took a day off just so he could nap at home. In conclusion, I hope Facebook paid for this product placement, because I hate to see syndicated comics just promoting other people’s brands for free. If they don’t pay up, call it Pacelook or Pacebook or whatever!

Dick Tracy, 1/24/18

A good thing to do if you’re sending someone deep undercover into a criminal gang is to give them a communications device only available to the police, which broadcasts audio so that anyone can hear it, and then say your undercover officer’s real name super loud if you just hear garbled talk through the speaker, almost as if they’re talking to somebody else!

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Dick Tracy, 1/21/18

Dick Tracy is one of the lucky few sci-fi-ish franchises that have run so long that they’ve seen real life overtake their signature gee-whiz future tech. Just as Star Trek’s 1960s-era communicators look ludicrously bulky compared to the actual communication devices of the year 2018, Dick Tracy’s signature wrist wizards are basically everyday technology in the ’10s. Whatever advantages they have in sleekness (presumably they don’t need to sync to a cell phone) or style (is that an analog clock taking up a good quarter of its UI?), they lose a million points for subtlety, especially if, for instance, they’re being used by an police officer working deep undercover within the criminal apparatus. It looks like T-Bolt (actual name “Lee Ebony,” and I’ll leave it up to you as to which is more cringeworthy) should’ve just used a burner phone from 7-11 like a normal person.

Gasoline Alley, 1/21/18

Hey, uh, do the first two panels in the second row imply what I think they’re implying? Gasoline Alley HQ is going to find itself on the receiving end of a Blue Lives Matter protest in short order if so.

Panel from Slylock Fox, 1/21/18

Oh, snap, sexists, I bet you failed to figure out this mystery because you forgot that girls can be gamers too! This is like that “the surgeon was his mother” riddle, but updated for our current era (our current era, it goes without saying, is extremely stupid).

Spider-Man, 1/21/18

Finally, after months of build-up, it’s time for the super-powered battle between Spider-Man and the Lizard that we’ve been waiting for! [one panel later] Ah, well, uh, let’s see if the Hulk can handle this.