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Sunday January 23, 2011 12:15 pm

Dick Tracy, Joe Staton & Mike Curtis




Posted by Tom Mason Categories: Editorials, IDW Publishing

File this under “I didn’t see that coming.” That’s why I don’t predict the future. It’s just too hard.

Tribune Media Services announced this week that it was reinvigorating their Dick Tracy franchise by changing up the creative team on the classic comic strip. With the retirement of long-time artist/writer Dick Locher, Tribune is turning the strip over to writer Mike Curtis and artist Joe Staton.

Tribune had the chance to send Tracy out in a blaze of glory like other strips have done recently - Little Orphan Annie and Brenda Starr. So either Dick Tracy’s numbers are a little better (and a Tracy-like villain named Eek A. Nomics was sent packing) or the strip has a stronger licensing program or someone sees an opportunity to rebuild the strip.

Whatever the reason, it’s all good. I’m glad to see Tracy getting a push and that Staton is onboard. Years ago, Joe illustrated a story that I wrote for Dinosaurs For Hire, and it’s one of my prouder achievements in comics - not the writing part, but the fact that he drew it! It means that over the years, I’ve managed to work with both halves of the team that created E-Man; Nick Cuti being the other half.

The revamped Dick Tracy debuts on March 14, 2011 and while I have no idea what a newspaper is anymore, I’ll be following along online.

There was a Dick Tracy tribute site called Plainclothes Comics, but it doesn’t seem to be up anymore. However, when it was up, Curtis and Staton did a strip in newspaper format called Major Crimes Squad. It starred 2 of Tracy’s Rogue’s Gallery villains. You can at least read about the site at Mystery Fanfare and The Daily Cartoonist.

For a strip by Staton you can actually read, this’ll give you a preview of coming attractions. At Supernatural Crime, I recommend checking out this hard-boiled crime story, “Chambers of Horrors” by Christopher Mills and Staton. It’s got a great noir look and a character that looks a little like the aforementioned Mr. Tracy.

And if you’re interested in classic Tracy, The Library of American Comics (IDW) has been putting together magnificent collections of Chester Gould’s classic work for awhile now. Check them out!

[Artwork: Dick Tracy, from The Library of American Comics]

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