75 Years And You’ve Got Dick

I feel somehow obligated to recognize Dick Tracy’s 75th Birthday… because, well, today you couldn’t sneeze on the comics page of your newspaper without getting snot on a Dick Tracy tribute strip…

First, of course was Tracy’s own strip, as the current artist-in-charge, Dick Locher, paid tribute to the man who started it all (and made his cushy job possible)…
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Alley Oop (who is 2 years away from his own 75th) was right in the middle of time-traveling to the 21st Century, so Detective Tracy could step right in for a quick cameo…
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Beetle Bailey (who’s 56 himself) stretched a little to make a Dick Tracy-themed joke…
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Gil Thorp (he’s 48) offered up a groaner of a Dick Tracy reference…
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The Wizard of Id (42) namechecked not only Tracy but also the pre-Tracy comic strip detective Hawkshaw and Fearless Fosdick, the Dick Tracy parody that was a comic-strip-within-the-comic-strip for Al Capp’s Li’l Abner. But if you don’t know the references, you’ll never get the joke…
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Luann (21 but still in high school) just put a picture of the detective in the background, as did Shoe (29), but Shoe did it a little more creatively…
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Among the comics page youngsters, Frazz (5) offered up a relevant if only mildly humorous reference to Tracy’s “2-Way Wrist RadioTV”…
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Dog Eat Doug (less a year in the papers, a few months more on the web) catches the title characters watching one of Tracy’s movie/tv incarnations and made his age the punchline…
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Grand Avenue (7 years running but I never heard of it before I started accumulating comics for this blog) namechecks Tracy’s comic book adventures…
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Silo Roberts (2 years) was fortunate to be doing a series of “guest star” comics with various mostly-real-life famous folk, but Dick fit in just fine (and if you’re confused, well, that’s par for the course for this quirky comic)…
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Some of the single panel comics without regular characters gave Detective Tracy center stage. Here are Off the Mark, Loose Parts and Rubes (with a mildly disturbing use of the characters from another comic that recently had a 75th Anniversary)…
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…and a mere namecheck from 9 to 5
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But the most impressive Dick Tracy salute came from the almost-88-year-old Gasoline Alley, whose current artist may be wishing he was doing something else, because he brought Dick Tracy into the strip for a storyline that covered the last month, featuring lots of in-jokes like Chester-Gouldesque little explanatory pointers, a Fearless Fosdick reference, a cameo appearance by B.O. Plenty (one of Tracy’s most colorful minor characters) and a murder victim named Chester Dluog…
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Have you ever seen Dick Tracy with such a big smile?

Among the comics that did NOT have references to Dick Tracy today, I must point out two… Doonesbury came close with a line about a “police cruiser in a tree” and Soup to Nutz had a background picture of a very un-Dick-Tracy character: Bingo the One-Eared Rabbit from Matt Groening’s Life in Hell
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Nothing (yet) from any purely web-based comics about Dick Tracy today, but I’d be surprised if Medium Large doesn’t have something when it updates later today…

ADDENDUMDUM: No, ML did not go for Dick today, instead opting for an exciting new product. And thanks to commenter Mason for pointing out the Brewster Rockit homage (and also the word ‘homage’ which I shoulda used myself, but, hey, I just did!). I actually saw the strip in question but did not ‘see’ the Dick Tracy in it, which shows you how interested I am in Brewster Rockit… although I already thought this joke was better-than-average for the spaceguy comic… but then, I identify with Oldbot more than any other character in the strip…
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