Thursday, April 11, 2013

Dick Tracy and the Jumble Crossover

Mike Curtis and Joe Staton continue to move Dick Tracy in new and innovative directions. I've noted some of their crossovers with other comic strips (both current and historical). But there's not been anything quite like this before.

The current continuity presents a crossover between a comic strip and a comics page puzzle. Yes, Pig, from Pearls Before Swine has appeared in Slylock Fox & Comics for Kids (see Pearls Before Foxes). But what the creative teams of Dick Tracy and the Daily Jumble have cooked up is an extended crossover sequence -- each feature doing what it does best.

From the Jumble side, last week featured puzzles all centered around Dick Tracy. Although unnamed, it's pretty clear that the cartoons star Dick Tracy, along with Flattop and Sam Catchem in supporting roles (click on images to enlarge).

On the other side, Dick Tracy is confronted by a villain who calls himself the Jumbler. His costume is made up of graphic elements of the Jumble puzzle, and his crimes are based on Jumbles.

Tracy visits the Jumble creative team. (I'd love to know how closely those characters resemble their real-life counterparts.)

Note these Sunday sections. In the upper right are the actual puzzles the Jumbler uses to give clues to the police. And if you look carefully, you'll see the resemblance in the Jumble cartoon to the Jumbler. The puzzle gives the reader an opportunity to participate. You can try to solve the puzzle before reading further and match your wits with Dick Tracy!

This is true comics synergy. If your paper carries only one of these features, you'll still be entertained. But seeing them both on the same page just adds an extra dimension of enjoyment.

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