Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Dick Tracy and the Literary Double

In the sequence published January 15, 2015, Mike Curtis and Joe Staton referenced not one but two literary works -- and brought yet another newspaper comic strip into the Dick Tracy universe.

Sam Ketchem has expressed his admiration for Tom De Haven's Derby Dugan before (see: Dick Tracy and the Phony Funnys). The trilogy (Funny Papers, Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, and Dugan Under Ground) revolves around the fictional newspaper comic strip character Derby Dugan. The Depression-era Dugan had a magic wallet with a never-ending supply of ten-spots. That's what Curtis and Staton (through Sam Ketchem) are referencing.

Honeymoon's response is even more interesting. I was familiar with Dethany Dendrobia, a popular character in Bill Holman's strip On the Fast Track. Dethany's been on some adventures in cyberspace using various avatars, including a 1940's-inspired detective, Dethany Noir. I thought Curtis and Staton were just having some fun with character.

In fact, Holman has published an interactive novella entitled "Dethany in Virtu/Noir" for smartphone and tablet. And it just happened to be released the same date as this strip was published.

So in one sequence, we have references to two literary works involving comic strips. One references a fictional comic strip in a series of novels; the other a comic strip character in a digital publication. And a little bit of character development as well (as Honeymoon tells us what she wants to be when she grows up). Nicely done!

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