Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You've Got B-B Eyes

The seventh volume of our hardcover DICK TRACY reprints was released last week, and it was the first volume built to the same, larger, dimensions as the TERRY AND THE PIRATES and LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE books. This initial review seemed very happy with both the new dimensions and the strips within this volume. This material, from 1941-1942 and featuring villains like B-B Eyes, The Mole, Little Face and more, is also Harlan Ellison's favorite era of Gould's strip. To the point where he referenced a particular plot point of a strip from this time period that he hadn't read in 60 years. I found the exact thing he remembered on page 118 of this book. So I can confirm that even as he approaches 75 next week, his memory still seems better than any of ours will ever be.
Physically, this volume brings the TRACY series in line with other ongoing IDW reprint projects, such as LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE. The larger dimensions allow Gould's Sunday pages to be viewed without eye strain. The supporting features are stronger as well, with Collins' introduction being accompanied by an interesting Jeff Kersten essay describing Gould's working methods and life as a "gentleman farmer" in Woodstock, IL. With the immortal Pruneface (and wife) and Flattop scheduled to appear in the next volume, the format shift couldn't have come at a better time.

Full review here.


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