“Slugger” Jake was a local hoodlum along with 3 others who ran afoul of Warbucks when they hatched a scheme to use Annie as bait, thinking Warbucks was a “soft old fool” who happened to love kids. They hoped to get inside Oliver’s house posing a beggars, but Oliver was on to them, and rescued Annie, while the Asp dispatched the 4 hoodlums. This was in the story immediately before the continuity with Boris Sirob and his 2 stooges.
Agreed this is frustrating writing (again). Could he possibly mean “driving” in the sense of driving a squad car – that is, during his early days in uniform?
If he means present day, like on his way over to the hotel, then we have a much bigger problem, because Boris Sirob was handled by Mr. Am in the original story in such a way that he would not be a threat in the present day.
Also, Tracy is sitting right there in the room with Warbucks, yet he says, “Sirob was attempting to kidnap Warbucks.” Who does that? Why wouldn’t Tracy say “attempting to kidnap you”?
I really want to give this story a chance, but so far it’s a big mess.
So, when “Captain” Patterson told Harold Gray, who had submitted a strip called “Little Orphan Andy”, to “Put a skirt on the kid and call her Annie” – did he even realize that a poem with the same title existed? I wonder.
Thank you very much for that link. That looks like a great article; I’m looking forward to reading it when I have more time.
“Moody melodrama” is a very good description of the original LOA, especially several years in, once Gray found his groove. I remember reading Annie in the papers during the 50s. I was only a kid, having been born in 1950. I usually didn’t really understand all that was going on in the strip, but the art pulled me in, and the famous soliloquys had a very distinct “feel” to them.
Of course, I also really enjoyed those time when Annie found herself in some big, mysterious castle, or underground passage, or trapped in a box canyon somewhere. Gray had a way of drawing huge boulders or castle walls with arched doors.
Very well said! I have been searching for the words to express this frustration. You spoke my thoughts exactly!
In spite of his name, Oliver Warbucks was depicted in the original LOA as a fierce patriot, even though he did business all over the world. However, Gray deliberately kept his “business” rather mysterious. We were usually seeing him through the eyes of Annie (not necessarily in the art, but in the way the stories unfolded.)
Reading my reprint collection of my favorite Chester Gould stories!
Well, as I said, I did smile at the Blondie strip, and I’ve actually laughed out loud at some of the puns in Pearle Before Swine" and *Rabbits Against Magic.
I don’t have too much of a problem with a crossover in a strip such as Blondie, because usually Blondie is a gag-a-day type of comic strip. The strip in question above did make me smile, I have to admit. But story/adventure/continuity strips such as Dick Tracy generally suffer from crossovers because of the established “universes” within each strip being very different from one another.
Although Harold Gray and Chester Gould were friends in real life, the worlds in which their characters operated were quite different in many ways. Oliver Warbucks and his crew routinely took the law into their own hands. Annie was friendly with characters like Nick Gatt, a gangster boss in a Chicago-like city, and they actually worked together to achieve several goals, like secretly financing medical care for one of Annie’s other friends, and ridding the city of Axel when he was attempting a takeover of the USA. Trying to shoehorn that sort of story into Dick Tracy just won’t work, which is why, as you have said, Annie was changed into a “tweenie” in her recent appearances.
I will be trying to give this story a chance, but I really wish Mike would refocus and give us a real, true-to-form Dick Tracy story!
Ray, I agree with almost everything you’re saying here, but I do have a question. I have a big re-print book covering most of the 40s LOA, plus other material showing strips from the 50s. Searching for Annie’s real parents is never mentioned once, even in passing, in any of the stories I have seen. She seems to be perfectly content to consider Oliver her “Daddy”. Where did you get the idea that the mystery of her real parents was a driving point in Gray’s plots? (Maybe it was in the first decade – I don’t have too much material from then.)