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Topic: DICK TRACY - A Tale Untold Post ReplyPost New Topic
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 6:15am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

About a month ago, Chris Ryall called to ask if I would be interested in working on a DICK TRACY comic. Would I?!? TRACY was a strip I'd found fascinating since I was a kid. I'd love to take a crack at it. (Watch yer back, Joe Staton!)

To this end, I did a sample page to show the syndicate. Just random images, character shots. Here it is:

A blending of my own style and Chester Gould's. Chris told me the syndicate "adored" it, and we were off -- to a false start.

Ever wonder why I have not had an extended run on Batman, despite the character being one of my top favorites? Most often I have expressed it thus: I am the guy to call when you want a story about two planets crashing into each other. But not so much for detective stories. After three weeks of pondering, I had nothing. A few character bits, maybe, but no STORIES.

Clearly, DICK TRACY was not going to be taken off my bucket list.

So, now you know.

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Trevor Smith
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 6:31am | IP Logged | 2 post reply

Ohhhhh, man! Seriously sad "what might have been".
Tracy is a childhood favourite adventure strip, along
with the Phantom. I would have *loved* to have seen
this come to fruition, JB!
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Robbie Parry
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 6:34am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

Although nothing came to fruition, I am so glad to have read this topic - and seen the imagery. Thanks! 
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Brennan Voboril
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 6:54am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

That is amazing.  You really nailed it!  
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 7:06am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

Too bad!
At least you can go to sleep at night knowing you gave it a shot.

Sure would've liked to see you script all those characters. Especially Mumbles  :-)
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 7:12am | IP Logged | 6 post reply

Sure would've liked to see you script all those characters. Especially Mumbles :-)

••

One of the walls I ran into is that Tracy villains are not recurring, unlike Batman's. Most of them died at the end of their first stories.

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Michael Hogan
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 7:43am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Beautiful renderings, JB. Too bad there's not a writer out there dying for someone to draw their stories of these characters. I would've loved to see it.

Side note: I've always thought that, although he is an uprgight, square-jawed guy, Tracy isn't particularly handsome, unless you compare him to the rest of the denizens of this universe.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 7:49am | IP Logged | 8 post reply

Yeah, a lot of his villains had bad luck with water.

I was surprised to learn Flattop was only around for a short period.
I think I cross pollinate him with Spidey's Hammerhead.
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Richard White
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 7:49am | IP Logged | 9 post reply

That's a shame, I could go for a lot more of that art!
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 8:21am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Maybe one day…

*fingers crossed*
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John Byrne
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Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 8:34am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

Beautiful renderings, JB. Too bad there's not a writer out there dying for someone to draw their stories of these characters. I would've loved to see it.

••

At this stage of my career (and based on recent poor experiences) I have no desire to return to the role of Art Robot.

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Sean Watson
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Thanks for sharing JB! I really like the mix of styles. Would have been a fun ride!
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Brennan Voboril
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 9:25am | IP Logged | 13 post reply

John were these sort of warm-up sketches for this project?  

Thank you.



Edited by Brennan Voboril on 11 March 2018 at 9:27am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 9:32am | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Not as such. Like I said, Chris brought this up just a month or so back. Those doodles are several years old.
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 10:37am | IP Logged | 15 post reply

I dig the "cartoonier than normal" style shown here. It would be nice for books
featuring characters like Captain Marvel, Metamorpho and Plastic Man as well.
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Michael Penn
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 10:52am | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I detect (pun) some Victor Mature in your Dick Tracy, JB. 
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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 12:20pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

This looks amazing. 
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Bill Mimbu
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 12:22pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

DARN!

I would have enjoyed this.
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 12:39pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply

That looks great! Maybe because I've never actually liked Dick Tracy, don't know why. I recognize it as historic and influential and all but for me the best things that came out of it was the Fearless Fosdik takeoff and an obscure Ventures song for a tv series. Although there was a run of minimalist sawdust comic strips within the comic strip I saw that was entertaining to me.

I'd love to see a lighter premise John Byrne comic accessible to all ages. There used to be such a variety of adventure and fantasy things from Johnny Quest and The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew to the Krofft creations, and back in the golden age Donald Duck and a fantasy based cartoony Captain Marvel were the biggest sellers. Maybe Scholastic or some publisher not known for comics that would have distribution outside collector shops? Something involving actual science perhaps?
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 3:50pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

Shoot--I would buy a Byrne DICK TRACY coloring book of just pin-ups!
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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 4:16pm | IP Logged | 21 post reply

So this has cleared time in your schedule to do The Conclave, right? 😉
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 4:21pm | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Matthew, don't do that to me, maaaaaan!
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Wilson Mui
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 5:11pm | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Too bad it didn't work out. It would have been a fun
book.
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Matt Hawes
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 6:29pm | IP Logged | 24 post reply

Cool art!
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Jim Petersman
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Posted: 11 March 2018 at 6:39pm | IP Logged | 25 post reply

Never really read or had much interest in Dick Tracy, but I would've been all over that book!
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