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Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 9 Hardcover – 26 Jan 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: IDW Publishing (26 Jan. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600105327
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600105326
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 28.4 x 3.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,080,508 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marco Conti on 13 Mar. 2010
Format: Hardcover
A great addition to the wonderful complete reprint of Chester Gould's Dick Tracy! Some of Dick Tracy's best stories of the 40's are included in this fantastic volume: The Brow, Shacky, Measles, Flattop (II part), Breathless Mahoney & B.O. Plenty. Highly Recommended!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Gould's fertile imagination close to its peak 26 Jan. 2010
By Christopher Barat - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Chester Gould's World War II era "wave of creativity" reaches its crest in this collection of 1944-45 strips. On the dark side of the ledger, we get Flattop ("Take II"), The Brow, and Breathless Mahoney, and even such relatively minor players as the trembling extortionist Shaky and the acne-scarred drug dealer Measles make solid impressions. At the same time, Gould suddenly broadens his supporting cast with the introduction of two classic characters, B.O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie, and gives brief yet memorable life to a third, Vitamin Flintheart. Gould's willingness to expand his "character base" -- a decision that slipped through a perilously narrow "window of opportunity," given that only a few years later, Gould would be creating and discarding strong one-shot supporting players with a breezy insouciance matched only by the producers of Disney TV's TALE SPIN -- shows just how confident and "in tune" he was with his audience at this time. Gould certainly had his ear finely tuned to the popular culture of the war years: he drew upon the popularity of The Andrews Sisters to create the ill-fated Summer Sisters, dredged the emerging teenager culture to fashion his first under-20 villain (the smirking, wise-guy Measles), and responded to the brief heyday of faux-hillbilly singer Judy Canova by introducing B.O. and Gertie (as villains, originally, but, hey, they "got better"). At the same time -- as reflected in the all-star radio play DICK TRACY IN B-FLAT (1944), not to mention the ultimate tribute delivered by Bob Clampett and Daffy Duck, THE GREAT PIGGY BANK ROBBERY (1946) -- Gould's own pop influence was never greater than at this moment. Given that TRACY was competing with a global conflict, Gould's rising to the occasion was no small trick.

As beloved as B.O. and Gertie are by TRACY fans, Vitamin Flintheart is probably the best of this era's regular-cast "newbies." The John Barrymore-esque "ham actor" is a strange case in that he was used quite a bit during the period 1944-47, made one final appearance in 1950, and then disappeared for almost three decades. Judging by a Gould quote relayed by Max Allan Collins in this volume's Introduction, Gould may simply have forgotten about him, as opposed to consciously deciding not to use him any more. For the moment, though, Gould must have realized that he'd struck comedic gold with the loquacious, endearingly egotistical Vitamin, who pulls off the remarkable feat of upstaging Flattop's "comeback." Flattop's immense popularity with readers dictated his return to begin with, so what does it say about Vitamin that Vitamin gets virtually all of the good lines during the duo's brief, unwelcome partnership? As a sort of "authorial reward" for his good work, Vitamin receives a brief walk-on during Tracy's tangle with the evil Axis agent The Brow, then has a much juicier part when the reverberating reprobate Shaky comes on the scene. The actor even manages to get married to extortionist Shaky's pawn Snowflake Falls, though the couple barely manages to survive the experience. Vitamin and Snowflake get one final curtain call when an escaping Measles stumbles into their California-bound train car, and then it's back into the "medicine cabinet" for a while. Vitamin was typically placed in a "victim" role during this period, but Gould's evident trust in his entertainment value demonstrates the profoundest kind of respect.

Gravel Gertie's return (at the start of the Measles story, when she adamantly refuses to leave the prison where she'd served time for her love-sick aiding and abetting of The Brow) is probably a bigger surprise than Vitamin's. How many story lines, after all, can believably feature a crack-brained, hideous old crone who falls like a ton of bricks for any Y-chromosome carrier in the vicinity? Gould performs some quick surgery and turns Gertie into a rough-edged but lovable "salt-of-the-Earth" type. B.O. Plenty's rehabilitation lies beyond the scope of this volume -- in fact, when we leave him, he hasn't yet paid for his crime of strangling Breathless Mahoney over her ill-gotten fortune -- but Gould obviously enjoys fashioning his hillbilly banter every bit as much as he liked creating Vitamin's grandiloquent speeches, so you already get the impression that B.O. will come out all right in the end. Who knows, perhaps he'll even meet Gertie some day.

The Brow case is easily this volume's best continuity, centering as it does around that Gould staple, the lengthy pursuit of a fleeing criminal. (For such an apparently high-ranking spy, The Brow spends very little time actually gathering espionage data.) It's chock full of all manner of improbable coincidences -- Tess' gas coupon book falling into The Brow's hands, The Brow's hiding in a submerged plastic coffin and a barn loft filled with discarded lightning rods, and, of course, The Brow's out-of-left-field encounter with Gertie -- but the villain is easily a physical and intellectual match for Tracy, as well as being one of Gould's most ruthless bad guys. The fate of the naughty-but-still-likable Summer Sisters still packs a punch, too. In truth, however, you can't go wrong with any continuity in this collection, and such will be S.O.P. chez TRACY until well into the 1950s.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Another volume in this reprint series of classic Tracy strips 6 Feb. 2010
By Michael R. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Here we are with another in IDW's reprinting the Dick Track, in the middle of the 1940s, considered the heyday of Gould's classic strip, with yet another group of classic villians: Flattop, The Brow, Shakey, and more.

And not only is this a classic period for villians, but of new supporting cast members: Vitamin Flintheart, Gravel Gertie and BO Plenty!!

I think more so then past volumes, a LOT of what's in here I've read before in other collections. But that's to be expected. But here we see how each story moves into the next one and see more completely the story.

One BIG problem with this volume is that 2 strips are messed up. 2 are missing and others are in their place. IDW reports they will reprint those in the next volume.

So, what have we in this one?

First off, we get the conclusion of the Flattop story begun in the last volume. And a continuation of the introduction of Vitamin Flintheart, who goes on the lam with Flattop, thinking he's guilty of a crime (he's not).

Once that's concluded, we met the naughty but nice Summer Sisters. They keep Vitamin in the strip a little longer, and serve to introduce us to the next major villian: The Brow. As its still the wartime, we see that he's a spy too. You'll find out what happens with the Sisters soon enough, and in the chase for The Brow, we are introduced to yet another longtime secondary character: Gravel Gertie, a lonely woman looking for a man, who thinks The Brow is a good candidate. Greta is in trouble, and soon goes to jail. But she'll be back. The Brow case also briefly (I think too briefly) brings back Tess Trueheart, who again disappears from the strip. The Brow's end is both bizarre and ironic, as you will see.

Our next story soon begins with an amnesia victim found by Tracy: Snowflake. Who is she? Her story will lead us to our next major villian, Shakey. Vitamin also returns and is enamored of Snowflake. But Shakey wants revenge on Snowflake. Will she survive? And what happens to Shakey?? You'll soon see. The Shakey case also brings back, again too briefly, Junior.

But now we return to Gravel Gertie. She's been released from jail with no charges. As she's been working as a trusty and doesn't want to leave, she's hired on. She's soon embroiled in the next case of drug smuggling in the prison. Is she a part of it? Or a simple dupe? You'll see.

The continuing story with Gertie then leads us to our next major villian: Measles. Once again, we have a long chase after him, and he's caught. During this, we again met Vitamin Flintheart and another secondary character! if only briefly.

Next, we find out what ultimately happened to Shakey, and is introduced to Breathless Mahony. And her mom. And we learn her mom's connection to Shakey. With the Breahless Mahony story, we are introduced to our next major secondary character: BO Plenty, whom Breathless runs afoul of.

His story isn't done, as Breathless's mom introduced us to the next villain: Itchy, whom we'll learn much more about in the next volume.

As I noted, several of these stories I had read. The Shakey story I had in one of the Tempo paperback collections (but now I know what happened to him and Snowflake). The Brow and Flattop stories I had read elsewhere, and most of the Breathless Mahoney story as well. But the rest is all new.

Next volume looks like more new stories then old for me. Can't wait.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Yes, more coming very soon 28 Nov. 2012
By H. Friederichs - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don't waste your money buying this book at the outrageous prices the 3rd party sellers are asking. This and volumes 5 and 8 are due to be released very soon according to the publisher. You should then be able to buy a new copy on Amazon for around $35.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dick Tracy: the "Extreme" Cases 28 Mar. 2010
By John J. Pocsik - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Finally! THE COMPLETE CHESTER GOULD'S DICK TRACY (Volume 9), covering 1944-1945, has come out: definitely not a book for the faint-hearted. In this book (and during these two years) Gould finally hits his stride as master artist and storyteller. Tracy finishes up his battle with Flattop (one of the first to suffer one of those truly classic villain "deaths"). Next he goes up again the spy The Brow (remembered for his fiendish torture device and impalement of Tracy with a lightning rod). Shaky engages Tracy and company with a thrilling auto chase during an ice storm, only to make a fatally chilling mistake. Measles (the "teenage dope peddler") tries to kill our hero by dragging him, on fire, behind his car while he's escaping. And finally a not so loveable B.O. Plenty is introduced as a money-hungry would-be killer (that image would change), battling Breathless Mahoney. These are flat out "extreme" adventures, surprisingly violent for the Forties, with a gruesome death awaiting most the "bad guys", and a death trap situation awaiting our hero. It's the perfect volume to get acquainted with Dick Tracy, who could give Dirty Harry a run for his money. Try it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
More on the way 17 Oct. 2012
By Reginald Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I was very bothered to find that several of the early volumes were out of stock and no new ones were on the way. Third party sellers are taking advantage of this by offering new and used copies from around $100,00 up to over $3,000.00 for one of the books. I wrote the publisher and got this response...

"There are new printings of Chester Gould's The Complete Dick Tracy Volumes 5, 8, 9 and 10 scheduled to release on 11/14/12."

So hang in there. More are on the way.
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