Published: April 24th, 2019
Written by: Lee Allred, Mike Allred
Art by: Rich Tommaso, Mike Allred
Based on: Dick Tracy by Chester Gould
IDW Publishing, 108 Pages
I wanted to add this series to my pull list when it came out last year but I forgot about it around the time of its release. My store didn’t have any on the shelves either and by the time I remembered it, it was already too late. So I got and read the trade paperback instead.
I’ve been a Dick Tracy fan since the 1990 movie. Even though I knew about the character, it was that film that really introduced me to his world. I loved the hell out of that movie and still do, it’s one of the greatest comic book adaptations of all-time. I was captivated by the bright colors, the music but mostly by the unique and gimmicky mobsters.
I had the action figures. I had all the shit they gave out at McDonald’s that was tied to the film in the summer of ’90. I even had Dick Tracy bed sheets and one of the pillowcases became my container for Halloween candy for multiple years. I was a Dick-aholic. Or whatever the hell Dick Tracy fans are officially called.
So I was also excited for this due to the involvement of Mike Allred, whose Madman comics I’m also a fan of.
Ultimately, this was a pretty neat read. I wouldn’t call it great by any means but it hits the right notes mostly.
Well, other than where there are weird things in the story like smartphones. I get that this brought in some modern tech for what I assume is an attempt to be humorous but it honestly took me out of the comic I felt immersed in. I felt as if I was lost in a classic Dick Tracy tale and the writing style and quality worked but once I saw the first smartphone (and there are multiple) it reminded me that I’m reading an IDW comic. Which, as of late, sadly, isn’t a compliment.
Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive started out like a throwback but lost itself and dated itself with its need to be overly whimsical. While that works for Allred’s Madman, it doesn’t work in quite the same way here.
Pairs well with: other old school and modern Dick Tracy comics.