Tracy, this time: a DVD of the 1990 Disney movie.
I wondered when I put it on whether I'd still enjoy it. When I first saw the film I had only read two or three Dick Tracy strips, though this was enough to get me hooked. Now, while I'd hardly call myself an expert - Chester Gould was so prolific that I doubt I've read a twentieth of his output - I do have several books and magazines chock full o'Dick.
And what do you know - it's still pretty good. The cartoony sets and bright costumes are wonderful, and the villains (although, canonically, they couldn't all have been in the same place at the same time) looked as though they'd just stepped out of a comic panel - especially Flattop and Pruneface, brrr!
Madonna puts in an OK performance, no really, as nightclub singer Breathless Mahoney, and as for Seymour Cassel (who?), he looks so like Sam 'Oy, I'm Jewish, Have A Bagel' Catchem that it doesn't matter he only gets three or so lines. The Kid ain't half bad either; cute as a button and his 'Gee whiz, Tracy!' enthusiasm is spot on, though his hair could have been scruffier.
I do think Warren Beatty should have undergone plastic surgery to make his nose more beaklike, though. There's no point doing these things by halves.
What made Dick Tracy leap off the page at me out of all the comical, magical and thrilling stories in the Penguin Book of Comics all those years ago, when it didn't boast a single talking animal? The atmospheric lines and shading, the brilliant detecting, the trenchcoat and fedora of the hero, yes, but mostly Dick Tracy Junior.
I adored Tracy, but I wanted to be Junior. A plucky, street-smart orphan who despite his tender years got to accompany Tracy into danger and hang out at Police HQ. I was about his age when I read those first strips, and he fired my imagination. Even now, when I'm of sufficiently advanced age to fantasise legitimately about being Dick Tracy himself, deep down I still want to be the Kid.
That probably says more about me than my entire CV does.