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Developing: A Dick Tracy Murder Mystery


Dick Tracy © Tribune Content Agency

You may have seen that the November 1, 2020 Sunday Dick Tracy page ended with a notice
(and if you hadn’t forget about becoming a detective in the Major Crimes Unit):

Mark Barnard had, just two months earlier, written a special Dick Tracy Minit Mystery. Before that short story appeared in print Mark had been asked to write another that is a part of the direct Dick Tracy continuity. (Apparently there is an argument among the Dick Tracy community whether those short Minit Mysteries are canon.)

Here’s an interesting look at the timeline of a comic strip story’s creation
as Mark details the development of the current Yeti story (from Mark’s Facebook page):

August 17:

Two days later, August 19:

Mark has thoughts … and second thoughts:

At least I resisted using another baddie idea I had, a character called The Yeti.

Though actually I think I may use him. More grotesque. Hulking hairy brute who distills poison for mob use out of a hair products factory front. Yeah, this idea is taking off. And he has to steal the gimmick in the first synopsis to finance his flagging operaitons, because the poison for sale business is falling off!

August 23:

New villain. The Yeti. Not saying more.

And anther peril was avoided. I initially also had an idea for the Lobster, a ruddy villain with oversized hands who ran a crooked salvage operation out of a dive shop called Divers Interests. Sanity won out.

August 27:

A month goes by, September 24:

The next day Mark posts the “First look at my TRACY baddie, The Yeti”

October 7:

October 21:

October 28:

Then, on November 1st “My ‘Yeti’ storyline begins today“:

And that’s how it looks from a freelance writer’s viewpoint, from perception to print.

Follow Mark’s commentary on his Facebook page.

Follow Dick Tracy at the TCA page or at GoComics.

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