Comic Strip Showcase

Charles Ettinger begins today (February 26) as the regular, signed Dick Tracy artist (2024-present).

He follows…

Shelley Pleger (2021-2024), who followed…

Joe Staton (2011-2021), who followed

Jim Brozman (2009-2011), who followed

Dick Locher (1983-2009), who followed

Rick Fletcher (1977-1983), who followed

Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould (1931-1977).

Yes, there have been other signed “guest artists” during the Staton and Pleger years and certainly a number of unsigned assistants, especially during the Gould years, but the above lists the regular credited artists.

Also debuting today, I think, is Batton Thomas in Crankshaft.

Batton Thomas is, of course, the comic strip counterpart of cartoonist Tom Batiuk.

Batton made occasional guest appearances in Funky Winkerbean and has now transferred to the Crankverse.

Also making an appearance in his comic strip today, if in name only, is JumpStart creator Robb Armstrong:

So, 57 years ago Johnny Hart informed us:

Now his grandson Mason Mastroianni informs us:


A World War I flying ace rides again in Thatababy.

Sometimes newspapers get letters about the comics they run.

Letter to The Cedar Rapids Gazette:

I recently saw a political cartoon in The Gazette by Clay Bennett, and was extremely disappointed in The Gazette for running it. It showed a ballot titled “2024 Presidential Election (Choose One).” The choices were “OLD” or “EVIL”. The implication not stated explicitly is that Joe Biden is old and Donald Trump is evil.

Really, Mr. Bennett. Evil. Since when is it OK to label those who disagree with us politically as “evil?” …

above: Clay Bennett; below: Mallard Fillmore

The same Cedar Rapids Gazette a couple days later:

The Gazette opinion editors hit a new low when they decided to publish the Mallard Fillmore comic strip on Feb. 20 which blatantly made fun of our president’s stuttering. Shame on you! That was a thoughtless and cruel attack on all who live with this disability…

More letters about cartoons and comics:

Way Out West at The Las Vegas Review Journal:

I think Michael Ramirez is the most remarkable and talented political cartoonist ever. His artistry cannot be matched.

Though I always appreciate his artistry, however, his consistent lambasting of former President Donald Trump and his supporters is getting old.

I am a Trump supporter who has experienced the enthusiasm of thousands of intelligent American citizens at the former president’s rallies and at Thursday’s caucus locations around our city…

above: Michael P. Ramirez; below: One Big Happy

The East Side Story from The New York Daily News (scroll way down):

I’m African-American and asking the same question as another Voicer about the comic strip “One Big Happy.” They used to be a white family. Now they are really tanned. I understand it’s only a comic strip, but really? Did they go to the Bahamas? It is so ridiculous. Couldn’t they have just added an African-American comic strip? … Why was the skin tone changed on a comic strip?

© Peanuts Worldwide

The Comic Strip Showcase was a 1980 tabloid comic strip magazine.

3 thoughts on “Comic Strip Showcase

  1. Thanks for leading off your excellent comics showcase with a visual history of Dick Tracy creators. Many fun memories working with cartoonist Dick Locher and writer Michael Killian on Tracy 1994-99 as editor of international syndication. Dick was the longest running artist after creator Chester Gould. He starred in Dick Tracy Days and regaled us with stories about Gould, Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick and how the Tribune-owned comic launched and grew since the 1930s. Mike’s day and night job was in the Tribune Washington bureau where he covered the justice system, law enforcement and the DC social scene. All excellent inspiration for Tracy and his novels.

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