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Although few seemed to realize it, Little Orphan Annie has been missing for nearly four years, a victim of both declining readership and a murderous war criminal. But in June, the comics page’s greatest detective will set out in pursuit of the plucky young heroine.
In a curious crossover by the Dick Tracy team of Mike Curtis and Joe Staton, Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks will hire the detective to find Annie, who was last seen June 13, 2010 in Guatemala, the captive of the Butcher of the Balkans. While the fugitive criminal boasted that he has slaughtered “many,” he refused to kill Annie and instead pledged to take her with him on his travels.
Since then, a distraught Warbucks has searched the globe for his adopted daughter without success, leaving him with only one option — Dick Tracy.
“Joe and I have planned Annie’s rescue for some time,” Curtis said in a statement, “and we’ll deliver action-packed, over-the-top thrills and chills as the two features combine their casts for what we hope will be the most historic tale in comic strip history.”
A guest-starring role last month in Kevin Keller #6 was only the beginning for actor and gay-rights activist George Takei. Now the Star Trek veteran and his husband Brad Altman are teaming up with Dick Tracy.
The storyline began Jan. 13, when a lake was drained to reveal a forgotten World War II internment camp and a sealed bottle containing a nearly 70-year-old murder confession. Needing an expert on the camp’s history, Detective Tracy turned in yesterday’s installment to George Tarawa (later spelled “Tawara”), who’s clearly based on Takei. Today, Altman’s character is introduced.
“The story has a WWII internment connection, and we are truly honored to be a part of it,” Takei wrote on his Facebook page. He said the storyline will continue for about two months. Like the character in the strip, Takei and his family were interned by the U.S. government during World War II, held first at the horse stables of Santa Anna Park before being transferred to Arkansas and then back to California.
Artist Joe Staton and writer Mike Curtis have been the creative team on Dick Tracy since March 2011.
Creators | Ruling that cartoonist Albert Uderzo can’t benefit from tax breaks extended to authors, French authorities have ordered the Asterix co-creator to pay $273,000 in taxes on the 24 books he and late collaborator late René Goscinny produced between 1959 and 1979. The country’s tax office asserts the extra tax exemption applies only to “people who have participated in writing the texts of the comic strip.” “This is an injustice and a scandal,” the 84-year-old Uderzo said. [The Telegraph]
Creators | Cartoonist Dick Locher is retiring from the Dick Tracy comic strip after 32 years, handing the reins to artist Joe Staton and writer Mike Curtis. Their first strip will appear in newspapers on March 14. “It’s time to move on to other things,” the 81-year-old Lochner tells Michael Cavna. “It’s time to do normal things with my family, to travel, to paint in the American Southwest.” [Comic Riffs]