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“Dick Tracy” writer and artist draw influence from WWE and Jerry “The King” Lawler
The storyline featured Tracy asking Lawler, portrayed as “Jerry King,” to help take down a criminal wrestler named Thunderchild who was responsible for stealing money from a charity. Alongside reformed classic Tracy villain The Mole, Jerry King and Dick Tracy step inside the squared circle to slam crime.
In the second year helming the strip, artist and writer, Joe Staton and Mike Curtis, respectively, told WWE.com that using Jerry Lawler in the storyline was planned from the start. While Staton credited Curtis with coming up with the idea to feature Lawler, both creators cited their familiarity with Lawler’s influence in sports entertainment.
“We are both originally from the same area of Tennessee,” Curtis said. “We were both fans of Memphis Wrestling and ‘The King’ was certainly the face of that organization.”
“With Lawler’s strong connection to comics, it just totally made sense,” Staton explained, adding, “We figured Jerry would be the perfect counterpart to Tracy, the perfect tag team partner.”
Although Curtis drew much of the inspiration from Lawler’s days in Memphis Wrestling when writing the script, he also mentioned that this was not the first time Dick Tracy has set foot inside of the squared circle.
“In the 1950s, the villain T.V. Wiggles was a wrestler, so we didn’t exactly break new ground, but we featured more of the actual competition.” Curtis told WWE.com.
“Dick Tracy has a history of being involved in different areas of pop culture,” Staton explained. “The villains in particular have often come from different areas of entertainment like T.V Wiggles or the singer Sparkle Plenty,” Staton continued, “so having a villain who is primarily a wrestler, and bringing in Jerry Lawler to help crack the case fits in with the whole theme of the pop culture cross over.”
Curtis and Staton found many similarities between Dick Tracy and Jerry Lawler. “Tracy is a lot like Jerry,” Curtis explained. “He doesn’t take anything from anybody; he puts his chin out there and keeps going no matter what. We’ve seen Jerry get beat down in matches and come right back again.” Staton added, “Tracy has certainly taken his share of punishment, but always keeps going. They both have powerful morals for readers of all ages.”
Curtis and Staton both joked that the one thing they regretted not including in the strip was having someone get hit with a steel chair or go through a table.
“At the very least we should have put someone through the Spanish announce table,” Curtis joked, adding, “That table seems to take the most abuse.”
To see Jerry Lawler's appearance in "Dick Tracy," CLICK HERE
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