ACW #637 – Wild Dog

Action Comics Weekly #637 (Wild Dog)
“Crack Up, Chapter Two: Easy M$ney”
Writer – Max Collins
Pencils – Terry Beatty
Inks – John Nyberg
Colors – Carl Gafford
Letters – Tim Harkins
Editor – Brain Augustyn

I come to you today from the comfort of my own home.  It’s great to be back from my brief stint back in New York City.  It was a neat trip, but I tell ya what… there’s something to be said about the relative quietness of my normal suburban existence.  Never saw myself as a “suburbanite”, but damned if I’m not!

Figure I’ll take this opportunity to share some pictures from the trip.  This is normally something you’d figure I’d just bore my friends with… but, joke’s on you!  I don’t have any of those!  So, here we go… my quick ‘n dirty day walking around Midtown Manhattan…

The view from the 12th Floor

We stayed by Grand Central Station, and so I was just a short walk away from Midtown Comics.  Actually, before that… our hotel was just a few doors down from the WPIX Offices.  For a New York kid, it was neat to see where Channel 11 is.  Especially during Shocktober!… which sadly, I don’t think is even a thing anymore.

From here, I stopped into my favorite hole-in-the-wall coffee shop.  You’ve probably never heard of it, it’s called Starbucks.  I was hoping to find a bagel shop or something, but Starbucks was all I could find!  Well, Starbucks and Subway… and, I don’t wanna drink Subway coffee.  Then, onto Midtown Comics…

Annnnd, well… it’s a comic shop.  Which is to say, half the store is Funko POPs! and toys… and half of the rest is variant covers!  Nothing special, and we’ve actually got a better selection in most Phoenix area shops… nice fellas working there though!

After leaving the shop (empty-handed), I realized that I was only a short walk away from the Nintendo NYC store… so, I kept on walkin’.  I don’t talk much about video games here, or anywhere… but, I’m a big fan.  Actually finally played through a bunch of Breath of the Wild on the Switch on the flights.

I headed inside, and was pretty much wowed by all the cool stuff they had.

Probably the coolest stuff was their displays of old consoles and what-not.  Had to snap a picture of these.  I sadly neglected to take any pictures of the hand-held consoles on the other side of the wall.  I was sure I had… but, I guess not!

Then, I saw something I never thought I’d ever see.  Heck, it’s actually something I’d forgotten all about!  From issue 26 of Nintendo Power (July, 1991):

I was pretty shocked to come walking up the steps to see this thing!  Still on and playing Tetris, no less!

After this, I spent the better part of an hour waiting on line to buy a couple of bagels at Essa Bagel… which they toasted, despite my asking them not to.  By the time I realized, I was already a couple of blocks away… but wasn’t about to head back.  As I say, eating my now kinda squishy… kinda melty bagel, I thought to myself that I wanted to find something here that I couldn’t find back home.  I feel like the world has gotten so small over the past couple decades, that outside of views and sights, there really isn’t much “exclusivity” to different places anymore.  Anything I saw at Midtown or the Nintendo store, I could get anywhere… or online.  Which kinda sucks… but, it’s a sign of the times… really can’t do much about it.

And so, I headed back to the hotel… but, not before popping into Grand Central Station for a look around.  Inside a friggin’ Rite Aid of all places, I saw something that completely brightened my day…

Entenmann’s Chocolate Chip cookies.  Holy cow, I hadn’t seen these in twenty years.  I broke my diet, ate the whole box… and had hellacious heartburn the rest of the day.

Worth it.

When the wife wrapped up with her meetings, we did the touristy thing, and had a really good time.  I’m happy to be home, but also, happy that we went.

Thanks for suffering through my story… now, let’s wrap this issue of Action Comics Weekly up with Wild Dog!

Picking up where we left off last time, li’l Georgie Washington is being sold on working as a look-out for slick Willie.  Well, perhaps I’m selling him short, this balding teen-ager is being offered the opportunity not only to act as a look-out, but also to go on food runs!  Movin’ on up!  Georgie is a bit hesitant, but can’t turn down the “big dough”… fifty bucks a day!  He agrees to come aboard, but first, he’ll have to quit his job at the Wheeler Garage… in person.  Big Willie understands, and even tosses him some advance cash to buy a new bike!  Jack is cool with Georgie quitting the gig… though voices his opinion that he hopes the “better job” he’s leaving for is on the up-and-up.

We jump ahead, and join Quad Cities Finest as they patrol the neighborhood where Big Willie’s drug den resides.  Ya see, they know there’s some shady going’s on… going on in this neck’a the woods, and are already assembling a SWAT team to raid the joint.

The next day, Georgie (and his receding hairline) has arrived for his first day of making the “big dough”.  He knocks on the drop-house door, and has a few bucks tossed at him from the mail slot.  The fellas inside want some burgers and fries.  As Georgie gleefully rides off toward the nearest Big Mac dispensary, Lt. Andy Flint and his team are suiting up to begin the bust.

George returns with the goods, and despite his best efforts, is unable to slide the burgers and fries’s’s’s through the little mail slot.  And so, the fella inside opens up… just as the Police make their way onto the property!

One of the drug-denners grabs for his… I dunno, do we call this a “semi-automatic”?  I know less than nothing about guns.  At first blush it looks kind of like a child-size Uzi.  Anyhoo, he opens fire through the walls… and so, the police return that fire.  Well, fair is fair?

The drug-denners pretty much immediately surrender… none’a them really wanna die.  There’s just one problem though… this raid didn’t go without casualty.  Anybody wanna guess who took a bullet to the chest?  Anyone?  C’mon… it’s a gimme!  Okay, okay… li’l Georgie Washington is dead.

Well, it’s taken awhile, but finally… there’s a dead kid in the pages of Wild Dog.  Smart money was on this happening in the previous arc, what with Wild Pup running around, but I feel like there will be a greater impact here.

Georgie Washington wasn’t so much a “bad kid”… he was just a kid who got wrapped up in bad things.  He’s trying to (I assume) help his family… so, we get that altruistic-y/moral-ethical conundrum sort of dynamic here.  Doing bad things for all the right reasons.  Just in all the wrong places at all the wrong times.

I’m very interested to see where this is headed.  After Lou Godder’s weird racial-rant last week, I wonder if he’s going to try and make something out of this with the Quad Cities P.D.?  I wonder how Jack’s going to react to learning that his former employee was killed?  I think there are plenty of interesting directions this might go… only, there aren’t all that many chapters of this story left ahead of us.  Hopefully we can get to a satisfying conclusion in the next four weeks.

Overall, a great… though, moderately cliche, outing.  The art here… and this isn’t something I normally notice, was quite lacking in backgrounds.  A lot of characters on plain white backgrounds this time out.  Maybe this is normal for Beatty, and I’ve just never noticed it?  But, here… for whatever reason, it really stood out to me.

Tomorrow: Wrappin’ it up.

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