Walter "Blowtop" Jones was the older brother of Flattop Jones Sr., and he was the first member of the Jones Family to encounter Dick Tracy after Flattop. He had short, light-colored hair and a vertical scar on the right side of his face. He had prominent lips and often smoked a cigar.
Blowtop was best known for his unprovoked fits of anger over seemingly insignificant things, and his characteristic exclamations of "Woo!" and "Gosh!". Despite his volatile temperament, Blowtop had no problem taking legitimate criticism on important matters from his colleagues, but he would still lash out over the aforementioned trivialities.
Blowing Up Tracy's House[edit | edit source]
Almost a year after Dick Tracy married Tess, an explosion engulfed the Tracy house in flames, burning it down to the ground and singeing Tracy's hair off. After the fire, authorities discovered that Junior was missing. The Tracy's were scared that he had perished in the fire, but it turned out that Blowtop had kidnapped Junior. Blowtop had also been the one who arranged the explosion, by rigging an invention of Tracy's (an automatic dog door) to set off twenty sticks of dynamite that he had planted.
Blowtop and his accomplices sealed Junior in a drum and attempted to drop him off a cliff. Junior was rescued and drew a picture of his captor which hit the papers. Blowtop's henchman Joe and girlfriend Toots turned on him and shot him. Blowtop escaped, only to be accidentally discovered by Vitamin Flintheart, an acquaintance of Blowtop's late brother. Vitamin aided Blowtop, convinced that he was a wealthy man and not knowing that the money Blowtop had was from a Boston Express Robbery. Flintheart (who unwittingly was fencing the stolen cash for Blowtop) had traded one of Blowtop's shirts for a shrunken head, unaware that the shirt contained money. Blowtop fled in anger, but was followed by Vitamin, whom Blowtop had promised funding for a show. Blowtop shot Vitamin but was apprehended when he tripped over the same shrunken head while trying to escape. Vitamin was hospitalized and Tracy took Blowtop into custody.
Blowtop's Mysterious Benefactor[edit | edit source]
Some years later (after Blowtop was paroled) he was suspected of the kidnapping of Policewoman Lizz, as well as sending Dick Tracy a letter threatening the life of Diet Smith. Sam Catchem and the Major Crime Squad learned that Blowtop had come into a large sum of money but had no idea where, since the money from the Boston Express robbery had all been recovered. When questioned, Blowtop said that he had inherited the money from his niece Angeltop.
After some investigating, it was discovered that Blowtop's money actually came from a trust fund set up for him years earlier. His apartment was paid for by Angeltop (who was alive), as payment for keeping up the pretense that she was dead. Blowtop learned that Angeltop had killed her plastic surgeon Dr. Will Carver. Refusing to be put back in jail, Blowtop informed on his niece to detectives Sam Catchem and Johnny Adonis, in exchange for Catchem's promise to help make sure that he didn't lose his parole.
In 1985, Blowtop repaid his niece by providing her (and her associates Quiver Trembly and Prunella LaBoche) with the million dollars in cash that they needed to acquire plutonium from Egan Oipse. He seemed to be acting out of a sense of family loyalty to Angeltop, but he insisted on not being told any of the details of their plans.
He was seen leaving their hideout and was subsequently questioned by Dick Tracy. Blowtop claimed to have reformed, though consorting with and aiding known fugitives would seem to be a violation of his parole. He was shown to be considering whether or not he needed a lawyer.
Flashback[edit | edit source]
In the 80th Anniversary flashback storyline, Blowtop was shown engaging in a bank robbery with his brother Flattop and several others. When the police arrived, Blowtop and Flattop made their getaway. Flattop criticized his brother for abandoning their comrades, and questioned why Blowtop doesn't resemble the rest of the family. Flattop considering asking their mother why Blowtop looks different, indicating that she was alive at the time if this story and had some contact with her son(s).
Blowtop Returns[edit | edit source]
Blowtop was one of the enemies of Dick Tracy whose appearance was re-created for the TV show "Make-Up Meltdown", which was disrupted by Putty Puss.
In early 2015, Blowtop was shown to be in contact with Stiletta Jones, aka Mrs. Flattop. He still demonstrated his notorious temper. Blowtop attempted to dissuade Stiletta from engaging in any further revenge attempts against Dick Tracy. She responded by seriously injuring him.
Blowtop was later released from intensive care, and was not present when Stiletta had her fatal showdown with Sprocket Nitrate. He arranged for her funeral services and burial.
Appearances In Other Media[edit | edit source]
1950s Live Action TV Series[edit | edit source]
Blowtop appeared in one episode of the 1950s Dick Tracy live action TV series starring Ralph Byrd. He was played by Brian Foulger in the episode "Dick Tracy and the Stolen Emeralds".
In the later episode "Shaky's Secret Treasure" (Season 2, Episode 14) it was revealed that Shaky had been a member of Blowtop's gang. Shaky had gone to prison, and at some point before his release Blowtop had died. The gang's hideout (where Shaky went to find a clue to the whereabouts of some hidden loot) was now occupied by a woman named Lois, who was later revealed to be Blowtop's sister.
There was seemingly no connection between the deceased Blowtop and Flattop, who also appeared in the TV series.
Dick Tracy - The Secret Files[edit | edit source]
Blowtop was a character in the short story "Auld Acquaintance" by Terry Lee and Wendi Lee, which appeared in the short story collection Dick Tracy - The Secret Files. In the story, Blowtop disrupts a television performance by Sparkle Plenty.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- In 1985, during the Xylon storyline, Blowtop was questioned by Officer Rodriquez. Blowtop provided identification that gave his first name as "Walter". At the time, he was presenting a public appearance of having reformed, so it is not unreasonable to assume that this is his real name rather than an alias. Writer Max Allan Collins was unable to confirm or deny whether he intended this to be Blowtop's real name, but it has since been treated as such.
- Although Blowtop purported to have reformed, his aiding of Angeltop would seem to belie this claim. He therefore would not fit the category of a Reformed Criminal.
- There has been some speculation as to why Blowtop does not resemble the rest of the Jones family, lacking as he does the trademark flat head. Some fans have conjectured that he is not the son of Poptop, and is therefore only a half-sibling to Flattop, Sharptop, & Auntie Flattop. This is only conjecture, prompted by the brief exchange between Flattop and Blowtop about their mother during the 2011 flashback storyline.
- In that same 2011 flashback storyline, Blowtop seems to address Flattop by the nickname "Moptop" during a brief discussion about their mother. On the GoComics discussion board for this day's strip, writer Mike Curtis posted that his wife had come up with a name for the Jones brothers' mother. Some readers have interpreted this as Curtis stating that "Moptop" is Mrs. Jones name or nickname, but this has not been confirmed or officially established within the strip's continuity (yet).
- Blowtop was the villain featured on the cover of IDW's The Complete Dick Tracy Volume 13.