The man known as Oodles was a killer for hire who weighed 469 pounds and had a voracious appetite. He ate large portions of food, yet still used a calorie counter and weighed himself constantly. He had curly black hair that he wore short in the back, but long in front to cover his eyes and nose.
The Vulcan Murder
In 1936, Oodles had been hired by Mary Vulcan to kill her husband for an initial payment of $5,000 followed by $1,000 a month indefinitely. In 1955, the remains of George Vulcan were discovered and a highly-publicized investigation began. Oodles assured Mrs. Vulcan that the body could not be traced, but this proved to be untrue and Mrs. Vulcan was interviewed by Dick Tracy about her husband's death.
When Mrs. Vulcan confronted Oodles, he revealed that he had made an audio-tape recording of their conversation 19 years earlier, which would incriminate both of them. The elderly and immobile Mrs. Vulcan eventually offered Oodles $25,000 for the recording, which Oodles agreed to relinquish. Meeting at a drive-in movie theater, Mrs. Vulcan received the recording after paying Oodles. While she cut the tape into little pieces, Oodles killed her quietly by taking a length of vacuum cleaner hose, connecting it to the exhaust pipe and inserting it into the back window of Mrs. Vulcan's running car.
Oodles Evades Capture
Oodles accidentally left behind a vital piece of evidence linking him to her murder; his calorie counter. When Dick Tracy and Sam Catchem found it, they saw an entry written on the back of it saying that he was 469 pounds and had started dieting at Yonson's Health Club (which, in reality, was a restaurant owned by criminal "Nothing" Yonson). Oodles later approached Yonson and asked if he had seen his calorie counter, which Yonson hadn't. The two men were on good terms otherwise.
Lizz, a photographer for Yonson's establishment, had snapped a picture of a very large man she had seen there, and she secretly transferred the negatives to Dick Tracy, who connected the fat man to a prisoner named Benny the Grip. Benny provided Tracy with the name of Oodles, the man who had double-crossed him. The photo made its way to the media and Oodles found himself to be a wanted man.
Oodles hid at a cabin belonging to Yonson that was located in the woods 300 miles outside the city. He was determined to change his appearance to avoid being identified. He cut his hair and forced himself to exercise exhaustively and subsist on nothing but unsweetened grape juice, which was like torture for the gluttonous man.
Tracy and Sam went into Oodles' abandoned apartment and found the matching vacuum cleaner to the torn out hose that killed Mrs. Vulcan. Tracy sneaked into the hidden room in Yonson's club and planted a wrist radio in the curtains. This allowed Tracy to learn Oodles' location. Oodles had by this time become mentally unhinged from his new diet and exercise regimen.
The End of Oodles
Jimmy Worthington and Lizz were on their honeymoon near Oodles' cabin and tried to investigate but were caught and held hostage by the men in Oodles' employ. Tracy and his squad made it up to the cabin and used tear gas to force Oodles' two henchmen out. Oodles went into the closet where he had stashed his two prisoners, intending to use them as shields but he was caught by a bear trap they set. This caused Oodles excruciating pain and he gave himself up. As Oodles was about to be handcuffed, he took out a fountain pen-gun that he had concealed on his person and took a shot at Tracy. Tracy shot back, hitting Oodles in the head at close range and killing him instantly (December 21st, 1955).
Appearances in Other Media
1960s TV Cartoon
Oodles was one of the featured villains in the 1960's humorous cartoon version of Dick Tracy produced by UPA. Oodles was portrayed by the show's voice director, Jerry Hausner (who went un-credited). Oodles was typically depicted as dim-witted but very strong. His skin, hair, and clothes all had a blue tint.
Oodles was often paired with The Brow. He did not interact with Tracy directly, but was instead foiled by Tracy's "funny" subordinates. His complexion was ashy blue, with his hair a darker blue. In "Alligator Baggers" he claimed to have once been a professional wrestler, fighting under the moniker "Canvas-Back Jack".
In the episode of The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo entitled "Dick Tracy and the Mob" (also produced by UPA), Oodles is shown to be a member of Pruneface's gang. Oodles puts forth the idea that Tracy should be killed, but is reluctant to take up the task himself. Oodles' voice was provided by veteran voice actor Howard Morris.
- The Harvey Comics reprint of the Oodles storyline does not include his death. It ends with Oodles being arrested.