Vera Alldid was the first husband of Sparkle Plenty, a cousin by marriage. He was an ambitious artist. He had prominent front teeth, and short light-colored hair that he typically wore swept forward.
Origins of Vera Alldid[edit | edit source]
Vera was the youngest child in his family, and the only boy. Upon Vera's birth, his father (an immigrant with a heavy accent) proudly announced "Ve're all did!", indicating that he did not intend to have any more children now that he had a son. Vera's mother was amused by the proclamation, and named her new son Vera Alldid (last name unrevealed). Vera's name was the source of much amusement, which he joined with good cheer.
When Vera was very young, his father passed away. His mother re-married into the Plenty family, and Vera was officially adopted, making his name Vera Alldid Plenty. As a child he spent some time with his relatives at Sunny Dell Acres, where he met and befriended his cousin Sparkle.
Vera was a very good student and talented artist. He earned a PhD in History, but decided to pursue a career in art (specifically cartooning), believing that it would be the path to wealth and achievement.
Meeting Dick Tracy[edit | edit source]
Early in his adulthood, Vera came to Dick Tracy's city, seeking the detective's help in locating his uncle B.O. Plenty, with whom he had lost contact. Vera displayed his artworks, specifically his sketches of dogs. B.O. was not impressed, but Tracy and the members of his department recognized Alldid's talent. They arranged for him to display his works at a local establishment.
Alldid grew close with his step-cousin Sparkle Plenty, who was impressed by his talent and ambition. Vera declared his intention to become a successful cartoonist and showed off samples of his comic strip "The Invisible Tribe". The showcase of Vera's dog sketches was very well-received, and it attracted the attention of the criminal Mr. Litter.
Unwitting Accomplice[edit | edit source]
Mr. Litter offered Vera a job sketching dogs for $100 a week. Vera accepted, and he rented a studio with Sparkle as his assistant. Litter told Vera that the sketches were commissioned by proud dog owners, who wanted to display artwork of their pets. In fact, the sketches were of dogs that had been abducted, and were being used to collect rewards and/or ransom.
Vera eventually learned the truth about Litter's scheme and became despondent. He was appalled at how he had been used and been inadvertently drawn into a criminal enterprise. Convinced that he was a wanted fugitive, Vera determined to leave the city, and stopped at Sunny Dell Acres to bid Sparkle goodbye.
Sparkle had fallen in love with Vera and refused to let him leave her. She chased after him. When she became stuck in swampy marshland, Vera returned to extract her and the pair realized that they were in love. The young couple ran off together. They were married by a Justice of the Peace and sent a telegram to Sparkle's parents informing them of the event (July 4th, 1969).
Mr. Litter and his gang were later arrested, but Vera was not implicated in any wrong-doing.
Wedded Bliss[edit | edit source]
Vera and Sparkle eventually returned to Sunny Dell Acres and Vera gained his in-laws' favor by purchasing expensive gifts for them, such as a stove with a built-in television set. He also had several large transparent domes installed on the property, one of which served as his drawing studio, and the other of which acted as a garage for his extravagant sports car.
Alldid had become very successful as a cartoonist, and for a time he and Sparkle were happy together. Their marriage did not produce any offspring.
In 1975, Vera was briefly suspected of the murder of Z.Z. Welz, a man who had been making obscene phone calls. Vera was committed to producing his comic strip, writing and drawing from his holding cell, even to the point of exhaustion. He was eventually exonerated and the real killer was found. Shortly thereafter, Welz's father Earl stole Alldid's famous $20,000 car and used it to kidnap Lizz. Welz destroyed Alldid's car in a fire, unaware that Lizz had escaped.
As time went on, Vera grew more arrogant and obsessed with the trappings of his success. He began to desire other women, and he went to Mexico to obtain a divorce from Sparkle. Knowing that they had grown apart, Sparkle agreed to the divorce despite her father's strong disapproval.
Later Life[edit | edit source]
Several years passed, and Vera Alldid was absent from Sparkle's life. The popularity of his comic strip dwindled until he was forced to support himself with less satisfying illustration work. He was employed by the former TV personality (and criminal) Abner Kadaver to design a coloring book.
It was in this capacity that Alldid was reunited with his former wife. Sparkle was visiting Kadaver's haunted house with her new husband Junior Tracy and their family. Alldid approached her, and she rebuffed him. Alldid seemed determined that he would once again become a part of Sparkle's life.
Depressed, Alldid went to a bar (Cueball's) where he ordered a club soda. His drink was dosed with alcohol by Cueball (who was presumably acting under instructions from Kadaver), and Alldid became intoxicated. He went to Junior and Sparkle's home and accosted her. Honeymoon Tracy alerted Sam Catchem via her Wrist Wizard (she believed that her father or grandfather would react too harshly), and Alldid was arrested for disturbing the peace.
Dick Tracy agreed to escort Alldid from the police station to Kadaver's warehouse, where Alldid was staying. This proved to be a trap, and Kadaver knocked Tracy unconscious and placed him a death-trap. Kadaver then bound and gagged Alldid. Tracy was freed by Junior (who had been following Alldid), but Kadaver escaped. Alldid was not implicated in the scheme.
New Success[edit | edit source]
Later, Alldid debuted a new comic strip that lampooned Dick Tracy - "J. Straightedge Trustworthy". When Alldid learned that Midnite Mirror series (which depicted Tracy as a crime boss) was being made into a feature film, Alldid became concerned that it would affect the popularity of his comic strip. He approached Tracy and was annoyed to discover that Tracy would not seek legal action to stop the film's production.
Alldid later adapted "J. Straightedge Trustworthy" into a stage musical entitled A Chin to Die For, the debut production of which starred Vitamin Flintheart (as the character analogous to himself). It premiered at the Patterson Playhouse.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Vera's initial appearance contains a certain amount of social commentary by creator Chester Gould regarding the artistic climate of the time. Vera is depicted as ambitious and more concerned with gaining material wealth than with artistic integrity. This is depicted as a positive trait, and is contrasted against the hippie-ish "Mod" artists that Vera encounters. To later readers, though, Alldid's motivations can easily seem crass and mercenary, especially in the light of his later abandonment of Sparkle.
- Likewise, Alldid's comic strip "The Invisible Tribe" continues Gould's theme of mocking the then-current state of the comics industry, as the strip contained no artwork or characters and was merely a vehicle for repetitive jokes. Gould had previously used the fictional strip "Sawdust" and its creative team to similar effect.
- Upon first meeting Vera Alldid, Dick Tracy and the rest of the squad laugh uproariously at his "funny" name. While Alldid himself is good-natured about it and joins in the revelry, this is still an uncommonly rude thing for the police officers to do.
- The way in which Sparkle chased after Vera Alldid when he attempted to flee the city was somewhat reminiscent of Daisy Mae's pursuit of Li'l Abner (in the comic strip of the same name) in the annual Sadie Hawkins Day race, inasmuch as it involved a beautiful blonde "hillbilly" woman chasing barefoot after a reluctant object of her affection.
- When Alldid returned in 2011, he developed the habit of addressing Tracy as "Fosdick", as a result of Tracy identifying "Fearless Fosdick" as his favorite comic strip. This also served as the inspiration for J. Straightedge Trustworthy, apparently.