03-2We last checked in with Dick Tracy’s Jewish partner Sam Catchem a year and a half ago, in a short piece about a siddur app for the newly launched Apple Watch. The Apple Watch proved to be a marketplace disappointment, but not as problematic as Dick Tracy’s fictional wrist wizard, which had to be recalled, in a comic strip twist modeled after the recent Samsung fiasco.

But that’s not all that is sick in the cartoon world created by Chester Gould 85 years ago. In the latest plot twist, Sam Catchem’s wife, Margie, has cancer.

“It started with a lump. Then a doctor visit and a biopsy. Now it’s chemo,” Sam said in Tuesday’s strip.

He was speaking to leisure-suit-wearing Rabbi Marmelstein, who promised Sam that “God listens to prayer, Samuel,” and then proceeded to recite a transliterated misheberach prayer that filled a double-sized panel.

If that seems like a lot of Hebrew for the funny pages, you must have forgotten the run five years ago, in which Rabbi Marmelstein was introduced as Sam’s “old army buddy” before lighting a Chanukah menorah and reciting the blessing over the Chanukah candle in both transliteration and footnoted translation.

Who said comics aren’t educational?

Larry Yudelson