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Little Face

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Little Face
LittleFace01

First Appearance:

July 26th, 1941

Real Name:

Leonard Finny

Known Associates:

Mussel
J.C. Nitials
Charley Yonem
Davey Mylar, aka Mr. Crime II (Deceased)
Panda (Deceased)
B-B Eyes
Mumbles
Blaze Rize
Doubleup
Abner Kadaver

Created By:

Chester Gould

Can Be Found:

The Complete Dick Tracy Vol. 7
The Celebrated Cases of Dick Tracy

Leonard “Little Face” Finny (sometimes “Littleface”) was a gangster and one of the first notable “grotesques” in the comic strip. He had a regular adult-sized head with a very small face set in the middle of a large forehead and cheeks. He had blond wavy hair that he wore swept back from the front and very short on the sides.

Little Face Meets Dick TracyEdit

Little Face was first seen reprimanding some underlings for a botched robbery. One of them, J.C. Nitials, had used a monogrammed handkerchief as a mask, which could be used to identify him. Little Face lit it on fire while it was still in the man’s pocket, burning him.

This was witnessed by two cleaners on a scaffold outside Little Face’s window. They called the police, and Dick Tracy (who was investigating the robbery in question) joined one of them on the scaffold to try and observe Little Face. One of Little Face’s henchmen cut the scaffold’s ropes, leaving Tracy dangling while the other cleaner climbed in through a window. As Little Face made his escape, Tracy was rescued by Loma, a circus performer who happened to be passing.

Little Face got into a taxi and pulled a gun on the driver to make his escape. The driver accelerated, then stopped abruptly, causing Little Face to bang his head against the car’s body, knocking him unconscious. The driver then pinned Little Face in place under the taxi’s retractable rear cover, with Little Face’s head sticking out of the car.

Intending to take him to the police, the driver tormented Little Face by driving through a park, hugging the edge of the road so Little Face’s head was battered by tree branches. The enraged gangster kicked down the dividing window inside the taxi, knocking the driver senseless and causing him to drive into a lake.

Little Face was rescued by two passing boys, which was witnessed by Tracy (Aug. 14, 1941) who was driving through the park. As the taxi driver was being rescued and resuscitated, Little Face tried to pass himself off as another circus performer, but this ruse was exposed by Loma, who had joined Tracy. Little Face grabbed a police officer’s gun and abducted Loma. He hijacked a nearby car and shot a policeman while making his escape.

When the driver of the car Little Face had hijacked resisted him, Little Face shot him, apparently killing the man and causing the vehicle to crash. He tied up Loma and tried to flee on a stolen bicycle. His ankle had been hurt during his escape and he couldn’t pedal, so he hopped on the back of a passing refrigerated meat truck.

Little Face hid inside the truck, not knowing that it would soon be locked from the outside. Finding himself trapped in a sub-zero freezer, Little Face covered himself in frozen cow hides to keep warm.

Little Face FreezesEdit

The next morning, Little Face was discovered barely alive by 2 employees of the meat company. The truck driver, Charley Yonem, recognized Little Face and decided to aid him, either for a reward or potential blackmail. Charley took Little Face to his home and called a doctor, who amputated Little Face’s ears due to frostbite but was able to save the gangster’s hands. Charley’s co-worker reported the incident to the police, and Tracy investigated.

Tracy and Pat Patton found Charley’s home and monitored the comings and goings. Little Face revived and agreed to pay Charley the $10,000 he demanded for saving his life. Little Face called some of his henchmen who came disguised as rug cleaners. They paid Charley and rolled Little Face into a rug, planning to remove him from the house despite the presence of the police. Tracy became suspicious when he observed how the “cleaner” struggled under the weight of the rug.

LittleFace02
Tracy had a police officer delay the “rug cleaner” while he obtained a box of live bees from a nearby honey farm. Tracy released the bees into one end of the rug where they began stinging Little Face, who cried out and revealed himself. Little Face was arrested (Sept. 15, 1941), along with the members of his gang and Charley Yonem. Tracy mocked Little Face for the loss of his ears, but Little Face took responsibility for his crimes and the two men shared a handshake before Little Face was taken to jail.

Little Face ReformsEdit

Years later, Little Face was released from prison and was recruited to join the criminal cabal organized by the new Mr. Crime. This group also included Panda, B-B Eyes, Blaze Rize, Mumbles, Doubleup, Abner Kadaver and others. Little Face revealed that he had received plastic surgery while in prison that replaced his ears. However, due to the humane treatment he received from Tracy, Little Face was not inclined not to return to a life of crime. He became an informant to both Dick Tracy and the Tracy Agency, and has requested to be called by his given first name "Leonard".

He agreed to take part in Mr. Crime's confidence scheme against Cassie Ette (in which he would pose as a producer), but eventually he tried to warn her that she was in danger. Leonard aided the police during their raid on the Panda Talent Agency, confronting Mumbles and protecting the injured Lizz. He emerged from the raid unharmed.

Appearances in Other MediaEdit

Movie ContinuityEdit

Little Face (close up)
In the 1990 Dick Tracy feature film, Little Face was a one of Lips Manlis’ thugs who was killed at the 7th Street Garage by Flattop at the beginning of the film. His face was only shown in extreme close-up, and his body was only shown from behind. He was played by Lawrence Steven Meyers.

Max Allan Collins' novelization of the film expands slightly on Little Face's role. Little Face came to prominence working under Lips Manlis, and Lips considered him an old friend. Tracy would recall an occasion inspired by the strip: Little Face once tried to evade him by hiding in a freezer, but he nearly lost his ears and hands to frostbite. (They ended up heavily scarred.)

Despite his friendship with Lips, Little Face agreed to take money from Big Boy in exchange for helping to set up the 7th Street Garage massacre, as well as leaving the door open for Big Boy's gunmen. This proved a fatal mistake for Little Face, as Flattop executed him along with the other four.

NotesEdit

  • Little Face's last name has been spelt as both "Finny" and "Finney". "Finny" appeared in the strip first.
  • Of the 5 thugs at the poker game, Little Face was 1 of 2 (along with Stooge Viller) not to be made into an action figure by Playmates Toys.

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