Peanut Butter
Peanut Butter (left), accusing Dick Tracy

First Appearance:

May 18th, 1972

Real Name:

Homer Barley

Known Relatives:

Marvin Barley, Father (Deceased)
Mrs. Barley, Mother
Mary Barley, Sister

Created By:

Chester Gould

Homer Barley, the boy known as "Peanut Butter", was the son of Marvin Barley, a criminal who was killed in a shootout with police while attempting to infiltrate Diet Smith Industries.

Peanut Butter had dark hair and wore eyeglasses. His nickname came from his fondness for peanut butter sandwiches. He was a skilled artist and he also played the drums.

Peanut Butter was a very smart young man. He had embraced several principles of the counter-culture of the early 1970s, and was antagonistic to the police.

Spy in TrainingEdit

Following his father's death, Peanut Butter was able to recover some money that his father had stolen. He revealed to Dick Tracy and the police that he was especially skilled in observation and information gathering. However, he refused to provide information about his father's activities and associates to the police, believing that doing so would make him a "stool pigeon". This put him at odds with his mother and sister.

Dick Tracy eventually made an appeal to Peanut Butter's vanity and convinced him to help gather information that would identify a suspected gang of saboteurs. He was successful, and provided a sketch to police (which put him at odds with Junior). He was then placed under police protection (over his strong objections) which prevented him from attending summer camp.

Peanut Butter managed to sneak away from home and planned to take a bus to camp. However, he was abducted by the criminals that he had helped to identify, and was left to die in an automobile that had been parked on a railroad track. After a train struck the car, Peanut Butter's belongings were found among the wreckage and he was presumed dead.

A Change of HeartEdit

Peanut Butter had managed to escape from the car before the crash, and he hid at a nearby commune. Tracy was able to track down the boy's whereabouts and convinced him to return home in time for his 10th birthday.


Peanut Butter had shifted his thinking and adopted a more "Law & Order"-friendly mindset, though his views on several issues of the day were still not especially mainstream.

Peanut Butter turned his attention to politics, planning to run for class president. For a while, he remained a frequent visitor to police headquarters, where he met (and expressed a childish attraction to) Moon Maid. His crude comments put Peanut Butter at odds with Junior once again, but they eventually reconciled.

The Armored Car MoneyEdit


A disgraced and ashamed Peanut Butter hides his face.

Peanut Butter's family spent the remainder of Marvin Barley's money and found themselves on the brink of bankruptcy and homelessness. Peanut Butter learned that a $10,000 reward was being offered for the recovery of $500,000 that had been stolen from an armored car and lost when the thieves fled with it.

Peanut Butter convinced Tracy and Groovy Grove to let him help search for the money. He found it in a decrepit silo, where he attempted to hide it so he could come back later and take the entire amount. Tracy and Groovy became aware of Peanut Butter's scheme, but were unable to stop him before harsh weather forced them to take shelter.

A severe winter storm battered the area and the silo collapsed, burying Peanut Butter and the money. The boy and the money were recovered, and Peanut Butter's family received the reward in spite of his apparent treachery.

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