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DocuSeries 4: Early Newspaper Comic Strips influence on Comic Books by Alex Grand

Dick Tracy is an American comic strip featuring Dick Tracy originally Plainclothes Tracy , [2] a tough and intelligent police detective created by Chester Gould. Gould wrote and drew the strip until , [3] and various artists and writers have continued it. Dick Tracy has also been the hero in a number of films, including Dick Tracy in which Warren Beatty played the lead in Tom De Haven praised Gould's Dick Tracy as an "outrageously funny American Gothic", while Brian Walker described it as a "ghoulishly entertaining creation" which had "gripping stories filled with violence and pathos". Basing the character on U.

A new character was introduced named Sam Catchem to take Patton's place as Tracy's sidekick. Gould introduced topical story lines about television, juvenile delinquencygraftorganized crimeand other developments in American life during the s; and elements of soap opera depicted Dick, Tess, and Junior along with the Tracys' baby daughter Bonnie Braids at home as a family.

Depictions of family life alternated with the story's crime drama, as in the kidnapping of Bonnie Braids by fugitive Crewy Lou, or Junior's girlfriend Model being accidentally killed by her brother. Gould incurred some controversy when he had Tracy live in an unaccountably ostentatious manner on a police officer's salary, and responded with a story wherein Tracy was accused of corruption and had to explain the origin of his possessions in detail.

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In his book-length examination of the strip, Dick Tracy - The Official BiographyJay Maeder suggested that Gould's critics were unsatisfied by his explanation. Nevertheless, the controversy eventually faded, and the cartoonist reduced exposure to Tracy's home life.

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Tracy's cases generally incriminated independent operators rather than organized crime-with a few exceptions, such as Big Boya fictionalized version of Al Capone and the strip's first villain.

Tracy opposed a series of big-time mobsters in the s, such as the King, George "Mr. As Tess faded into the background, Tracy assumed as his assistant the rookie policewoman Lizz Worthington. From tothe Dick Tracy Sunday page was accompanied by a topper humor strip called The Gravies and drawn by Gould and his assistants. As technology progressed, the methods that Tracy and the police used to track and capture criminals took the form of increasingly fanciful atomic -powered gadgets developed by Diet Smith Industries.

View the comic strip for Dick Tracy by cartoonist Joe Staton and Mike Curtis created March 07, available on

This eventually led to the s advent of the Space Coupe, a spacecraft with a magnetic propulsion system. This marked the beginning of the strip's "Space Period," which saw Tracy and friends having adventures on the Moon and meeting Moon Mai the daughter of the leader of a race of humanoid people living in "Moon Valley" in After an eventual sharing of technological information, Moon technology became standard issue on Tracy's police force, including air cars, flying cylindrical vehicles.

The villains became even more exaggerated in power, resulting in an escalating series of stories that no longer resembled the urban crime drama roots of the strip. During this period, Tracy met famed cartoonist Chet Jade, creator of the comic strip Sawdustin which the only characters are talking dots.

One of the new characters, Mr. Intro, was only manifested as a disembodied voice. His goal was world domination in the vein of a James Bond villain.

Dick Tracy

Tracy eventually used an atomic laser beam to annihilate Intro and his island base. Junior married Moon Maid in October Their daughter Honey Moon Tracy had antennae and magnetic hands. However, he ended up back on Earth when the Apollo 11 mission in showed that the moon was barren of all life.

Many of the accoutrements of the space period stories remained for many years afterward, such as the Space Coupe and much of the high-tech gadgetry. Moon Maid receded from the storyline. The stories of this period took an increasingly condemnatory tone pertaining to contemporary court decisions concerning the rights of the accuse which often involved Tracy being frustrated by legal technicalities. For example, having caught a gang of diamond thieves red-handed, Tracy was forced to let them walk because he could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the diamonds were stolen.

As he saw the thieves get off without penalty, Tracy was heard to grumble, "Yes, under today's interpretation of the laws, it seems it's the police who are handcuffed! In the s, Gould modernized Tracy by giving him a longer hairstyle and a mustacheand added a hippie sidekickGroovy Grove.

Groovy's first appearance in print, as it happened, occurred during the same week as the Kent State shootings.

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Groovy remained with the strip, off and on until his death in Shortly before his retirement, Gould drew a strip in which Sam, Lizz, and Groovy held Tracy down to shave off his mustache. At this time, the standard publication size and space of newspaper comics was sharply reduced; for example, the Dick Tracy Sunday stripwhich had traditionally been a full-page episode containing 12 panels, was cut in size to a half-page format that offered, at most, eight panels-these new restrictions created challenges for all comic artists.

The Plenty family was a group of goofy redneck yokels headed by the former villain Bob Oscar "B. Gravel Gertie was introduced as the unwitting dupe accessory of the villain the Brow, who was on the run from Dick Tracy. The family provided a humorous counterpoint to Tracy's adventures. The Plenty sub-story was decades long, and saw Sparkle Plenty grow from an infant to a young married lady, eventually becoming a beautiful fashion model.

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Sparkle Plenty's 30 May birth became a significant mainstream media event, with spinoff merchandising and magazine coverage. The Plenty family appeared with Tracy in a story that occurred in a bank, where "B. In the 24 April strip, B. His face has yet to be shown. Beginning September 11,the Sunday strip included a frame devoted to a page from the "Crimestoppers' Textbook", a series of handy illustrated hints for the amateur crime-fighter.

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After Gould's retirement, Collins initially replaced the Textbook with "Dick Tracy's Rogues Gallery," a salute to memorable Tracy villains of the past. Chester Gould retired from comics in ; his last Dick Tracy strip appeared in print on Sunday, December 25 Christmas Day of that same year. Gould's name remained in the byline for a few years after his retirement as a story consultant.

In one of Collins' first stories as the strip's writer, the gangster known as "Big Boy" learned that he was dying and had less than a year to live.

Big Boy was still seeking revenge on the plainclothesman who sent him up the river, and he wanted to live just long enough to see Tracy's death. He put out an open contract on Tracy's head worth one million dollars, knowing that every small-time hood in the City would take a crack at the famous cop for that amount of money. One of the would-be collectors rigged Tracy's car to explode, but inadvertently killed Moon Maid instead of Tracy in the explosion. A funeral strip for Moon Maid explicitly stated that this officially severed all ties between Earth and the Moon in the strip, [16] thus eliminating the last remnants of the Space Period.

Honeymoon received a new hairstyle that covered her antennae, and she was ultimately phased out of the strip.

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Junior later married Sparkle Plenty the daughter of B. In the s, Tracy's son Joseph Flintheart Tracy took on a role similar to Junior's in the earlier strips. In addition, Collins removed other Gould creations of the s and s including Groovy Grove, who was gravely wounded in the line of duty and later died in the hospital; Lizz married him before his death. On a more philosophical level, Collins took a generally less cynical view of the justice system than Gould; Tracy came to accept its limitations and requirements as a normal part of the process which he could manage.

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Extreme technology was phased out, such as the Space Coupe, in favor of more realistic advanced tools such as the 2-Way Wrist Computer in New semi-regular characters introduced by Collins and Fletcher included: Dr. Vitamin Flintheart reappeared occasionally as a comic-relief figure, the aged ham actor created by Gould in who had not been seen in the strip for almost three decades. The Plenty family B. Original villains seen during this period included Angeltop the revenge-seeking, psychopathic daughter of the slain FlattopTorcher whose scheme was arson-for-profitand Splitscreen a video pirate.

Collins brought back at least one "classic" Gould villain or revenge-seeking family member per year. The revived Gould villains were often provided with full names, and marriages, children, and other family connections were developed, bringing more humanity to many of the originally grotesque brutes. Rick Fletcher died in and was succeeded by editorial cartoonist Dick Locherwho had assisted Gould on the strip in the late s and early s. Locher was assisted by his son John, who died in Max Allan Collins was fired from the strip infollowing a financial reorganization of their comic strip holdings, and Tribune staff writer and columnist Mike Kilian took over the writing.

Kilian was paid less than half of what Collins was making per strip [ citation needed ]but continued until his death on October 27, Locher was both author and artist for over three years, beginning on January 9, On March 16,Jim Brozman began collaborating with Locher, taking over the drawing duties while Locher continued to write the strip. InTracy was a guest at Blondie and Dagwood's 75th anniversary party in the comic strip Blondie.

Later, Dick Tracy appeared in the comic strip Gasoline Alley. Staton and Curtis are assisted by Shelley Pleger, who inks and letters Staton's drawings, along with Shane Fisher, who provides the coloring on the Sunday strips. Chicago-area police sergeant Jim Doherty provided "Crimestopper" captions for the Sunday strips and acted as the feature's technical advisor. Doherty also introduced a new feature, "Tracy's Hall of Fame" which replaces the "Crimestopper" panel approximately once each monthin which a real-life police officer is profiled and honored.

Doherty was replaced in by police lieutenant Walter Reimer, who introduced the "First Responders Roll of Honor", which honors real-life police officers, firefighters and paramedics who died on duty.

Staton and Curtis reintroduced many of the characters of the forties through the sixties, including a second Mr. Crime and a reformed Mole, while introducing more deformed and grotesque villains such as Abner Kadaver, Panda, and The Jumbler. They have also brought back all the gadgets and plot elements of the s space era, starting in earlyalthough the reintroduced Moon Maid is not the same as the original; rather, she is a human genetically modified to resemble the original Moon Maid and thus, is christened Mysta Chimera and placed under Diet Smith's care.

Chester Gould won the Reuben Award for the strip in and This was the first time MWA ever honored a comic strip. Inthe strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative postage stamps and postcards.

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Tracy was simultaneously the oldest continually running strip, and the first adventure strip ever to win the Harvey Award in this category. On September 26,Tracy won a third Harvey in the same category, becoming one of only three strips to win in three consecutive years. The early shows all had minute episodes. Dick Tracy's wedding is repeatedly interrupted as Tracy chases after one villain after another. In the strip, his marriage wasn't until and his honeymoon was disrupted by his going after Wormy.

Jim Ameche portrayed Tracy in a two-record set recorded by Mercury Records in The record sleeves were illustrated with Sunday strips reprinted in black-and-white for children to color.

Tracy made his first comic book appearance in as one of the features included in the first issue of Dell's Popular Comics. These were reprints from the newspaper strip, reconfigured to fit the pages of a comic book, as was the case with most Tracy comic book appearances. Tracy remained a regular feature in Popular Comics through the publication's 21st issue.

McKay's Feature Books were magazines that rotated several popular characters from comics strips through InTracy became one of several regular newspaper strips featured in Dell's regular monthly Super Comicsremaining a regular part of that publication until InTracy was the sole feature in the very first issue of Dell's Four-Color Comicswhich put out more than 1, issues starring hundreds of characters between and Tracy was featured in seven more Four-Color issues throughout the s.

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Tracy was frequently featured in comic books used as promotional items by various companies. Infor example, Sig Feuchtwanger produced a comic book that was a giveaway prize in boxes of Quaker Puffed Wheat cereal, sponsor of the popular Dick Tracy radio series.

This series ultimately ran for issues, the first 24 of which were published by Dell, after which it was picked up by Harvey Comics. Continuing the same numbering, Harvey published the series until As with most previous Tracy comic book incarnations, these were, with the exception of the last few Dell issues which featured original material, slightly abridged and reconfigured reprints of the newspaper strips.

Dick Tracy was revived in by Blackthorne Publishing and ran for 99 issues. Disney produced a series of three issues as a tie-in for their film. The third issue was a direct adaptation of the film. Over the years, many reprints of Dick Tracy newspaper strips have been published.

Dick Tracy

Other collections include: [29]. Other editions: [29]. Through the chapter serial, 15 different cases were solved, all plots by the Spider Gang. The Dick Tracy character proved very popular, and a second serial, Dick Tracy Returnsappeared in reissued in Dick Tracy's G-Men was released in reissued in The last was Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc.

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The sequels were produced under an interpretation of the contract for the first Dick Tracy serial, which gave license for "a series or serial". As a result, Chester Gould received no further money for the sequel serials. In these serials, Dick Tracy is portrayed as an FBI agent, or " G-Man ", based in California rather than as a detective in the police force of a Midwestern city resembling Chicago, and, aside from himself and Junior, no characters from the strip appear in any of the four films.

Bushman and others is the same kind of avuncular superior as Chief Brandon. The first serial, Dick Tracyis now in the public domain. Dick Tracy a.

Dick Tracy, Detective was followed by Dick Tracy vs. Cueball inboth with Morgan Conway as Tracy. Gruesome is probably the best known of the four, with the villain portrayed by Boris Karloff. All four movies had many of the visual features associated with film noir : dramatic, shadowy photographic compositions, with many exterior scenes filmed at night at the RKO Encino movie ranch. Lyle Latell co-starred in all four films as Pat Patton. InWarren Beatty directed and starred as the title character in a live action all-star-cast film along with Al PacinoDustin Hoffmanand Madonna.

The strip has had limited exposure on television with one early live-action series, two animated series, one unsold pilot that was never picked up, and a proposed TV series currently held up in litigation. Ralph Byr who had played the square-jawed sleuth in all four Republic movie serials, and in two of the RKO feature-length films, reprised his role in a short-lived live-action Dick Tracy series that ran on ABC from to Additional episodes intended for first-run syndication continued to be produced into Produced by P.

InCollins left the strip, and Tribune staff writer and columnist Mike Kilian took over the writing until his death in Locher would handle the strip alone for the next three years before being joined by artist Jim Brozman.

They would continue to produce the strip until Locher retired in early Walter Reimer.

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Chester Gould's run of the strip is in the process of being collected in a series of hardcover volumes through IDW Publishing. The strip is currently re-published up to These books contain supplemental material, including essays from other comics professionals, historians, and scholars.

This was the first original Dick Tracy material produced for comics since the tie-in for the feature film. A second mini-series with a different creative team - Dick Tracy: Forever - followed shortly after. This wiki allows anyone to edit it.

This wiki is about Dick Tracy, the American newspaper comic strip. Dick Tracy is one of America's most-enduring pop-cultural icons. It is noteworthy for its steadfast, chisel-jawed hero and the gruesome rogue's gallery of villains he and his fearless team of Crimestoppers must outwit to put behind bars. Read Dick Tracy from the Beginning. You Might Also Like Endtown Aaron Neathery. More from Dick Tracy. Three-Time Harvey Award Winner: Best Syndicated Strip or Panel LINK. Congratulations To Our Mike Wieringo Comic Book Industry Awards Nominees The GoComics Team. July 27, Get the comics you want, your way. "Dick Tracy's" hard-hitting, fearless style secured the square-jawed detective's place in American culture as the iconic lawman who keeps the streets safe. The strip has kept millions of readers glued to their comics pages from the Great Depression to the Atomic Age and beyond.

So please share the knowledge and add information about the Dick Tracy series, characters, stories, movies and other appearances.

The criminal known as Shaky was a confidence trickster who exploited the beautiful young woman Snowflake Falls as part of his criminal scheme. He was defeated by Dick Tracy and was presumed frozen to death.

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