Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I haven't read much 'Dick Tracy', which is the only reason I can give for not being a fan. I've heard many raves about it, particularly for the early stuff being reprinted by IDW under their Library of American Comics imprint. Those volumes are being compiled by our pal Dean Mullaney, the man behind 'The Complete Terry & the Pirates' series.
'Dick Tracy' was created by Chester Gould and debuted in 1931. Gould pitted his straight-shooting, square-jawed detective against an array of bizarre gangster villains, including Pruneface, Measles and B-B Eyes (some of whom showed up in the star-studded 1990 movie version).
By this May 29, 1966 strip, Gould was in his late '60s and the strip was 35 years old, it's heyday long behind it. Rick Fletcher, his assistant since 1963, would take over the art when Gould retired in 1977. This decade of strips is most notable for Gould's odd choice of having Tracy in adventures on the moon with the moon people that lived there. This Sunday seems earthbound, however, with Gould poking fun at the staid nature of his character. Tracy is showing off his collection of bullet-ridden fedoras. Note that one of his trademark hats dates back to 1931, the same year the strip debuted.
The strip is currently written by Dick Locher and drawn by Jim Brozman (example below). Locher has a long history with the strip. He was Gould's assitant the four years before Fletcher, then took over from Fletcher in '83 and was also drawing the strip until this year. Here's the link to the current strip. Sadly, it doesn't live up to Gould's quality and the most interesting aspect are the negative comments posted below the strips.