Before Mike Curtis and Joe Staton took over the Dick Tracy comic strip from a retiring Dick Locher in 2011, they collaborated on a Plainclothes Dick Tracy tribute site. Mike penned a Major Crime Squad story, Joe provided the artwork and law enforcement officer and writer Sgt. Jim Doherty contributed prose Dick Tracy stories. They we’re not trying to slip past syndicate copyright, that was clearly displayed, it was a work of love, and as it turns out, an audition for Dick Tracy.
Eventually the syndicate became of aware of the website, and while Plainclothes and it’s content was sadly discontinued, the team was asked to take over Dick Tracy from retiring Dick Locher. Of course we know they said yes!
Now those of you who have read Dick Tracy Sunday’s are no doubt familiar with the Crimestoppers and Hall of Fame panel at the start of the strip. Chester Gould started this signature of the Dick Tracy Sunday and Team Tracy has kept the tradition alive with Jim Doherty writing almost all of the panels from 2011 to 2016 when Jim took his leave to pursue other interests.
So it’s very exciting to have heard Jim Doherty is returning to the Dick Tracy team as the guest writer of a new Minit Mystery. Minit Mysteries are one or two week stories. Jim’s mystery will begin Sunday, April 28th. Knowing his love of early era Dick Tracy stories (we’ve published a few of his articles), I’m not surprised to hear there will be a 1930’s style to this Minit Mystery and I’m also excited to see Joe Staton take a crack at that original Gould drawing style.
I have some sad news to pass on today, I’m afraid. Long time Dick Tracy artist, writer and comic strip shepherd Dick Locher passed away due to complications from Parkinson’s disease at the age of 88. Starting as an inker for Chester Gould in 1957, Mr. Locher was a talented editorial cartoonist for the Tribune who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983 for his work on Ronald Reagan. That same year he came back to draw Dick Tracy after the death of artist Rick Fletcher. Dick Locher’s dedicated work on Tracy expanded to include story writing and he kept the strip in crime fighting shape for nearly three decades before his retirement in 2011.
His obituary can be read here on the Chicago Tribune.
Each and every Sunday the first Hall of Fame or Crimestoppers panel of the Dick Tracy comic strip comes courtesy of Jim Doherty. We were surprised to learn Jim’s last official day with the Tracy team was December 31st and want to thank give a big thank you and wish him well in the future. In addition to the weekly Crimestoppers panel, Doherty has served as the police technical adviser for the strip since the start of the Curtis/Staton era in the spring of 2011.
A former officer, Jim has served in law enforcement at local, state and federal levels and is more recently an author of several novels. Jim contributed to the now defunct PLAINCLOTHES website that unexpectedly served as a Dick Tracy audition for Mike Curtis and Joe Staton. During his time with Team Tracy, Sgt. Doherty has been part of winning three Harvey Awards.
On a more personal level, Jim kindly emailed me emailed me shortly after the Dick Tracy Depot began to gain some legs and was more than happy to converse and share some of his Dick Tracy prose. He has penned a pair of historical Dick Tracy articles I was excited to re-post and am still honored to include. His very knowledgeable comments on police procedure and hierarchy on the go-comics forums invariably clarify things for all of us readers. I am informed he is a contributor to the ever-growing Dick Tracy Wikia website, where you can read a far better bio.
While Jim’s time with the Dick Tracy comic has come to an end, there have been enough Crimestoppers submissions to keep his Railroad Police autograph on the Sunday panel for sometime. On behalf of the Dick Tracy Depot, thank you Jim!
Tracy and comic fans near Conway, Arkansas, this weekend, November 13th through the 15th, is ComiCon-way and will be your last chance to catch both Joe Staton and Mike Curtis together in 2015. You can expect at least one if not both to be in Dick Tracy garb and handing out their Dick Tracy Meets the Film Pirates comic featuring the first Silver and Sprocket Nitrate story! The Depot has gotten our greedy hands on one and it’s awesome!
The ComiCon-way is free admission so there’s no excuse, if your neighborhood you should stop by and tell the boys hello!
Update: Inker and Letterer extraordinaire Shelley Pleger will be at the Eugene Comic Con in Oregon with her husband Terry and they will have additional copies of Dick Tracy Meets the Film Pirates. Thanks for letting us know Terry, Oregon you’re up!