The Comic Strip

The first Dick Tracy newspaper strip appeared daily in 1931.  Written by Chester Gould, Dick Tracy depicting the law enforcement battle against Chicago style violence of the 1930’s and the strip quickly spread in newspapers across the country.  The villians of Dick Tracy are arguably it’s main attraction and Gould’s villians were drawn as ugly and evil as they acted.  Over the decades, the gadgetry and technology of Dick Tracy advances but the stories generally played out the same, with the hard hitting detective hunting down criminal after criminal and bringing them to Justice.

With over eight decades of daily strips, the sheer quantity of characters and stories is daunting and here summaries of those stories and details on the characters are available.

7 Responses to The Comic Strip

  1. Mike Newton says:

    Dear Sirs: Just ran across your Dick Tracy website. When I was three or four, we were living in central New Hampshire. The Boston Examiner carried the color cartoon strips of Dick Tracy and Little Orphan Annie on Sundays. I recall looking at the comic strips and the comic books and remember how the characters were also being shot through the head, with the bullet pattern indicated by dashes. The comic books finally had to crack down on horror comics in the Fifties, but Dick Tracy was left alone. They once asked Chester Gould why he made his villians so ugly and he replied “Because crime is ugly.” The comic pages were often printed first and sent out to the newstands on Saturday where they would be inserted into the Sunday papers coming off the press. However, you could go in some places and buy the magazine section separately for a dime to find out what happened to Dick Trac y so you didn’t have to wait. I personally knew Barry Shipman wrote the first Dick Tracy movie serial as well as Bill Witjney, the director. Ralph Byrd, who played Tracy in the serials also played him on an early TV series.

    • admin says:

      Thanks for commenting Mike, it’s great to hear how you followed Dick Tracy. I read the early decades later, and was amazed to see the “dashed” bullets going through a head. Even in the 60’s I recall the body of a car crash victim hanging from a tree, pretty gruesome. I doubt today’s Dick Tracy could swing such a scene.

      I wish there was a way to go back in time, I’d love to interview Barry Shipman or Bill Witney about the Dick Tracy serial (or any film for that matter) and admit I’m jealous you got to know them.

      – Jeremy

  2. Joseph Leith says:

    Like to buy the Dick Tracy comic stripsfrom 1960- 1970 that were printed in the NY Daily News papers black and white Mon – Sat and also the color comic stripsof the 12 frames 1960 – 1970 every week copies please let me know if there in stockedand give me a price to buy them thank you josephl.56.blue@gmail.com

  3. Joe Leith says:

    Like to buy all the 1960-1970 Dick Tracy comic strips that appeared in the daily news papers Mon days _ Saturdays and all Sunday comic strips in color every Sunday from 1960 -1970 Get back to me of how I can buy these strips. thank you Joe.

    • W Wagner says:

      in responding to your email, I have had in my possession a 1960 comic strip featuring {front page) Dick Tracy which was published 1/18/1960 out of the Journal Herald, complete with all comic strip stories and is in good condition. I await your
      response…

  4. I remember seeing Dick Tracy in the theater with my dad. I had the toys and even made a Dick Tracy costume and two way wrist radio out of legos and duct tape, Haha. Been a fan ever since:) Anyways…

    I recently had the urge to draw Flattop. Afterward I watched the movie then started searching google and found this site. Sooo much information it’s overwhelming! Fantastic site! Amazing that you have so much here. Hats off to you!

    • admin says:

      I love the lego and duct tape wrist radio idea! I remember playing with the Dick Tracy figurines when I was a kid as well. Invariably everyone but Tracy got shot….which pretty much matches the movie I believe.

      Thank you for the comment!
      – Jeremy @ the Depot

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