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.
The Spirit and Dick Tracy crossover wrapped up last week and Joe Staton is taking a well deserved break from Tracy artwork to catch up on other work. In his absence Shelley Pleger, who already does the inks, letters, and punches up the occasional dialog, will be taking the art reigns! This is not the first time Shelley has stepped up with both the art, check out her contributions in a pinch back in 2015.
Shelley’s first task in our new story is reviving the look and feel of old Tribune comic, Harold Teen. Harold Teen is a comic strip about adolescence written and drawn by Carl Ed that ran from 1919 to 1959. Tracy writer Mike Curtis has described Harold Teen as his favorite comic strip and one of long standing goals has been to bring Harold, in this case briefly, back to the funnies. Make no assumptions on Mr. Curtis’s age there, I believe he was reading this adolescent story at quite the young age! There should be plenty of fun and amusement in the coming story, crime at a cosplay convention with real life guest star, Svengoolie in attendance.
We can’t wait for all this to play out and the Depot is excited to see Shelley’s rendition of our yellow coated crime fighter.
Nick Caputo writes comic articles and essays and is the author of the blog, Marvel Mysteries and Comics Minutiae. Nick’s latest work is a loving article about growing up reading the Dick Tracy comic strip during the space age era. Like many who started reading Tracy during the moon period, these stories were not strange and contrary to the gritty 30’s and 40’s crime capers that their parents grew up with but were exciting introductions to a detective who could go to the Moon and back to solve a crime. If you have the time, head on over to Nick’s blog for a read!
Forgive me for some mercantilism, but Dick Tracy comic collectors can get a look at the next volume (22) of IDW’s Chester Gould’s Dick Tracy collection now available for pre-order on amazon with a scheduled release date of June 17th. Volume #22 includes years April 13th, 1964 to December 26th, 1965. Active readers following the ongoing exploits of mastermind Mr. Bribery and the computer A.I. Matty Squared may be excited to buy this volume for the original Matty Squared and Mr. Bribery cases from 1965. Also included will be Moon Maid’s first foray’s into vigilantism, Chester Gould’s own parody of himself, Chet Jade, and the mystery of Lita Flite.
Also, I would be remiss to mention that the Moon Maid graced volume #21 of this collection was due out last month but delays have pushed its release date to the end of January. The price on that one has dropped as it approaches the release date and now may be the right price to pick it up if you are waiting for a deal.
In other Tracy news, Chris Sims at the Comics Alliance is written a great article on the current Dick Tracy / Spirit crossover. If you have time I suggest you give it a read!