“Dick Tracy” (09/05/1983)

Dick Tracy (09/05/1983)
by Dick Locher (1929-2017) and Max Collins (1948-)
13 x 3.75 in., ink on board
Coppola Collection

I am always intrigued to pick up an example of how scientists are represented in the popular culture. This one is a treat.


I am not a big Dick Tracy fan, but there was a time when it was one of the most recognizable and well-known strips there was. The team of Locher and Collins, running from 1983-1992, is perhaps second in familiarity only to the strip’s creator, Chester Gould.

Gould started the Dick Tracy strip in 1931 as both its writer and artist. He stayed with the strip until Christmas day, 1977, when the writing was turned over to Max Allan Collins and the art chores to one of Gould’s longtime assistants, Rick Fletcher.

Collins, a prolific mystery writer (co-creator of the Ms. Tree comics series in the 1980s) stayed on through 1992.

In 1957, Dick Locher began assisting Chester Gould on Dick Tracy, where he inked the figures and colored the Sunday strips. He left the strip in 1961 to work on other areas, including starting an advertising company, where he worked on designing some of McDonald’s characters. In 1973, Locher became an editorial cartoonist at the Chicago Tribune, on Gould’s strong recommendation, and he retired from that in 2013.

Tracy artist Fletcher died in March 1983, and Locher joined Collins as the third artist on the Dick Tracy strip. In April of the same year, and the year of this particular example, Locher won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. He stayed with the Tracy strip until 2011.

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