Allan Holtz Reviews Chester Gould Biography

The Stripper’s Guide blogger/historian Allan Holtz reviews Chester Gould – A Daughter’s Biography of the Creator of Dick Tracy by Jean Gould O’Connell.

I soured on Dick Tracy a bit recently when I read the reprints of the first years of the strip. I found the early Tracy stories to be sloppily plotted in the extreme, so much so that I’m amazed Gould’s strip survived long enough for him to hone his storytelling skills. This bio, while not admitting that the early Tracy was pretty awful, does explain how Gould plotted stories, and it explains his strip’s early awkwardness.

There’s a lot of meaty stuff in here and I don’t want to give too much away, so I’ll just mention that there was also unexpected material on how Gould felt about his successors on the strip, and about the way the Chicago Tribune treated Gould and his legacy.