Robert Graysmith – Cartoonist, Detective, Author

If you know me, you know I’m a huge fan of Chester Gould, and I have a number of Dick Tracy originals hanging on my wall. They bring inspiration and a smile to me every day. For my upcoming birthday, my son [Aaron Smith] created a ‘DETECTIVE GRAYSMITH’ comicstrip in the same Dick Tracy style! I’m thrilled that this will hang on my wall and add to that daily inspiration! – Robert Graysmith


Robert Graysmith was an award winning cartoonist for twenty years
when his obsession with the Zodiac Killer put everything else on hold.


Since then his fame as an editorial cartoonist has been
overshadowed by his renown as a true crime author.

For a fairly famous guy, author Robert Graysmith doesn’t get out much. He hasn’t been heard from in public for about a decade, and he rarely leaves his San Francisco home.

He’s not hot on technology either — though he does like the internet making his definitive books about the Zodiac Killer and the murder of actor Bob Crane more available as bookstores disappear.

“I stopped learning technology around the year 1500,” Graysmith recently told The Chronicle, with a chuckle. “I still use inkwells. I resist it.”

Kevin Fagan (no, not that one) profiles author Robert Graysmith’s post-cartoonist career
for The San Francisco Chronicle on the occasion of a new book release.

As for the 34 other books waiting in the wings, Graysmith doesn’t want to give too much away. But the titles and thumbnails say plenty.

“Let’s see,” he began, “there’s ‘The Most Beautiful Day In the World,’ about the creation of American literature, which I narrowed to a specific table in a specific place. … And ‘Legend of the Lake Tiger,’ a children’s book which is very scary.”

“As soon as they’re all published, then I can start with my painting,” he said. “I’m trying to do fine art.”