Dick Tracy, Still Shootin’ ‘Em Up After 90 Years

Ninety years ago cartoonist Chester Gould presented the comic strip Cigarette Sadie to the public. Being a Sunday Gould also presented a “topper” strip for that page.

Plainclothes police detective Dick Tracy was created by Chester Gould and first appeared in the Detroit Sunday Mirror on October 4, 1931. A daily series was started on October 12, 1931.

Soon Dick Tracy became “America’s Most Famous Detective.”

The rough and tumble world of cops and robbers in The Thirties was all over popular culture and now it was on the funny pages, but it wasn’t played for laughs in Dick Tracy. Gould portrayed the life of Detective Tracy with deadly seriousness, which became part of the appeal.

There were also the grotesqueries Tracy faced.

Chester Gould ran Dick Tracy’s department until 1977 when others, who kept up the violence as times and public tastes allowed, took over. These days Mike Curtis and Joe Staton run the Major Crimes Squad with an appreciation for their predecessors.

Dick Tracy © Tribune Content Agency; Comics Revue © Rick Norwood