Tom De Haven, a retired Virginia Commonwealth University professor and author of a series of novels centered around comic strip writers, appeared as himself in Sunday’s edition of the nationally syndicated comic strip “Dick Tracy,” shaking hands with the famed fictional detective.
“It felt a bit surreal and a bit meta,” De Haven told VCU News about his “Dick Tracy” appearance. “On the most basic level, it was delightful, of course! Who gets to be in a comic strip? Not just everybody! On quite another level, it was a kind of coming-full-circle thing, having been introduced to comics at a very young age by seeing a ‘Dick Tracy’ comic book that reprinted old ‘Dick Tracy’ comic strips from the newspaper.”
On the occasion of Tom De Haven‘s first appearance in Dick Tracy in early November
Richmond Magazine ran a very short interview with the author and comics historian:
RM: You’ve now become a comic character yourself. How does that feel?
De Haven: Yes, the characters in my first book, “Funny Papers,” are going to appear in “Dick Tracy,” and they are going to actually cartoon me in the strip. I don’t think they realize the irony of that. It’s how I got involved in creativity in the first place, discovering Chester Gould’s “Dick Tracy” when I was 6.