Encyclopedia o f Chicago
Entries : Dick Tracy
Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy

Dick Tracy was born in the gang warfare of Prohibition. With machine-gun fire and police chases reverberating in its ears, the edgy public clamored for protection and news. As newspapers responded, a unique feature came to life. Artist Chester Gould presented his new comic strip, “Plainclothes Tracy,” to enthusiastic Chicago Tribune editor Joseph Patterson. Renamed “Dick Tracy,” the square-faced, no-nonsense crime fighter was off and running on October 4, 1931.

Gould's “Tracy” found himself chasing Capone, Dillinger, and Pretty Boy Floyd as thinly disguised characters named Pruneface, Flattop, and Putty Puss. The strip introduced dazzling car chases, fierce gun battles, and death-defying scenarios to the comics.

Dick Tracy continued into the twenty-first century with Pulitzer Prize–winning cartoonist Dick Locher and columnist Michael Kilian. Tracy still pursues outlandish characters, revealing that chisel-jawed icon protruding into the many faces of modern crime.

Dick Tracy's Fiendish Foes: A 60th Anniversary Celebration. 1991.