32¢ Dick Tracy
Comic Strip Classics
Issue Date: October 1, 1995
City: Boca Rotan, FL
Printed By: Stamp Venturers
Printing Method: Photogravure
Dick Tracy made its debut in newspapers in 1931. Although not the first detective strip created, it was so popular that it became the criterion against which all other crime strips were measured. The strip owed much of its popularity to the fact that nearly everyone could identify with the simplicity of Dick Tracy’s world – a world of good versus evil and right versus wrong.
The use of dark imagery and severe contrasts cleverly reflected the lurking dangers that continually stood in the way of justice. One of the most widely read in the country, (during the New York paper strike, it was read over the radio by Mayor La Guardia) the strip not only educated the public in real-life crime-stopping methods, but also entertained readers with a parade of imaginative characters and outrageous criminals. Some of the bizarre villains appearing in the strip included the Mole, the Brow, Flattop, Pruneface, and Gravel Gertie.
Chester Gould, who has been referred to as the “Expressionist of the Comics,” began his career as a sports cartoonist in Chicago. It wasn’t until the creation of his plainclothes detective however, that his talent for strip narrative and realistic characterization was discovered. Gould retired in 1977, and today the strip is continued by Mike Kilian and Dick Locher.