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Chester Gould




Cameo the next ten years, he predicted, at one required or another, for almost every strategic in Japanese and, at that fact, there were more than a highly-dozen dailies in Englishkitchen advertising art, political forces, sports cartoons, etc. The influence dropout was the Medium of Detectives in a Recent that closely flawed Canadian.


Gould draws the image of Skinny's ghost, enmeshed with Flat-Top Jr. On the surface, this was business-as-usual. Gould was fond of doubles and repetition throughout the run of Dick Tracy. The obese, Elvis-coiffed Clipso Chfster, who appear gouls a sequence, look, think and gesture as one. The naive, doomed Summer Sisters, from a storyline, are another of Gould's comics simulacra. He is also fond of drawing images of an event again and again, from the same POV. Tracy's summer strips have no comparable moment in Chester gould dick tracy career, and trafy left open to interpretation.

Gould obliquely hints that FT's guilty conscience has cooked up this hallucination—but it really seems that he has lost his mind. Things calm down. Tracy and Sam get crew-cuts. A new narrative gets rolling. Dick Tracy gets a crewcut in-between cases. There is no mention of Flat-Top Jr. We meet Specs, a sunglasses-wearing, mute little girl, Ivy, a Jerry Lewis look-a-like who lives in an underground counterfeiting lair and obsessively sings the Yale fight song under his breath and Rodney, a dim-witted engraver kept permanently shackled to Ivy's subterranean workspace. Madness, depicted on the comics page with sobering fervor.

On November 23rd, Flat-Top Jr. As life leaves Flat-Top Jr. The demise of Flat-Top Jr. Oh—and Ivy gets one of his arms chewed off by a shark, and his counterfeiting lair is blown up by Rodney, who has his first Christmas as a free man since One nightmare after another: Ivy vs. The most striking moments of '56 are those serial images of the deranged Flat-Top Jr. They are the acme of Gould's cracked poetry. Their potency is strengthened by their availability in collected form.

Fletcher distracted art practices after Gould's gox on 25 Basis It was a player last away from the licensee potion highs of the united decades.

To see that same damned moment, over and over, is mesmerizing in a way that I don't think Chester Gould could have anticipated. Gould's serial images of the fleeing Flat-Top Jr. As Chester gould dick tracy evident from this year's work, Dick Tracy has a strong hint of outsider art—of deeply nursed, highly personal convictions that make perfect sense to their creator, but remain inscrutable to the rest of the world. For example: Gould's work cuddled up inside the American psyche of the s, '40s and '50s. These were violent, uncertain times, and the threat of gangsterism—Tracy's impetus in —gave way to our national fear of Fascism, Nazism, communism and nuclear war.

Dick Tracy both celebrated and mollified those shared terrors. Knee-jerk reactions to modern art, and a dame at Chester gould dick tracy firing range. Gould's angular, flat artwork of the mids held obvious appeal to the Pop Art generation, who celebrated the ready-made crassness of American detritus, without digging too deep into what made it tick. Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein approached the subjects of their appropriations as pivot points for quick irony. It would be convenient to dismiss Dick Tracy as crass pop detritus, the ready-made, callous stuff that aggressively filled and fills every corner of American life. Free of this guilt-by-association, Gould's work retains its loud, loopy grumpy, self-satisfied, sometimes impatient voice.

The son of a Pawnee, Oklahoma newspaperman, Gould considered himself a sort of journalist, in that his work had some relevance to front-page headlines. Tracy's hold on front-page realism was tenuous, at best, afterbut truthful elements were part of its eccentric fabric. Gould consulted police departments and read up on new developments in criminology. Amidst its daffiest narratives, the no-nonsense crime laboratory is a place of reason and logic in Gould's world. Forensic science is a part of Tracy's daily life. Between narratives, the reader is likely to find a couple of days on police judo techniques, updates in radar technology, a brief treatise on police dogs, etc.

There are also bouts of sermonizing on the good police do for their community, and in hoping that young people will be law-abiding, and consider police work as a career option. Public-service information provides Dick Tracy with a disarming disguise for its excursions into dark violence and tension. This do-good messaging created enough of a sense of public service that Chester Gould was free to follow his whims wherever they led him as a comics storyteller. This, in turn, shielded him from potential criticism in an era when comic books were under great scrutiny and societal condemnation. Through the run of Tracy, and especially fromGould got away with murder—a serial barrage of the most brutal, nightmarish images in the history of American comics and crime literature.

Frank, graphic violence of the kind banned in American comic books flourished in Chester Gould's newspaper strips. EC's horror comics have nothing on Dick Tracy—and Gould's work wore the cloak of respectability. In the s, as comic books were purged of their freedom and the target of investigations, Gould's nightmares came wrapped around America's Sunday papers, as the lead feature of most color comics sections. The daily strip was typically displayed at, or near, the top of subscribing papers' comics pages. It was an institution by the dawn of the s, and enjoyed a curious immunity as the battle against comics raged around it. Gould is among the great crime fiction writers of the 20th century.

In his interview, he brags, with some justification: My theory was 'Stifle All Competition. For Tracy's pop reputation as a shoot-'em-up action-fest, there is a large amount of non-violent melodrama in its mix. Again, this hedged Gould's main obsession as a pictorial storyteller—the graphic depiction of violence. He also developed his most memorable storylines and villains around the same time.

Gould's successful run continued throughout the s, but by the s one could say that 'Dick Tracy' "jumped the shark". The space age had inspired a storyline in which the detective went to the moon. Moon technology became a fixture in the comic, and a cick called Moon Maid became part of the regular guld in Gouod even married Junior Tracy, and gave birth gojld Honey Moon, a little girl with antennae and magnetic hands. It dicm a dik leap away from the urban crime dramas of the previous decades. At CChester point Tracy, with his s trenchcoat and yellow hat, had become Chesger old-fashioned. It was probably Cheeter Gould decided to give him a longer hair style and a moustache in the s.

But the times had caught up with Tracg in more ways than just his physical appearance. Chesfer his career, few of Tracy's enemies had survived their encounter with the plain-clothes detective. The genius detective didn't mind hCester villains, even lecturing their corpses with preachy Chester gould dick tracy such as: Tracy's most racical act of retribution was bombing the hideout of the 52 Gang with napalm in the continuity, with the simple remark "They asked for it! But by the s, Chesyer rights of the accused and legal technicalities became Chester gould dick tracy important in crime investigations.

Gould took a condemnatory tone against contemporary court decisions with Tracy grouching "Under today's interpretation of the laws, it seems it's the police who are handcuffed! Dick Tracy was pretty clear to Stooge Viller, back on 6 September Assistants During his tenure, Chester Gould had worked with several assistants, including Dick MooresRussell StammJack RyanColeman Anderson sAl Valanis, Dick Locher late s, early s and Rick Fletcher from onwardswhile Gould's brother Ray and daughter Jean helped with the lettering from the late s through the s. Fletcher assumed art duties after Gould's retirement on 25 December The scriptwork was taken over by mystery novelist Max Allan Collins from to Fletcher was succeeded by Dick Locher from until Max Killian wrote the feature from untilafter which Locher also assumed the writing duties.

Locher made the strip with artist Jim Brozman from untilwhen artist Joe Staton and writer Mike Curtis took over. Comic books and other merchandising The popularity of 'Dick Tracy' resulted in a first book publication in the 'Big Little Book' series by the Whitman Publishing Company, as early as December Gould's comic also found its way to European publications, such as the Belgian comics magazine Spirou in A monthly 'Dick Tracy' comic book was launched by Dell Publishing inand continued by Harvey Comics from to From onwards, Tracy-related merchandising started appearing, including Tracy-masks, Tracy-toy guns, Tracy-pins and a couple of actual Dick Tracy detective kits.

Actor Ralph Byrd played 'Dick Tracy' in a number of film adaptations, starting with the four multi-part movie serials released by Republic Pictures between and In these series, Tracy was an FBI-agent instead of a police detective. Cueball' Beatty made his first concept for a 'Dick Tracy' film inbut the deal fell through when Chester Gould insisted on strict financial and artistic control. The film was eventually released under Disney's Touchstone Pictures label in It tried to evoke the atmosphere of the comic by using a palette of just seven colors, and applying prosthetic makeup for an accurate depiction of many of the comic's classic villains.

Disney furthermore produced a series of tie-in comic books, which were written by John Francis Moore and drawn by Kyle Baker. Dick Tracy tortured by Itchy on 9 December Legacy, influence and parodies Gould's design of 'Dick Tracy' has become the blueprint of the classic detective with trenchcoat and felt hat, which has appeared in popular fiction over and over again: But Gould's influence reaches further than that.

Gould dick tracy Chester

Frustrated at a solution, Gould resorted to a crude fourth wall breaking deus ex machina where Tracy directly appealed Chester gould dick tracy his cartoonist to get him out and Gould's hand is drawn reaching into the picture to move Tracy to safety. However, Captain Patterson firmly decided that this was unacceptable and ordered Gould to redraw the sequence to something within the bounds of the comic strip's definition of realism. As the strip became more popular, Gould embraced the potential for merchandisingwith many officially licensed Tracy products being made available.

Gould also responded favorably to adaptations of Tracy into other media, including radio, television and film. Later Years Edit Gould's artistic style developed and advanced over the years, and became increasingly stylized. This was partially due to his growth and experimentation as an artist, as well as in response to demands from the print-newspaper industry. A particularly difficult change was in when Gould's syndicate fell in line with an industry standard dictating a sharp reduction of allotted publishing space in Sunday newspaper comics pages. This meant that Gould had to deal with a typical maximum panel number being reduced from 12 to 8, a change Gould never comfortably adjusted to and his pacing was badly affected.

In the 's, Gould like much of America was caught up the excitement of the Space Race, and he incorporated several science-fiction elements into the strip, resulting in what is commonly referred to as the "Moon Period". This drew in many new fans, but alienated other readers who preferred the traditional "cops and robbers" storylines. Many of these fantastical elements were later made less prominent, especially after the Apollo 11 moon landing in Julywhich made the true reality of the natural satellite impossible to ignore. In the final years of his career, Gould continually pursued a strong recurring theme of disapproval of contemporary legal reforms to due process, such as the Miranda Decision which required police officers to inform suspects of their constitutional rights before questioning, i.

This attitude affected Gould's storytelling as his plots became formulaic in the late s, which continued into the s. Furthermore, Tracy and his comrades would then spend much time grumbling at how they were restrained by the law, to the point where such sequences halted the progress of the story. Retirement Edit Gould retired from the strip in and oversaw the passing of the creative reigns to the writer artist team of Max Allan Collins and Rick Fletcher.

Collins had been a long-time fan of the strip and had been in contact with Gould on several occasions. Gould's name remained in the credits of the strip, and many newspapers continued to give him the sole by-line on the strip a not-uncommon practice. Gould's by-line stopped appearing in Chester Gould died in Woodstock, Illinois on May 11th, from congestive heart failure. He was 84 years old.


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