Dick Tracy

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Dick Tracy is a comic strip developed by Chester Gould in the 1930s that is still reprinted in newspapers today. It is about the police inspector of the same name and his fight against crime in Chicago.

Creation and publication

Chester Gould offered the comic strip called Plainclothes Tracy to the owner of the Chicago Tribune , Joseph Medill Patterson . The changed the title to Dick Tracy and published the first Sunday strip on October 4, 1931 to the Tribune Company belonging Detroit Mirror . Daily strips appeared in the Chicago Tribune just a week later .

The first comic editions outside of the newspaper strips appeared in 1933, followed by a series of its own in 1939, in which 145 issues were published by 1961.

Chester Gould wrote and drew the stories about Dick Tracy until 1977. Since then, the series has been continued by Gould's assistants Max Allen Collins and Dick Fletcher.


The detective Dick Tracy lives with his girlfriend and her father over the grocery store run by his father. When he is ambushed, robbed and killed, Dick Tracy decides to find the murderers and bring them down. This is how the series begins, which subsequently introduces various criminals into new situations over and over again. Dick Tracy, who joins the police in the show's first year, is a rough-and-tumble guy whose sole aim is to fight crime in Chicago.

Dick Tracy can use many technical aids such as a radio with video functions on the wrist and futuristic flying machines in order to follow the criminals with his colleague and to catch them. Dick Tracy convicts the criminals and often has to use weapons to incapacitate them during the chases or during the final scene. He himself does not always remain unharmed.

TV series and films

The character of Dick Tracy has been the focus of several American television series and films.

Cinema series (film serial of Republic Pictures)

  • 1937: Dick Tracy, 15 episodes with Ralph Byrd in the title role
  • 1938: Dick Tracy Returns, 15 episodes with Ralph Byrd in the title role
  • 1939: Dick Tracy's G-Men, 15 episodes with Ralph Byrd in the title role
  • 1941: Dick Tracy vs. Crime Inc., 15 episodes with Ralph Byrd in the title role

TV Shows

  • 1950–51: Dick Tracy, with Ralph Byrd in the title role
  • 1961: The Dick Tracy Show, animated series


  • 1937: Dick Tracy, feature film version of the 1937 theatrical series, with Ralph Byrd in the title role
  • 1945: Dick Tracy, with Morgan Conway in the title role
  • 1946: Dick Tracy vs. Cueball, with Morgan Conway in the title role
  • 1947: Dick Tracy's Dilemma, with Ralph Byrd in the title role
  • 1947: Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, with Ralph Byrd in the title role
  • 1967: Dick Tracy, film made for TV with Ray McDonnell in the title role
  • 1990: Dick Tracy , title role and directed by Warren Beatty

Individual evidence

  1. Andreas C. Knigge: Everything about comics . Europa Verlag, Hamburg 2004, ISBN 3-203-79115-3 , p. 167
  2. ^ Andreas C. Knigge: Comic Lexikon . Ullstein, Frankfurt a. M. 1984, ISBN 3-548-36554-X , p. 235.