Dick Tracy Monthly 1948 Serie
Publication Dates: January 1948 – December 1949 Number of Issues Published: 24 (#1 – #24)
Paper Stock: Newsprint
Publishing Format: Was Ongoing Series
Publication Type: magazine
Numbering continues with Dick Tracy (Harvey, 1950 series) #25.
Starts with reprinting Dick Tracy comic strips, but moves to all-new material with issue 19.
Dick Tracy Monthly 1950 Serie
Publication Dates: March 1950 – April 1961
Number of Issues Published: 121 (#25 – #145)
Dimensions: standard Golden Age, then Silver Age US
Paper Stock: newsprint
Publishing Format: was ongoing series
Publication Type: magazine
Numbering continues from Dick Tracy Monthly (Dell, 1948 series) #24
Publication Dates: May 1986 – 1989
Number of Issues Published: 99 (#1 – #99)
Information thanks to the Grand Comics Database
Also 7 issues Dell Four Color Comics
Also 6 issues Large Feature Comic
Also Dick Tracy The Case of the Purloined Sirloin
Dick Tracy is a comic strip featuring Dick Tracy (originally Plainclothes Tracy), a square-jawed, hard-hitting, fast-shooting, intelligent police detective. Created by Chester Gould, the strip made its debut on October 4, 1931, in the Detroit Mirror. It was distributed by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate. Gould wrote and drew the strip until 1977. Since that time, various artists and writers have continued the strip, which still runs in newspapers today. Dick Tracy has also been the hero in a number of films, notably one in which Warren Beatty played the crime fighter.
Although stories often end in gunfights, Tracy uses forensic science, advanced gadgetry, and wits, in an early example of the police procedural mystery story. Stories typically follow a criminal committing a crime and Tracy’s relentless pursuit of the criminal. The strip’s most popular villain was Flattop Jones, a freelance hitman hired by black marketeers to murder Tracy. When Flattop was killed, fans went into public mourning, and the Flattop Story was reprinted in DC’s series of Oversize Comic Reprints in the 1970s. Reflecting film noir, the villains’ small crimes led to bigger, out of control situations. Similarly, innocent witnesses were frequently killed, and Tracy’s paramour Tess Trueheart was often endangered by the villains. As the story progressed, Tracy adopted an orphan under the name, Dick Tracy Jr., or “Junior” for short, who appeared in investigations until becoming a police forensic artist in his father’s precinct, and cultivated a professional partner, the ex-steel worker Pat Patton, who gradually became a detective of skill and courage enough to satisfy Tracy’s requirements.
Tracy characters were often caricatures of celebrities. Most famous of these was Breathless Mahoney, modeled after Lauren Bacall. Likewise, B.O. Plenty was inspired by George “Gabby” Hayes (with perhaps a nod to Al St. John also), Vitamin Flintheart by John Barrymore and Spike Dyke by Spike Jones. Others include villains like Rughead (Robert Montgomery), Oodles (Jackie Gleason) and Mumbles (Bing Crosby). Gould even parodied himself as the out-of-shape Pear Shape!
Tracy made his first comic book appearance in 1936 as one of the features included in the first issue of Dell’s Popular Comics. As would be the case with most Tracy comic book appearances, these would be reprints from the newspaper strip, reconfigured to fit the pages of a comic book. Tracy would remain a regular feature in Popular Comics through the publication’s 21st issue.
The first comic book to feature Tracy exclusively was the Dick Tracy Feature Book, published in May 1937 by David McKay Publications. McKay’s Feature Books were magazines that rotated several popular characters from comics strips through 1938. Three more of McKay’s Feature Books starred Tracy in the following months.
In 1939, Dell started a comic magazine series called “Black and White Comics,” essentially identical to McKay’s “Feature Books.” Six of the 15 issues featured Tracy. In 1941, Dell’s “Black and White” series was replaced by the “Large Feature Books,” the third issue of which featured Tracy. As with the McKay series, the Dell “Black and White” and “Large Feature” series were abridged reprints of the strip.
In 1938, Tracy became one of several regular newspaper strips featured in Dell’s regular monthly Super Comics, remaining a regular part of that publication until 1948. In 1939, Tracy was the sole feature in the very first issue of Dell’s Four-Color Comics, which put out over 1300 issues starring hundreds of characters between 1939 and 1962. Tracy was featured in seven more Four-Color issues throughout the 1940s.
Tracy was frequently featured in comic books used as promotional items by various companies. In 1947, for example, Sig Feuchtwanger produced a comic book that was a giveaway prize in boxes of Quaker Puffed Wheat cereal, sponsor of the popular Dick Tracy radio series.
In January 1948, Dell began the first regular Dick Tracy comic book series, Dick Tracy Monthly. This series ultimately ran for 145 issues, the first 24 of which were published by Dell, after which it was picked up by Harvey Comics. Continuing the same numbering, Harvey published the series until 1961. As with most previous Tracy comic book incarnations, these were, with the exception of the last few Dell issues which featured original material, slightly abridged and reconfigured reprints of the newspaper strips.
Dick Tracy was revived in 1986 by Blackthorne Publishing and ran for 99 issues. Disney produced a series of three issues as a tie-in for their 1990 film. This miniseries, True Hearts and Tommy Guns, was drawn by Kyle Baker and edited by Len Wein. The third issue was a direct adaptation of the film.
Chester Gould won the Reuben Award for the strip in 1959 and 1977.
The Mystery Writers of America honored Gould and his work with a Special Edgar Award in 1980. This was the first time MWA ever honored a comic strip.
In 1995, the strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative postage stamps and postcards.
On May 2, 2011, the Tennessee Senate passed Resolution 30, congratulating Mike Curtis and Joe Staton on their professional accomplishments, including Dick Tracy.
On September 7, 2013, at the Baltimore Comics Convention, Dick Tracy was awarded the Harvey in the “Best Syndicated Strip or Panel” category. Tracy was simultaneously the oldest continually running strip, and the first adventure strip ever to win the Harvey Award in this category. On September 6, 2014, Tracy was awarded a second Harvey Award in the newspaper strip category, becoming one of only three strips to win in this category in consecutive years.
Celebrated Cases 1931-1951, One big city blues, Monthly 67,105
Monthly 137, v2 1-8
Monthly v2 9-17
Monthly v2 18-26
Monthly v2 27-30,33-37
Official movie adaptation, Special Motorola Presents, vs the Underworld
Feature Book 4, Monthly 103,134
Four Color Comic 34,56,96,133,163, v1 8,21
Large Feature Comic v1 1,3,4,8,11,15
Monthly 122-124,126-129,131-133,135,136,139,140, The purloined sirloin