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Comic Strip Classics

Dick Tracy

October 1, 1995, Scott #3000-m
(of pane of 20)
photo., perf: 10.1

inscriptions on back of each stamp
describe the comic strip

Scott #3000


20¢ Postcard

The postcard has the same text as the back of the stamp:

Chester Gould (1900-1985)
Although his Sunday pages utilized flat colors,
Tracy's world was black-and-white: good vs. evil,
right vs. wrong. The villains especially — Flattop,
the Brow, Mumbles, Pruneface — were as uigly as
their natures. The strip began in 1931.
© Tribune Media Services, Inc.


First Day Covers

For decades, Dick Tracy has assured comic readers that crime doesn't pay. Chester Gould (1900-1985) created this first realistic cops-and-robbers action strip, which broke many comic taboos. It accurately portrayed the tough, often violent, world of law enforcement.

Dick Tracy is a clean-cut plainclothes detective with a jutting jaw line and eagle-like nose. Gould drew him with hard outlines and bright, flat colors. But his actions were strictly black and white, good against evil and right against wrong. He was the nemesis of a whole rogue's gallery of grotesquely caricatured criminals, from The Blank and The Brow to Shaky, Flattop, Pruneface, and Mumbles.

Tracy's life was never easy. On the job, he has been shot countless times, blinded by acid, tortured, stabbed, maimed, and crippled. His personal life has been no less hectic. His daughter and adopted son have been kidnapped, and even Tess Truehart, his sweetheart, jilted him several times before they finally were married in the strip in 1949.

Chester Gould studied cartooning through a correspondence course. He launched his career while a student at Oklahoma A&M, drawing sports cartoons for the Daily Oklahoman.

A transfer to Northwestern University also brought a job transfer to Hearst's Chicago American. In 1924, Gould created Fillum Fables, a comic strip take-off of Hollywood movies. He sold the idea of Dick Tracy to Joseph Patterson, editor of the Chicago Tribune-New York Daily News Syndicate, in 1931.

Patterson was impressed with Gould's painstaking research of crimes and criminal investigations. However, he was less taken with the strip's tentative title, "Plainclothes Tracy." The name was changed, and Dick Tracy was born in the Sunday funnies of October 4, 1931. The tone of the strip and the tightness of its scripts set a new standard in the action comics field. Since its inception Dick Tracy has become the basis for half a dozen movies, a radio program, a TV series, and a number of animated cartoons.

© Postal Commemorative Society





Copyright 1932
Chester Gould

read this story!

WWII - 1942-1943 Dick Tracy "fill-in" postcards