News Bulletins


Checker Announces Dick Tracy TPB

Posted: Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Posted By: Shawn Patty

Checker BPG Announces Winter ’04 Publication of Dick Tracy: The Collins Casefiles, Volume 3

Strips from 1978-1989 to see reprint in multiple volumes

Dick Tracy newspaper strips scripted by Road to Perdition creator and mystery author Max Allan Collins between 1978 and 1989 will be reprinted for the first time in a series of trade paperback collections from Checker Book Publishing Group, with Dick Tracy: The Collins Files Volume 3 (ISBN 0-9753808-8-5, $17.95, 180 pgs b/w paperback) seeing publication in Winter 2004.

Checker’s two previous Dick Tracy collections have met with across-the-board positive response, from critics to consumers. The combination of Collins’ writing and Fletcher’s writing is described by Michael Vance, a reviewer from Suspended Animation, as “…intricate, innovative, [with] entertaining plots, characterization, and dialogue. Dick Tracy: The Collins Casefiles is highly recommended.” The Collins/Fletcher strips were also reviewed favorably by Booklist:

“Modern sensibilities precluded reviving the violence and grotesquerie that were Gould hallmarks, so Collins instead injected fast-paced plotting and a new topicality. In another change for the better, longtime Gould assistant Rick Fletcher took over the artwork, bringing a contemporary look while remaining faithful to Gould’s classic designs and compositions.”

The third volume collects the Dick Tracy strips that were published from January 6, 1980 to January 17, 1981, and includes the stories “Dick Tracy Meets Art Dekko”, “Dick Tracy Meets Breakdown”, and “Dick Tracy Meets Torcher”.

Chester Gould, a veteran cartoonist, proposed his most legendary character, a dashing and daring detective for the newspaper comics page in 1931. Gould proposed titling his strip Plainclothes Tracy, but Tribune head General Joseph Medill Patterson renamed him Dick Tracy before giving him a slot in the paper. Modeled in the image of the innovative Sherlock Holmes, Gould was inspired to create new crime-fighting technology, including the two-way wrist TV, closed circuit TV police line-up and the engineless car that took Dick Tracy to the moon.

Gould produced the Tracy strip himself for 46 years before its daily demands became too much and he turned scripting duties over to the mystery and comics writer, Max Allan Collins, and the art to his longtime assistant Rick Fletcher. When Fletcher passed away, pencilling duties over the remainder of Collins tenure were given over to Dick Locher, a future Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist. Gould maintained a role in the direction of Tracy’s adventures for less than a year before it was turned entirely over to Collins, and Gould left the strip’s byline after nearly 50 years.

Checker Book Publishing Group was established in 2000 to bring the absolute best of dormant, unpublished, and underpublished serial comics material back to print. These endeavors are pursued with stalwart vigor by certain residents of Dayton, Ohio, in which city the company maintains its offices.

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