Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum

Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum The Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum is a not-for-profit organization. The Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum is a registered 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization.
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DICK TRACY, characters, names and related indicia are trademarks of and © Tribune Content Agency.

In this coming year--it's 92nd!--the Dick Tracy comic strip will have been crafted daily by other artists and writers fo...
10/04/2022

In this coming year--it's 92nd!--the Dick Tracy comic strip will have been crafted daily by other artists and writers for as many years as it had been by its creator, Chester Gould. Congratulations and birthday wishes to Tribune Content Agency and the strip's current creative team--Mike Curtis, Shelley Pleger, Shane Fisher & Walt Reimer. How are you folks gonna blow out all ninety-one candles? 🙂

Rarely did Chester Gould pause and reflect on his yellow-clad crusader's conquered foes. Chicago Sunday Tribune readers, however, were treated to this special, war-focused illustration which accompanied a wide-ranging profile of the cartoonist on April 23, 1944.

03/12/2022
Chester Gould’s endurance overcoming rejection after rejection is legendary. “I remembered someone saying that great thi...
03/09/2022

Chester Gould’s endurance overcoming rejection after rejection is legendary. “I remembered someone saying that great things are accomplished not so much by strength as by perseverance,” Chet wrote in the ecumenical Guideposts magazine late in his career. “Where I got my persistence, I don’t know. Maybe it came from my grandfather...who rode circuit on the plains, fighting storms and blizzards. Dad...kept up the family tradition, and I remembered him saying again and again, ‘Don’t give up.’ He’d pick up his old leather-bound Bible and read from Psalms. ’The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in His way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.’ Through all my failures I did have a feeling that God was there upholding me.”

Nearly sixty of Gould’s comic strip concepts were spurned by every prevailing newspaper syndicate over his first decade working in Chicago. Here’s a small sampling.

“There’s no doubt the good Lord or somebody looked after Gould. I worked for [William Randolph] Hearst for five and a ha...
02/20/2022

“There’s no doubt the good Lord or somebody looked after Gould. I worked for [William Randolph] Hearst for five and a half years in Chicago as a cartoonist, but I gave the job up because they had me stymied. They were having me do strips that were imitations of other strips. I did one called ‘Fillum Fables,’ which was an imitation of Ed Wheelan’s ‘Minute Movies.’ So I resigned and was confident I could get some kind of work, as my original work in Chicago had been in commercial art.” —Chester Gould

Despite having his crusading passions depressed by Hearst and the publisher’s agents, the tenacious cartoonist’s creative struggles during this time weren’t without purpose.

“I think they’re the most important in any young man’s life, the immediate ten or fifteen years before he lands what he ...
02/07/2022

“I think they’re the most important in any young man’s life, the immediate ten or fifteen years before he lands what he wants. I was called down to Tulsa [sic] when I was eighteen to do editorial cartoons for one month to fight a bond issue to build a new water reservoir. Well, the opposition paper (the Tulsa World) was for the bond issue. The paper that hired me (the Tulsa Democrat and Morning Times) was against the bond issue. My side lost, and my career as an editorial cartoonist ended at the end of that campaign…” —Chester Gould

Chet’s summoner was Christian millionaire philanthropist Charles Page. Page had offered to supply Tulsa with water drawn from a reservoir project already funded and underway by his Sand Springs Children’s Home, and he opposed the debt-funded Spavinaw municipal water plan proposed by the burgeoning
metropolis’s business elite and backed by newcomer oilman Harry Ford Sinclair.

Targeting Mammon’s thirst for Spavinaw’s $5 million in bonds ($80 million in today’s dollars) in the absence of a global war to bankroll, Chet aimed his cartoons at Tulsa’s homeowners and small business owners whose property taxes would shoulder this burden. The opposition World newspaper, meanwhile, indebted to Sinclair’s Exchange National Bank, savagely attacked Page’s character and integrity in its pages, carefully omitting the fact that every facet of the benefactor’s wealth (including the Morning Times and Democrat newspapers) was owned and controlled by the Children’s Home, directly supporting the region’s orphans and widows. Even to this day (https://www.sandspringshome.com/sand-springs-home/).

Among social injustices formative to Chester Gould, if indirectly, was the United States’ participation in the so-called...
01/30/2022

Among social injustices formative to Chester Gould, if indirectly, was the United States’ participation in the so-called “Great War” engulfing Europe, Russia, the Middle East and Africa.

Building on skills learned from the W. L. Evans School of Cartooning & Caricature and the success of having a cartoon published in The Universal Weekly (a magazine published by Universal Pictures) in 1915, Chet made a war-themed submission to The American Boy magazine’s 1917 cartoon contest and drew first place.

The budding cartoonist would more proximately witness war’s inhumanity when subsequently joining the staff of Oklahoma A & M’s Redskin annual as cartoonist. Twenty-seven of the university’s students paid the supreme sacrifice “to make the world safe for Democracy” while fourteen hundred more returned to campus bearing that conflict’s mental and physical wounds.

Grandson of a United Brethren circuit rider, whose father led Pawnee, Oklahoma’s youth as local superintendent of the in...
01/23/2022

Grandson of a United Brethren circuit rider, whose father led Pawnee, Oklahoma’s youth as local superintendent of the interdenominational Christian Endeavor Society, Chester Gould was animated from an early age with a zeal for righteousness and exposing injustice. “It was always a desire of Chester [sic] to lead a crusade against some wrong preying on society,” Frank Martin, a university friend, recounted in 1938, “his whole heart set on bringing a picture of actual conditions to the people and being a leader in moulding sentiment against such activities.” Martin added that, “in reality, Dick Tracy was created in his mind even before he had left high school; yet the exact person, form and position he would take was not worked out until later years.” Key to understanding both Chet and his product is the cartoonist’s deep faith in God as revealed by Jesus Christ. To this end we devote our 2022 posts.

DICK TRACY Sunday page excerpt by Dick Locher and Max Allan Collins, December 30, 1984

Observing this holiday fifty years ago with the blissful and acquiescent Plentys center stage, Chester Gould spotlighted...
12/24/2021

Observing this holiday fifty years ago with the blissful and acquiescent Plentys center stage, Chester Gould spotlighted competing sources for our good blessings.

Merry Christmas, dear friends!

On this date in 1900, Chester Gould was born near Pawnee, Oklahoma. While not confirmed during his lifetime, Chet may ha...
11/20/2021

On this date in 1900, Chester Gould was born near Pawnee, Oklahoma. While not confirmed during his lifetime, Chet may have been born in this one-room log cabin built by his mother’s parents in 1894. Unfortunately the cabin burned shortly after this article appeared in the local Pawnee paper.

On this date in 1931 New York Daily News readers got their first taste of DICK TRACY after a week of daily promotion in ...
10/12/2021

On this date in 1931 New York Daily News readers got their first taste of DICK TRACY after a week of daily promotion in its pages. Several ads for the new strip were given precious full-page treatment, such as this below from the newspaper’s Wednesday, October 7th edition.

Happy 90th Anniversary to Team Tracy and Tribune Content Agency!In honor of their milestone achievement, we present this...
10/04/2021

Happy 90th Anniversary to Team Tracy and Tribune Content Agency!

In honor of their milestone achievement, we present this celebratory poem penned to Chester Gould by his friend, Chicago Tribune national advertising manager Walter Kurz. Commemorating the strip’s 1956 silver anniversary, its final stanza alludes to little Spec:

“Twenty-five years ago there first came on the scene
A guy dedicated to stop all things mean.
He had no idea there’d be such as Flat - top
This valiant crime-stopper, Dick Tracy, the cop.

From Chester Gould’s pen and his creative brain
Came the masterful minds tuned to torture and pain.
They gave much concern but they never could top
This valiant crime-stopper, Dick Tracy, the cop.

The bodies and faces of this criminal parade
Were named so much better than any charade.
The whole nation awaited each new criminal crop
To be cornered and killed by Dick Tracy, the cop.

Of course there were times when no thugs would appear
Just Junior or Tess, that Miss Trueheart so dear.
Now there is a gal who gets heartbeats to stop
Especially the valiant Dick Tracy, the cop.

And speak of romance, no Mansfield or Monroe
Ever matched Gravel Gertie’s great love-makin’ show.
B.O. Plenty’s suspenders, and Sparkle’s cute mop
Gave some trouble to valiant Dick “Macy,” the cop.

Now a new note appears to intrigue the whole world
A gal with a gun, and white smoke just unfurled.
Whether good or plain bad her name will be top
With millions that follow Dick Tracy, the cop.”

"Even with two-way wrist radios and space cars, Dick Tracy doesn't have much on the technology-wise Kansas City police d...
09/24/2021

"Even with two-way wrist radios and space cars, Dick Tracy doesn't have much on the technology-wise Kansas City police department and its chief, Clarence M. Kelley." —Kansas City press bulletin, 1969

Apparently Chester Gould sent Kelley a drawing and note of congratulations after he was confirmed as FBI Director in the summer of 1973. Walking in J. Edgar Hoover's controversial shadow following a twelve year stint as police chief in Kansas City, former agent Kelley was regularly referenced in the press and in life as resembling Dick Tracy.

Another tribute to Jean O'Connell from The Library of American Comics blog.http://libraryofamericancomics.com/2021/09/01...
09/01/2021

Another tribute to Jean O'Connell from The Library of American Comics blog.

http://libraryofamericancomics.com/2021/09/01/chets-little-bird-returns-to-her-nest/?fbclid=IwAR2D1SwTGduDh9eP36WdqtSITl4A57-EtzumJs2AXlwDoGULXRhKni06cvI

Dick Tracy, Uncategorized Chet’s “Little Bird” Returns to Her Nest Posted on September 1, 2021September 1, 2021 by Guest Author 01 Sep Jean Gould O’Connell, only child of Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould, passed away peacefully at her home in Geneva, Illinois on the evening of August 22, 202...

Remembering Jean O’Connell--Photo circa 2004 of Jean and her friend (since high school) Evie Fischer, with the director ...
08/27/2021

Remembering Jean O’Connell--Photo circa 2004 of Jean and her friend (since high school) Evie Fischer, with the director of the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce.

Our founder and chairperson, Jean O’Connell, went to be with the Lord this week. Among her many accomplishments, Jean’s ...
08/26/2021

Our founder and chairperson, Jean O’Connell, went to be with the Lord this week. Among her many accomplishments, Jean’s unique enthusiasm and support of a memorial tribute to her father by friends and neighbors birthed the Woodstock, Illinois museum in 1991. Her devotion to exploring and perpetuating her father’s creative legacy continued in the Museum’s online transformation and its partnership with the Library of American Comics. We’re ever grateful for her bright light and infectious joy.

https://www.yursfuneralhomes.com/obituaries/geneva/jean-e-oconnell/?fbclid=IwAR3bWNKV7DoUwLyK6warXhR--dtGpq6VBuSgr7BBeKg2ct3240PWw0X5a5U

On this date seventy-five years ago, B. O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie tied the knot.
08/18/2021

On this date seventy-five years ago, B. O. Plenty and Gravel Gertie tied the knot.

Friends, if you're traveling through America's heartland this summer be sure to visit our longtime friends at Ernie's Ca...
05/24/2021

Friends, if you're traveling through America's heartland this summer be sure to visit our longtime friends at Ernie's Cafe and Steakhouse off Interstate 70 in Columbia, Missouri. Great food and ambience a Dick Tracy fan will surely enjoy.

https://www.stltoday.com/travel/more-than-a-college-town-explore-the-food-drink-outdoors-in-columbia-mo/article_c544d8f0-34fb-5623-976b-8f5ddd6d82ed.html

With 81 city parks and trails, and three nearby state parks, there are plenty of options for biking, hiking or just taking a stroll.

Address

PO Box 144
Geneva, IL
60134

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