Cover image for Dick Tracy and American culture : morality and mythology, text and context
Dick Tracy and American culture : morality and mythology, text and context
Roberts, Garyn G.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [1993]

Physical Description:
xxii, 326 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm
Title Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN6728.D53 R63 1993 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In October 1931, Dick Tracy made his debut on the pages of the Detroit Mirror. Since then America's most famous crime fighter has tangled with a variety of protagonists from locations as diverse as the inner city and outer space, all the time maintaining the moral high ground while reflecting American popular culture.Through extensive research and interviews with Chester Gould (the creator of Dick Tracy), his assistants, Dick Locher (the current artist), Max Allan Collins (who scripted the stories for more than 15 years), and many others associated with the strip, Dick Tracy as a cultural icon emerges. The strips use of both innovative and established police methods and the true-to-life portrayals of Tracy's family and fellow cops are detailed. The artists behind the strip are fully revealed and Dick Tracy paraphernalia and the 1990 movie Dick Tracy are discussed. Dick Tracy's appearances in other media--books, comics, radio, movie serials, B movies, television dramas, and animated cartoons--are fully covered.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Just as the comic strip Dick Tracy, a success since its founding in 1931, has had a broad and continuous appeal, Roberts's study will be welcomed by both the general reader and the scholar as the first comprehensive history of the Dick Tracy phenomenon and American culture. Roberts, having spent half a lifetime with the crime fighter (reading, studying, teaching), has produced a Dick Tracy "encyclopedia" that covers the history of the American comic strip and the origin of Dick Tracy, its contexts for popular culture and serious study, the salient qualities and creative teams, the relationship with police procedures and law-enforcement agencies and officers, and moral questions related to historical fact as detailed decade by decade. The study continues by covering the Dick Tracy ethic and phenomena in eight media other than the comic strip, pop culture and its collectibles, and the 1990 Warren Beatty movie; it ends with a tribute-comparison to Sherlock Holmes. With a detailed bibliography of the best work on the subject, the study will be warmly received and enjoyed by many. Undergraduate; graduate; faculty; general. W. B. Warde Jr.; University of North Texas