Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dick Tracy

Here's original art for the newspaper comic strip Dick Tracy by Chester Gould. It was sold on eBay a while back. You know, the golden age of the daily newspaper strip is long over and nothing else like Dick Tracy is is likely ever  to be created again. What's out there now, in other words, is all there will ever be.  Sure, there will be future comic strips of some sort, but many will probably be rendered on computers rather than drawn. Enjoy what original art there is. 

Here's the eBay listing from September 2009, followed by my comments:

Up for auction is original art from the newspaper comic strip Dick Tracy. The strip is dated July 11, 1951. The size of the entire sheet of paper is 21 1/2 x 7 1/4. The image size of the artwork is 16 1/2 x 5.  Written above the strip in pencil is "Dick Tracy-The Decree". There is one correction mark that I see. It is written in non-repro blue pencil. It is a letter S, with a line drawn to where the S should be inserted. Glued over the newspaper in the third panel, is a 1 1/8 x 2/3 inch piece of paper with typing on it that says: "Reg. U.S. Pat. Off.: Copyright, 1951, by The Chicago Tribune." Considering the age of the piece, it's in really nice shape. The margins of the paper have some yellowing, but the art itself seems not to be affected by it. This is a really great piece, with no crinkles or creases. Priority shipping is $10.00. Feel free to contact me with any questions, and check out my other auctions!

DICK TRACY comic strip original art Chester Gould 1951

Item condition:--

Ended:Sep 12, 2009 23:34:52 PDT

Chester Gould, Dick Tracy, July 11, 1951

A few observations: Tracy, for once, is not drawn in profile!  But he is there, and it's important I think for collectors to buy strips with the key, leading characters in them.  Gould, by the way, draws hats and uniforms well.  The black-and-white contrast in the first panel seems well-handled. 

That said, the goon's stance in panel 2 looks pretty exaggerated to me, but I suppose it's in keeping with the cartoonish nature of the strip. 

By the way, note how the registration sticker is placed high up so that it's over the newspaper in panel three. Usually these things are stuck in a corner somewhere. King's hands seem to be drawn rather awkwardly here, but I do at least admire the way the window is rendered. 

Now, what exactly are "the steel beams?"  Does this involve hanging? Falling? It doesn't sound like something I'd like to experience. If King's apartment is being shadowed by the police, shouldn't they be able to follow his goons to this encounter with Eddie in panel 4? Or am I getting ahead of the story? (In May, the collected 1950-1951 strips will be published in a chronological collection, so we then can read the whole story.) And, finally, did Chester Gould really not sign his daily strips?

Chester Gould, The Complete Dick Tracy, Volume 13: 1950-51 Dailies and Sundays (2012)
Image added March 11, 2012


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