Fans Recall Dick Tracy's Heydayby Stephen Roth
In this recent column by Matthew Price in the Daily Oklahoman, readers reminisce about the days when Dick Tracy was not only a comic strip character, but a pop culture phenomenon.
Older fans may remember the Dick Tracy Radio Show from the 1930s, which offered kids a chance to join the Dick Tracy Secret Service Patrol, sponsored by Quaker Puffed Wheat cereal.
"The theme of the premiums offered was membership in the (patrol)," Dick Tracy expert Bart Bush told the Daily Oklahoman. "By sending in a certain amount of box tops, you could work your way up the membership ranks and receive very cool metal/brass badges."
Price notes in his article that there's a strong Oklahoma connection to the world's most famous comic strip cop. Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould was a native of Pawnee, Oklahoma, and got his start as a sports cartoonist for the Daily Oklahoman in 1919. Gould created his strip about a tough but honest Chicago police detective in 1931, and he continued to draw Dick Tracy until 1977.
Dick Tracy last made a major splash with the 1990 movie starring Warren Beatty and Madonna. While the movie was popular, legal entanglements over the rights have prevented a Dick Tracy sequel. However, there is an attempt on Indiegogo.com to resurrect and produce a replica of Detective Tracy's iconic and super-cool two-way radio watch.
You can read every Dick Tracy strip dating back to 2001 here on GoComics.