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Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 1 Hardcover – January 3, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
But about the Complete Dick Tracy 1931-1933:
What makes these years of Dick Tracy so compelling is that Chester Gould was one of the first comic strip artists to bring both a sense of realism and violence to the comic page - with the emphasis on violence. Men and women where shot dead on the panels of Dick Tracy, portrayed in Gould's brutal black and white at the moment of terminal impact. In one story arc, a mob boss ties Tracy to a chair, removes his shoes and socks, and goes to work on his bare feet with a blowtorch. Yes, this certainly wasn't Polly and her Friends or Harold Teen (and it is noteworthy that Tracy cracked under this torture, adding another layer of realism).Read more ›
Comics icon Dick Tracy recently celebrated his 75th anniversary and I can't think of a better way to commemorate that success than IDWs The Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy, Volume One [$29.99]. Hard-hitting police action, unforgettable villains, tragic losses, the science of crime-fighting, and the camaraderie of the cops who put their lives on the line to protect and serve. The Gould/Tracy legacy inspired so many other great works of detective fiction: Bob Kane and Bill Finger's Batman, Dragnet, Ed McBain's 87th Precinct, all the way to C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation and its spin-offs, and so many others. But, when you travel back past the progeny of creator and creation, and even going back to the earliest years of Tracy, you arrive at cracking good stories that can captive today's reader as much as they did the readers of 1931.
This first volume has all the Tracy daily strips from October 12, 1931 through May 20, 1933. The Sunday strips didn't tie into the daily continuity until May 29, 1932, and this volume reprints those Sundays to that point and in color. The remaining Sunday strips appear in the daily continuity, albeit in black-and-white. But, wait, there's more.
This first volume also includes an introduction by Max Allen Collins, author of Road to Perdition and dozens of exciting novels, of great comics like Ms. Tree and C.S.I., of the Tracy strip from 1977 to 1993, and of sharp suspense films like Mommy and Real Time: Siege at Lucas Market; the first part of an interview with Gould conducted by Collins and Matt Masterson in September, 1980; and, most cool of all, the "Plain Clothes Tracy" strips Gould created to pitch his new hero to newspaper syndicates.Read more ›
The art is, as I expected, somewhat primitive. But I was not expecting it to be bursting with power and originality. There's not a strip that I've read yet that hasn't given me a start, with some bold use of blacks, or a character in an unexpectedly natural and expressive posture, or a striking background or some intricate line work or cross-hatching. For a cartoonist who is not renowned for his artistic skills, Chester Gould has been very seriously underrated.
And the dialog! This is some of the most hard-boiled dialog I've ever read, and I'm a serious fan of James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler. Here's an example, where gun moll Texie Garcia is offering Tracy a bribe to get her out of jail:
Texie: "Oh - you're such a sweet kid - I think I could do wonders for you - That is, if you'd let me - Think what you could do with a thousand dollars."
Tracy: "Yeah? I could roll it up in a wad and cram it right down your slippery throat."
Wow! Does this hit right between the eyes! And the book is packed with dialog like that!
As if this wasn't enough, the book itself is a sheer joy to look at and to hold; it's the highest quality comic reprint I've ever seen. The paper has a great look and feel, and the printing is so crisp, it looks like the strips were drawn yesterday. IFG has set new standards for comic strip reprints.
If you like hard-boiled, hard-hitting crime fiction, you will be thrilled with this book. I already can't wait for the subsequent volumes.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first volume is as rewarding as a long time fan of Tracy would hope for. It catches the mood, and conditions of America during the reign of the gangster during the depression.Published on May 4, 2014 by Vyllyn
The sundays are printed in b&w and at a very small size.
Nothing more to add, but Amazon makes me.
This really is complete. Wait a second...it's Volume 1?!? WHAT? There's MORE? So how can it have "complete" in the title? That just don't make any sense!Published on December 3, 2013 by Randal M. Pierce
I started collecting Dick Tracy antiques and I am glad there are books that allow me to read the origin storiesPublished on November 11, 2013 by Douglas Kirk Atkins Jr.
I was really happy with this collection. It includes the early strips and storylines in a highly stylized way. Read morePublished on July 30, 2013 by J. Smallridge
Best possible gift for classic Dick Tracy fans. The cloth binding and dust jacket are nicely done. The biography of Chester Gould is well written and the front piece by Max Collins... Read morePublished on June 11, 2013 by dannyjenny
The comic and the stories are fantastic with a nice historical flavor tapped in. If you are a fan of all of those like I am these are must haves!Published on January 27, 2013 by Andrew Carrig