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Gallons to Go

Today on the site:

R.C. Harvey profiles and interviews longtime, multi-career cartoonist Dick Locher. Here’s Locher on the beginning of his time with Dick Tracy:

Harvey: What did you do on the strip?

Locher: I did all the backgrounds. I was with him for four-and-a-half years, and in the last year, his wife Edna came to him and said, We’re going to Hawaii. And he said, No, I’m not. He never took a vacation.Never. He’d take a day off, but no vacation. She says, We’re going to Hawaii. And he says, No, we’re not.And she says, Dick’s going to put in the figures for you. And he said, No, he isn’t. [Laughter] He never let anyone touch the figures. And she insisted. So I did the figures while he was gone for a week. And he came back, and he looked at ’em like that [over his glasses], and he took a razor blade and scraped a lot of them off and said, Naw, that’s not right. But he didn’t scrape all of them off. He liked some of my drawings. And he let me do more and more. His brother did all the lettering. Ray. And I did all the backgrounds and helped with story. He used my story about Tracy stranded in the canyon with Professor Whitehall from Scotland Yard. He liked that story.

Harvey: Oh, was that the one where they were stranded on an island in a canyon with steep, unclimbable walls, right?

Locher: Yes. His theory, and I give him a lot of credit for this practice, was, Let’s put Tracy’s ass in jeopardy. And I said, Let’s have him on a deserted island. Good idea, he said—I haven’t done that before.How’ll we get him there? Well, I said, let’s have him on a plane with a hijacker who makes him jump. And he said, Fine. It was his idea to put Whitehall there. He’d been there for a long time and he’d lost weight.He was skinny, had a white beard, long white hair. Now, Gould says, how are we going to get him out of here? That was right about the time the U.S. Army was doing a lot of missile firing, so I said, Let’s have a wayward missile land in the canyon and the army will follow it, find Tracy, and take them out of there. So that’s what we did. It was fun. I was sitting on a cloud.

Elsewhere:

Tom Spurgeon talks to Daniel Clowes Reader-editor and TCJ-contributor Ken Parille.

Lisa Hanawalt interviewed about some funny logos.

And: Comic book pages photographed.


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