Dick Tracy: Dick Tracy:
The Ethics of Violence and the Legacy of an American Comic Strip The Ethics of Violence and the Legacy of an American Comic Strip
  Introduction    Context    Analysis    Legacy    XRoads  




    *First Appearance

    *First Storyline

    *Menagerie of Ugly

Dick Tracy's Legacy


Introduction Introduction

This project first and foremost concerns itself with the phenomena of Dick Tracy, a comic strip first drawn and written by Chester Gould in 1931. Although there are numerous ways to approach this subject, the project (as the title implies) is oriented towards an understanding of how Dick Tracy and its creator were both products of particular ideologies and important factors in the dissemination of new ideologies in American culture, particular with regards to the ways in which violence is condoned and condemned for use by men. Due to the constraints of focus in how this project functions inside of the larger American Studies site on the 1930s, I have chosen to limit the discussion primarily to the role of Dick Tracy within that decade. However, as with all history writing (even cultural history) a subject and an argument must have a prologue and an epilogue with which to contextualize the force of material under consideration. In reference to this fact, I have provided both of those features under the headings Dick Tracy in Context and The Legacy of Dick Tracy. The former concerns itself with how Tracy functions both in its socio-historical period of inception, and within the confines of the detective genre and the comics medium. The latter is an attempt (albeit brief) to explicate the effect that Chester Gould's creation has had, both on the various forms of popular media and their ideologies abroad.