NAPERVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — Naperville cartoonist Dick Locher is retiring after more than 30 years creating the “Dick Tracy” comic strip.
Locher, 81, told the Daily Herald that he is putting down his pen after his last installment of the comic strip appears on March 13.
Locher told the newspaper that it’s time to retire, since it’s starting to take him longer to complete, “because the hands are not responding to the brain quite as fast as they used to.”
His involvement with the comic strip dates back to 1957.
But this doesn’t mean Dick Tracy will be putting down his two-way wrist radio, or that you’ll have to worry about Pruneface, Flattop Jones or B.O. Plenty running loose around the city.
Two yet-to-be-named cartoonists will be selected by Tribune Media Services, which publishes “Dick Tracy,” and will take over the strip once they receive Locher’s approval.
“Dick Tracy” began in 1931. It was the creation of Chester Gould, who drew the comic strip for 46 years from his home in northwest suburban Woodstock until his retirement in 1977.
Locher worked alongside Gould from 1957 until 1961, and has been the sole artist for the comic strip since Rick Fletcher, who initially took over for Gould, died in 1983.
In penning the comic strip, Locher worked with writer Max Collins until 192, and then with the Chicago Tribune’s Mike Kilian. Locher has been drawing the strip and writing the dialogue alone since Kilian died in 2005, the Tribune reported.
In its time, “Dick Tracy” has been adapted into television, radio, video and movies, most memorably the 1990 film with Warren Beatty, Al Pacino and Madonna.
A Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum opened in the Old Courthouse in Woodstock in 1991, and featured everything from original comic strips to Gould’s chair and drawing board. The museum closed in 2008, but still maintains a website.
Locher is now planning a new Dick Tracy museum in Naperville, the Tribune reported. As it is, a 40-foot bronze statue of Dick Tracy stands along the Naperville Riverwalk.