Iconic pulp detective Dick Tracy will return to comic books this September with a new four-issue series from IDW Publishing, with comics superstar Michael Allred on board for Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive!.
Allred is set to illustrate covers and co-write with his brother, Lee Allred. They’re joined by artists Rich Tommaso and Laura Allred, with Mike Alled also inking the series. Dead or Alive will find Chester Gould’s crimefighter relocated to a new city following the loss of his job — here’s IDW’s official plot description: “The All-American detective just made the biggest collar of his career… and it only cost him his job. Now, the honest cop has packed his bags for “the city by the lake,” and its criminal community is firmly in his sights! Featuring cover art and co-written by Eisner Award-winning superstar Michael Allred (Madman, iZombie, Silver Surfer), the new series features strange villains, crooked cops, and gunfights galore.”
“Dick Tracy is an instantly recognizable old-school icon, like Mickey Mouse and Superman, but he’s been out of the spotlight a while and due for a curtain call. We want to shake it up and show the glow in the 21st Century,” Allred said in a statement. “I always get a big kick working with my first-ever collaborator and big brother, Lee Allred, as well as my favorite colorist and favorite wife, Laura. But I’m crazy excited about working with Rich Tommaso! He is one of the most innovative and thrilling cartoonists working in comics. I’m lit up with giddy shock that he’s letting me slop ink on his beautifully rendered pencils, keeping me on my toes to do the work justice on this thrilling series!”
“Dead or Alive pits Dick Tracy, champion of Law and Order, against not only brutal crime bosses but the corrupted forces of the Law itself,” Lee Allred added. “Every hand, cop, and crook will be against Tracy as he battles the enemies of true justice. With Rich, Mike, and Laura as the art team, classic crime drama has never looked so good!”
First created by cartoonist Chester Gould as a newspaper comic strip in 1931, Dick Tracy — along wih his iconic signal watch — quickly became the quintessential hardboiled detective fighting crime in radio shows, film serials, and a 1990 movie directed by and starring Warren Beatty. Gould wrote and illustrated the strip until 1972, also building Dick Tracy’s memorable roster of colorful villains.
“I am thrilled to try my hand at drawing this legendary, pulpy, hardboiled crime classic,” Rich Tommaso (Dry County, Spy Seal), who first revealed the project via Instagram, said in a statement. “Along with Roy Crane, Milton Caniff, Noel Sickles, Jack Cole, and Alex Toth, Chester Gould is a cartoonist that I am perpetually inspired by when I’m working on my own crime stories. So, this is a project that I feel is well within my wheelhouse. The Dick Tracy cast of characters makes this comic so much fun to draw on a daily basis. I only hope we can all bring something great to the comic ourselves while, simultaneously keeping true to its origins. Not an easy feat to be sure, but I feel it’s damn worth a try.”
It’s been decades since Dick Tracy regularly appeared in comic books, though IDW has published archival material of Gould’s strips in hte past. A Dick Tracy comic book series had originally been announced by Archie Comics this past December from co-writers Alex Segura and Michael Moreci with Thomas Pitilli on art slated for an April debut. The planned comic book reboot was cancelled in January due to a “preexisting licensing deal” announced by the Tribune Content Agency, which holds the licensing rights to the property.
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