Honoring Dick Locher

The Sunday before, the Tribune syndicated Dick Tracy comic strip’s current creators Joe Staton and Mike Curtis honored Dick Locher for his time as chief cartoonist.

This is how the Dick Tracy comic strip started the day it honored Dick Locher.

Locher has retired and been honored with a statue of Dick Tracy in his hometown of Naperville.  I looked for it briefly a couple of weeks ago, but couldn’t find it.

A summary of Dick Locher's Dick Tracy accomplishments.

The text says that Locher was an assistant to originator Chester Gould, starting in 1957.  When Michael Kilian, who wrote the story, died in 2005, Locher took over those duties, too.  His relationship to the strip is longer than anyone but Gould, the description reads.

When Gould’s assistant Rick Fletcher, who took over when Gould retired, died in 1983, Locher stepped in to save the strip.

I believe it was 1999 in which Woodstock honored Locher at its Dick Tracy Days Parade, which seem to have gone by the wayside, as did the VJ (Victory over Japan) it replaced.

I remember being surprised that day at the boldness with which newly-elected Democratic Party State Representative Jack Franks approached Woodstock Firemen for their votes before the parade.   He reminded those on duty of all the money he had gotten them.  (That was in the days of the big checks and photos of them, Franks and recipients in the Northwest Herald.)

Locher was better known for being the editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Tribune.

One of my favorites was a pitch against higher income taxes run in June of 2009.

It didn’t pass until the Tribune denied him his platform.

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I first became aware of Bull Valley’s Rick Fletcher at a Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission.  Sometime in the late 1960’s when I was County Treasurer NIPC held a hearing at the Opera House about its obviously failed finger plan.  A proposal to limit growth along rail lines under what I guess was the mistaken prediction that most people would commute to and from Chicago by rail.

“Where’s your American Flag?” he shouted at the beginning of the meeting.

Fletcher, whose daughter worked for me during the summer, would have really been in tune with the Tea Party sentiments expressed at the Lake County League of Women Voters’ debate between Joe Walsh, Melissa Bean and Bill Scheurer. The demand for the Pledge of Allegiance hit national cable news shows and may have made the difference in Walsh’s narrow defeat of Bean.


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