Thanks for Becoming a Member of this Website!
Jean Gould O’Connell in 2010
As the daughter of Chester Gould, it is my distinct honor and delight to welcome you as a member of the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum. My father would be so proud to know that his life’s work is being shared with people all over the world through such marvelous technology. Although he was ahead of his time with inventions in his stories ( the two-way wrist radio in 1946, the Teleguard Camera in 1948 – the predecessor to the surveillance camera – just to name a couple ), I think this virtual museum, nevertheless, would have amazed him.
Dad’s ability as both a master story-teller and cartoonist are legendary. Each daily strip had its own unique way of drawing the reader back day after day and, of course, Sunday was always a big day for Dick Tracy. Dad’s graphic stories were carefully woven and filled with thrilling chases and cliffhangers – his blue-print compositions carrying the reader’s eye from one panel to the next. He was one of the earliest comic strip artists to use solid black spaces in his work for dramatic contrasts.
Dad had a filing cabinet filled with research on any subject that was involved in a story. Not only did his research materials cover forensic police work, but also contained volumes of information on an increasingly wide range of subjects from the lie detector, bulletproof glass, seismographs, chemicals, magnetism, homicide investigation and much more. Dad’s tireless research and hard-nosed work routine kept his continuity fresh and endlessly imaginative. But for all the gadgetry and fast-paced chase sequences, toward the end of his life, when asked what he felt was the greatest living thing to come out of Dick Tracy, my father answered flatly, “Crime Stoppers.”
The physical Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum opened its doors in 1991 in Woodstock, Illinois – six years after Dad’s death. While it was filled with colorful visual displays and historical information on his life and creations, because of its location, it was limited in size and not always easily accessible. I often thought that Dad would never have believed that this museum had been created to honor him and his life’s work, much less that it would endure for seventeen years. By bringing the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum into the 21st century via the Internet, we are free of the space limitations and other constraints of our former home on the Woodstock town square.
I’m grateful to you for your support and appreciation of our efforts in preserving and promoting Dad’s legacy and his creations, and I look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on your experiences exploring www.dicktracymuseum.com.
Jean Gould O’Connell