The Christmas Strip – An Annual Tradition

Christmas was an important day to Chester Gould. Not just a holiday and time for Santa Claus, Chet often put a deeper meaning into the Dick Tracy comic strip. His 1943 greeting in the strip from Dick, Tess and other characters, said: “To all of our friends at home, and to all of our boys overseas, a merry, merry Christmas.” Interestingly, he signed this by “Chet Gould,” not using the familiar formal signature.

A constant theme in his Christmas greetings in the strip was the music and words of “Silent Night.” This must have been Chet’s favorite carol. It was presented showing Stooge Viller’s remorse in 1939. In 1946, it was sadly sung by the little girl Themesong, thinking of her lost mother, balanced by a happy reunion of Dick, Tess and Junior with Chief Brandon.

Over the years “Silent Night” reverberated through prison cell blocks, apartments, police headquarters, the space coupe and the city streets. Newsletter contributor Ed Beling commented in his Winter, 2004 edition, that in Chester Gould’s 1968 strip, “Once again, ‘Silent Night” provides a prayer for global harmony.” This was Chet’s hope for world peace during the height of the Vietnam War. Through depressions, wars and peacetime, Chester Gould’s art and strong message gave hope and strength to America.

Christmas Greetings from The Goulds

Beginning in 1926 and continuing throughout his long career, Chester Gould’s Christmas cards reflected his family, his work and what was happening throughout the world. The Chester Gould – Dick Tracy Museum is happy to share these examples from its archives and from Jean Gould O’Connell’s personal collection. Jean’s captions tell the stories of these beautiful examples, beginning with Chet’s first card in 1926.