Fan Letters

One of the popular attractions at the Chester Gould-Dick Tracy Museum in Woodstock was a notebook containing copies of some of Chet’s fan letters. Visitors enjoyed sitting in the Crimestoppers Room and reading through the samples shown. The variety and content of these letters was amazing. They came from all levels of society, from children, adult readers of the Dick Tracy strip, ministers, police officers, politicians. To Chester Gould, a letter from a child was as important as one from the President.

Chet treasured this reader input. Sometimes a writer would send his own drawing of Dick Tracy, Flattop or some other character. Usually writers praised the strip, but sometimes were critical. Chet was especially interested in the complaints, as it indicated to him that the writer had really read and thought about the strip. He felt these might be his biggest fans, since they noticed and commented on details of the art or the storyline. An important part of his day was a trip to the Woodstock Post Office to get the daily mail. He answered as many letters as he could, often including a quick sketch of Dick Tracy, along with the distinctive Chester Gould signature.

The museum website is happy to present examples of these letters for our viewers. If you have a letter from Chester Gould, and would like to have it featured on our website, please forward a copy or scan. We will feature as many letters as possible.