Chester Gould

detail

In late 1978, an exhibition of cartoonist Chester Gould‘s (d. 1985) art for his strip, Dick Tracy, was held at the Museum of Cartoon Art (now defunct) in Port Chester, NY. In the catalog published to coincide with the show, there is a massive appendix of 200 characters Gould created for the strip over the years. Now I’ve never read Dick Tracy as it was a bit before my time, but I had absolutely no idea it was so weird. The characters have bizarre appearances and names like Flattop, Nothing, and Vitamin Flintheart. Matt Masterson, the man who put the appendix together, says:

When I asked Chet Gould where he got the names for some of his characters, he told me he used to ride the train from his home in Woodstock, Illinois to his studio in Chicago and sketch various people he observed on the train. He would exaggerate upon certain features or characteristics. The name would follow, with he one exception being Flattop, whose name came from the popular aircraft carrier of World War II.

Some of my favorites are after the jump, but if you want to see the whole collection, click here.

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