The Century Walk Corporation

Dick Locher National Honor

May 31, 2009 — Source: Naperville Sun, The (IL) — Author: Mike Mitchell

Dick Locher remembers when he would scribble in his history book while in grammar school. He fondly remembers the time when one of his teachers chastised him after discovering one of his cartoons, which featured the teacher in an unflattering light.

"He was really angry because it didn't look a lot like him," said Locher, a resident of Naperville. "I think I kind of made him look more like the devil."

Yet years later, his doodling would lead to a prize-laden career as a political cartoonist. More recently he received a Silver T-Square award, given by the National Cartoonist Society, for service to cartooning - most notably his work on the "Dick Tracy" comics.

Locher, who also does syndicated editorial cartoons for Tribune Media Services, took over the writing of the comic in January; he has been drawing for the cartoon since 1983.

This certainly isn't the first award for Locher. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1983; a John Fischetti Editorial Cartoon Award in 1987; Peter Lisagor Awards for excellence in journalism in 1985, 1990 and 1991; and a Distinguished Health Journalism Award.

Despite being lauded for his satirical and humorous critiques of politicians and world leaders, his work on the "Dick Tracy" strip is what he is most famous for.

"Two things: It's a wonderful thing to have a voice, to make a commentary," said Locher, who also has had several books published. "But to be able to tell a story, to string together different scenes, is quite desirable.

"So to answer your question, it's about 50-50 - I like doing cartoons as much as editorials."

"Dick Tracy," about a Chicago detective in the 1930s who wears a bright yellow hat, is still one of the most widely regarded American icons worldwide, Locher said.

The 76-year-old Locher said he never expected this kind of success drawing cartoons.

"I'm very surprised to be able to make a living off of (animation)," he said. "When you're young, you try to pursue what you love. After a while, you realize you need to make money, and some of those things fade. ... But if you can make it, I found out that people could always use a good cartoonist."

Contact Mike Mitchell at 630-416-5279 or mmitchell@scn1.com.

Naperville resident Dick Locher, an award-winning political cartoonist who also writes the syndicated "Dick Tracy" comic strip, recently received the Silver T-Square award. The honor, recognizing service to cartooning, is bestowed by the National Cartoonist Society.


Section: AROUND TOWN — Page: 3