Dick Tracy's creator focus of new film
Before Woodstock, Illinois, celebrates Groundhog Day — a yearly event made popular because the movie of the same name was filmed largely in Woodstock — it will celebrate another local celebrity Chester Gould.
Gould, who lived in Woodstock for 50 years, is the creator of Dick Tracy, the square-jawed investigator and mob fighter of a popular comic strip. Warren Beatty starred in a 1990 movie version featuring the crime fighter.
Now, three Woodstock residents, Tom Firak and his sons, Steve and John, have produced a television documentary, “Chester Gould: An American Original,” which will air in February on WTTW-Channel 11. Woodstock has declared Feb. 22 as Chester Gould Day in honor of the airing on that day.
The public has an opportunity to view the film a month earlier when it is shown at the Geneva Lake Museum at 6 p.m. Jan. 21. The filmmakers will be on hand to discuss the film after the showing.
Current and local residents who knew Gould were interviewed for the film. Local musicians, including Georgia Rae Family Band and Poi Dog Pondering, added music to the film.
Gould's office, where he wrote and drew the comic strip from 1931 to 1977, overlooked the town square. He died at age 84 in 1985, but the strip continued with Max Allan Collins and Gould's assistant Rick Fletcher. It still runs in newspapers today.