He’s been fighting crime for almost 80 years, and now detective Dick Tracy forever guards the Riverwalk.
Pulitzer prize-winning Cartoonist and long-time Naperville resident Dick Locher partnered with the Naperville Century Walk to bring a life-like statue of the famous comic strip hero to the city.
The Dick Tracy statue landed near the Naperville Riverwalk just behind the township building on Water Street on April 6. But local fans were held in suspense until April 11, when Locher finally revealed the famed detective to the public.
“Oh it’s just breath-taking. It’s so cool,” said Marianne Kuhn. She and her husband have been long-time friends and fans of Locher. They even showed off their “We Love Dick Locher” signs at the dedication.
“It’s like the culmination of his career,” said Steve Locher, Dick Locher’s son. “He’s done a lot of great things and I’m very proud of him.”
The Century Walk purchased the fedora-wearing crime fighter for almost 150,000 dollars. It’s the 35th piece added to their collection of art in the downtown area.
“This is what we’re calling our signature piece,” said Brand Bobosky, president of the Naperville Century Walk. “People from all over the world recognize Dick Tracy and we believe that all sorts of visitors will find out about Dick Tracy and want to come visit.”
So what did it take to make this 9 1/2 foot tall, bronze statue?
600 pounds of clay to start with and inspiration and a dream,” said Dick Locher.
And for him, that dream began in 1957 when he became assistant to Dick Tracy creator Chester Gould. At 80 years old, he continues writing and drawing the comic in his Naperville home.
“I’m the luckiest cartoonist in the world,” Locher said to the public during the dedication. “I work for a legend who created an icon and it doesn’t get any better than that.”
Artist Don Reed collaborated with Dick Locher to build the statue at the river’s edge foundry in Beloit, Wisconsin.
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