Thursday, November 27, 2008

Video: Dick Locher's Career

A great profile of a great cartoonist: 79 year old DICK TRACY cartoonist and editorial cartoonist and Pulitzer Prize winner Dick Locher is the subject of this video from Naperville Community Television Channel 17 reporter Elitsa Bizios. The video runs about 2 1/2 minutes.

Here is the accompanying text, supplied alongside the NCT video:

Dick Locher walked into the Chicago Tribune thirty-nine years ago. With seven original cartoons in hand, Locher interviewed for an editorial cartoonist position.

The editor set the cartoons up, he lit a cigar and walked back and forth looking at the cartoons, said Locher. He looked at me and said are these your ideas?

Assuring the editor that the cartoons were indeed his own, Locher was hired. Ever since then, Locher's work can be read in the Chicago Tribune. And after this year, he will be known as the longest running editorial cartoonist the newspaper has employed.

Locher is also well known for the stories and illustrations he has created of the crime fighting detective Dick Tracy. Other than originator Chester Gould, Locher is the only person to singly produce the strip.

It shows what a diverse talent he has, said Chicago Tribune editorial page editor, Bruce Dold. He can do something as fantastic as Dick Tracy and then as on point to today's world with editorial cartoons that he does.

During the week Locher can be found at his drawing table before dawn. He begins his work day at four in the morning.

The thought is that you have an idea before you sit down. I usually listen to the 10 o'clock news, said Locher Then at four in the morning try to put it in a presentation where you skewer someone or open a door to someones past life.

Almost four hours after waking up, Locher has a good pencil sketch of the final product and discusses the drawing over breakfast with his wife of fifty-one years, Mary Locher.

Locher says his wife is a first reaction person. She looks at the drawing and gives him critiques on how to make it better.

Editors are polite; she gives me thumbs up or down, said Locher. She looks at it and says, yeah this will fly but if you change it to this it would fly even better.

Mary Locher jokes that its not easy to start the day and have a penciled cartoon pushed under your nose when trying to have breakfast. But she remains diplomatic when giving feedback.

He just loves what hes doing and genuinely loves people and basically Dicks a happy person all the time and it amazes me,said Mary. And he likes to entertain people through his stories.

Locher has been perfecting his talent from a young age. His father would bring home stacks of blank paper and tell his son to do something with it.

He couldn't draw, didn't want to but saw that I could and wanted me to do something with it and hopefully I did.

With numerous awards to his credit, including a Pulitzer Prize, Locher is not the average cartoonist.

He really pays attention to details and you don't see that as much with editorial cartoonists these days, said Dold. And he understands how to make a good solid political point quickly and easily for the reader.

Locher says that after he gets done drawing his editorial cartoons and Dick Tracy there is still some creativity left. So he draws a picture a day that has no relationship to either.

You get to the point, have I done enough damage so far? asked Locher. I don't think so, there's still windmills to spear.

Elitsa Bizios reports.


Mark Anderson said...

That's a really nice piece! And that bit about his dad at the end... That's just gotta be crazy to have that and then years later draw Dick Tracy yourself.


dylanio21 said...

Thankyou so much for this! I would have never found so much by myself! I love Dick Locher's Dick Tracy!

I hope to meet him one day before it's too late!