HARVEY AWARD FOR BEST SYNDICATED COMIC STRIP OR PANEL
On 7 September 2013, DICK TRACY won the Harvey Award for "Best Syndicated Strip or Panel." The Harvey, named for legendary EC Comics artist Harvey Kurtzman, and given each year at the Baltimore Comics Convention, is one of two major awards in the comics industry, the other being the Eisner, named for Will Eisner, the creator of The Spirit, which is given at the San Diego Comics Convention. Of the two, however, only the Harvey has a category for newspaper strips.
Present to accept the award on behalf of the entire team, were Joe Staton, the legendary illustrator who is the strip's current artist, and our own Sgt. Jim Doherty, the strip's current police consultant. Joe thanked the other members of the team, who were not able to be present, script writer Mike Curtis, inker Shelley Pleger, and colorist Shane Fisher, and acknowledged the genius of the strip's creator, Chester Gould. "A craftsman's only as good as his tools," said Joe, "and Chester Gould left us with some great tools."
Jim echoed Joe's comments about the team, and about Gould, and added thanks to the other "Keepers of the Flame" who had worked on the strip after Gould's retirement, keeping the iconic cop alive so that Mike, Joe, and the rest of the new team had a property in great condition to take over. Jim particularly mentioned script writers Max Allan Collins and Michael Killian, and artists Rick Fletcher and Dick Locher. Since the Harvey's newspaper strip category was instituted in 1990, TRACY is the only adventure strip ever to win the award. It is also, at 80+ years, the oldest strip ever to win. DICK TRACY made his first appearance in the Detroit MIRROR on 4 Oct 1931. From that single paper, he would soon spread to over 600.
The Harvey is the latest award the strip has won. It was also one of the few strips to win the National Cartoonist Society's Reuben Award (named for Rube Goldberg) twice, once in 1959 and the second time in 1977 (Gould's last year on the strip). In 1980, TRACY became the only comic strip ever to win a Special Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America.