“STICK ’EM UP, BORIS ARSON AND YOU RATS—STICK ’EM UP!”
GOULD, Chester. Dick Tracy: The Capture of Boris Arson. Chicago: Pleasure Books, (1935). Slim, square octavo, staple-bound as issued, original printed pictorial paper boards, pictorial "pop-up" endpapers; pp. 20. $1500.
First edition of this pop-up book based on the classic comic, with numerous in-text black-and-white illustrations and three color pop-up illustrations.
"Raised in the frontier traditions of swift justice that still prevailed in the Oklahoma Territory at the turn of the century, [cartoonist Chester] Gould was disgusted by the seeming triumph of gangsterism in Chicago during Prohibition. What was needed, he said, was the kind of incorruptible cop who would shoot known hoodlums on sight, a champion of law and order and 'direct action, who could dish it out to the underworld exactly as they dished it out—only better. An individual who could toss the hot iron back at them along with a smack on the jaw thrown in for good measure' (Sheridan, 121-22). Gould appropriated the persona of the hardboiled detective that had been flourishing in pulp magazines and, in visualizing his hero, gave him the chisel-jawed profile he associated with Sherlock Holmes… Until [Dick] Tracy's debut, the newspaper continuity comic strip had focused on one of two extremes—exotic adventure or domestic intrigue. Tracy brought the excitement of adventure to its readers' front doors when Gould's cop began fighting contemporary crime in everybody's hometown. The strip was a success from the first, its popularity springing from its overt recognition and exploitation of the violence in American life… One of the earliest straight adventure story comic strips and the first procedural detective feature, Dick Tracy set the pace for virtually every detective comic strip concocted thereafter." (ANB). Published the same year with a New York (Blue Ribbon Books) imprint (see Montanaro, 74). Faint owner signature to rear board.
First pop-up reglued at edge of foliage, all pop-ups intact and fully functional, a few spots of faint soiling and a few tiny marginal tears to interior, only light rubbing to slightly bowed boards. A rare near-fine copy.