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Gravel Gertie

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Gravel Gertie

First Appearance:

August 31st, 1944

Known Relatives:

Unnamed Father (Deceased)
Unnamed First Husband (Deceased)
B.O. Plenty, Husband
Sparkle Plenty, Daughter
Attitude Plenty, Son
Junior Tracy, Son-in-Law
Jewel Tracy, Granddaughter
Honeymoon Tracy, Step-Granddaughter
Extended Plenty Family

Created By:

Chester Gould

Gravel Gertie was a woman who lived in a gravel pit in a rural area outside Dick Tracy's city. She was depicted as extremely homely, with bulging eyes, crooked teeth, a wiry figure and a hairy upper lip. She does, however, have long, silky hair and a beautiful singing voice. She's also skilled at playing the mandolin.

Gertie has stated that her father died of a dope habit and that she was raised in an orphanage. It is not known if she has any other living family.

Gravel Gertie and the BrowEdit

Gerties first came to the attention of Dick Tracy when she aided and abetted the fugitive The Brow. The Brow was injured and had crashed his car into Gertie's gravel pit. She generally disliked trespassers, but took a liking to the man, finding him handsome. She dressed his wounds in a poultice of cobwebs and soot (which resulted in his eyes being covered), and nursed him back to health. At the time of her first appearence, she claimed to have been a widow for thirty years and that her first husband had sold her farm rights to acquire the gravel pit. He was later killed when his car backed into the gravel pit.

The Brow became enamored of Gertie's singing voice and the feel of her hair. When he finally tore the bandages from his face, he recoiled at her appearance. They struggled and the Brow knocked over a gas lamp, which set Gertie's house ablaze. Her hair caught on fire and she ran to a nearby creek to douse it. The police had traced the Brow to the area and he and Gertie were taken into custody.

At the police station, Gertie tried to help the Brow escape by tossing him a gun that she grabbed from one of the officers. The Brow was still handcuffed, and while he fumbled with the saftey catchy, Tracy threw an inkwell at his head. The Brow stumbled backwards through a window and fell to his death. Gertie was arrested and sentenced to a term in the local women's prison.

Gertie's ReformEdit

Gertie proved to be a model prisoner. She cleaned, and entertained her fellow inmates with music. She aided Tracy in the investigation of Matron Anna Enog, who was operating a dope-smuggling ring. Gertie was rewarded with an early release, but was soon targeted for revenge by Anna's son Measles.

Gertie went to work at the "Say it With Flowers" Greenhouse, where she was also given a place to stay. The greenhouse was adjacent to Sunny Dell Acres, which later became the home of Bob Oscar "B.O." Plenty. Gertie and B.O. initially expressed distaste for each other, but they soon developed a romance.

Gertie's Family LifeEdit

DmitrioiAdded by Dmitrioi
Gertie and B.O. were married and welcomed their first child into world shortly thereafter. Their daughter, Sparkle, was beautiful and was featured in the first issue of Glance Magazine. Gertie fell ill shortly after Sparkle's birth, but recovered.

Gertie (and the rest of her family) has remained a part of Dick Tracy's life since then, always loyal to her husband, even if she must point out his faults.

In 1968, Sparkle won a trip to the Moon, and B.O. and Gertie accompanied her. An advertising campaign fro Sunny Wheat cereal was developed around the Plentys' adventure on the Moon, including Gertie adopting Moon fashions (unitard, thigh-high boots and long gloves).

Gertie's Later LifeEdit

During the tumultuous time when B.O. disowned their (now grown) daughter, Gertie pleaded with him to reconsider, which he eventually did.

Gertie was occasionally the object of some affectionate flirtation by Vitamin Flintheart, which provoked jealousy in her husband.

In the early 1990s, Gertie enrolled in a local college to complete her education. This created some friction between her and B.O. She attended a lecture by the visiting Professor St. Jones, and remarked on his resemblance to the criminal Flattop Jones Sr..Gertie was later present at the channelling session where Flattop's "spirit" posessed the Professor, as well as when the Professor attempted to assassinate a politician who was speaking at the campus. She and B.O. resolved their differences.

Gertie often nags B.O. to find a job, which has led to him becoming embroiled in further adventures.

In 2011, she had a second child, Attitude.

In 2012, while B.O. was away from Sunny Dell Acres to introduce his new son to his side of the family, Sparkle and her daughter Jewel came to stay with Gertie. This visit coincided with the return of Measles, who was once again seeking revenge against Gertie. He invaded the Plenty family home, but was repelled by Gertie and Sparkle until Dick Tracy arrived. 

Later, Gertie formed a musical group with her daughter and granddaughter called "The Sounds of Plenty".

Appearances in Other Media:Edit

"Dick Tracy in B Flat"Edit

Gravel Gertie was a character in the humorous radio play "Dick Tracy in B Flat", produced for Armed Forces Radio in February of 1945. She was played by Cass Daley. She sang a song that parodied "The Trolley Song" from the musical "Meet me in St. Louis".

Archie's TV FunniesEdit

DmitrioiAdded by Dmitrioi
Gravel Gertie was a character in the "Dick Tracy" segments of the 1971 animated television series "Archie's TV Funnies", produced by Filmation Associates. Gertie's appearance closely resembled her depiction in the comic strip. She was portrayed as B.O. Plenty's wife and a friend of the Tracy family.


  • Gravel Gertie and B.O. Plenty are two of the major recurring characters in the "Dick Tracy" comic strip not to appear in the 1990 "Dick Tracy" feature film. They were both supporting characters in the second original follow-up novel "Dick Tracy Meets His Match". In the novel, Gertie served as Tess' Matron of Honor at her wedding to Tracy.
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