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John Locher

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John Locher (April 10, 1961 - May 15, 1986) was an American artist. He was the son of longtime Dick Tracy artist Dick Locher, and an assistant artist on the strip between 1983 and 1986.

He became a fan of the strip at nine years old after meeting Chester Gould, who encouraged him to become an artist in his own right. Locher joined the strip shortly after graduating from Northern Illinois University, and worked with his father, alongside writer Max Allan Collins.

When working on the strip he essentially alternated duties with his father; one week John would draw the pencil version of the weekday strips and ink the Sunday strip, while Dick would pencil the Sunday strip and ink the weekday strips, and the duo would then swap around for the following week. This work schedule was deliberately intended to mirror that of his father when he assisted Gould in the 1950s and 1960s.

Locher died of heart failure at the age of 25 in May of 1986. The last batch of strips he worked on were completed by another Chicago Tribune cartoonist, Ray Shlemon, who subsequently took over as Dick Locher's assistant on the strip for the remainder of the 1980s.

Following his death, his parents set up the John Locher Memorial Award, an award and scholarship dedicated to encouraging young cartoonists in North America. For the remainder of his time on the strip, Dick Locher would draw Junior Tracy to resemble John, as an additional tribute to him.

The appearance of the character John Locher Springstein was designed as a tribute to the late John Locher as well.

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