Former Huntington Cop, Sheriff, Mayor Honored by Creators of Dick Tracy Comic

Updated 5 years ago by Tony Rutherford , HNN Entertainment Editor
From March 26, 2017
From March 26, 2017
(c) Chicago Tribune/New York News Syndicate

Do you remember a comic strip that ran in the daily and Sunday newspaper called Dick Tracy?  He was the greatest detective of his time and tenaciously fought mob bosses.

His image has been the subject of radio dramas, black and white movie serials, cartoons, several early tv shows, and a 1990 movie that starred Warren Beatty.

The comic strip debuted in 1931 in the Detroit Mirror created by Chester Gould. It's syndicated by the Chicago Tribune New York News Syndicate. And it's still carried daily in newspaper in 2017. It's the oldest continually running comic strip.

After Gould retired, numerous artists have drawn the detective, including Joe Staton and writer Mike Curtis (known for Casper the Friendly Ghost, Scooby Doo, Richie Rich) along with Sheiley Pleger and Shane Fisher (coloring for Sunday strips).

Former Huntington Cop, Sheriff, Mayor Honored by Creators of Dick Tracy Comic

When this new creative team joined Tracy in 2011, Chicago area policeman Jim Doherty introduced a feature --- Tracy's Hall of Fame. It replaces the "Crimestopper" caption once a month. The Hall of Fame profiles and honors a real-life officer.

Huntington resident know the newest Tracy Hall of Famer for his Mayberry Andy Griffith style and squad car. Kim Wolfe began his career on Huntington's police force and introduced the horse patrol. 

Of course, Wolfe later became the Cabell County Sheriff and served four years as Huntington's Mayor. He can be seen briefly as an 'extra' in the Warner Bros. "We Are Marshall" film, too.

Wolfe has chalked up another honor. Last month, the Tracy Sunday comic selected him for it's "Hall of Fame" officer.

Modestly, Wolfe sent me a link and appeared surprised. "Well, at least it was positive," he said, obviously reflecting on the turmoil of finances during his term as Mayor. 

Mayor Wolfe (right) at We Are Marshall debut. Former HNN Photographer Chris Spencer (Center). Debra Wolfe, left
Mayor Wolfe (right) at We Are Marshall debut. Former HNN Photographer Chris Spencer (Center). Debra Wolfe, left

The link "was sent to me from some guy in Proctorville. Don't know how it got in the funny paper," Wolfe said.

The panel honoring Wolfe states:

"Served two tours in Vietnam with the U.S. Navy before serving 26 years with the Huntington (WV) police department. He was elected sheriff in Cabell County (WV) in 2000 and 2004 and was elected Mayor of Huntington from 2008 to 2013 (sic). Lt. Walter Reimer."

True to his crimestopping roots, Wolfe as Mayor concentrated on public safety. In a prior interview he told HNN, " Our administration did raise the user fee ( which I've never liked) one dollar with the promise the money would go to police and paving. Which it did. We hired 24 additional police officers and scheduled paving every year. Violent crime down 68% over all crime down 38% our four years , per crime statistics HPD."

During a February 2012 interview, then Mayor Wolfe attribute lower crime to leadership, people , grants and technology obtained by HPD: 

Scene Dick Tracy Cartoon
Scene Dick Tracy Cartoon


Mayor Wolfe attributed police department successes --- its “tremendous” leadership  by (Chief Skip Holbrook), “council and our encouragement of  the chief,” and [making the most of limited] resources, through the use of grants. “Their budget has not increased,” Wolfe stressed: “You supply good leadership, give him the people he needs, give him the tools he needs, and the technology he needs, and you have seen the result. Can the same thing happen to the Fire Department or Public Works. Yes, but it will take investment to allow them to do that.  We can’t keep reducing personnel; we won’t be able to provide services.



In addition to recognition as "Best Syndicated Strip" in 2013-2014-2015 (the Harvey Award), Dick Tracy has received the following:

Chester Gould won the Reuben Award for the strip in 1959 and 1977.

The Mystery Writers of America honored Gould and his work with a Special Edgar Award in 1980. This was the first time MWA ever honored a comic strip.

In 1995, the strip was one of 20 included in the Comic Strip Classics series of commemorative postage stamps and postcards.[13]

On May 2, 2011, the Tennessee Senate passed Resolution 30, congratulating Mike Curtis and Joe Staton on their professional accomplishments, including Dick Tracy.

On September 7, 2013, at the Baltimore Comics Convention, Dick Tracy was awarded the Harvey in the "Best Syndicated Strip or Panel" category. Tracy was simultaneously the oldest continually running strip, and the first adventure strip ever to win the Harvey Award in this category.[14] On September 6, 2014, Tracy was awarded a second Harvey Award in the newspaper strip category, becoming one of only three strips to win in this category in consecutive years. On September 26, 2015, Tracy won a third Harvey in the same category, becoming one of only three strips to win in three consecutive years.

Former Huntington Cop, Sheriff, Mayor Honored by Creators of Dick Tracy Comic

On November 6, 2016 at their panel at Akron Comicon, Mike Curtis and Joe Staton were each presented with an Akron Comicon Excellence Award. The inscription on the plaques reads: 2016 AKRON COMICON EXCELLENCE AWARD PRESENTED TO MIKE CURTIS AND JOE STATON FOR THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO ONE OF THE LONGEST RUNNING NEWSPAPER STRIPS IN THE HISTORY OF NEWSPAPER COMICS!