Dick Moores, American (1909 - 1986)

Dick Moores

Richard Arnold Moores was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, and studied art at the Chicago Art Academy. He worked as an assistant to Chester Gould on the backgrounds and lettering of 'Dick Tracy' between 1932 and 1936. In 1936, he created 'Jim Hardy', later called 'Windy and Padles', for the United Features Syndicate. He turned to animation in 1942, and joined the Disney Studios. There, he worked on several animation projects as well as comic series.

Moores worked mainly on the newspaper strips during the 1940s and 1950s. He inked Floyd Gottfredson's 'Mickey Mouse' and worked on 'Uncle Remus and his Tales of Brer Rabbit', 'Silly Symphonies' ('Panchito', 'Jose Carioca'), 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Treasury of Classic Tales' and 'Scamp' Sunday pages, as well as the daily 'Scamp' strip. Moores additionally illustrated several stories for Dell Publishing's comic books with 'Mickey Mouse' and 'Donald Duck', but also with Warner's 'Bugs Bunny' and 'Porky Pig'.

In 1956, Frank King asked him to assist him on the daily 'Gasoline Alley' strip, which he took over competely after its creator's retirement in 1959. Moores' run on the strip was very successful; he modernized the style and focused on a different set of characters than King. When Sunday's artist Bill Perry retired in 1975, Moores also took on this page. He drew 'Gasoline Alley' until his death in 1986, and he was succeeded by his assistant Jim Scancarelli.

"Gasoline Alley" carried the stamp of Moores' early Disney experiences in the collection of animals that became hallmarks--Rufus and his cat, the Great Dane and the Doberman living in the too-small apartment with Slim and Clovia. Characters grew up and got older in the strip, but no one died. And violence was never allowed.

In recent years, Moores had been composing stories, drawing the faces in ink and pencil, sketching the action, and then sending strips to another artist, who would ink in the drawings.

Moores was one of the few cartoonists whose characters aged as the years passed. Wallet was his oldest character, a grandfather in the strip and the only character he inherited from King.

"The first thing they ask is 'When is Walt going to die?' I won't promise anything. People are born, they grow up, they get older. And eventually somebody's going to have to die. But I wouldn't do anything to hype it," Moores said in a February interview.

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