Dick Locher has gone from being the cartoonist to the cartoon.
The longtime Dick Tracy artist is now immortalized in the latest Century Walk public art piece in his hometown of Naperville.
The mural, which is about 67 feet wide and 12 feet tall, is being painted on the outer wall of the Naperville Art League and depicts famous artists creating their well-known works.
"I figured I'm in great company with van Gogh, Andy Warhol, Edward Hopper," Locher said. "That's nice company. I felt honored."
The mural is the 34th piece of outdoor public art to be created as part of the long-running Century Walk program and will be dedicated in a ceremony at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25.
Mike Venezia of Glen Ellyn designed the piece and Naperville's Marianne Lisson Kuhn spent the summer painting it on the wall of the art league's building, at 508 N. Center St.
The 30-plus artists in the mural are depicted as cartoon characters while their artwork is realistic. Locher said Lisson Kuhn did him justice.
"You often wonder what other people think about you and how you look," he said. "It's a dead giveaway. It was kind of fun and interesting to see myself by all means. It's different."
Locher himself was at the mural site for about four hours Saturday to paint the famous Dick Tracy character he has been writing and drawing for 30 years.
"I love to create new things and hopefully make people laugh or cringe," he said of his work.
Locher, a Naperville resident for about 40 years, is also a longtime editorial cartoonist for Tribune Media Services.
In addition to helping with the Century Walk mural, he designed a 9-foot tall bronze statue of the detective that will become the city's next Century Walk piece. That piece could be unveiled as early as October.