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Dab Stract was an art collector whose face originally resembled that of the type painted by abstract artist Pablo Picasso. He had white hair.

The members of Stract's family all shared the same unusual facial features. Stract's mother had been an artists' model during the 1920s, and the artists had giver her paintings that had made of her. Stract's father later sold these paintings for millions of dollars.

Encountering Dick Tracy[]

A millionaire recluse, Dab Stract arranged to fill his collection with stolen artwork. His initial goal was to reclaim the paintings that his father had sold, but he also turned his interest to other artists and styles.

Dab Stract conceived of a scheme to steal valuable artworks from musuems. His associate Pierre W. Easel (aka Pete the Weasel) opened an art school, where he purported to teach students by having them copy famous paintings. Another associate named Rocky Sock secured a job as a museum security guard. Sock would then unlock the museum doors after hours, enabling Easel and Leitmo Tiv (an art critic and associate of Stract's) to replace the paintings with forgeries. Tiv would then be in a position to identify the forgeries as genuine if their origin was questioned.

Leitmo Tiv was arrested when his fingerprints were found on forged paintings in several museums, and he informed Dick Tracy of his involvement with Dab Stract. Tiv then told Tracy that he expected Stract would attempt to steal a statue of George Washington from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Tiv's information was correct. Stract and his cohorts stole the statue and replaced it with a forgery. Acting on Tiv's tip, Tracy was able to hide himself inside the statue's base before the theft took place. Sam Catchem tracked Tracy's location using Tracy's 2-Way Wrist Computer, enabling Sam to arrest Stract's accomplices as they left Stract's home.

Inside Stract's home, Tracy was able to briefly subdue the criminal. Stract revived and attempted to escape, but was detected when he tried to disguise himself as a painting. Stract was arrested.

Stract on the Run[]

Dab Stract apparently escaped from police custody, as he was next seen as a fugitive in a different city. He had recovered one of the stolen paintings from his collection and was attempting to sell it.

At that time, Dick Tracy was pursuing the fugitives Nutsy and Slugs Magnum, both of whom were on the FBI's Most Wanted list. Tracy appeared on the television show America's Most Wanted, where he (seemingly by accident) showed Dab Stract's mug shot. Stract's unusual features made him recognizable to a number of viewers, and several tips about Stract's location were received.


Tracy suspended his pursuit of Nutsy and Magnum and flew to the city were Stract had been reported. By coincidence, Nutsy and Magnum were also in the same city. Nutsy attempted to rob the art gallery where Stract was trying to sell his painting, and Magnum arrived seeking to kill Nutsy (who had stolen the affection of Magnum's girlfriend Rocksie).

A shootout ensued in the art gallery. Magnum was killed by a ricochet and Dab Stract suffered several gunshot wounds. He survived and managed to get to an underworld doctor who treated his injuries. Stract was a fugitive once again, and his features had now been radically changed.

Stract and No Face[]

Stract then encountered the criminal known as No Face, who recruited Stract into a scheme to publicly embarrass Dick Tracy. No Face provided Stract with a hideout and a series of masks that enabled Stract to commit high-profile art thefts. Tracy was blamed for failing to prevent the thefts.

Dick Tracy tracked down Dab Stract and No Face. No Face escaped but Stract was arrested. He was able to secure a high-priced attorney to represent him.

Stract and Tox[]


Dab Stract returned to Dick Tracy's city and sought out the cosmetic surgeon Dr. Beau Tox. Tox operated on Stract's face, altering it in a way inspired by the artist Salvador Dali. Stract - confident that his new face would prevent him from being recognized and identified - then attempted to sell a forged painting. His buyer was an undercover FBI agent who tried to arrest Stract. Stract assaulted the officer and fled, leaving the forgery behind. Stract's fingerprints on the forgery were then used to establish his identity and posters were an artist's rendering of his new face (based on the FBI agent's description) were circulated.

Stract returned to Dr. Tox to have his face altered again. By this time, Tox had convinced Tess and Dick Tracy to get face lifts to look more youthful. While Dick Tracy was sedated, Tox altered his features to resemble the criminal Haf-and-Haf. Tox then modified Dab Stract's face to match Dick Tracy's original features.

Dab Stract was then able to impersonate Dick Tracy. After another confederate of Tox's stole a valuable painting from a local museum, Stract arrived and posed as Dick Tracy. He claimed that several other paintings would need to be taken into custody as evidence and had some unnamed accomplices load them into a van.

Stract then went to police headquarters and continued to pretend to be Dick Tracy. His deception was discovered by Sam Catchem and Lizz, who took note of "Tracy's" uncharacteristic behavior. Stract's fingerprints were matched, and he agreed to cooperate with the police. As was the case with the rest of Dr. Tox's patients, the procedures proved not to be permanent. Stract, having been operated on several times by Tox, found that his facial features deteriorated into a formless mass resembling the figure in the famous painting "The Scream".


As the primary witness against Dr. Beau Tox, Dab Stract eventually received a surgical procedure to restore his original face. However, at Tox's trial, Stract could not confidently identify Tox because Tox had been disfigured by one of his accomplices. Tox was released due a lack of evidence.

Because he had cooperated with authorities, Stract was released despite the lack of a conviction for Tox.

Stract and Cole Lector[]

Some time later, Dab Stract was living in a run-down section of the city. He was contacted by the villain Cole Lector and commissioned to paint portraits of several notable people in the city, including Police Chief Lizz. Lector wanted the portraits to be ugly (as a reflection of how he believed these people had failed the city) and Stract complied.

Cole Lector eventually abducted all of the subjects of the portraits Stract had painted. Dick Tracy tracked Stract to his home studio, where Stract informed Tracy of his patron's identity. Stract then showed Tracy where Lector's home was located.


Tracy infiltrated Lector's home by employing a ruse. Lector discovered Tracy and the two men fought. Lector gained the upper hand and was about to kill Tracy when he was shot from behind with a bow and arrow. The shooter was revealed to be Dab Stract, who informed Tracy that Lector had given him a key to his home some time previously. Stract was praised for his heroism and was not charged in Lector's death. He then presented Dick Tracy and his wife with a gift of a painting that Tess found nauseating.


  • The name Dab Stract is derived from the word "abstract", which is a term for stylized or non-representative artwork.
  • Additionally, "dab" refers to a small about of something and is often applied to paint. It can also refer to soaking up an excess amount of liquid (or paint) with an absorbent cloth.
  • It's possible that "Dab" is a shortened form of the name "Dabney".