Dick Tracy Wiki

The criminal called Gargles was an extortionist. He had light wavy hair, thick dark eyebrows and prominent lips.

Gargles would package water flavored with cinnamon and sell it as mouthwash. He would often threaten shop owners if they refused to buy his product.

Gargles was obsessed with oral hygiene and gargled frequently (with legitimate mouthwash brands, never his own fraudulent product) . He became enraged if anyone served him food or drink in tableware that was cracked, claiming that cracks were a breeding ground for germs.

Obsession with Christmas Early[]

Gargles' activities attracted the attention of Dick Tracy when Gargles assaulted George Empire, the owner of a chain of drugstores. Empire had discovered Gargles' scheme and had threatened to expose him. Gargles followed Empire while Empire was on a date with the radio personality Christmas Early. Both Empire and Early became intoxicated and Gargles struck Empire on the head from behind. Empire's head and neck become lodged in a revolving door, and he was choked to death.

Gargles continued with his scheme, and became a fan of Christmas Early's radio program, seemingly unaware that she was the woman who had been with Empire the night of the murder. Gargles sent Early several fan letters. Tracy began to piece together the connection between Early, Empire, and a mysterious mouthwash dealer that was operating in town. Tracy monitored Christmas' communications with Gargles very closely.


Eventually, Gargles' attraction to Early became overpowering. He called her on the telephone and asked for a date. Tracy traced the call and he and the police raided Gargles' apartment building. Two of Gargles' associates were killed, but Gargles escaped.

Hiding in the City[]

Gargles went into hiding, renting a room from the mother of Themesong, a girl singer. Themesong won a camera in a contest and took Gargles' photo without his permission. Gargles was desperate to get the film with his picture on it, and he tracked Themesong and her mother to the pharmacy where the film was being developed. He shot and killed the pharmacist and Themesong's mother, but Themesong was able to escape with the film.

On the run again, Gargles hid in a plate glass window factory. Christmas Early recruited Themesong to come on her radio program and make a public plea for Gargles to give himself up. Gargles heard the broadcast and was besieged by guilt and paranoia. He revealed himself to the glass factory workers, who had also heard the broadcast. They recognized Gargles from the description on the radio and tried to hold him at bay. Gargles fired on the men, and the gunshots attracted Dick Tracy and the police.

The End of Gargles[]


Gargles fled into the factory's storage loft. Tracy followed, using a makeshift shield of bullet-proof glass. Gargles unloaded his gun on Tracy, who kept coming. Frantic, Gargles finally stumbled backwards through a guardrail. He fell to the factory floor, bringing several sections of plate glass down on himself. The broken glass pierced his body, killing him. With his final words, Gargles exonerated Christmas Early from any wrongdoing in the death of George Empire.

Appearances in Other Media[]

IDW Comics[]


Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive[]

Gargles was one of several villains shown being taken into custody in issue #2 of the comic book miniseries Dick Tracy: Dead or Alive published by IDW.


  • Gargles had henchmen named Eddie and Joe. He had this in common with Shaky.