RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — An author and retired Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Professor appeared as himself in a recent issue of the comic book series “Dick Tracy.”

Tom De Haven, who wrote a series of novels about comic book authors and taught in the Department of English at VCU for 28 years before his retirement in 2018, was featured in an issue of the 91-year-old series released this weekend.

According to a release from the university, De Haven was inspired to begin writing when he first read “Dick Tracy” in 1956 at the age of 7. His work would later inspire current “Dick Tracy” writer Mike Curtis, who reached out to him and wrote him into the comic.

De Haven began teaching at VCU in 1990 and worked primarily in the MFA in creative writing program. As a VCU professor, De Haven founded the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award and the first year-long novel writing workshop at a United States university, where he taught authors such as Sheri Reynolds and Rachel Beanland.