DICK TRACY comic strip writer MICHAEL KILIAN has died. He was 66.

Kilian began working on the Chicago Tribune cartoon with DICK LOCHER when its originator CHESTER GOULD died in 1977.

Locher says of Kilian, "He'd take a task and run with it. He loved it. He immersed himself."

In addition to his artistic talents, Kilian was also a columnist for the Chicago Tribune and wrote 24 novels.

Kilian's health had been gradually declining since being diagnosed with a liver complaint last year (04).

He is survived by his wife PAMELA.