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Rip Kirby is a popular comic strip featuring the adventures of the eponymous lead character, a private detective created by Alex Raymond in 1946. Displaying the talents of more than a dozen writers and illustrators, the strip had a long run, spanning five decades.

After World War II, Raymond did not return to work on any of his previous successful comic strips (Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, Secret Agent X-9) but instead began work on a new strip in which ex-Marine Rip Kirby returns from WWII and goes to work as a private detective, sometimes accompanied by his girlfriend, fashion model Judith Lynne “Honey” Dorian. Her given name and nickname were borrowed from the names of Raymond’s three daughters.

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Rip Kirby was based on the suggestion by King Features editor Ward Greene that Raymond try a “detective-type” strip. First published on March 4, 1946, the strip was given a huge promotional boost, even including fully painted promotional art, a rarity in comic strip promotions. The strip enjoyed enormous success, and Raymond received the Reuben Award in 1949.

During Raymond’s years on the strip, the stories were initially written by Ward Greene and later, following Greene’s death, by Fred Dickenson. Some sequences were also written by Raymond. rip01

Comics historian Don Markstein noted how the character of Remington “Rip” Kirby broke away from the usual pulp detective archetype:

“Circulation rose steadily during the strip’s first few years — even tho Rip wasn’t the kind of private detective they were used to from pulp fiction. This one did more cogitating than fisticuffing, and smoked a leisurely pipe while he did it. He had a frail, balding assistant, Desmond (a former burglar), instead of a two-fisted sidekick. Instead of carrying on with an endless series of female clients, he had a steady girlfriend, Honey Dorian. If that wasn’t enough, he even wore glasses! Even Kerry Drake didn’t depart so far from the standard. If Rip was more sophisticated and urbane than the average fictional private eye, that’s okay, because he was very successful — both for himself and for the people who wrote, drew and distributed him.”

In 1956, Raymond was killed in a car crash. King Features quickly needed a replacement and found it in John Prentice.

Dickenson continued to write the series until the mid-1980s when he was forced to retire for health reasons. Prentice then took over the writing along with others. Prentice kept the strip going until his own death in 1999. The strip ended with Rip’s retirement on June 26, 1999. Prentice received the National Cartoonists Society Story Comic Strip Award for 1966, 1967 and 1986 for his work on the strip.

Over the years of publication, the strip was ghosted and assisted by many artists and writers, including Frank Bolle[citation needed] (who completed the last episode), Al Williamson, and Gray Morrow.[citation needed]

5 stories

001 – The Chip Faraday Murder
002 – The Hicks Formula
003 – Liquid Murder
004 – Fatal Forgeries
005 – Past Imperfect

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3 stories

006 – Death in the Dolls House
007 – Bleak Prospects
008 – Terror on the Thames

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6 stories

009 – Major Mystery
010 – Family Fortune
011 – Second Chances
012 – Lost and Found
013 – Borrowed Trouble
014 – Correspondence Crisis

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5 stories

015 – Treasure Hunt
016 – Mystery of the Missing Songstress
017 – Unlucky Seven
018 – The Great You
019 – The Disappearance of Bijou Benson

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4 stories

021 – The Return of the Mangler
023 – The Treasure of Silas Stone
025 – Monkey Business
026 – Calendar Girl

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6 stories

027 – Grand Passion
030 – Carno’s Carnivores
031 – Hep-Cat Hijackers
034 – The Missing Key
035 – Zero Hour
042 – Into the Eyes of Monara

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3 stories

053 – The Town That Time Forgot
057 – The Unwilling Heir
074 – Hostile Takeover

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4 stories

081 – Rip Kirby Butler
088 – Revival
093 – Danger in the Devil’s Frying Pan
094 – Secret of the Shark

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4 stories

Rip Kirby 103 – The Power
Rip Kirby 115 – The Hunt for Cinderella
Rip Kirby The Beginning
Rip Kirby Unlucky Seven

8 strips unsorted

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7 responses »

  1. dottedsun says:

    Great!, just Great!
    Thanks again, again and again!!
    Great job!!

    Like

  2. Shivkumar says:

    I think I’m having 53 to 128. Give me your mail id, will upload and give links on coming Sunday.

    Like

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