Rip Kirby

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Rip Kirby
Ripkirby.jpg
Rip Kirby
Author(s) Alex Raymond, John Prentice
Current status / schedule Defunct
Launch date March 4, 1946
End date June 26, 1999
Syndicate(s) King Features
Genre(s) Detective fiction

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.

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.[1] The strip enjoyed enormous success, and Raymond received the Reuben Award in 1949.[2]

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.

Characters and story[edit]

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."[1]

In 1956, Raymond was killed in a car crash.[2] 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.[1] 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,[citation needed] and Gray Morrow.[citation needed]

Reprints[edit]

In 1948, Rip Kirby strips were reprinted in issues #51 and #54 of David McKay's Feature Book. Issue #51 included a biography of Alex Raymond with a photograph showing him sketching an unnamed model for Honey Dorian.

IDW Publishing[edit]

In 2009, IDW Publishing started to reprint Rip Kirby strip as part of its The Library of American Comics. The first four volumes contain a complete reprint of Raymond's stories including the last one, finished by Prentice. Volume 5 continues with Prentice's work.[3]

Years ISBN Articles
1
1946–48 978-1-60010-484-8 Preface (by Dean Mullaney); Crime does pay (by Tom Roberts); "The war made a realist out of me" (by Brian Walker)
2
1948–51 978-1-60010-582-1 Introduction (by Howard Chaykin); "Let's not slurp our soup" (by Brian Walker)
3
1951–54 978-1-60010-785-6 "Comic-Art Work is an Art-Form in Itself" (by Brian Walker)
4
1954–56 978-1-60010-989-8 "He was completely absorbed with Rip and seeking his own pleasures" (by Brian Walker)
5
1956–59 978-1-61377-356-7 "Getting Rip Kirby was the natural way for him to go" (by Brian Walker)
6
1959–62 978-1-61377-710-7 (To be announced)
7
1962–64 978-1-63140-034-6 (To be announced)
8
1964–67 978-1-63140-304-0 (To be announced)

Story list[edit]

The Rip Kirby comic strip stories
Title Writer(s) Artist(s) Dates № of strips Strip № Reprinted in
1
The Chip Faraday Murder
WG&AR
AR
1946-03-04 / 1946-04-22
43
1-43
IDW1
2
The Hicks Formula
AR
1946-04-23 / 1946-06-26
56
44-99
IDW1
3
Liquid Murder
AR
1946-06-27 / 1946-11-02
111
100-210
IDW1
4
Fatal Forgeries
AR
1946-11-04 / 1947-01-20
67
211-277
IDW1
5
Past Imperfect
AR
1947-01-21 / 1947-05-24
107
278-384
IDW1
6
Death in the Doll's House
AR
1947-05-26 / 1947-10-11
120
385-504
IDW1
7
Bleak Prospects
AR
1947-10-13 / 1948-06-12
210
505-714
IDW1
8
Terror on the Thames
AR
1948-06-14 / 1948-12-04
150
715-864
IDW1
9
Major Mystery
AR
1948-12-06 / 1949-01-08
30
865-894
IDW2
10
Family Fortune
AR
1949-01-10 / 1949-05-21
114
895-1008
IDW2
11
Second Chances
AR
1949-05-23 / 1949-09-03
90
1009-1098
IDW2
12
Lost and Found
AR
1949-09-05 / 1949-12-03
78
1099-1176
IDW2
13
"Borrowed" Trouble
AR
1949-12-05 / 1950-03-25
96
1177-1272
IDW2
14
Correspondence Crisis
AR
1950-03-27 / 1950-06-10
66
1273-1338
IDW2
15
Treasure Hunt
AR
1950-06-12 / 1950-09-23
90
1339-1428
IDW2
16
Mystery of the Missing Songstress
AR
1950-09-25 / 1950-12-23
78
1429-1506
IDW2
17
Unlucky Seven
AR
1950-12-25 / 1951-04-28
108
1507-1614
IDW2
18
The Great You
AR
1951-04-30 / 1951-09-22
126
1615-1740
IDW2
19
The Disappearance of Bijou Benson
AR
1951-09-24 / 1952-01-26
108
1741-1848
IDW3
20
Hell Hath No Fury...
AR
1952-01-28 / 1952-05-24
102
1849-1950
IDW3
21
Return of the Mangler
AR
1952-05-26 / 1952-09-27
108
1951-2058
IDW3
22
The Millbanks Murder Case
AR
1952-09-29 / 1953-01-31
108
2059-2166
IDW3
23
The Treasure of Silas Stone
AR
1953-02-02 / 1953-05-09
84
2167-2250
IDW3
24
International Incident
AR
1953-05-11 / 1953-09-05
102
2251-2352
IDW3
25
Monkey Business
AR
1953-09-07 / 1953-11-21
66
2353-2418
IDW3
26
Calendar Girl
AR
1953-11-23 / 1954-04-17
126
2419-2544
IDW3
27
Grand Passion
AR
1954-04-19 / 1954-07-10
72
2545-2616
IDW4
28
In Freedom's Cause
AR
1954-07-12 / 1954-12-25
144
2617-2760
IDW4
29
Kismet
AR
1954-12-27 / 1955-04-09
90
2761-2850
IDW4
30
Carno's Carnivores
AR
1955-04-11 / 1955-07-09
78
2851-2928
IDW4
31
Hep-Cat Hijackers
AR
1955-07-11 / 1955-09-24
66
2929-2994
IDW4
32
Turnabout Justice
AR
1955-09-26 / 1955-11-26
54
2995-3048
IDW4
33
The Reluctant Heiress
AR
1955-11-28 / 1956-02-18
72
3049-3120
IDW4
34
The Missing Key
AR
1956-02-20 / 1956-05-19
78
3121-3198
IDW4
35
Zero Hour
AR
1956-05-21 / 1956-07-28
60
3199-3258
IDW4
36
Elixir of Youth
FD
AR
JP
1956-07-30 / 1956-09-29
1956-10-01 / 1956-10-20
54
18
3259-3312
3313-3330
IDW4
37
Misdirections
JP
1956-10-22 / 1957-02-16
102
3331-3432
IDW5
38
Dangerous Deceptions
JP
1957-02-18 / 1957-05-25
84
3433-3516
IDW5
39
Casino Con
JP
1957-05-27 / 1957-08-10
66
3517-3582
IDW5
40
Sirene
JP
1957-08-12 / 1957-12-07
102
3583-3684
IDW5
41
The Fatal Photo
JP
1957-12-09 / 1958-02-08
54
3685-3738
IDW5
42
Into the Eye of Monara
JP
1958-02-10 / 1958-06-14
108
3739-3846
IDW5
43
Murderous Masquerade
JP
1958-06-16 / 1958-08-23
60
3847-3906
IDW5
44
ESP Extortion
JP
1958-08-25 / 1958-11-01
60
3907-3966
IDW5
45
A Date with Destiny
JP
1958-11-03 / 1959-02-28
102
3967-4068
IDW5
46
Case of the Twin Who Didn't Exist
JP
1959-03-02 / 1959-06-06
84
4069-4152
IDW5
47
Matches in the Telescope
JP
1959-06-08 / 1959-10-03
102
4153-4254
IDW6
48
Ghost Town Showdown
JP
1959-10-05 / 1959-12-05
54
4255-4308
IDW6
49
Doom on the High Seas
JP
1959-12-07 / 1960-04-09
108
4309-4416
IDW6
50
Fortune's Folly
JP
1960-04-11 / 1960-08-13
108
4417-4524
IDW6
51
Treasure Haven
JP
1960-08-15 / 1960-11-19
84
4525-4608
IDW6
52
Honor's Choice
AW
1960-11-21 / 1961-04-08
120
4609-4728
IDW6
53
The Town That Time Forgot
JP
1961-04-10 / 1961-09-16
138
4729-4866
IDW6
54
Too Much Amour
JP
1961-09-18 / 1962-02-10
126
4867-4992
IDW6
55
All for Love
JP
1962-02-12 / 1962-04-28
66
4993-5058
IDW7
56
Peril of the Poet Crook
JP
1962-04-30 / 1962-08-11
90
5059-5148
IDW7
57
The Unwilling Heir
JP
1962-08-13 / 1962-11-10
78
5149-5226
IDW7
58
Ming the Merciless
JP
1962-11-12 / 1963-03-09
102
5227-5328
IDW7
59
Sting of the Scorpion
JP
1963-03-11 / 1963-08-03
126
5329-5454
IDW7
60
Poison Pen Campaign
JP
1963-08-05 / 1963-12-14
114
5455-5568
IDW7
61
Duelling Detectives
JP
1963-12-16 / 1964-03-14
78
5569-5646
IDW7
62
Fagin's Folly
JP
1964-03-16 / 1964-07-11
102
5647-5748
IDW7
63
Bond Hunt
JP
1964-07-13 / 1964-10-10
78
5749-5826
IDW7
64
Prettypetal's Poison Plant Plan
JP
1964-10-12 / 1964-11-28
42
5827-5868
IDW8
65
A Prince in Peril
JP
1964-11-30 / 1965-04-03
108
5869-5976
IDW8
66
Past and Present
JP
1965-04-05 / 1965-06-26
72
5977-6048
IDW8
67
Prim's Plunder
JP
1965-06-28 / 1965-09-25
78
6049-6126
IDW8
68
The Chameleon Strikes
JP
1965-09-27 / 1965-12-04
60
6127-6186
IDW8
69
Deceiving Appearances
JP
1965-12-06 / 1966-03-19
90
6187-6276
IDW8
70
The Shape of Things to Come
JP
1966-03-21 / 1966-07-30
114
6277-6390
IDW8
71
Hi Seas Hi-Jinx
JP
1966-08-01 / 1966-10-22
72
6391-6462
IDW8
72
Fatal Fortunes
JP
1966-10-24 / 1966-12-31
60
6463-6522
IDW8
73
Too Much Amour, Too
JP
1967-01-02 / 1967-03-25
72
6523-6594
IDW8
74
Hostile Takeover
JP
1967-03-27 / 1967-07-08
90
6595-6684
IDW8
75
Desmond's Betrayal
JP
1967-07-10 / 1967-11-04
102
6685-6786
76
Hijacked
JP
1967-11-06 / 1968-03-16
114
6787-6900
77
The Almost-Perfect Crime
JP
1968-03-18 / 1968-07-06
96
6901-6996
78
Who's Got Who
JP
1968-07-08 / 1968-10-26
96
6997-7092
79
You Can't Judge a Book...
JP
1968-10-28 / 1969-03-08
114
7093-7206
80
Treachery on Tanga
JP
1969-03-10 / 1969-06-07
78
7207-7284
81
Rip Kirby, Butler
JP
1969-06-09 / 1969-10-04
102
7285-7386
82
Kirby on Campus
JP
1969-10-06 / 1970-01-10
84
7387-7470
83
Immortal Mystery
JP
1970-01-12 / 1970-04-25
90
7471-7560
84
Dr. Data's Deadly Predictions
JP
1970-04-27 / 1970-08-01
84
7561-7644
85
Ghost Town Death Duel
JP
1970-08-03 / 1970-11-28
102
7645-7746
86
Femina Fatale
JP
1970-11-30 / 1971-03-20
96
7747-7842
87
Perils of Pierre
JP
1971-03-22 / 1971-06-26
84
7843-7926
88
Revival
JP
1971-06-28 / 1971-09-18
72
7927-7998
89
Precognition Peril
JP
1971-09-20 / 1972-01-29
114
7999-8112
90
Paragon of Vice
JP
1972-01-31 / 1972-06-10
114
8113-8226
91
The Counterfeit Countessa
JP
1972-06-12 / 1972-10-21
114
8227-8340
92
Case of the Mixed-up Missive
JP
1972-10-23 / 1973-01-20
78
8341-8418
93
Danger in the Devil's Frying Pan
JP
1973-01-22 / 1973-05-26
108
8419-8526
94
Secret of the Shark
JP
1973-05-28 / 1973-08-11
66
8527-8592
95
Tomb Terror
JP
1973-08-13 / 1974-01-05
126
8593-8718
96
Royal Double
JP
1974-01-07 / 1974-04-06
78
8719-8796
97
House of Mystery
JP
1974-04-08 / 1974-06-29
72
8797-8868
98
Ghost Ship
JP
1974-07-01 / 1974-09-07
60
8869-8928
99
Conning the Con
JP
1974-09-09 / 1974-11-30
72
8929-9000
100 The Pillars of Destiny
JP
1974-12-02 / 1975-02-22
72
9001-9072
101 The Rebel Queen
JP
1975-02-24 / 1975-04-05
36
9073-9108
102 Mangler's Big Heist
JP
1975-04-07 / 1975-06-28
72
9109-9180
103 The Power
JP
1975-06-30 / 1975-10-11
90
9181-9270
104 The Hades Hexagon
JP
1975-10-13 / 1975-12-20
60
9271-9330
105 The Monkey's Secret
JP
1975-12-22 / 1976-02-28
60
9331-9390
106 The Cherub Locket
JP
1976-03-01 / 1976-06-05
84
9391-9474
107 Lost Empire
JP
1976-06-07 / 1976-10-09
108
9475-9582
108 Lethal Letters
JP
1976-10-11 / 1977-01-08
78
9583-9660
109 Manhunt
JP
1977-01-10 / 1977-03-26
66
9661-9726
110 Macho Mayhem
JP
1977-03-28 / 1977-06-25
78
9727-9804
111 Return of Dr. Destiny
JP
1977-06-27 / 1977-09-24
78
9805-9882
112 Cat Burglar
JP
1977-09-26 / 1977-12-03
60
9883-9942
113 The Death Cave
JP
1977-12-05 / 1978-02-18
66
9943-10008
114 Madam Casino and Joe Rimfire
JP
1978-02-20 / 1978-04-22
54
10009-10062
115 The Hunt for Cinderella
JP
1978-04-24 / 1978-08-05
90
10063-10152
116 The Shark and the Treasure
JP
1978-08-07 / 1978-11-04
78
10153-10230
117 Dirty Business
JP
1978-11-06 / 1979-02-03
78
10231-10308
118 The Return of Mangler
JP
1979-02-05 / 1979-06-09
108
10309-10416
119
JP
1979-06-11 / 1979-08-18
60
10417-10476
120
JP
1979-08-20 / 1979-11-10
72
10477-10548
121
JP
1979-11-12 / 1980-02-23
90
10549-10638
122
JP
1980-02-25 / 1980-06-28
108
10639-10746
123
JP
1980-06-30 / 1980-11-01
108
10747-10854
124
JP
1980-11-03 / 1981-01-24
72
10855-10926
125
JP
1981-01-26 / 1981-05-16
96
10927-11022
126
JP
1981-05-26 / 1981-09-05
96
11023-11118
127
JP
1981-09-07 / 1981-12-12
84
11119-11202
128
JP
1981-12-14 / 1982-03-06
72
11203-11274
129
JP
1982-03-08 / 1982-06-05
78
11275-11352
130
JP
1982-06-07 / 1982-10-09
108
11353-11460
131
JP
1982-10-11 / 1983-02-05
102
11461-11562
132
JP
1983-02-07 / 1983-05-28
96
11563-11658
133
JP
1983-05-30 / 1983-09-17
96
11659-11754
134
JP
1983-09-19 / 1983-12-03
66
11755-11820
135
JP
1983-12-05 / 1984-02-25
72
11821-11892
136
JP
1984-02-27 / 1984-06-30
108
11893-12000
137
JP
1984-07-02 / 1984-11-10
114
12001-12114
138
JP
1984-11-12 / 1985-02-09
78
12115-12192
139
JP
1985-02-11 / 1985-04-13
54
12193-12246
140
JP
1985-04-15 / 1985-06-22
60
12247-12306
141
JP
1985-06-24 / 1985-10-12
96
12307-12402
142
JP
1985-10-14 / 1986-02-22
114
12403-12516
143
JP
1986-02-24 / 1986-05-24
78
12517-12594
144
JP
1986-05-26 / 1986-09-06
90
12595-12684
145
JP
1986-09-08 / 1986-11-22
66
12685-12750
146
JP
1986-11-24 / 1987-02-07
66
12751-12816
147
JP
1987-02-09 / 1987-04-25
66
12817-12882
148
JP
1987-04-27 / 1987-07-25
78
12883-12960
149
JP
1987-07-27 / 1987-10-24
78
12961-13038
150
JP
1987-10-26 / 1988-01-23
78
13039-13116
151
JP
1988-01-25 / 1988-04-23
78
13117-13194
152
JP
1988-04-25 / 1988-07-16
72
13195-13266
153
JP
1988-07-18 / 1988-11-05
96
13267-13362
154
JP
1988-11-07 / 1989-02-04
78
13363-13440
155
JP
1989-02-06 / 1989-04-29
72
13441-13512
156
JP
1989-05-01 / 1989-08-05
84
13513-13596
157
JP
1989-08-07 / 1989-10-21
66
13597-13662
158
JP
1989-10-23 / 1990-01-20
78
13663-13740
159
JP
1990-01-22 / 1990-04-14
72
13741-13812
160
JP
1990-04-16 / 1990-07-14
78
13813-13890
161
JP
1990-07-16 / 1990-11-10
102
13891-13992
162
JP
1990-11-12 / 1991-02-16
84
13993-14076
163
JP
1991-02-18 / 1991-06-01
90
14077-14166
164
JP
1991-06-03 / 1991-08-17
66
14167-14232
165
JP
1991-08-19 / 1991-10-26
60
14233-14292
166
JP
1991-10-28 / 1992-02-01
84
14293-14376
167
JP
1992-02-03 / 1992-05-02
78
14377-14454
168
JP
1992-05-04 / 1992-07-18
66
14455-14520
169
JP
1992-07-20 / 1992-08-29
36
14521-14556
170
JP
1992-08-31 / 1992-12-19
96
14557-14652
171
JP
1992-12-21 / 1993-03-06
66
14653-14718
172
JP
1993-03-08 / 1993-07-03
102
14719-14820
173
JP
1993-07-05 / 1993-08-28
48
14821-14868
174
JP
1993-08-30 / 1993-11-27
78
14869-14946
175
JP
1993-11-29 / 1994-01-29
54
14947-15000
176
JP
1994-01-31 / 1994-06-04
108
15001-15108
177
JP
1994-06-06 / 1994-07-23
42
15109-15150
178
JP
1994-07-25 / 1994-10-22
78
15151-15228
179
JP
1994-10-24 / 1994-12-24
54
15229-15282
180
JP
1994-12-26 / 1995-04-08
90
15283-15372
181
JP
1995-04-10 / 1995-07-22
90
15373-15462
182
JP
1995-07-24 / 1995-10-28
84
15463-15546
183
JP
1995-10-30 / 1996-01-20
72
15547-15618
184
JP
1996-01-22 / 1996-05-04
90
15619-15708
185
JP
1996-05-06 / 1996-08-10
84
15709-15792
186
JP
1996-08-12 / 1996-10-12
54
15793-15846
187
JP
1996-10-14 / 1997-01-18
84
15847-15930
188
JP
1997-01-20 / 1997-03-08
42
15931-15972
189
JP
1997-03-10 / 1997-06-21
90
15973-16062
190
JP
1997-06-23 / 1997-08-30
60
16063-16122
191
JP
1997-09-01 / 1997-12-13
90
16123-16212
192
JP
1997-12-15 / 1998-02-28
66
16213-16278
193
JP
1998-03-02 / 1998-06-13
90
16279-16368
194
JP
1998-06-15 / 1998-08-08
48
16369-16416
195
JP
1998-08-10 / 1998-12-19
114
16417-16530
196
JP
1998-12-21 / 1999-02-27
60
16531-16590
197
JP
JP&FB
1999-03-01 / 1999-06-26
102
16591-16692

Writers and artists[edit]

Writers Artists Assistants
  • AR Alex Raymond
  • FB Frank Bolle
  • FD Fred Dickenson
  • JP John Prentice
  • WG Ward Greene
  • AR Alex Raymond
  • AW Al Williamson
  • FB Frank Bolle
  • JP John Prentice
  • AM Al McWilliams
  • AW Al Williamson
  • AT Angelo Torres
  • BF Bob Fujitani
  • DA Dan Adkins
  • FB Frank Bolle

References[edit]

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b c Don Markstein's Toonopedia. "Rip Kirby". 
  2. ^ a b Lambiek Comiclopedia. "Alex Raymond". 
  3. ^ "Library of American Comics". 

External links[edit]