Jimmie Dale

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Jimmy Dale, film (1917)

Jimmie Dale is a fictional character created by Frank L. Packard in 1914.

Fictional biography[edit]

A wealthy playboy by day, at night he puts on inconspicuous clothes and becomes The Gray Seal, who enters businesses or homes and cracks safes, always leaving a diamond shaped, gray paper "seal" behind to mark his conquest, but never taking anything. He was just doing it for "the sheer deviltry of it" at first, but when a woman known only as Tocsin catches him she blackmails him to war on certain crime organizations.[1]



Dale's adventures first appeared in People's Magazine and then were collected into novels with the serializations generally appearing the year before the novel version was published.[2]

In 2007, the first two books featuring Jimmie Dale/The Gray Seal were re-released as an e-book entitled Return of The Gray Seal.

Film serial[edit]

He also appeared in a movie serial, Jimmie Dale Alias the Gray Seal, in 1917.[3]

Chapters titles were: 1. The Grey Seal 2. The Stolen Rubies 3. The Counterfeit Five 4. The Metzer Murder Mystery 5. A Fight for Honor 6. Below the Deadline 7. The Devil's Work 8. The Underdog 9. The Alibi 10. Two Crooks and a Knave 11. A Rogue's Defeat 12. The Man Higher Up 13. Good for Evil 14. A Sheep Among Wolves 15. The Tapped Wires 16. The Victory.[4]


Jimmie Dale/The Gray Seal is often credited with popularizing and evolving what would greatly influence later pulp and comic book heroes. The foppish playboy by-day-crimefighter-by-night routine had a precursor in The Scarlet Pimpernel, but it was Jimmie Dale that brought the idea into a contemporary setting and added the idea of a costume and mask for his secret identity, serving as a possible influence for characters like Zorro and The Shadow.

He also established the concept of a hero's secret hideout or lair, The Sanctuary, a precursor of the Batcave or the Fortress of Solitude.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Gray Seal" in Jess Nevins ed. Pulp and Adventure Heroes of the Pre-War Years
  2. ^ "Gray Seal" in Jess Nevins ed. Pulp and Adventure Heroes of the Pre-War Years
  3. ^ List of Serials by serialsquadron.com
  4. ^ IMDB entry for "Jimmie Dale Alias the Gray Seal"

External links[edit]