Rip Kirby, The Chip Faraday Murder (March-April 1946)

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It’s a little surprising how every panel of Rip Kirby is perfect. Okay, not every panel. There are two panels—each the last panel of a strip, where Alex Raymond apparently photo-references a close up for this one character and it’s too static. I’m guessing it’s referenced because of that static, something no one else has in the forty-three other strips making up this storyline.

The mystery itself is pretty contrived, as a newspaper sequential has to be. But Rip Kirby reads really well, like it’s meant to be read in a sitting, not day to day in the newspaper. Writer Ward Greene does do some recaps, but more often he just assumes the reader’s caught up and moves on.

My only complaint is Rip’s sidekick, Honey Dorian. She’s supposed to be smart, but has a dimwit’s dialogue. It’s like Greene and Raymond can’t decide.

Otherwise, it’s phenomenal.

CREDITS

Writer, Ward Greene; artist, Alex Raymond; publisher, King Features.

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