Rip Kirby, Pagan’s Cheerful Summer (May-September 1949)

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This storyline shows exactly what I like so much about Rip Kirby—Greene and Raymond come up with interesting settings. Though maybe Rip doesn’t have enough New York adventures, at least they move him around (somewhat plausibly even) to different locales.

Pagan is doing summer stock and discovers the troupe leader isn’t just a dirty old man but a blackmailer too. Pagan’s underworld history has a tie with her new landlord and it adds a couple more supporting characters to the cast. Greene’s characterizations are all strong (I can’t think of another story so far where everyone except one villain is pleasant).

Rip and Honey eventually show up to save the day, though Honey barely has any lines once Pagan’s around. I do hope Greene and Raymond team the two of them up sometime. Honey’s disinclination towards romance (from two strips earlier) is unfortunately forgotten.

Overall, it’s a real charmer.

CREDITS

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

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