Sunday, March 11, 2018

Rip Kirby by Alex Raymond 1/10/49 - 5/24/49

Below is about 4 months worth of Rip Kirby strips by Alex Raymond. Most comic book and comic strip fans are familiar with Raymond's seminal work on his creation Flash Gordon that was gorgeously conceptualized as a full-color Sunday page in the 1930's and early 1940's before he enlisted in the Marines during World War 2. While that strip was drawn in a lush romantic style that evoked a more innocent time in America, Rip Kirby was created after the war had ended and Raymond reinvented his style that evokes a more sophisticated post-war sensibility.

Upon returning from the war Raymond expected to return to his strip Flash Gordon but was informed by his syndicate, King Features, that it wasn't available. Raymond Briggs, the artist that took over the strip when Raymond left, was doing just fine in his absence. They offered Raymond an opportunity to create a new strip which he proceeded to do and in turn created a new style that would influence an entirely new generation of artists to create more illustrative strips of their own (Stan Drake, Leonard Starr, etc). Rip Kirby began as a daily on March 4, 1946, and would continue on after Raymond's death in 1956 by the great John Prentice until 1999. 

The following is a sequence that shows Raymond firing on all cylinders artistically. If you enjoy the below strips I highly recommend purchasing the Rip Kirby IDW collections that should still be available for purchase on Amazon or from most online booksellers. His run was collected in 4 beautifully produced hardcovers with additional volumes continuing the John Prentice years.

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