blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Rip Kirby, Past Imperfect (January-May 1947)


About half this storyline is spent with Pagan Lee as the protagonist. Rip and Honey are too busy vacationing (though there’s some more implications of their intimate relationship). Pagan’s past is catching up with her, with a card shark tries to shake her down. It’s an interesting structure, with Greene and Raymond spending a lot of time introducing the card shark and detailing his efforts before meeting Pagan. It barely feels like Rip Kirby in those strips.

Rip eventually shows up to sort the whole thing out and the story races to the finish. I think, once Rip appears, the rest of the story takes place over two days, maybe three. It’s almost too fast.

The other problem is how Greene writes Rip during the first half, as he ignores Pagan’s troubles. He makes Rip petty and occasionally mean.

It’s still a compelling read, since Pagan’s a very sympathetic character.


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

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