blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Rip Kirby, The Caged Songbird (September-December 1950)


It’s a domestic adventure for Rip this time. The most scenic Raymond gets is the lions outside the New York Public Library. This storyline opens with a strip announcing the story’s premise and the cast. It’s a definite change in format.

The mystery’s also different. It’s more of a thriller, with Rip racing against time to save someone. There’s the initial mystery, sure, but the change isn’t limited to an introduction.

What’s strangest about the story is the changing cast. Honey only shows up in the first couple strips, just to say hello. Desmond takes a role in the case, but it’s hard to remember him doing anything (though he’s around a lot). The first half has one primary supporting cast member, the second half a different one. The guy in the first half disappears without a trace.

While the narrative’s somewhat smoother narrative, it isn’t as engaging as usual.


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

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