Rip Kirby was a tough but smart former Marine turned private detective who’s career lasted from 1947 to 1999, who when the character retired broke the 4th wall, turned to his reading public and thanked them for their patronage.
After Flash Gordon
After returning from World War II, Alex Raymond, the artist who had brought Dashiell Hammett’s Secret Agent X-9, Jungle Jim and then Flash Gordon to fame decided to try something new.
He came up with Rip Kirby, which became very successful in American and Great Britain, while Rip would only appear a few times in comic books in American he was a very prominent feature in Amalgamated / Fleetway’s Super Detective Library which both reprinted the newspaper strips and produced new stories.
After Raymond was killed in a car crash in 1956 the strip was continued by number of different writers and artists including Gray Morrow, Neal Adams and Al Williamson.
Rip however never returned to the comics.