Doing What I Love Doing — Media Research and Queries

This evening I got some­thing that I not only like doing but wish I would get more of in the future: a request for infor­ma­tion about a par­tic­u­lar media item involv­ing hyp­no­sis. As a result, I was able to learn a lit­tle more infor­ma­tion about this item than I pre­vi­ous­ly possessed.

The item in ques­tion was a sto­ry from the adven­ture / crime / detec­tive com­ic strip “Rip Kir­by”. Rip is a detec­tive in the ‘old school’ pat­tern of the ‘think­ing man’s’ detec­tive although as an ex-Marine he was pret­ty good with his fists or a pis­tol. Assist­ing him was his ‘gen­tle­man’s gen­tle­man’ but­ler Desmond (who was a for­mer safe­crack­er.) Rip Kir­by was cre­at­ed by Alex Ray­mond in 1946 and was in con­tin­u­ous pub­li­ca­tion until the char­ac­ter retired in 1999.

All the per­son mak­ing the request had was a gen­er­al descrip­tion of the par­tic­u­lar sto­ry line, but it was one that I was famil­iar with. As a result of the minor bit of research, I was able to deter­mine the exact pub­li­ca­tion dates for the story.

The sto­ry involved a woman, Made­line Mes­mer, who was inex­plic­a­bly win­ning as a casi­no owned by a friend of Kir­by, who asked him to inves­ti­gate. As you might expect from the wom­an’s name, she was a pow­er­ful hyp­no­tist who used post-hyp­not­ic sug­ges­tions to help her win at black­jack. Unfor­tu­nate­ly for Miss Mes­mer, she also attract­ed some unwel­come gang inter­est and ulti­mate­ly found her­self iso­lat­ed because of the mis­use of her powers.

The sto­ry was pub­lished from June 11, 1979 through August 8, 1979, run­ning only 60 days, mak­ing the sto­ry very short in com­par­i­son to oth­er sto­ries. It did, how­ev­er, has sev­er­al scenes of Miss Mes­mer wield­ing her hyp­not­ic skills on sev­er­al peo­ple, includ­ing Rip and Desmond. By strange coin­ci­dence, I hap­pened to see a col­lec­tion of the ear­li­er com­ic strips (mid-1950’s) at a local com­ic store just a few days ago and had won­dered then when the strip would appear: now that I know exact­ly when it was pub­lished, I expect it will be sev­er­al years before this par­tic­u­lar one will be reprint­ed. And it was all because some­one had a ques­tion for me to answer.

One Response to “Doing What I Love Doing — Media Research and Queries”

  • ronin1861 says:

    A coin­ci­dence — I’ve been try­ing to track down a cou­ple of sto­ry­lines from Rip Kir­by I remem­ber you fea­tured in your orig­i­nal HiM site. I got an Ital­ian trans­la­tion of one (the one where a woman (Mama Fagin) has hyp­no­tised girls to steal for her); Then there’s a sto­ry­line called (I think) ‘Desmond’s Betray­al’, where he’s hyp­no­tised into inform­ing on Rip.

    I’m not sure those new reprints (by IDW) will go for­ward past the orig­i­nal John Ray­mond mate­r­i­al, BTW. The final (cur­rent?) vol­ume stops with the last sto­ry­line he com­plet­ed before his untime­ly death.

    Thanks for this info.

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