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Rip Kirby
Ripkirby
Author(s) Alex Raymond
Current status / schedule Defunct
Launch date March 4, 1946
End date June 26, 1999
Syndicate(s) King Features
Genre(s) Detective fiction

Rip Kirby is a popular comic strip featuring the adventures of the eponymous lead character, a private detective created by Alex Raymond in 1946. Displaying the talents of more than a dozen writers and illustrators, the strip had a long run, spanning five decades.

After World War II, Raymond did not return to work on any of his previous successful comic strips (Flash Gordon, Jungle Jim, Secret Agent X-9) but instead began work on a new strip in which ex-Marine Rip Kirby returns from WWII and goes to work as a private detective, sometimes accompanied by his girlfriend, fashion model Judith Lynne "Honey" Dorian. Her given name and nickname were borrowed from the names of Raymond's three daughters.

Rip Kirby was based on the suggestion by King Features editor Ward Greene that Raymond try a "detective-type" strip. First published on March 4, 1946, the strip was given a huge promotional boost, even including fully painted promotional art, a rarity in comic strip promotions.[1] The strip enjoyed enormous success, and Raymond received the Reuben Award in 1949.[2]

During Raymond's years on the strip, the stories were initially written by Ward Greene and later, following Greene's death, by Fred Dickenson. Some sequences were also written by Raymond.

Characters and story

Comics historian Don Markstein noted how the character of Remington "Rip" Kirby broke away from the usual pulp detective archetype:

"Circulation rose steadily during the strip's first few years — even tho Rip wasn't the kind of private detective they were used to from pulp fiction. This one did more cogitating than fisticuffing, and smoked a leisurely pipe while he did it. He had a frail, balding assistant, Desmond (a former burglar), instead of a two-fisted sidekick. Instead of carrying on with an endless series of female clients, he had a steady girlfriend, Honey Dorian. If that wasn't enough, he even wore glasses! Even Kerry Drake didn't depart so far from the standard. If Rip was more sophisticated and urbane than the average fictional private eye, that's okay, because he was very successful — both for himself and for the people who wrote, drew and distributed him."[1]

In 1956, Raymond was killed in a car crash.[2] King Features quickly needed a replacement and found it in John Prentice.

Dickenson continued to write the series until the mid-1980s when he was forced to retire for health reasons. Prentice then took over the writing along with others.[1] Prentice kept the strip going until his own death in 1999. The strip ended with Rip's retirement on June 26, 1999. Prentice received the National Cartoonists Society Story Comic Strip Award for 1966, 1967 and 1986 for his work on the strip.

Over the years of publication, the strip was ghosted and assisted by many artists and writers, including Frank Bolle (who completed the last episode), Al Williamson, and Gray Morrow.

Reprints

In 1948, Rip Kirby strips were reprinted in issues #51 and #54 of David McKay's Feature Book. Issue #51 included a biography of Alex Raymond with a photograph showing him sketching an unnamed model for Honey Dorian.

IDW Publishing

In 2009, IDW Publishing started to reprint Rip Kirby strip as part of its The Library of American Comics. The first four volumes contains a complete reprint of Raymond's stories including the last one, finished by Prentice. Volume 5 continue with Prentice's work.[3]

Years ISBN Articles
1
1946–48 978-1-60010-484-8 Preface (by Dean Mullaney); Crime does pay (by Tom Roberts); "The war made a realist out of me" (by Brian Walker)
<center>2 1948–51 978-1-60010-582-1 Introduction (by Howard Chaykin); "Let's not slurp our soup" (by Brian Walker)
<center>3 1951–54 978-1-60010-785-6 "Comic-Art Work is an Art-Form in Itself" (by Brian Walker)
<center>4 1954–56 978-1-60010-989-8 "He was completely absorbed with Rip and seeking his own pleasures" (by Brian Walker)
<center>5 1956–59 978-1-61377-356-7 "Getting Rip Kirby was the natural way for him to go" (by Brian Walker)
<center>6 1959–62 978-1-61377-710-7 (To be announced)
<center>7 1962–64 978-1-63140-034-6 (To be announced)

Story list

<center>The Rip Kirby comic strip stories
Title Writer(s) Artist(s) Dates № of strips Strip № Reprinted in
<center>1The Chip Faraday Murder<center>WG&AR<center>AR1946-03-04 / 1946-04-22<center>43<center>1-43<center>IDW1
<center>2The Hicks Formula <center>AR1946-04-23 / 1946-06-26<center>56<center>44-99<center>IDW1
<center>3Liquid Murder <center>AR1946-06-27 / 1946-11-02<center>111<center>100-210<center>IDW1
<center>4Fatal Forgeries <center>AR1946-11-04 / 1947-01-20<center>67<center>211-277<center>IDW1
<center>5Past Imperfect <center>AR1947-01-21 / 1947-05-24<center>107<center>278-384<center>IDW1
<center>6Death in the Doll's House <center>AR1947-05-26 / 1947-10-11<center>120<center>385-504<center>IDW1
<center>7Bleak Prospects <center>AR1947-10-13 / 1948-06-12<center>210<center>505-714<center>IDW1
<center>8Terror on the Thames <center>AR1948-06-14 / 1948-12-04<center>150<center>715-864<center>IDW1
<center>9Major Mystery <center>AR1948-12-06 / 1949-01-08<center>30<center>865-894<center>IDW2
<center>10Family Fortune <center>AR1949-01-10 / 1949-05-21<center>114<center>895-1008<center>IDW2
<center>11Second Chances <center>AR1949-05-23 / 1949-09-03<center>90<center>1009-1098<center>IDW2
<center>12Lost and Found <center>AR1949-09-05 / 1949-12-03<center>78<center>1099-1176<center>IDW2
<center>13"Borrowed" Trouble <center>AR1949-12-05 / 1950-03-25<center>96<center>1177-1272<center>IDW2
<center>14Correspondence Crisis <center>AR1950-03-27 / 1950-06-10<center>66<center>1273-1338<center>IDW2
<center>15Treasure Hunt <center>AR1950-06-12 / 1950-09-23<center>90<center>1339-1428<center>IDW2
<center>16Mystery of the Missing Songstress <center>AR1950-09-25 / 1950-12-23<center>78<center>1429-1506<center>IDW2
<center>17Unlucky Seven <center>AR1950-12-25 / 1951-04-28<center>108<center>1507-1614<center>IDW2
<center>18The Great You <center>AR1951-04-30 / 1951-09-22<center>126<center>1615-1740<center>IDW2
<center>19The Disappearance of Bijou Benson <center>AR1951-09-24 / 1952-01-26<center>108<center>1741-1848<center>IDW3
<center>20Hell Hath No Fury... <center>AR1952-01-28 / 1952-05-24<center>102<center>1849-1950<center>IDW3
<center>21Return of the Mangler <center>AR1952-05-26 / 1952-09-27<center>108<center>1951-2058<center>IDW3
<center>22The Millbanks Murder Case <center>AR1952-09-29 / 1953-01-31<center>108<center>2059-2166<center>IDW3
<center>23The Treasure of Silas Stone <center>AR1953-02-02 / 1953-05-09<center>84<center>2167-2250<center>IDW3
<center>24International Incident <center>AR1953-05-11 / 1953-09-05<center>102<center>2251-2352<center>IDW3
<center>25Monkey Business <center>AR1953-09-07 / 1953-11-21<center>66<center>2353-2418<center>IDW3
<center>26Calendar Girl <center>AR1953-11-23 / 1954-04-17<center>126<center>2419-2544<center>IDW3
<center>27Grand Passion <center>AR1954-04-19 / 1954-07-10<center>72<center>2545-2616<center>IDW4
<center>28In Freedom's Cause <center>AR1954-07-12 / 1954-12-25<center>144<center>2617-2760<center>IDW4
<center>29Kismet <center>AR1954-12-27 / 1955-04-09<center>90<center>2761-2850<center>IDW4
<center>30Carno's Carnivores <center>AR1955-04-11 / 1955-07-09<center>78<center>2851-2928<center>IDW4
<center>31Hep-Cat Hijackers <center>AR1955-07-11 / 1955-09-24<center>66<center>2929-2994<center>IDW4
<center>32Turnabout Justice <center>AR1955-09-26 / 1955-11-26<center>54<center>2995-3048<center>IDW4
<center>33The Reluctant Heiress <center>AR1955-11-28 / 1956-02-18<center>72<center>3049-3120<center>IDW4
<center>34The Missing Key <center>AR1956-02-20 / 1956-05-19<center>78<center>3121-3198<center>IDW4
<center>35Zero Hour <center>AR1956-05-21 / 1956-07-28<center>60<center>3199-3258<center>IDW4
<center>36Elixir of Youth<center>FD<center>AR
JP
1956-07-30 / 1956-09-29
1956-10-01 / 1956-10-20
<center>54
18
<center>3259-3312
3313-3330
<center>IDW4
<center>37Misdirections <center>JP1956-10-22 / 1957-02-16<center>102<center>3331-3432<center>IDW5
<center>38Dangerous Deceptions <center>JP1957-02-18 / 1957-05-25<center>84<center>3433-3516<center>IDW5
<center>39Casino Con <center>JP1957-05-27 / 1957-08-10<center>66<center>3517-3582<center>IDW5
<center>40Sirene <center>JP1957-08-12 / 1957-12-07<center>102<center>3583-3684<center>IDW5
<center>41The Fatal Photo <center>JP1957-12-09 / 1958-02-08<center>54<center>3685-3738<center>IDW5
<center>42Into the Eye of Monara <center>JP1958-02-10 / 1958-06-14<center>108<center>3739-3846<center>IDW5
<center>43Murderous Masquerade <center>JP1958-06-16 / 1958-08-23<center>60<center>3847-3906<center>IDW5
<center>44ESP Extortion <center>JP1958-08-25 / 1958-11-01<center>60<center>3907-3966<center>IDW5
<center>45A Date with Destiny <center>JP1958-11-03 / 1959-02-28<center>102<center>3967-4068<center>IDW5
<center>46Case of the Twin Who Didn't Exist <center>JP1959-03-02 / 1959-06-06<center>84<center>4069-4152<center>IDW5
<center>47Matches in the Telescope <center>JP1959-06-08 / 1959-10-03<center>102<center>4153-4254<center>IDW6
<center>48Ghost Town Showdown <center>JP1959-10-05 / 1959-12-05<center>54<center>4255-4308<center>IDW6
<center>49Doom on the High Seas <center>JP1959-12-07 / 1960-04-09<center>108<center>4309-4416<center>IDW6
<center>50Fortune's Folly <center>JP1960-04-11 / 1960-08-13<center>108<center>4417-4524<center>IDW6
<center>51Treasure Haven <center>JP1960-08-15 / 1960-11-19<center>84<center>4525-4608<center>IDW6
<center>52Honor's Choice <center>AW1960-11-21 / 1961-04-08<center>120<center>4609-4728<center>IDW6
<center>53The Town That Time Forgot <center>JP1961-04-10 / 1961-09-16<center>138<center>4729-4866<center>IDW6
<center>54Too Much Amour <center>JP1961-09-18 / 1962-02-10<center>126<center>4867-4992<center>IDW6
<center>55All for Love <center>JP1962-02-12 / 1962-04-28<center>66<center>4993-5058<center>IDW7
<center>56Peril of the Poet Crook <center>JP1962-04-30 / 1962-08-11<center>90<center>5059-5148<center>IDW7
<center>57The Unwilling Heir <center>JP1962-08-13 / 1962-11-10<center>78<center>5149-5226<center>IDW7
<center>58Ming the Merciless <center>JP1962-11-12 / 1963-03-09<center>102<center>5227-5328<center>IDW7
<center>59Sting of the Scorpion <center>JP1963-03-11 / 1963-08-03<center>126<center>5329-5454<center>IDW7
<center>60Poison Pen Campaign <center>JP1963-08-05 / 1963-12-14<center>114<center>5455-5568<center>IDW7
<center>61Duelling Detectives <center>JP1963-12-16 / 1964-03-14<center>78<center>5569-5646<center>IDW7
<center>62Fagin's Folly <center>JP1964-03-16 / 1964-07-11<center>102<center>5647-5748<center>IDW7
<center>63Bond Hunt <center>JP1964-07-13 / 1964-10-10<center>78<center>5749-5826<center>IDW7
<center>64Prettypetal's Poison Plant Plan <center>JP1964-10-12 / 1964-11-28<center>42<center>5827-5868
<center>65A Prince in Peril <center>JP1964-11-30 / 1965-04-03<center>108<center>5869-5976
<center>66Past and Present <center>JP1965-04-05 / 1965-06-26<center>72<center>5977-6048
<center>67Prim's Plunder <center>JP1965-06-28 / 1965-09-25<center>78<center>6049-6126
<center>68The Chameleon Strikes <center>JP1965-09-27 / 1965-12-04<center>60<center>6127-6186
<center>69Deceiving Appearances <center>JP1965-12-06 / 1966-03-19<center>90<center>6187-6276
<center>70The Shape of Things to Come <center>JP1966-03-21 / 1966-07-30<center>114<center>6277-6390
<center>71Hi Seas Hi-Jinx <center>JP1966-08-01 / 1966-10-22<center>72<center>6391-6462
<center>72Fatal Fortunes <center>JP1966-10-24 / 1966-12-31<center>60<center>6463-6522
<center>73Too Much Amour, Too <center>JP1967-01-02 / 1967-03-25<center>72<center>6523-6594
<center>74Hostile Takeover <center>JP1967-03-27 / 1967-07-08<center>90<center>6595-6684
<center>75Desmond's Betrayal <center>JP1967-07-10 / 1967-11-04<center>102<center>6685-6786
<center>76Hijacked <center>JP1967-11-06 / 1968-03-16<center>114<center>6787-6900
<center>77The Almost-Perfect Crime <center>JP1968-03-18 / 1968-07-06<center>96<center>6901-6996
<center>78Who's Got Who <center>JP1968-07-08 / 1968-10-26<center>96<center>6997-7092
<center>79You Can't Judge a Book... <center>JP1968-10-28 / 1969-03-08<center>114<center>7093-7206
<center>80Treachery on Tanga <center>JP1969-03-10 / 1969-06-07<center>78<center>7207-7284
<center>81Rip Kirby, Butler <center>JP1969-06-09 / 1969-10-04<center>102<center>7285-7386
<center>82Kirby on Campus <center>JP1969-10-06 / 1970-01-10<center>84<center>7387-7470
<center>83Immortal Mystery <center>JP1970-01-12 / 1970-04-25<center>90<center>7471-7560
<center>84Dr. Data's Deadly Predictions <center>JP1970-04-27 / 1970-08-01<center>84<center>7561-7644
<center>85Ghost Town Death Duel <center>JP1970-08-03 / 1970-11-28<center>102<center>7645-7746
<center>86Femina Fatale <center>JP1970-11-30 / 1971-03-20<center>96<center>7747-7842
<center>87Perils of Pierre <center>JP1971-03-22 / 1971-06-26<center>84<center>7843-7926
<center>88Revival <center>JP1971-06-28 / 1971-09-18<center>72<center>7927-7998
<center>89Precognition Peril <center>JP1971-09-20 / 1972-01-29<center>114<center>7999-8112
<center>90Paragon of Vice <center>JP1972-01-31 / 1972-06-10<center>114<center>8113-8226
<center>91The Counterfeit Countessa <center>JP1972-06-12 / 1972-10-21<center>114<center>8227-8340
<center>92Case of the Mixed-up Missive <center>JP1972-10-23 / 1973-01-20<center>78<center>8341-8418
<center>93Danger in the Devil's Frying Pan <center>JP1973-01-22 / 1973-05-26<center>108<center>8419-8526
<center>94Secret of the Shark <center>JP1973-05-28 / 1973-08-11<center>66<center>8527-8592
<center>95Tomb Terror <center>JP1973-08-13 / 1974-01-05<center>126<center>8593-8718
<center>96Royal Double <center>JP1974-01-07 / 1974-04-06<center>78<center>8719-8796
<center>97House of Mystery <center>JP1974-04-08 / 1974-06-29<center>72<center>8797-8868
<center>98Ghost Ship <center>JP1974-07-01 / 1974-09-07<center>60<center>8869-8928
<center>99Conning the Con <center>JP1974-09-09 / 1974-11-30<center>72<center>8929-9000
100The Pillars of Destiny <center>JP1974-12-02 / 1975-02-22<center>72<center>9001-9072
101The Rebel Queen <center>JP1975-02-24 / 1975-04-05<center>36<center>9073-9108
102Mangler's Big Heist <center>JP1975-04-07 / 1975-06-28<center>72<center>9109-9180
103The Power <center>JP1975-06-30 / 1975-10-11<center>90<center>9181-9270
104The Hades Hexagon <center>JP1975-10-13 / 1975-12-20<center>60<center>9271-9330
105The Monkey's Secret <center>JP1975-12-22 / 1976-02-28<center>60<center>9331-9390
106The Cherub Locket <center>JP1976-03-01 / 1976-06-05<center>84<center>9391-9474
107Lost Empire <center>JP1976-06-07 / 1976-10-09<center>108<center>9475-9582
108Lethal Letters <center>JP1976-10-11 / 1977-01-08<center>78<center>9583-9660
109Manhunt <center>JP1977-01-10 / 1977-03-26<center>66<center>9661-9726
110Macho Mayhem <center>JP1977-03-28 / 1977-06-25<center>78<center>9727-9804
111Return of Dr. Destiny <center>JP1977-06-27 / 1977-09-24<center>78<center>9805-9882
112Cat Burglar <center>JP1977-09-26 / 1977-12-03<center>60<center>9883-9942
113The Death Cave <center>JP1977-12-05 / 1978-02-18<center>66<center>9943-10008
114Madam Casino and Joe Rimfire <center>JP1978-02-20 / 1978-04-22<center>5410009-10062
115The Hunt for Cinderella <center>JP1978-04-24 / 1978-08-05<center>9010063-10152
116The Shark and the Treasure <center>JP1978-08-07 / 1978-11-04<center>7810153-10230
117Dirty Business <center>JP1978-11-06 / 1979-02-03<center>7810231-10308
118The Return of Mangler <center>JP1979-02-05 / 1979-06-09<center>10810309-10416
119 <center>JP1979-06-11 / 1979-08-18<center>6010417-10476
120 <center>JP1979-08-20 / 1979-11-10<center>7210477-10548
121 <center>JP1979-11-12 / 1980-02-23<center>9010549-10638
122 <center>JP1980-02-25 / 1980-06-28<center>10810639-10746
123 <center>JP1980-06-30 / 1980-11-01<center>10810747-10854
124 <center>JP1980-11-03 / 1981-01-24<center>7210855-10926
125 <center>JP1981-01-26 / 1981-05-16<center>9610927-11022
126 <center>JP1981-05-26 / 1981-09-05<center>9611023-11118
127 <center>JP1981-09-07 / 1981-12-12<center>8411119-11202
128 <center>JP1981-12-14 / 1982-03-06<center>7211203-11274
129 <center>JP1982-03-08 / 1982-06-05<center>7811275-11352
130 <center>JP1982-06-07 / 1982-10-09<center>10811353-11460
131 <center>JP1982-10-11 / 1983-02-05<center>10211461-11562
132 <center>JP1983-02-07 / 1983-05-28<center>9611563-11658
133 <center>JP1983-05-30 / 1983-09-17<center>9611659-11754
134 <center>JP1983-09-19 / 1983-12-03<center>6611755-11820
135 <center>JP1983-12-05 / 1984-02-25<center>7211821-11892
136 <center>JP1984-02-27 / 1984-06-30<center>10811893-12000
137 <center>JP1984-07-02 / 1984-11-10<center>11412001-12114
138 <center>JP1984-11-12 / 1985-02-09<center>7812115-12192
139 <center>JP1985-02-11 / 1985-04-13<center>5412193-12246
140 <center>JP1985-04-15 / 1985-06-22<center>6012247-12306
141 <center>JP1985-06-24 / 1985-10-12<center>9612307-12402
142 <center>JP1985-10-14 / 1986-02-22<center>11412403-12516
143 <center>JP1986-02-24 / 1986-05-24<center>7812517-12594
144 <center>JP1986-05-26 / 1986-09-06<center>9012595-12684
145 <center>JP1986-09-08 / 1986-11-22<center>6612685-12750
146 <center>JP1986-11-24 / 1987-02-07<center>6612751-12816
147 <center>JP1987-02-09 / 1987-04-25<center>6612817-12882
148 <center>JP1987-04-27 / 1987-07-25<center>7812883-12960
149 <center>JP1987-07-27 / 1987-10-24<center>7812961-13038
150 <center>JP1987-10-26 / 1988-01-23<center>7813039-13116
151 <center>JP1988-01-25 / 1988-04-23<center>7813117-13194
152 <center>JP1988-04-25 / 1988-07-16<center>7213195-13266
153 <center>JP1988-07-18 / 1988-11-05<center>9613267-13362
154 <center>JP1988-11-07 / 1989-02-04<center>7813363-13440
155 <center>JP1989-02-06 / 1989-04-29<center>7213441-13512
156 <center>JP1989-05-01 / 1989-08-05<center>8413513-13596
157 <center>JP1989-08-07 / 1989-10-21<center>6613597-13662
158 <center>JP1989-10-23 / 1990-01-20<center>7813663-13740
159 <center>JP1990-01-22 / 1990-04-14<center>7213741-13812
160 <center>JP1990-04-16 / 1990-07-14<center>7813813-13890
161 <center>JP1990-07-16 / 1990-11-10<center>10213891-13992
162 <center>JP1990-11-12 / 1991-02-16<center>8413993-14076
163 <center>JP1991-02-18 / 1991-06-01<center>9014077-14166
164 <center>JP1991-06-03 / 1991-08-17<center>6614167-14232
165 <center>JP1991-08-19 / 1991-10-26<center>6014233-14292
166 <center>JP1991-10-28 / 1992-02-01<center>8414293-14376
167 <center>JP1992-02-03 / 1992-05-02<center>7814377-14454
168 <center>JP1992-05-04 / 1992-07-18<center>6614455-14520
169 <center>JP1992-07-20 / 1992-08-29<center>3614521-14556
170 <center>JP1992-08-31 / 1992-12-19<center>9614557-14652
171 <center>JP1992-12-21 / 1993-03-06<center>6614653-14718
172 <center>JP1993-03-08 / 1993-07-03<center>10214719-14820
173 <center>JP1993-07-05 / 1993-08-28<center>4814821-14868
174 <center>JP1993-08-30 / 1993-11-27<center>7814869-14946
175 <center>JP1993-11-29 / 1994-01-29<center>5414947-15000
176 <center>JP1994-01-31 / 1994-06-04<center>10815001-15108
177 <center>JP1994-06-06 / 1994-07-23<center>4215109-15150
178 <center>JP1994-07-25 / 1994-10-22<center>7815151-15228
179 <center>JP1994-10-24 / 1994-12-24<center>5415229-15282
180 <center>JP1994-12-26 / 1995-04-08<center>9015283-15372
181 <center>JP1995-04-10 / 1995-07-22<center>9015373-15462
182 <center>JP1995-07-24 / 1995-10-28<center>8415463-15546
183 <center>JP1995-10-30 / 1996-01-20<center>7215547-15618
184 <center>JP1996-01-22 / 1996-05-04<center>9015619-15708
185 <center>JP1996-05-06 / 1996-08-10<center>8415709-15792
186 <center>JP1996-08-12 / 1996-10-12<center>5415793-15846
187 <center>JP1996-10-14 / 1997-01-18<center>8415847-15930
188 <center>JP1997-01-20 / 1997-03-08<center>4215931-15972
189 <center>JP1997-03-10 / 1997-06-21<center>9015973-16062
190 <center>JP1997-06-23 / 1997-08-30<center>6016063-16122
191 <center>JP1997-09-01 / 1997-12-13<center>9016123-16212
192 <center>JP1997-12-15 / 1998-02-28<center>6616213-16278
193 <center>JP1998-03-02 / 1998-06-13<center>9016279-16368
194 <center>JP1998-06-15 / 1998-08-08<center>4816369-16416
195 <center>JP1998-08-10 / 1998-12-19<center>11416417-16530
196 <center>JP1998-12-21 / 1999-02-27<center>6016531-16590
197 <center>JP<center>JP&FB1999-03-01 / 1999-06-26<center>10216591-16692

Writers and artists

Writers Artists Assistants
  • AR Alex Raymond
  • FB Frank Bolle
  • FD Fred Dickenson
  • JP John Prentice
  • WG Ward Greene
  • AR Alex Raymond
  • AW Al Williamson
  • FB Frank Bolle
  • JP John Prentice
  • AM Al McWilliams
  • AW Al Williamson
  • AT Angelo Torres
  • BF Bob Fujitani
  • DA Dan Adkins
  • FB Frank Bolle

References

External links

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