Don’t Call Her Mistress

The ominous footsteps heard by Marie belong to none other than Jaques, the thuggish bodyguard she has chosen.

Original artwork for the January 8, 1967 episode.

Well! That’s quite a twist on the old trope of the caveman clubbing a woman and dragging her back to his cave!

Marie’s fears are well-founded!

Jacques meets an unsavory end as the story concludes, and Saigen reappears as the audience for Kevin’s tale of the Norman Conquest, featuring his flaxen-haired ancestor.

The end of the chapter has arrived, but there are still 20 pages left in BIBLIOTEKA LALE — BROJ 174, most of which is filled with a military comic. I was curious to see who were the good guys and who was the enemy—after all, Yugoslavia was behind the iron curtain in 1968, when the comic book was published.

The series, apparently called “Partisan Ingenuity,” featured two episodes—the first of which was titled “Saboteur.” I had assumed the good guy was a Soviet soldier plotting against the Nazis. The saboteur was in fact a member of the Yugoslavian resistance. In real life, these partisans were led by Josip Broz Tito, who later became President of Yugoslavia. In the comic book, the saboteur is shown plotting against the fascists, and his mission is a smashing success. I was surprised to learn that Tito had in fact severed ties with Moscow in 1948, and by 1968, civic protests were erupting in cities, similar to what was happening in Paris and elsewhere. So, this comic basically served as nationalistic propaganda, much like Captain America and Sergeant Rock did in the USA.

The last couple of pages featured gag comics, and the back cover seemed to be hawking Disney product knock-offs.

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

A Girl in Love

Things are going terribly for the “Saxon Dogs,” and especially so for Kevin Cardiff.

Marie must have inherited her tenderness from her mother—her father, D’Este, is shown to be a cold-hearted opportunist.

While Marie still has tender feelings for her erstwhile Sea God, Kevin knows only bitterness.

Having laid eyes on the man she loves, Marie comes up with an outlandish rescue plan.

To be continued…

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Love Your Enemy

Kevin and Marie have both experienced the sensation of love at first sight, but it’s complicated—Kevin thinks she has forsaken him.

Dealing with mixed emotions, Kevin makes his escape. (The panels from the Yugoslavian comic book are shown below).

Even as she watches her newfound infatuation bolt, Marie continues to help him.

Meanwhile, back in England, King Harold is unaware of the real danger he faces.

The December 11, 1966 episode is a wonderful example of Kreigh Collins’ skills as a cartoonist—the beautiful illustrations are filled with kinetic action and topped off with a historical tidbit found during his research of the subject matter.

The panel with the historical embroidery is also included in the Yugoslavian comic book.

To be continued…

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Speaking of Flashbacks

Because the Yugolsavian comic book “BIBLIOTEKA LALE — BROJ 174” began with the third episode of the Norman Conquest chapter, some action at the beginning of the chapter is missing. And since the Norman Conquest story predates the action in KEVIN THE BOLD by a good five centuries, let’s back up a bit and take a look at the two omitted episodes to get a better handle on the events at the onset of the story arc.

The first several episodes (including the first two, below) used the standard KEVIN THE BOLD logo, but by the fourth episode, the title “Story of the Norman Conquest” was added just above the logo. The entire episode ran over 14 weeks, of which I have color 11 half-pags. Unfotunately, the opener is not one of them.

Poor Kevin Cardiff! The lad is out for a sail, dreaming of Saucy foreign gals, when a storm hits, his boat is ruined, and he is set upon by a couple of murderous thugs.

But the beautiful French of his dreams exists, and she quickly takes a shine to Kevin.

The action in the Yugoslavian comic book picks up after this episode (from October 30, 1966)

Lovely Marie certainly resembles Kevin the Bold’s first love, Moya McCoy, and the belle fille even steals a play from Moya’s playbook—with similarly disastrous results.

Sacrebleu! Marie is also taking fashion tips from Moya! I guess that green dress is timeless.

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Biblioteka Lale — Broj 174

I recently wrote about a wonderful Christmas present I received from my friend Roger in Sweden—another awesome gift I received over the holiday season was sent by a friend in Serbia. Marko sent me scans of a KEVIN THE BOLD comic book published in the former Yugoslavia, likely from the early 1970s.

According to Marko, Biblioteka Lale was a magazine published by in the town of Gornji Milanovac, near Belgrade (now part of Serbia). It was released by Dečje novine, the largest comic book publisher in Yugoslavia. Besides this one, issue numbers 160, 180, and 206 also included Croatian translations of KEVIN THE BOLD.

Appearing on the first 46 pages of the comic book, Issue 174 features the entire “Story of the Norman Conquest” chapter, which originally ran from November, 1966 until January, 1967. Some other interesting comics in the rear portion of the comic book.

The first time I saw these Sunday comics I was confused—Kevin had blond hair! Because my collection was incomplete, I missed the fact that the chapter was a flashback, and the blond Kevin was an ancestor of Kreigh Collins’ protagonist.

The timeframe of the Norman Conquest preceded the action in KEVIN THE BOLD by about five centuries.

For a late-period episode, the illustration work is inspired, and the meeting of Marie and Kevin (Cardiff) is reminiscent of the one between Moya McCoy and Kevin (the Bold) from the comic strip’s debut chapter.

At this late stage in KEVIN THE BOLD’s existence, remember that the entire third tier of panels was absent from the more common third-page version—such a shame!

To be continued…

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Happy New Year’s Birthday

Happy New Year—and happy 115th birthday to Kreigh Taylor Collins!

Wishing all of my readers a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy New Year (me included, as a stomach flu is preventing me from writing any more).

See you in 2023!

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Christmas in Many Lands

Early in his career, Kreigh Collins did freelance work for the Fideler Company, a publisher in Grand Rapids, Michigan. One of his early projects was illustrating various “Unit of Teaching Pictures” programs from Fideler’s Informative Classroom Picture Series.

It was a plum assignment. Each unit included 20+ detailed black and white illustrations, and there were at least 18 different units. The unit’s historical themes were right in Collins’s wheelhouse, and the project kept him busy for several years starting in 1937. The Informative Classroom Picture Series was used by primary school teachers as a part of a social science curriculum.

CHRISTMAS IN MANY LANDS was one of the later themes. It included 21 plates showing different countries’ holiday customs and traditions. Not surprisingly, European countries featured prominently, but a couple of unexpected outliers were included (Plates 20 and 21). Perhaps a scene from your home country is included…

A new custom to me was the Festival of St. Lucia (Plate 10). Celebrated on December 13, it kicks off the Christmas season in Sweden. What caught my eye was the woman’s “crown of light”—my kind of holiday!

Another Swedish custom involves the Christmas Sheaf, which I can only understand to mean gifting sheafs of paper, such as comic books.

An interesting detail noted on Roger’s site notes how the size of the BUFFALO BILL logo grew until it surpassed that of TOM MIX, and how Bill eventually displaced Tom as the cover subject (bottom row).

I received a gift of such sheaves from my friend Roger. It consisted of 18 TOM MIX comic books, originally published in 1953–54. Included is ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE—a Swedish translation of KEVIN THE BOLD. Most of the covers featured cowboys (either Tom or Bill), but three sported Kevin-inspired artwork.


The grand Tom Mix competition is hereby opened!

I first laid hands on a copy of TOM MIX nearly ten years ago; it was included in a box I received from Uncle Kevin and basically disproved my theory that my grandfather was unaware of these foreign versions of his brainchild. Roger has written extensively about the TOM MIX comic book series (and so many others) on his remarkable website, and I look forward to featuring more of TOM MIX in the New Year.

Wherever you are celebrating—happy holidays and best wishes for a wonderful new year!

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Kevin the Marriage Broker

Among the more than 900 episodes that appeared over 18 years, the December 12, 1965 installment is one of a handful of KEVIN THE BOLD pages missing from my collection. Until I discovered Newspapers.com, I was unsure how Kevin was able to broker the union between Ellen and Alan-a-Dale.

Kevin’s plan begins smoothly, but an obstacle is found in the form of the Bishop who intends to marry Ellen to Sir Guy.

The story within a story ends, as Kevin’s tale of Robin Hood reaches its conclusion (recall how Kevin’s narrative came at the end of the “Lost Colony or Roanoke” story arc). Young Saigen was satisfied with the tale, but one thing still puzzled Pedro.

Next week is Christmas, and if you celebrate the holiday, I hope you are fortunate enough to receive a gift as wonderful as one that was recently delivered to me.

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Sheriff Don’t Like It

The tale continues, and Robin Hood starts to get under the skin of his antagonist, the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Bows and arrows were a common theme in Kreigh Collins’ comics, especially in KEVIN THE BOLD, but the first time Collins illustrated an archery contest was in a mid-1949 episode of MITZI McCOY.

Another throwback to Collins’ earlier work is found in the third panel of the November 28 episode (below). Bathing by the stream, Robin’s pose harkens back to earlier work showcasing the artist’s skills in rendering figures and costumes. Sadly, in this example from late 1965, the results leave something to be desired, but the pose clearly seems to have been based on a piece of art from Collins’ illustration morgue.

With the third tier of each original episode now serving as an embellishment on the action shown in the third-page versions, the treatment the original’s “throwaway panels” has also changed. For the first 15 years of KEVIN THE BOLD’s run, the throwaway was a small panel generally found in the middle of the second tier (similar to the fifth panel, above). Now, a tabloid version was created by excising a tiny panel from the third tier—illustrated in a couple of black and white examples below.

To be continued…

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.

Kevin the Red

A concise account of how young Robert Fitzooth became Robin Hood illustrates why the tale fits so nicely into the KEVIN THE BOLD narrative, and in the October 31, 1965 episode, Robin’s antagonist is introduced—the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Traveling through Sherwood Forest, Robin and his band are confronted by a formidable obstacle. It is Little John, who Kreigh Collins summarily rechristens with a name more appropriate for his comic strip—and his resemblance to the strip’s titular character no doubt helped casual readers stay interested in the action. (Two years later, in another story arc, a blond version of Kevin would appear!)

Collins’ chief antagonist for the 15 years he had been illustrating KEVIN THE BOLD was the abridged third-page abominations found in so many of his syndicate’s newspapers. The NEA created third-page versions by severely cropping the left and right edges of the strip’s panels, but toward the end of 1965 Kreigh took a new approach—laying out the episodes so that that the entire third tier was expendable. Half pages included it; third pages did not.

Collins generally captured the most relevant parts of each episode in the upper two tiers, but in many cases, readers were missing out on some lovely bonus material.

_______________________________________________________________

For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.