Fantomen Nr. 17 (1977)

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I recently received a package in the mail from Roger, my blogger friend from Sweden. In addition to some “Falcon Stormfågeln” tear sheets from Allas Veckotidning magazine, It contained seven issues of the comic book Fantomen (featuring Lee Falk’s long running comic, THE PHANTOM). These issues of Fantomen were published in 1977, ran 70 pages, and had color covers and black and white interiors. In addition to the title feature, “Fantomen Nr. 17” included 13 pages of the Zane Gray/Jim Gary comic “King vid Gränspolisen” (KING OF THE ROYAL MOUNTED), and 15 pages of “Roland den Djärve” (KEVIN THE BOLD). “Roland” had previously appeared in Swedish TOM MIX comic books, published in the mid-1950s; Kreigh Collins’ work had first appeared in Allas Veckotidning as “Falcon Stormfågeln” about 11 months after the NEA versions ran in Sunday comic sections.

The inside front cover has a very cool ad for Serie Magisinet featuring Björn Borg, who had just achieved worldwide #1 ranking in tennis (I wonder if he’s reading 1977’s issue 13, which included MITZI McCOY?*)

About half the issue was devoted to THE PHANTOM, which debuted as a daily strip on February 17, 1936 (and continues to this day). A nice color poster was included, and luckily for me, it’s still attached and in perfect shape. The purpose of the poster is a mystery to me—perhaps it was intended to be used as a school schedule for the comic book reader.

A two-page PHANTOM fan club section followed.

Next up was Roland. The story arc (Förrädaren, or “The Traitor”) is the Swedish version of the one that appeared on this blog over the past five weeks, featuring the no-good Sir Will Ratigan. (The following scans originally appeared on Roger’s fantastic blog).

Bringing up the rear of the issue was “King vid Gränspolisen” (KING OF THE ROYAL MOUNTED started its nearly two-decade long run in the Sunday funnies in 1935).

Facing an ad for “The Saint” on the inside back cover was a PHANTOM letters section, plus an ad for a juvenile book publisher on the back cover.


*Who Is Mitzi McCoy, You Ask?

The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” features the entire run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA feature, and is available for a limited time at a reduced price.

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.

The book is available for $30 ONLY $20! For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, please add $25 to cover first class shipping. To place an order, leave a comment below or email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at], and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information. Thank you!


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

Ovine Blockade

The story nears its conclusion, with the April 26 episode represented by a combination of a third-page and black and white half page found online. The third-page format really butchered Collins’ artwork—in the first panel, young Princess Elizabeth is cropped from the action, despite being mentioned in the introductory caption.

Blocked by a street full of livestock, Ratigan turns and finds his escape blocked again.

The story transitions in a light-hearted half page, one of ten halves in the 14-week story arc.

The merits of the half-page format are on full display compared to its third-page version. Next week, a look at this sequence from a different perspective.


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

It’s a Dummy, Dummy

With Kevin’s arrest, Ratigan’s plot is in motion.

Knowing Kevin so well, King Henry is suspicious about the incriminating letter.

The last panel of the second tier has a unique composition, with the caption placed in the center instead of its usual spot in a corner. Meanwhile, Ratigan will soon have more agitation than listening to female chatter!


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

Pulling Strings

With the March 15, 1959 episode, the stage is set for Ratigan’s plot.

As Moore paints his subject, the puppeteer entertains the young princess—but it is Ratigan who is pulling the strings.

King Henry appeared regularly in Kevin’s adventures, and was sometimes portrayed as a but of a buffoon. But here, his suspicion is warranted.

Things certainly look grim for Kevin.


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

Slap Happy

Ratigan’s plan works perfectly. I wonder if he also left a toy out on the path?

Thinking he sees his wife leaping into Kevin’s arms, it is Stephen who jumps to a conclusion.

When Stephen Moore slapped Kevin in the second frame, I was reminded of the image of Batman slapping Robin. (Will someone create a meme?)

It wasn’t the first time I thought I saw a similarity between the two comic strips.

(Looks I took some liberties with the Batman artwork).


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

The Trojan Horse

The following sequence, from early 1959, features a character named for one of Kreigh Collins’ friends. William Ratigan lived in Charlevoix, a town situated on an inland lake in northern Michigan that was a frequent port of call for Collins’ schooner Heather. Ratigan was was best known as the author of the book Great Lakes Shipwrecks and Survivals, published in 1960. In this chapter, Sir Will Ratigan is the villain in a plot against the monarchy of Henry VIII.

To achieve his ends, Ratigan plans to exploit the weaknesses of Stephen Moore (self doubt) and Kevin (altruism).

To be continued…


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

Tom Mix Nr. 3 (1953)

Released only a week after its predecessor, TOM MIX Nr. 3 featured a ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE-themed cover. The cover illustration was based on the evocative splash panel that introduced ROLAND back in TOM MIX Nr. 1; actually, the splash panel originally appeared as the last panel in the final episode of MITZI McCOY.

Positioned as usual on the inside front cover were two episodes of UGH, adorned with magic markers by a young Swedish artist (reminiscent of other collaborations I have seen). As usual, the body of the comic book was kicked off by a mock-up of a newspaper’s front page.

TOM MIX runs across three spreads, followed by the recurring feature De Dog Med Stövlama På (“They Died with their Boots On”), which profiled the old west gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok.

Nine pages of BUFFALO BILL followed, plus a promotion offering “a half million in Christmas money” to those who would sell Christmas magazines (“and make good money for Christmas”), and a contest to identify horsemen (I’m pretty sure Nr. 3 is Roland).

Next up was ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE. The action picks up where it left off in TOM MIX Nr. 2, with the episode that originally appeared on December 3, 1950. As usual, the comic book publisher created their own color separations, and a notable change is made to the color of Roland’s hair—he’s now a blond! (A detail I missed in the first two issues of the comic book. However, it’s not the first time Kevin was shown with flaxen locks).

An interesting modification to Kreigh Collins’ original artwork appeared in the fourth panel of page 24 (necessary due to the translation into Swedish). Before escaping, Roland marks Bull Blackie, using his sword to cut the letter “F” into his tormentor’s face. Diving overboard, he shouts, Du har förrädarnas märke “F” i ansiktet min vän! (“You have the mark of the traitor’s “F” on your face my friend!”). In the original version, Kevin carves a “T” in Bull Blackie’s face and leaves him with the more concise parting shot, “T stands for traitor!”

The savior of Castle McCoy, Roland is rewarded with a claymore and is knighted as Roland den Djärve. Soon, he is reunited with his mentor.

After the equivalent of four Sunday episodes—Kevin/Roland’s introductory chapter concludes. Following the third installment of the Roland contest, it’s time for LASH LaRUE.

On the inside back cover, Amerikas Upptäckare (“America’s Discoverer”) Christopher Columbus is given credit (though this is debatable). Nonetheless, Columbus’ portrait is featured on the back cover.


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

One-Man Army

Kevin sets out to rescue Lois. The audacity of his plan is matched only by the episode’s beautifully executed illustrations.

Longtime readers know Hunn will soon pay for his cockiness.

As is typical, Kevin spares his foe from death—at least for now.

The story wraps quickly—the guards go AWOL as a new character heralds the beginning of Kevin’s next adventure.


For those keeping track, this is my 400th post on Kreigh’s Comics. Thank you for reading!


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

Kevin’s Page

I generally think of Brett as being Kevin’s ward, but the more accurate term would be page. A boy served as a page for about seven years; at age fourteen he could graduate and become a squire. A page’s duties were acting as a messenger, serving, cleaning clothing and weapons, and learning the basics of combat. He also received a more general education from his master.

The January 16, 1955 episode shows Brett at work.

Again, Brett shows his skills (combat training this time). While it might seem unlikely that a lad as young as Brett was shown wielding a crossbow, it was not unheard of—the wikipedia article that described a page’s responsibilities also states “The mechanical and long-range nature of [crossbows] made them almost the only medieval weapon which could be employed effectively by a youth.”

This example of the January 30, 1955 episode taken from the Chicago Sunday Tribune reproduced beautifully.

Meanwhile, young Sigurd—more squire than knight—is being conspired against by his supposed guardian, Gouda, who is using the thug Hunn as a means to his end.


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

Skeleton in the Closet

In 1954’s final episode, the previous story arc wraps and transitions to the next chapter by way of an extremely dynamic splash panel.

Kevin’s lady friend yearned for some excitement, proving the adage “be careful what you wish for!”

The action takes a rather grim turn as the giant intruder rampages. After his futile attempt at stopping him, Kevin looked to suffer the same fate as the fallen servant, only to be saved by the quick-thinking (and strong-armed) Brett.

Although they were both sourced from the Chicago Sunday Tribune, the color scheme changed significantly between the last two episodes. Such problems were avoided when KEVIN THE BOLD began appearing in the black and white Menomonee Falls Gazette (Issue 109, which also featured Kevin on the cover).

Further mayhem was avoided, and after healing up, Kevin and Brett continued on their way.

When I originally posted this episode, for some reason I neglected to do color correction.

To be continued…


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