In the final episode of “Kevin the Bold,” after saving yet another damsel in distress (and of course, an entire village), our hero is begged by a lovely señorita to settle down and stay in her now-peaceful valley. Kevin, whose last name (Marlin) has been revealed in a recent, prior episode, declines the offer from the Spanish beauty but admits he could imagine himself settling down on a boat in say, 300 years.
Abruptly, “Up Anchor” was launched a week later (November 3, 1968). As the NEA’s promotional literature put it, “Kreigh Collins’ credentials to create and draw ‘Up Anchor,’ America’s first color comic strip devoted to boating, are as bona fide as the burr on a thistle.” Narrated by first mate Jane Marlin, “Up Anchor” was based on experiences Collins had with his family cruising on his own sailboat. Aboard Heather with Jane were her husband (Kevin Marlin, remember him?), and sons Erik and Dave. The scripts were developed in partnership with Collins’ wife Theresa (“Teddy”), who had previously chronicled the family’s round-trip journey from their home port on Lake Michigan to Maine (Teddy’s “The Wake of the Heather” was published in 1967) .