Run Sadea! Run!

Kevin seems to have met his match as far as loyalty is concerned, as he and Sadea formulate an escape plan. One can imagine the pangs of jealousy Moya McCoy would feel if she could only see Kevin now.

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My collection of comics grew incrementally, over a period of years. The following comic was an early acquisition; at the time, it was the only one from this sequence that I owned. It was very compelling, yet mysterious. Its tenth panel contained a 1951 NEA copyright, but it lacked an inked-in date anywhere else. This was common for “Kevin the Bold” episodes of the era, but unlike most Chicago Tribune examples, this one wasn’t situated at the top of the comics page. This meant there was no typeset date to prevent any confusion (and there were no clues on the reverse side, either). It wasn’t until years later when I obtained the other comics from the sequence that and I was able to place it in time.

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As the plot twists, and the momentum shifts, Kevin’s prospects fade. Despite the reliable Patch joining forces with Sadea, things look grim.

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

Acts of Valor

At the palace, Sadea awaits her fate, while Kevin and Stub sweat their own, aboard the commandeered caravel.

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Once again, the timing of Patch’s heroism is perfect. But how had he survived?

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After a full day’s sail, Kevin, Stub, and Patch reach Morocco. While Sadea shows her determination against the Grand Vizier, Kevin shows his own, as he sets off. After all, he had promised the Count de Falcon that he would rescue Sadea, his missing sister.

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Splendor, action, humor, and terror—the June 10, 1951 comic is another showstopper. Each panel is absolutely wondrous.

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With a birds-eye view of the courtyard (reminiscent of an old “Mitzi McCoy” setup), Kevin’s quick thinking allows him to subdue two palace assassins, and he introduces himself to the lovely Sadea. So far, so good, but the two are not yet out of the woods.

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


As a villain, Red Heels has the usual traits—he is coldhearted and ruthless. Like the baddies in Kevin’s inaugural sequence, he is another bloodthirsty Arab pirate. But he’s no stereotype. What makes Red Heels stand out is his effeminacy. Small in stature (in panel 1, he seems to be wearing heels), he also sports oversized headwear which has the dual purpose of making him appear larger and supplying shock value. Despite these illusions, he comes up short compared to other villains…

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The outstretched hand of the drowning man (fourth panel) was a device that Collins had used before. It appeared in throwaway panels in Kevin’s earlier encounter with the Arab pirates and in another sequence from 1952. Nonetheless, its poignancy remained as shorthand for a gruesome death. All of the men injured in the battle—on both sides—were destined to suffer the same fate, including Koko’s master, Patch.


Back in Morocco, things take a turn for Sadea.

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Learning of Frau de Boer’s life, Sadea begins to reveal her own story. No doubt many readers approved of her costuming and poses.

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The embodiment of evil with a countenance to match, the Grand Vizier beseeches Sadea to do his bidding once again. Emboldened by Frau de Boer’s tale, she successfully resists his attempt at hypnosis, imperiling her own future.

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

La Ragazza Stregata

The story continues with an amazing mélange of sensuality, occult, horror, and humor — despite the terrifying spectacle of the Moorish pirates. Aboard the caravel, Koko and Kevin both tease poor Stub, but it’s all in good fun, as the crew bonds tightly.

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Kreigh Collins’ dialog is hysterical, and the episode is packed with nautical terminology likely not seen in any other comic. With a reference to the galley “sweeping” toward the Genoese ship, a casual reader would generally understand what was happening, but would lose the nuance of the phrase. Unlike a traditional rowboat, which a single person moves by “sculling” with two oars, the pirates’ galley is propelled by numerous oarsmen, each pulling a single oar, or “sweeping” (like eight-man racing boats seen competing in regattas).

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These guys “swept” past virtually all of their competition last year. (Don’t tell my son, the oarsman at the far left, that I used a picture of his crew on my blog!)

Crews that sweep have a coxswain — they are in charge of the boat, and determine its stroke rate (the cox is seated at the back of the boat, above). Similarly, the Sea Hawk utilized a drummer to pound out a beat for its rowers to follow. Like a cox for a crew shell, the drummer was critical to keeping the Sea Hawk’s rowers in sync, and thus moving most quickly. Knowing this, and being an archery master, Kevin takes aim.

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Patch is all too familiar with the Sea Hawk, and its captain, Red Heels. Despite Kevin’s incredible shot, and a timely gust of wind, the pirates board the caravel and a fierce battle ensues.

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While Patch gallantly saves Kevin, and Koko rescues Stub, it should come as no surprise that it is Kevin who proves to be bravest of all.

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