Ippon!

When I was a lad, I joined a judo team and took lessons for several years. We learned a bit about Japanese culture and a little bit of the language (I still remember how to count to 99). I got a start at a young age, and did pretty well. I loved it.

To win a match, as I recall, you basically needed to score one point. A nice throw might earn a half point (wasa-ari), and if you achieved two nice throws, it was enough to win. A quicker path to winning was to flip your opponent with a more or less perfect throw, and the referee would call “Ippon!“—meaning one point (and game over). I did this once, I can still remember my opponent coming at me, forcing me to retreat, until I spun and unleashed my bread-and-butter throw, the seoi nage.

I only mention this because I thought there were three more episodes in this story arc, when there is in fact only one. And while the blow Toshi delivers is nothing like anything found in Judo (outside of an Austin Powers movie, maybe), it causes a sudden, decisive ending to the fight.

Definitely ippon.

It’s unfortunate that I don’t have an actual copy of this concluding episode, and it looks like it may contain a pice of clip art—a photostat of Kevin’s sword, appearing in the panel after the throwaway. This time-saving device was used by Collins somewhat frequently during this period.

In this piece of original art from my collection (June 17, 1962), Brett is holding onto a photostat of Kevin’s sword (bottom left panel).

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It’s 5:00 Somewhere

Since this was such a short post, let me fill some space with a recent photo of a special beer tasting.

I wrote about these beers last November. I provided customized label artwork for a brewery in my grandfather’s old hometown—Ada, Michigan’s Gravel Bottom Brewery—and the brewery produced three varieties as their first bottle releases. I had previously tasted the base version (Kevin the Bold Russian Imperial Stout), and it was quite nice, but I think I preferred a version that I’d cellared for the last year, “Kevin Goes to the Beach,” with its subtle coffee, coconut, and vanilla flavorings. Aging it really helped. Later in the winter, I’ll surely be cracking open the last one, “Kevin Goes Camping.”

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

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