Suddenly, Kevin makes a desperate bid for freedom.
With a second leap, he leaves Count Nargyle and his henchmen behind—only to be caught again!
As for that splash panel, where have I seen it before?
“Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures” collects nearly three years’ worth of episodes—including this current chapter; they are presented in a black and white tabloid format, from original proofs (for all but a few episodes). Anyway, back to the story.
The beggars of the forest act quickly in dealing with the “spy,” but lady luck soon smiles upon Kevin.
Oh—to be saved from death by a beautiful girl! Inspired, Kevin quickly hatches an audacious plan.
The chapter continues with three more beautifully-drawn episodes. Of note, each of the ten episodes includes a double-decked splash panel. The September 11 installment features one with a wonderful rendering of the town’s imposing bell tower (possibly inspired by the famous Belfry of Bruges); the rest of the episode’s panels match it in quality and drama. Meanwhile, trapped in the belfry, Kevin’s options are limited.
Kevin’s imitation of the bell-ringer is inspired. Nonetheless, it puts him in danger…
…and time is not on Kevin’s side. Meanwhile, lovely Taka eavesdrops on the soldiers.
Another magnificent splash panel, as arresting as the others, hints at Kevin’s only escape.
Today, a 10-episode chapter—KEVIN THE BOLD’s 22nd—begins. Originally, I had planned on featuring the following sequence, but when I realized it was a continuation of this one, I decided it made sense to run them both consecutively. These 22 half pages came from the Chicago Tribune (August 28, 1955 through January 22, 1956).
Many chapters start slowly, with an episode or two setting the scene, but in this case Kevin rolls into town and quickly inserts himself in its affairs.
It’s also clear who the villain is—Count Nargyle—and that his ruthless ways run counter to Kevin’s code of behavior. But by making himself a target, Kevin realizes he needs a place to hide. He finds a great spot to seclude himself—and if the redhead’s dress is indeed torn, no doubt the chivalrous Kevin would avert his eyes. A wise move, as this lovely lass, named Taka, is one with whom Kevin will be glad to be allied.
Despite his earlier narrow escape, Kevin can’t help himself and again makes waves.
His intentions are honorable, but his rash decisions bode ill of his future…
Apu is a weekly magazine from Finland. Like similar publications in Denmark (Hjemmet) and Sweden (Allas Veckotonig), its content was typical—human interest stories, short fiction, photos of pretty girls, horoscopes, etc.—and comics. And like the other Scandinavian weeklies, it carried a translated version of KEVIN THE BOLD—in Finnish, Kreigh Collins’ creation was known as “Haukka Temmeltäväin Tuulten Kasvatti,” which translates very roughly to “The Hawk Grew the Breezes.” Another translation I found online is likely more accurate: “Hawk—The Most Uplifting of the Winds.” (It is interesting to see that the title references a bird of prey, much like the Swedish version, “Falcon Stormfågeln”). The covers printed in two colors, blue and red; the text pages ran in black with red as an occasional spot color.
Apu didn’t include any advertising, which made for a shorter publication. (44 pages, including covers).
One feature was called Viikon Tyttö (“Girl of the Week”). I think this works in any language. Here, it shared a page with a single-panel gag cartoon (plenty of these were found throughout the magazine). Had I been alive, my horoscope (Gemini) said Tällä viikolaei työ oikein… (“This week does not work properly…” I don’t want to know the rest!)
Appearing near the middle of the magazine was Haukka Temmeltäväin Tuulten Kasvatti. The episide originally appeared in Sunday comics sections on February 10, 1952; this Finnish version ran in mid-July, meaning it had a shorter lag than other similar weeklies’ episodes (which typically ran about a year after their original publication date).
This was part of the sixth KEVIN THE BOLD story arc, and was based on the 19th century short story A Terribly Strange Bed by the English novelist Wilkie Collins. (For more details, read here). Among all of KEVIN THE BOLD’s chapters, it is the shortest—its duration was only four weeks.
A few pages later was the King Features Syndicate title Viidakko Bill (“Jungle Bill”), which seems in fact to have been JUNGLE JIM. (Later, I think it becomes apparent why “Jim” became “Bill”). With the added red tint, it was given the most prominence of Apu’s interior comics.
invalideja (“Disabled”)—a couple photos of cute but disabled animals—was followed by a full-page version of Väiski Vemmelsääri (“Bugs Bunny”). Another full-page comic followed (Luola-Lennu/“Cave Flight”). My guess is that this unsigned comic was a Finnish original.
I love doing crossword puzzles, but because this one is just a bit out of my league, I don’t mind that someone already did most of it. It faces another King Features title, Pipsa Pippuri pürt. Jimmy Hatlo (Jim #2 for those keeping track; originally titled “Little Iodide”), which ran in two colors on the inside back cover.
Of all of Apu’s commics, I’m obviously most interested in Haukka Temmeltäväin Tuulten Kasvatti., but Taika-Jim (Jim #3, originally King Features Syndicate’s “Mandrake the Magician”) gets my vote as weirdest. I ran the words through an online translator to try to follow the action—see below for what I found.
1. Raivostuneiden villien hyökättyä jättiläisflyygeliä vastaan ja sytytettyä sen tuleen (After an enraged wild man attacked a giant grand piano and set it on fire)
2. Syöksyy eriskummallinen musiikin mestari turvaan pianistinorsujensa kanssa (A strange maestro rushes to safety with his piano-playing elephants
3. Jättiläisflyygelin sisällä juoksevat taika-jim tovereilleen (Inside the giant grand piano runs magic Jim with his comrades)
4. Liekkejä uhmaten saattaa prof. metro norsunsa turvaan maanpinnalle (Defying flames, prof. Metro safety lowers his elephant on the ground
5. Alas päästyään käy hän villien kimppuun salaperäisen äänettömän aseensa avulla. villit pakenevat kauhuissaan! (When he gets down, he attacks the wild with his mysterious silent weapon. the wild flee in horror!)
6. Tämä oli raskas isku hänelle, lausuu taika-jim, mutta villejä tuskin voi syyttää. Professorin jättiläismusiikki sai koko tienoon järkkymään joten villien tunteet ymmärtää! (This was a heavy blow to him, says magic-Jim, but the wild can hardly be blamed. The professor’s giant music made me all upset so the wild feelings are understood!)
Perhaps something was lost in translation!
Thank you to the readers whose comments identified “Little Iodide” and “Mandrake the Magician.”