Tom Mix Nr. 2 (1953)

Appearing two weeks after its predecessor, TOM MIX Nr. 2 again featured the titular character on its cover, the silent comic UGH on the inside front cover, and was followed by a mocked-up newspaper front page.

TOM MIX runs for seven pages, followed by BUFFALO BILL’s nine pages.

On page 20, a contest that began in TOM MIX Nr. 1 continued. Facing the contest was a page with the memorable title De Dog Med Stövlama På (“They Died with their Boots On”). It consisted of profiles of notable 19th century western figures, with a presumed focus on their grisly demises.

Next up was ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE. The action picks up where it left off in TOM MIX Nr. 1, with the episode that originally appeared on November 5, 1950. Like the previous issue, the publisher has come up with its own color scheme. While a copyright is given to United Press (?), no credit is given to the illustrator, Kreigh Collins.

After the equivalent of four Sunday episodes—Roland’s time is up. LASH LaRUE follows.

On the inside back cover, Sydpolens Erövrare (“Conquerors of the South Pole”) is an account of famed Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen’s polar exploits. Amundsen is also featured on the back cover; similar portraits will appear in the back covers of future issues of TOM MIX.


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

Happy Ending

After too many black and white episodes—eleven out of twelve, in case you lost count—the sequence wraps up with a couple of splashes of color.

Ponce and Snake, weakened by seasickness, can only watch as their nefarious plan unravels.

The story comes to a happy ending, with the messier details of the bad guys’ detainment left to the reader’s imagination. As the sequence transitions to a new chapter, my eye is caught by the action in the background of the second panel.

Young Dave is playing leapfrog (jumping over Heather’s boom?). The pose—used by Collins numerous times over the years—always makes me wonder of the whereabouts of the original illustration used as its source.

It first appeared in an episode of BIBLE STORIES COMICS (far right, c. 1944) and then twice in KEVIN THE BOLD (October 30, 1955 and December 15 1963). Collins used it another time in UP ANCHOR!’s seventh episode (December 15, 1968), when it popped up in the topper strip, “Water Lore.”

It’s a shame Dick Dixon never busted the move in MITZI McCOY!


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

Barracuda Key

Barracuda Key is a real place, located about nine miles west of Key West, Florida. In 1959–60, My grandparents sailed to Florida (via the Mississippi River and New Orleans), but not as far south as the Keys. However, visiting the chain of islands was likely on their original itinerary, which included sailing to the Bahamas, as per a profile that appeared in the Chicago Tribune’s Sunday Magazine.

Ironically, their plans changed due to a downturn in Kreigh Collins’ business affairs—as the 1950s drew to a close, the Tribune dropped KEVIN THE BOLD from its stable of comic strips.

While Barracuda Key is real, the story told here with Ponce and Snake (and Dr. Estella Mosa) is obviously fiction.

To be continued…


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

“Don’t Boil a Kettle on a Boat” and other hazards

Jane Marlin sees her husband off at the dock, seemingly not worried about the pretty crew member joining Kevin and Pedro. But she has cause for concern—and it’s not Estella, the blonde PhD chartering Heather.

In UP ANCHOR!’S topper strip, WATER LORE, Kreigh Collins incorporated all sorts of nautical trivia, instructional information, and historical tidbits. When UP ANCHOR! appeared in its third-page format, the topper solved the problems caused by cropped panels, by serving as a throwaway. When running as a tabloid, only the larger panel appeared, filling the entire fourth tier of the comic. Generally, the subject of the topper strip wasn’t related to the feature at all (here, ice boats vs. sailing in the Gulf of Mexico).

Much of the information was recycled from or related to various former projects. For instance, a child-sized ice boat project was featured in a book Collins wrote and illustrated 30+ years earlier, called “Tricks, Toys and Tim.” (I highly recommend the book, if you can find a copy).

“Tricks, Toys and Tim” was published in 1937 by Appleton Century.

As Pedro looks for a snack, he is shocked to discover the damage caused by the saboteurs. And in this case, the subject of WATER LORE, a sinking schooner, is directly related to the events in the feature.

The resourceful skipper quickly comes sup with a plan to patch the holes, and the crisis is averted.

Occasionally, WATER LORE featured boating safety, essentially functioning like a Public Service Announcement. Somehow, I’m reminded of this strange PSA. It warns of the dangers propane can present on boats (and features an extremely spacious galley for a boat of the size shown at the end of the clip).

Kreigh’s wife Theresa wasn’t afraid to boil a kettle on a boat—here she is enjoying a spot of tea aboard Heather.

However, the cooking done on Heather was done safely using an alcohol stove more typical for a boat built in the 1920s.


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