Old Scores, Old Scars

Chicago Tribune episodes are preferable to those found in other newspapers—except in cases where they are damaged. My copy from November 25, 1956 had gotten torn long ago, and the remedy my grandfather used was cellophane tape. 64 years later, it left quite a nasty yellow diagonal scar. I often complain about third-page examples, but in this case one from the Detroit News helped save the day. (The tear ran from Mary Campbell’s “hard scotch skull” in the splash panel all the way to the word “Tribune” in the running head). Now, back to the action.

While Mary immediately regrets their decision, Kevin relishes the opportunity to settle an old score. As the ensuing melee devolves into hand-to-hand combat, even Mary gets in on the action.

Things look especially grim for Kevin as Mary manages to escape.

The sequence ends dramatically—and with a unique layout. Instead of a single, double-decked splash panel, Collins includes two, the second being a silhouette. Having King Henry arrive on the scene of the conflagration at the moment of climax is a bit contrived, but there is no time to be wasted as he introduces Kevin’s next adventure.

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

Autodefenstration

Much happens in the following three episodes—I’ll let the action speak for itself.

If “autodefenestration” wasn’t a word, it is one now! As is typical of the strip, Harwick’s death comes not as a result of his leap, but due to off-stage misadventure.

Kevin tries to put his foot down, but Mary convinces him otherwise—and who could resist a lass such as shown in the throwaway panel?

To be continued…

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

Separations, but not Equal

Little does Kevin know that his unexplained black eye will lead to worse circumstances.

As far as this particular story arc goes, one definite bonus is the fact that I have Chicago Tribune examples of each episode. While the paper was long past its heyday of incredible color separations and reproduction—some “Kevin the Bold” episodes from the early 1950s are simply stunning—the paper still created its own printing plates, which led to higher-quality final results.

Comparing an episode from the Trib with one from the Florida Times-Union could be seen as comparing apples to oranges, with the latter’s output often being rather magenta-saturated, a close comparison between the two shows that the Tribune did indeed use different printing plates than those offered by NEA Services to its regular subscribing newspapers. In some panels it is hard to determine if the difference was simply due to the flood of magenta ink and indifferent press operators, but in the Trib‘s splash panel, the lower portion of Kevin’s cloak clearly shows shades of both orange and red, while in the Times-Union version it’s all reddish orange.

It’s a shame that raven-haired Gertie has gotten mixed up with the Strangler, she’s generally my favorite part of any episode in which she appears!

To be continued…

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

On the Trail of Treason

Happy New Year! January 1 also marks Kreigh Collins’ birthday; he would have been 48 years old when the following story arc appeared. The first two episodes are beautifully illustrated, and show Kevin sailing past the Isle of Sark. As is the case with many of the plot lines in “Kevin,” I was inspired to look up where exactly this little island was located—and I became intrigued by the local talent at the Elephant and Castle.

The previous episode’s splash panel is lovely, but it is no match for the one that followed. The third panel is also masterfully executed—the Strangler is a menacing villain straight from central casting.

To be continued…

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

The Glorious Drama

The Christmas story is indeed filled with glorious drama, so much so that Kreigh Collins was happy to tell it more than once. His artistic rendition received its first major promotional push when it appeared as a story arc in 1949, midway through the run of “Mitzi McCoy,” but this wasn’t the first time his depiction of the Nativity appeared in print.

Prior to joining NEA Service, one of Collins’ steadiest clients was the Methodist Publishing House of Nashville, Tennessee. Among other projects, Kreigh illustrated a weekly, full-page comic in 1945 that appeared in Sunday school bulletins the company produced called “Boys Today,” and “Girls Today.”

The comics appeared in these bulletins during Advent, and a portion of them can be found in this earlier post.

Although it never ran in newspapers as part of the usual NEA fare, the Christmas story was reprised in 1953, in a special offering under the guise of a “Kevin the Bold” narrative. This time, most of the artwork from the “Mitzi McCoy” version was simply picked up and reused, with panels that showed Mitzi‘s characters (Stub Goodman was shown explaining things to his young friend Dick Dixon once or twice in each episode) being replaced by similar ones featuring Kevin and his ward, Brett.

Merry Christmas, and best wishes for a healthy New Year!

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

Legends of Christmas

Starting in 1936, Kreigh Collins’ syndicate, NEA, produced special Christmas strips. A complete list of the titles and artists can be found here. In 1965, Collins’ creation “Legends of Christmas” was featured.

The first two episodes were stand-alones; they were followed by the two stories mentioned in the blurb above.

Running in various small-market papers that were typical for NEA clients, the “Legends of Christmas” comics are rather curious, and despite their yuletide theme, there was room to squeeze in a little anti-Soviet Cold War-era commentary (December 8). Take thatBrezhnev!

The final story of Collins’ “Legends of Christmas” featured an easier-to-follow legend. It starred Peter, a young boy trying to care for his ailing mother while his father was away.

Season’s greetings, everyone!

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

P’tit Gars No. 1

“Mitzi McCoy” was featured in several of Pierre Mouchot‘s French comic book titles, and P’tit Gars No. 1 was her swan song. This issue featured the eighth chapter in Mitzi’s saga, titled “L’exploit de Tiny” (or “Tiny’s feat”).

Because the artwork came from eight original “Mitzi McCoy” episodes, the editors had to take some liberties in presenting the story, which was spread across seven pages in the comic book. Some panels were resequenced and others were eliminated to allow the story to be told more concisely in the smaller format. A nice bonus is that several of the pages were printed in color. These French comic book scans were sent to me by mon ami, Gérard. Merci!

Savez-vous lire le français? I can read French un petit peu, but have learned to rely on online translators, for better or worse.

The first page of the story came from the January 1, 1950 episode, except for the opening panel (January 15, 1950).
The artwork for the second page came from three episodes: January 1, 1950 (panels 1, 3), January 8, 1950 (panels 2, 4–7, 9–10), January 29, 1950 )panel 8).
The third page also sourced artwork from three episodes: January 8, 1950 (panels 1–3), January 1, 1950 (panel 4), and January 15, 1950 (panels5–9).
Only two episodes provided the artwork for the fourth page: January 15, 1950 (panels 1–4) and January 22, 1950 (panels 5–8).
The fifth page again used three different episodes: January 22, 1950 (panels 1–6), February 19, 1950 (panels 7–8), and January 29, 1950 (panel 9).
I cannot figure out where the artwork of Tiny in the first panel originated, but the remaining panels all come from the February 12, 1950 episode).
The artwork for the final page of the story comes from at least two episodes: February 12, 1950 (panels 1–2) and February 19, 1950 (panels 4–6). The third panel is another that I could not find in the original artwork).

In trying to figure out which panels came from what original episodes, I noticed that two of the episodes in this sequence were essentially omitted. The January 29 was used for two panels (out of nine), and the February 5, 1950 episode was omitted entirely in the French retelling of the story. This action would have fallen near the end of the story—just after Stub puts his car in the ditch. For the completists out there, I will append those two original episodes (in English).

Only the first and fourth panels were taken from this episode.

Now if you’re a truly a completist, no doubt you have a hankering to read the entire collection of “Mitzi McCoy” episodes, so…

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Order NOW for delivery in time for the holidays…

The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy,” features the entire run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA feature, and is available for immediate delivery. Order today to ensure that the collection arrives in time for the holidays.

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.

The book costs $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, add $25 for first class shipping. To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

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

Treachery’s Reward

Struken’s perfidy comes with a steep price.

Knowing no other attack route, Moab’s men charge at the mountain pass.

KIsmet took Struken; it also brought together a pair of old friends.

Pedro’s project, mentioned by Colonel Santiago, leads to Kevin’s very final adventure.

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All I Want for Christmas

The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy,” features the entire run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA feature, and is available for immediate delivery. Order today to ensure that the collection arrives in time for the holidays.

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.

The book costs $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, add $25 for first class shipping. To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

___________________________________________________________________________________

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

The Traitor

Things take a turn for the worse as Struken is quick to smear Kevin…

…but order is restored. Of course, this does not sit well with Struken!

As Kevin and his remaining men move out, he learns of a new weapon in their arsenal. The beautifully illustrated episode reintroduces Moab, a character Kevin had met previously (episodes from 1952 and 1953 shown below).

Though Kevin and Moab met as adversaries, they became friends and share mutual respect.

Respect is something Struken inspires in no one.

To be continued…

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

The Horsethief

As Kevin and Giza chat, Struken becomes enraged.

Missing from the one-third page version is a strong element of menace toward poor Giza. Meanwhile, Kevin finds himself in a more comfortable situation.

Kevin’s act of kindness toward Eugene has landed him in hot water. Traditionally, punishment for horse theft was severe, even if the animal didn’t have a royal pedigree.

To be continued…

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Extra! Extra!

The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy,” features the entire run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA feature, and is available for immediate delivery.

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.

The book costs $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, add $25 for first class shipping. To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

___________________________________________________________________________________

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