A Pretty Little Speech

Besides becoming an artist, the only other career choice Kreigh Collins considered was to become a magician. By the time he reached high school he’d made up his mind, yet magic cropped up in his work frequently enough. In 1937, he wrote Tricks, Toys, and Tim, a unique “how-to-do-it” book  published by D. Appleton-Century — Kreigh’s illustrations appeared throughout. In his later work, subjects related to magic came up — “Mitzi McCoy” had a sequence featuring a yodeling cowboy with a ventriloquist’s dummy (!) — and ventriloquism was featured again in this “Kevin the Bold” storyline.

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If you find a copy, buy it! You won’t be sorry. More information on “Tricks, Toys, and Tim” here.

Unfortunately, Kevin and Tankard are unaware of the current fearful climate in the little Dutch city of Bomen.

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The September 9 episode is a good example showing the difference between the Chicago Tribune’s superior color schemes and that of a typical newspaper. Although the image of the half page version is just a snapshot liberated from an old eBay listing, it has richer colors and and a much more extensive palette than the tabloid.

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The ever-honorable Kevin bids to save his new friends’ lives by sacrificing his own. In what appears to be a cowardly move, Tankard quickly backs the idea.

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Finding the perfect time to demonstrate his talents, Tankard saves the day. Meanwhile, Kevin is appreciative enough that Tankard accompanies him on his next adventure in Ireland, where no doubt he will demonstrate more magic.


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the 1949 “Mitzi McCoy” sequence featuring the yodeling cowboy and his ventriloquist’s dummy, pick up a copy of The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy, available here.


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

The Witch Hunter

Stub’s warning proven true, Kevin starts to swim for shore, looking for safety.

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After being rudely welcomed ashore, Kevin makes an acquaintance with the opportunistic Tankard. There is plenty of knavery afoot, as geese come and go.

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There is joy in the town, but its counterpart is manifest in the witch hunter, Swatrzhunt.

A little more than a year after the August 26, 1951 episode appeared in Sunday papers, its splash panel was repurposed as a cover for Tit-Bits, a weekly publication from Argentina. Tit-Bits featured other comics from the U.S., and even if you don’t know Spanish, like me, the strips are prettily easily identified. In addition to “Kevin el denodado,” typically there are episodes of “Ben Bolt Campeón,” by John Cullen Murphy, Dal Curtis’ “Rex Morgan, Médico,” and “Terry el Piloto/Terry and the Pirates” (George Wunder). Two comic strips whose names aren’t cognates also run—one is familiar to me (Lee Falk & W. McCoy’s “La Sombra/The Phantom”), and the other is not (“Las Llaves del palacio/The Keys to the Palace” by Fernanci).

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Later, there is more to come about “Kevin el Denodado,” but next week, Kevin’s adventures in Holland continue.


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

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A witch!

With the recent release of the Mueller Report, witch hunts are in the news. The subject came up on a couple of occasions in “Kevin the Bold.”

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Per wikipedia, the classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial North America took place around 1450 – 1750. This actually corresponds (more or less) to the years the events depicted in “Kevin the Bold” took place (c. 1490 – 1668). Obviously, Kreigh Collins took liberties with the timeline while including historical events in his comic strip.

Based on the apparent age of Leonardo Da Vinci, the episode above is set around the year 1510, when witch hunts were common. Ironically, they seem to have returned to prominence in the last couple of years, but that’s another story.

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There are holes in my collection during this sequence, so I can’t run it in its entirety. I was fortunate to have the two episodes above given to me by illustrator/blogger Thom Buchanan. I saw them on an old blog he ran, which I discovered when I began searching online for my grandfather’s comics ten years ago. Thom encouraged me to start a blog, and six and half years later, I did.

The sequence with Leonardo and his lovely assistant Angelina came very late in the comic strip’s run — only three more sequences followed — and it wasn’t the first time witch hunts were featured in “Kevin the Bold.” Sixteen years earlier, in only its fourth sequence, witches were being targeted in the Netherlands. Most of this sequence’s comics are missing from my collection. The images I post here were mined from old eBay listings—how I wish I’d bought them when I had the chance!

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As the preceding storyline transitions, Tankard is introduced, and given his prominence, it’s quite likely he will play a large role in the coming events.

As Kevin sails north on the ship bringing home Sadea, the damsel he’d just saved as a favor to his erstwhile rival the Count de Falcon, Stub offers some words of advice that prove to be prophetic.

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To be continued…


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be ordered here.


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

Kevin the Bosnian

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On St. Patrick’s Day, it seems only fitting to highlight Kevin’s adventures in… Bosnia?

My friend Marko recently pointed me toward some comic books with “Kevin the Bold” translated into Bosnian. Shown above are two late examples published by Lale that sold for 1.5 dinar. Without seeing the physical copies, it is difficult to tell which storyline is contained inside, because the covers were redrawn and don’t come from any of Collins’ original artwork.

Other Serbian publishers also featured Kreigh Collins’ noted strip. Dugin magazine #7-20 ran most of the Baron Von Blunt sequence (originally appearing in Sunday papers from October 21, 1951– January 27, 1952). Happy Party #51-63 ran most of the sequence where Kevin and Brett search for the Hartz family fortune, plus the following one featuring Zyclos the Pirate (April 13–August 3, 1952); #64-65 has the beginning of Leonardo Da VInci’s flaming dragon sequence (August 10–24, 1952). Zenit #10-23 has an interesting 1965 storyline about the lost colony of Roanoke (June 27–September 26, 1965); #45-62 has two sequences, more about the Hartz family fortune and another about Captain Duncan Bellows; and #63-134 apparently contains over a year’s worth of comics (September 20, 1959–January 29, 1961). I haven’t been able to find images of any of these titles.

My favorite is another Lale title, #11, “Neustrasivi Kevin.” It’s obviously an earlier publication, as its price was only 80 dinara. It also features another recreated cover. The cover artwork is very nice, if a bit unlikely—for over 18 years, Kevin ran away from the beautiful damseles he’d rescued—he had unfinished business and wouldn’t be tied down.

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The comics inside told the tale of a kidnapped princess, and originally ran from February 8–May 3, 1959. I found this entire issue online, and have included it below.  The comic book is 36 pages long, with most of it devoted to Kevin. Pages 30–34 feature a comic called “Megdan.”

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And here’s “Megdan.”

There were no images for the inside covers, but there was a back cover.

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For these foreign translations, I rely heavily on online translators, which deliver mixed results. The back cover text indicates there was something like a poll to determine what comics should be featured in this issue. It reads something along these lines:

Dear Readers,
According to your choice, we have prepared for the fall season a series of the most interesting world comics that will be published in our popular library. The editorial staff of the library on this occasion bestowed you on the support and advice you unselfishly provided.


Podcast

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To learn more about Kreigh Collins, “Mitzi McCoy,” and how my book on Mitzi (“The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Volume 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy“) came together, check out this interview: “Anatomy of a Comic Strip,” with host John Siuntres, on his long running pop culture audio podcast, Word Balloon.


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

The voiceless speak

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Kevin’s tournament skills paid off in the first round of the joust, but by taking the high moral ground he is setting himself up for possible failure.

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Kevin’s virtue is matched by Basa’s treachery, but while Kevin is saved by Hugo’s unexpected confession, Basa meets his end at the hands of the angry mob. 

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As the story of the Field of the Cloth of Gold ends, another adventure begins.


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the complete run of “Mitzi McCoy” comics, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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

Foul Play

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Sir Basa sets his nefarious plan in motion, and De Cagnes smells a rat. As usual, Kevin remains calm.

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Evil to the bone, Sir Basa reneges on his promise to pay Hugo—and he confuses the stableboy’s inability to speak with stupidity. Perhaps Hugo isn’t the only one Basa has underestimated.  

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In the August 26 episode, the “Ancient Code” is spelled out once again. From the beginning of his time with NEA, Collins had been instructed to repeat information critical to a story’s plot so that newspapers could pick up the strip at any time and start running it—and the same was true for readers. If they’d missed a sequence’s earlier episodes, they could be brought up to speed. The repetition might help newcomers, but to those following the action each week, the practice was no doubt a bit tedious.


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the complete run of “Mitzi McCoy” comics, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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

The Predator

The past six weeks’ Sunday comics set the scene in a historical context, taking place during the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and now the action settles into a more local, intimate setting. 

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Surely there could be no harm in offering to stage a joust for an enthusiastic, convalescent child.

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Having demonstrated his brute strength, Basa also shows he is a louse, and worse.

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The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the complete run of “Mitzi McCoy” comics, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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

A good line worth repeating

At the summit arranged by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, King Francis I of France and King Henry VIII of England tried to outshine the other, with dazzling tents and clothes, huge feasts, music, jousting and games. The days were taken up with tournaments, in which both kings took part. 

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After the joust, Kevin was gracious in victory over his friend De Cagnes — but not everyone was so pleased, as the sourpuss Sir Basa is introduced.

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“The Field of the Cloth of Gold” was the first sequence written by Kreigh Collins after a 13-month stretch of episodes written by Jay Heavilin. In fact, the episode above contains a line (paraphrased) that originally appeared in “Kevin the Bold” a decade earlier. 

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Returning to our current sequence, Kevin has the misfortune of staying at the same inn as his detractor, and he also meets a mute stableboy. 

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

The Field of the Cloth of Gold

Last week I asked readers if their collections included any “Kevin the Bold” episodes that were missing in mine. This week a sequence starts using comic scans sent to me by my man in Rotterdam, Arnaud, with whom I traded a bunch of other “Kevin” scans (Nogmaals bedankt!). These tabloid comics were originally published starting in June, 1962, and were based on a historical event from 442 years earlier—the June, 1520 summit between England’s King Henry VIII and France’s King Francis I. 

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These first few episodes serve as a preamble to the main event, but the June 17 comic shown above is a favorite of mine because I have the original artwork in my collection. 

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In 2010, when I first found an image of the artwork online, it appeared as shown above. Sadly, by the time I saw it listed for sale four years later, the illustration had been cropped so it would fit in an 18″ x 24″ picture frame (below). It might have been damaged goods, but I bought it anyway (frame not included). One interesting detail is found in the panel in the lower left-hand corner, where Brett is holding Kevin’s sword. The sword is a photostat, pasted onto the original art—apparently as a time saver for the artist. 

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Another shameless plug!

Mitzi cover final

Featuring the complete run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA comic, “Mitzi McCoy,” The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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

Help!

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Once I started collecting my grandfather’s comics, I came up with two goals: publish a book and collect them all. 

Kreighs’ comics appeared in newspapers every Sunday from November 7, 1948 until February 27, 1972, about three and a half decades. Adding it all up—the 23 complete years, the two partial years, and the four times leap years resulted in a year having 53 Sundays (1950, 1956, 1961, 1967)—amounts to 1,217 individual episodes. (Or is it 1,218? Can someone check my math?) However many there are, it’s easy to see why I chose to publish a book first.

Admittedly, I had a great head start with so many of the episodes having been given to me by my uncle. But while my grandfather saved a lot of stuff, I do not have examples of all of his individual comic strips. Since I have all 99 “Mitzi McCoy” episodes and less than half of the “Up Anchor!” comics, what I’m focusing on primarily are the missing “Kevin the Bold” episodes.

Of the 945 or so examples of “Kevin,” there are 45 which I’ve never seen in any form. The first hole in my collection appears about a decade into its run: April 24, 1960

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What happens next? I’d love to know!

A few months later, the October 2, 1960 episode draws a blank. It follows the one shown below, in a tale of two sons—one good and the other bad. Through 1958, I have full-sized (half-page or tabloid) versions of just about every comic, but by 1960, many of my comics are one-third page versions (sigh). But at least these allow the narrative to continue.

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Oh no, Kevin appears mortally wounded! Will he survive?

The next gap in the chronology is found in the first Jay Heavilin-penned sequence (June 25, 1961).

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Lady Goodly? Lady Godiva could be featured on June 25 for all I know.

You know what’s worse than a missing episode? Two consecutive missing episodes! (September 10 and 17, 1961).

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At least the September 3 episode introduced me to the word, “Taradiddle.” I can only imagine the vocabulary featured over the next two weeks.

 Perhaps even more interesting to me are a couple elusive mid-1963 episodes—June 23, 1963 and July 7, 1963. Kevin has made it all the way to Japan. I wish I had the entire sequence of comics to share that adventure with you. Here is part of it—the two comics that precede the two missing ones.

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I’m going to see if I can verify that translation in the throwaway panel.

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Here are the dates of the comics  listed above: 
April 24, 1960
October 2, 1960
June 25, 1961
September 10, 1951
September 17, 1961
June 23, 1963
July 7, 1963

For the last three years of “Kevin the Bold,” I need quite a few: 
January 2 & 16, 1966
May 29, 1966
June 26, 1966
July 10, 17 & 24, 1966
August 21 & 28, 1966
September 4 & 11, 1966
October 2 & 9, 1966
December 25, 1966

January 29, 1967
February 5, 12 & 19, 1967
March 5, 12, 19 & 26, 1967
April 9, 23 & 30, 1967
May 21 & 28, 2967
June 11, 1967
August 27, 2967
October 22, 1967
November 12 & 19, 1967

April 7, 14, 21 & 18, 1968
May 5, 1968
September 15, 1968

Do you have any of these in your collection? I’m more than willing to trade scans. Please leave a message on my blog or contact me directly at brianedwardcollins1(at)gmail.com

Thank you very much.


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the complete run of “Mitzi McCoy” comics, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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