Allas Veckotidning

Allas Veckotidning (“Everyone’s Weekly”) is a Swedish magazine first published in 1931. Though its title proclaims it to be for everyone, it seems more geared toward women. (A huge thank you to my friend Roger for trading me 15 copies of the magazine for a copy of my book “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, The Complete Mitzi McCoy”).

Dating from 1953, Issue No. 15, shown above, had a cover wishing its readers a Happy Easter. Inside, the contents are typical of a weekly: music listings and news, short romantic fiction pieces, movie reviews, crossword puzzles, and more romantic fiction pieces. Plus, it featured several comics interspersed throughout.

All four covers were printed in full color, with interior pages running in either two colors (black plus red), or just black and white. So it figures that only the most prestigious comics would appear on the covers (inside front cover, or occasionally on the back cover).

In the magazine, one consistency in the comics’ style was for the absence of speech balloons, with single captions beneath each panel utilized instead. Comics rotated in and out of the full-color cover positions, with Ricky (“The Friend of the Horses,” unsigned) appearing here. Facing it is Ett Gott Skratt Förlänger Livet (“A good Laugh Prolongs Life”) a typical single-panel gag cartoon that anchored the spot opposite the inside cover. A signed comic is found on page 28, Falcon Stormfägeln, av (“by”) Kreigh Collins.

Kreigh Collins’ comic strip, curiously renamed as the equivalent of “Falcon Storm Birds,” had a slightly modified logo, and reproduced nicely in a two-color scheme. This episode of “Kevin the Bold” (below) originally ran on May 18, 1952, meaning appearances in “Allas Veckotidning” came about 13 months later.

An unusual—and pleasant—aspect of the magazine was the scarcity of ads throughout. A few fractional ads tend to show up toward the back of each issue, where more comics were also found (plus a couple pages of classified ads). Filip & Majken, Ann, (both unsigned) and Fabian (by Emil Brinck) were also part of the magazine’s stable of comics.

I guess the inclusion of my grandfather’s comic is an example of U.S. cultural imperialism, but in my biased opinion it’s more charming than an ad for a “Yankee Junior” boys’ suit.

Issue No. 44 (1955) featured more of the same type of material, but had a more typical celebrity-based cover—say hello to Mr. Fred Astaire.

As a non-Swedish speaker, it’s fun to guess what articles are titled—sometimes it’s not so hard, but watch out for the false cognates! The article below translates to “A Man’s Way.’

Måns (“Moon” possibly signed by Skat Holman) ) and Var Finns Kitty? (“Where is Kitty?” unsigned but subtitled “Our brilliant young girl’s series”) appear in some, but not all issues of Allas Veckotidning. Below is an episode of Falcon Stormfägeln from the chapter “The Mountebank’s Lions” (December 5, 1954), not yet featured on this blog.

Abba caviar? Did the pop band do commercial endorsements first and then make hit singles?
“The General’s Bride” — pretty steamy stuff!
Unfortunately, this issue was falling apart, but it’s easier to show the second and third covers.

With an appreciation for the time period these magazines were published, paging through them is fun, even without understanding the editorial content.

From 1958, we have cover girl Debbie Reynolds and some examples from inside.

A new feature of the magazine is basically a photo-based soap opera comic strip; it ran on two spreads.

Another development in the layout of Allas Veckotidning was the grouping together of comics on some spreads (including what was the March 10, 1957 episode of “Kevin the Bold”).

Above , a nice example of what the Detroit News was capable of printing.

Often ads are a nuisance, but I can’t resist this one. There’s catchy ad copy (“Read Here How to Play Guitar Next Week”) and great photography. If only speech balloons weren’t banned, that lead photo would show the guy thinking, “Guitars! That’s how I’ll get girls!” This was early 1958—just wait until Beatlemania!

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

The Root of All Evil

The action movie-like drama continues.

At this point, any reader of “Kevin the Bold” knows Spider is going to get his—but how? Spider himself seems to know the end is near.

Kevin’s keening war cry, busted out only on rare occasions (such as on Sunday, October 24, 1954), startles Spider. Encumbered by gold, he sinks like a stone, much like Sir Guy Thornberry (in an episode from 1956).

While earlier action was reminiscent of action heroes like Indiana Jones, the chapter wraps up with more of a Tom and Jerry/Itchy and Scratchy feel.

Oddly, the chapter ends with Lord Dismore showing a complete lack of gratitude. As the action transitions, King Henry shows off his new armor, with a shout-out to Conrad Seusenhofer, and a factoid that would be repeated several years later.

As for Lord Dismore, perhaps he should become acquainted with Itchy.

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

Worst-Laid Plans

Naive and stubborn—a dangerous combination.

Meanwhile, Spider’s plan goes off—with a hitch.

Spider resorts to his backup plan as the coach hurdles along.

In a highly kinetic episode with each panel seemingly ripped from an action film, Kevin deftly rescues Ella before the coach flies off the road.

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

Special Delivery

At the tail end of 1957, the 37th chapter in the “Kevin the Bold” saga begins with the introduction of a couple of unsavory characters and a sad, naive young lady. Kevin pops up near the end of the episode and story’s framework begins to take shape.

Kevin suspects trouble is in the offing but as usual, doesn’t seem concerned.

Spider describes his poisonous plan and the game is on.

To be continued…

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

Big Horn No. 1

“Kevin le Hardi” was included as part of five French “Big Horn” comic books, which were published beginning in October, 1957. The comic books, though small in trim size (about 5-3/8″ x 7-1/8″), were quite lengthy, 128 black and white pages plus color covers. On the cover, Kevin received third billing, and Kreigh Collins’ creation ran on the 31 pages at the back of the book.

Warren Tufts’ title comic occupied the first 32 pages, and it was followed by “Kid Colorado,” by John Wheeler. Each of the comics have nice, custom introductory pages (three pages for “Big Horn.”)

At the conclusion of the “Big Horn” adventure is an ad for “Fantasia.” Next up is a sizable chunk of “Kid Colorado.” I wasn’t able to find out much about it, other than it was the work of a British artist, John Wheeler. Here, it runs for nearly 60 pages—about half the comic book’s pages—and is followed by an ad for “Rancho.”

Now, allow me a “Wizard of Oz”-like transition (RGB files for the good stuff!). Here’s the star of our show, Kevin le Hardi. I know just enough French to make some foolish assumptions about what I’m reading, so it looks like the charming introductory page presents Kevin, his enemy Von Blunt (en français, Von Blut), and his loyal, um, squire (I had to look that one up), MacGrégor (Stub).

“Big Horn No. 1″ features the fourth chapter in the “Kevin the Bold” saga, “The Witch Hunt.” The action picks up with the episode that ran in Sunday comic sections on August 5, 1951.

Ici, a single Sunday episode typically runs three and a half pages (sans throwaway panels).

Au dessous, the September 2, 1951 episode starts at the end of the left-hand spread, and in the center spread, a couple of panels are reversed in order. Otherwise, the panels follow unimpeded for the remainder of the chapter.

Près de the very end of “Big Horn No. 1″ (page 124), the fifth “Kevin the Bold” chapter begins. It features the foe shown on Kevin’s introductory page, Von Blut. The second-to-last page has another example of panel re-sequencing—Von Blut’s mug originally ran on September 23 but it is plopped right in the middle of the September 30, 1951 episode. It works just fine.

Sous the final panel, it curiously states “end of the first episode,” but it’s not even the end of the September 30, 1951 episode! Not to worry, the action continues in “Big Horn No. 2.”

Malheureusement, the back cover highlights everyone but Kevin le Hardi.

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

Mackinac Island

After making a couple jokes about cars and drivers in previous episodes, it should come as little surprise that Heather’s destination was Mackinac Island, noted for being completely free of automobiles. However, there are other ways to get around the island, as Erik and Dave soon discover.

Coming ashore meant becoming reacquainted with civilization—for better or worse.

In the sequence’s final episode, it accurately portrays how the artist Kreigh Collins continued working as he plied the water—his mail was forwarded to Post Offices along their route, and Collins continued to send and receive artwork along the way. The episode ends with another blow against the cliche of the pampered life of a sailor.

A nice personal touch to the March 30, 1969 is the name of the Erik’s girlfriend—Judy. Erik and Judy were the names of my parents.

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

Out of the Storm and into the Steamer Lane

Sailing on the inland seas known as the Great Lakes, weather conditions can change rapidly. I can personally attest to the situation in the February 16, 1969 episode.

It might seem that Jane and Dave have the easier station during the storm, but in rolling waves, being belowdecks is no picnic—it’s much easier to get seasick down below (to which I can also attest).

Sometimes the bathing beauties even showed up in the topper!

Sturdily built, the Marlin’s schooner survives the storm handsomely, though she was 30+ years old. In real life, Heather was a half-size model of a noted schooner designed for polar expeditions.

Bowdoin (left), shown in waters north of the Arctic Circle, and Heather (right), docked in Annapolis, Maryland.
A couple summers back, my brother Brett and I joined my Uncle Kevin on a sailing trip through much of Lake Michigan aboard Kevin’s sloop, Legacy. Though we didn’t reach Mackinac Island, we did make it to Charlevoix.

With the rough weather behind them, Heather and her crew now had to deal with other problems—iron tubs of all sizes.

Continued next week…

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

Launch Time

Apologies for this week’s meager selection of color comics—my collection is a bit spotty as far as “Up Anchor!” episodes are concerned—but going forward in this chapter, things will brighten up considerably.

As the Marlin family gets ready to launch their boat, they first have to deal with on-shore know-it-alls. Luckily, sailing is a team effort, and that includes putting obnoxious folks in their proper place, done this time by Jane Marlin. Jane was loosely based on my Gramma Teddy, and one thing the two shared was an inability to mince words.

In the “Water Lore” topper, Kevin and Jane Marlin make a rare appearance (possibly the only time this happened).

With the boat finally launched, there is rigging and provisioning to be done before setting sail.

In the fifth panel, where Kevin points to the nautical chart, it also shows where my family was going to relocate, a few months after this episode was published. We moved from Ann Arbor, Michigan (near the lower part of mitten-like Michigan’s “thumb”), to Fredonia, New York when I was just shy of five years old.

It’s a shame that I don’t have a color version of the February 9, 1969 episode—it features a couple of strategically-placed bathing beauties modeling some of the season’s finest swimsuit apparel. It also features a character who offers an explanation of why Collins and his family spent so much time on their boat during the summer.

Continued next week…

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

Maiden Voyage

Looks like a relatively warm spring day to get Heather ready.

With Memorial Day approaching, so too is the traditional start of sailing season. This usually means having already done prep work in chilly conditions. In order to extend the season, Kreigh Collins liked to launch early. Kevin Marlin was in the same boat — literally — they both sailed aboard Heather.

While the photo above shows skipper Collins 10 years after he purchased his schooner, the “Up Anchor!” chapter starting today was just the second one in the strip’s 3.5-year run. It starts with Pedro showing off a small fiberglass boat he’s peddling, which must have appealed to Kreigh — maintaining a 40-year-old, wooden 40-footer required quite a bit of elbow grease! No doubt the Collinses worked up a sweat, even in chilly spring weather.

Not only did Kevin and Kreigh sail the same boat, but they had the same kitchen, too. (The opening panel in the episode below is a rendering of the tiny kitchen in Kreigh’s own Ada, Michigan home).

Featuring a family’s adventures living aboard a sailboat, “Up Anchor!” was unique, and while it promoted the growing hobby of pleasure boating, it fought against the stereotype of it being a glamorous sport solely for the wealthy.

Continued next week…

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

Kevin den Tapre 1955-1960

The most recent addition to my comics compilation library is the massive, second volume of “Kevin den Tapre,” from publisher Anders Hjorth-Jørgensen and his company, Forlaget desAHJn. Like its companion volume, the comics were sourced from the Danish weekly magazine Hjemmet. From 1955-1960, Hjemmet ran the episodes in an interesting three-color scheme; the collection is available here.

The book has an impressive front matter section highlighting various aspects of Kreigh Collins’ heroic protagonist.

In many instances, the original, full-color episodes precede their corresponding three-color Danish versions for easy comparison. When King Henry VIII enters Kevin’s world, a full-page sidebar offers some background of the English monarch. Considering the book’s 218 Danish episodes, plus all the extras, it results in a rather hefty volume—364 pages in all.

The spread on pages 156-157 shows a prime example of one of the lovely ladies my grandfather featured—Gertie reproduces nicely in any number of colors! And speaking of lovely ladies, if your preference runs toward more wholesome lasses, pages 300-301 and beyond feature Becky Makepeace, whose story just ran on this blog. (Speaking of which, this is post No. 300! Woo-hoo!).

Following the complete run of three-color Hjemmet episodes, there is a lengthy section of back matter. It touches on some of Kevin’s later adventures, including the transition to “Up Anchor!” and how “Kevin” was repackaged into comic books for numerous foreign markets.

Further spreads highlight Collins’ pre-comics work as an illustrator, the start of his NEA comics career, and the Bible Stories Pictures he created in the mid-1940s for the Methodist Publishing House (among other subjects). The book is very thorough.

While reviewing the book gave my translation app quite a workout, certain words required no explanation, such as “Research,” a bibliography. I will vouch for the source material!


Danish Originals

While researching Kevin’s Danish incarnation, I came across an auction site with 30+ episodes of “Kevin den Tapre” listed, check it out! (Though I’m not sure if they do international shipping). These are the same episodes appearing in the Danish collections. All but one of the listings are for the full-color examples that appeared in Volume 1.


Attention Bibliophiles

The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy,” is available for immediate delivery at a reduced price; it features the entire run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA feature.

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 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 ONLY $20! For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, add $25 for first class shipping. To place an order, leave a comment below or email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal information.

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