A Young Man’s Fancy

Her interest piqued, Tom Chiswick has made a fine impression on Miss Makepeace, and she’s shocked to see what unfolds.

Tom is bewildered. Jumped by thugs, one of whom was Pedro, and set upon by a master swordsman, revealed to be Kevin. Then, following an explanation, the tables turn as someone makes a strong impression on him.

Things are moving quickly, yet they are about to speed up. And with Spring in the air…

Without a nice half-page for the June 28 episode, a third-page example combined with a black-and-white velox proof will have to suffice—not bad! And it shows how much of the original illustration was lost when it was edited.

With an abrupt answer to his question, Tom is dispatched. Only later does Becky confront the feelings she has for her suitor.

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

Kevin vs. the Spanish Armada Redux

At this blog’s onset, I didn’t have a clear plan, other than the general idea of trying to raise my grandfather’s profile. The first several posts introduced Kreigh Collins’ three NEA Service features, and the next few entries covered some generalities. I was fortunate to stumble upon the (rather obvious) idea of posting on Sundays, and I soon learned that one weekly post would be plenty. Eventually it dawned on me to post complete story arcs over the span of several weeks. With an ample inventory from which to pick, I decided on a lengthy chapter near the midpoint of Kevin the Bold‘s run. 

At the time, the only examples I had of this particular chapter were one-third page versions, but I proceeded anyway—it seemed like a solid example of one of Kevin’s adventures. Five-plus years later, I’ve run about half the episodes my grandfather created, and there’s still plenty to choose from. Nonetheless, I thought revisiting this particular sequence might be a good idea, since I recently acquired half page examples of 16 of the 19 episodes.

As the prior episode transitions to a new story, two new characters are introduced—wealthy shipbuilder Thatcher Makepeace and his Becky, his lovely daughter.

The chapter shows hallmarks of not being written by Collins, but there is plenty of fantastic artwork to come.

Alas, Mr. Makepeace doesn’t realize the spunkiness of his gently-raised little girl. They grow up so fast!

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

Le Casseur

“Mitzi McCoy” was featured in several of Pierre Mouchot‘s French comic book titles—first in Fantax, then in Robin des Bois, Le Casseur, and P’tit Gars. In all, about ⅔ of Mitzi’’s episodes appeared in Mouchot’s titles. Le Caseur, featuring Big Bill, had the longest run of the four, with Mitzi appearing in 20 issues (Nos. 32–51). As with the case of most (all?) of the others, an episode (or more) started inside and concluded on the back cover. I haven’t seen interiors of Le Casseur, but I was able to track down a bunch of the covers (with guidance from my friend Gérard).

The examples above show episodes that came from the third and fourth chapters of “Mitzi McCoy.”

If you’re curious how these look in English (and in full color!), see below for information on how to order “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.” 

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Happy Easter!

In 1956, NEA offered an illustration for subscribing newspapers to run on Easter Sunday (or in the case of the reproduction shown here, for the Grand junction, Colorado Daily Sentinel, on Saturday, March 31). Kreigh Collins’ illustration ran in full color, which was a rare occasion (outside of the papers’ Sunday comics). My apologies that I don’t have a color example to show.

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Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

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.

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

Crawling from the Wreckage

A hasty plan has placed Kevin and Pedro in peril.

Both Kevin and Pedro appear doomed in their rescue effort, as Kevin is attacked and Pedro nearly crushed. While supporting the crumbling pier, somehow Pedro is able to cut Glenn loose, allowing him to crawl away.

In his attempt to avoid Kevin, Captain Steele’s carelessness brings the whole wharf down, entombing him. It’s a familiar way for Kevin’s enemies to go, victims of their own demise.

The story ends abruptly, without showing a mother-child reunion, and quickly transitions to the next chapter.

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

A Cry for Help

While Glenn is still held captive, his worried mother calls on Kevin to help find him.

I don’t have a color half-page example of the October 26, 1958 episode, but the reverse side of this black and white proof has an interesting detail. Normally, pencilled on the back of these prooofs were instructions from NEA boss Ernest Lynn for his secretary (e.g., “Kreigh Collins Airmail”), but this one reads “Kreigh Collins Airmail – Macatawa,” indicating that Collins and his family were spending the summer sailing in northern Michigan—Lake Macatawa was a favorite spot, and Collins used local Post Offices for general delivery during summers spent aboard his boat, as he continued his work assignments. With episodes readied about three months before publication, that meant that delivery of this proof took place in late July, 1958, the third summer Collins and his family sailed aboard their schooner Heather.

Poor, frightened Glenn cries out again, but this time Kevin and Pedro are within earshot.

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

Glenn Enclosed

The September 28, 1958 episode has a rare example of Kevin boldly demonstrating the facepalm.

Glenn is shown to be quite a precocious young fella, but his curiosity poses some risk.

As Pedro’s character develops, he is shown indulging in his favorite pastime; meanwhile, poor Glenn is out of the frying pan but into the fire.

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

Introducing Pedro

As a mid-1958 storyline transitions to a new chapter, a new, recurring character is introduced.

A mountain of a man, Pedro would continue to play a large roll in Kevin’s adventures over the final decade of the comic strip’s run. Pedro even made the jump when “Kevin” morphed into “Up Anchor!,” continuing his supporting roll during the 3.5-year run of Collins’ final NEA feature. Friends like that are hard to find, and I would like to thank my friend Arnaud for providing most of these scans from Pedro’s introductory sequence.

As the story unfolds, some new characters are introduced—the first is swordsman/card cheat Captain Steele—I’m thinking he’s going to be the villain…

…Call me Kreskin! Another new face is that of little Glenn. In real life, Glen is one of Kreigh Collins’ four sons, the oldest of twins born when Kreigh and wife Theresa were in their mid-40s. (Glen’s twin is named Kevin). Glenn is a handsome little fella, as is his namesake—though Uncle Glen now more closely resembles Pedro in size. Here Glenn and Kevin meet cute as Captain Steele flees the scene of a crime.

Although this is Pedro’s first appearance in the comic strip, he and Kevin are well acquainted previously, and their story continues next week…

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

Sunday, August 14, 1949

Here is another Sunday Times Mirror section I acquired while putting together The Complete Mitzi McCoy. There are fewer ads than usual—if the Mirror’s ad sales department was slacking off, that just meant more full-page episodes and fewer half-tabloids. As usual, Ham Fisher’s “Joe Palooka” leads off, followed by Milt Caniff’s “Steve Canyon” and “Mickey Finn,” by Lank Leonard. Next up is “Kerry Drake,” by Alfred Andriola/Allen Saunders and Frank Miller’s “Barney Baxter in the Air,” with each page filled out with a few $2 bills of play money. Harry Hanand’s silent comic “Louie,” and “Superman” by Wayne Boring (and likely Stan Kaye) follow.

Next, Merrill Blossar’s “Freckles and His Friends” shares a page with an ad for Camel filtered cigarettes—the ad features the then-famous aerialist Antoinette Concello. Ms. Concello offers a testimonial to the mild, good-tasting cancer sticks, but I think she likes them because they soothe her nerves. (I don’t care if she performed over a net, I’d need something at least as strong to calm down after running through that routine!). The facing page features the comic strip that inspired me to plunk down my money for this section—a full page “Mitzi McCoy” episode (a nice change from the usual half-tabloids that ran in the Mirror). This August 14 episode is the penultimate installment of the fifth chapter of “Mitzi” and features the NEA’s typical footer—mugshots of the syndicate’s lead characters.

Next up, “Rex Morgan, MD” by Bradley and Edgington (with a nice, custom footer), and “Boots” by Martin, sharing the page with an ad for Colgate Dental Cream. Sometimes the ads in these old sections are charming, but this one is pretty obnoxious (and typical of the era). Roy Crane’s “Captain Easy” (drawn here by Walt Scott?) and V.T. Hamlin’s “Alley Oop” share the next page, followed by “Henry” by Carl Anderson. While “Captain Easy” and “Alley Oop” get the NEA footer, “Henry” features more play money, this time it’s big money—sawbucks! (I wonder if any kids ever cut these out? If so, then “Mickey Finn,” “Louie,” and “Bobby Sox” paid the price by being on the flip side). Two more split pages follow, “The Flop Family” by Swan with “Bobby Sox” by Marty Links, and “Out Our Way featuring the Willets,” by J.R. Williams, and “Our Boarding House.”

Taking its usual spot on the back cover is “Lil’ Abner” by Al Capp.


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About that Strip on Page 9…

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, 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 Verdict Is In!

Sally’s plan is foiled and Kevin and Andrew are outnumbered.

Kevin has been snared in a noose, yet it’s Sally who sets a trap for her father. Kevin quickly follows her lead.

Andrew is the last one to realize what has played out, but they’re not out of the woods yet. (Literally! Recall they are trapped in a small thicket).

After a dramatic pause, Sir Bernard (Sally’s father) caves in to his daughter, giving the lovebirds permission to marry, and the strip transitions to the next storyline. One minor note is the use of photostats to illustrate Kevin’s rapier in the fourth panel of the December 30, 1962 episode, and in the fifth panel of January 13, 1963. This time-saver became a somewhat frequent tool for Collins in episodes after the comic strip’s logo was updated on April 30, 1961. (The photostats are the same size as the logo’s rapier).

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

Kevin Plays Cupid

Dressed in the clothes of the henchmen hired by Sally’s father, Kevin goes about his plan.

The plan goes off, but with a hitch—Sally has been identified. Plus, they have bigger a problem.

Not only has Sally packed a beautiful wedding gown, but plenty of confidence as well. It will be needed, in the face of this adversity! Here are black-and-white versions of the original half-page episodes.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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