Tom Mix Nr. 3 (1953)

Released only a week after its predecessor, TOM MIX Nr. 3 featured a ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE-themed cover. The cover illustration was based on the evocative splash panel that introduced ROLAND back in TOM MIX Nr. 1; actually, the splash panel originally appeared as the last panel in the final episode of MITZI McCOY.

Positioned as usual on the inside front cover were two episodes of UGH, adorned with magic markers by a young Swedish artist (reminiscent of other collaborations I have seen). As usual, the body of the comic book was kicked off by a mock-up of a newspaper’s front page.

TOM MIX runs across three spreads, followed by the recurring feature De Dog Med Stövlama På (“They Died with their Boots On”), which profiled the old west gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok.

Nine pages of BUFFALO BILL followed, plus a promotion offering “a half million in Christmas money” to those who would sell Christmas magazines (“and make good money for Christmas”), and a contest to identify horsemen (I’m pretty sure Nr. 3 is Roland).

Next up was ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE. The action picks up where it left off in TOM MIX Nr. 2, with the episode that originally appeared on December 3, 1950. As usual, the comic book publisher created their own color separations, and a notable change is made to the color of Roland’s hair—he’s now a blond! (A detail I missed in the first two issues of the comic book. However, it’s not the first time Kevin was shown with flaxen locks).

An interesting modification to Kreigh Collins’ original artwork appeared in the fourth panel of page 24 (necessary due to the translation into Swedish). Before escaping, Roland marks Bull Blackie, using his sword to cut the letter “F” into his tormentor’s face. Diving overboard, he shouts, Du har förrädarnas märke “F” i ansiktet min vän! (“You have the mark of the traitor’s “F” on your face my friend!”). In the original version, Kevin carves a “T” in Bull Blackie’s face and leaves him with the more concise parting shot, “T stands for traitor!”

The savior of Castle McCoy, Roland is rewarded with a claymore and is knighted as Roland den Djärve. Soon, he is reunited with his mentor.

After the equivalent of four Sunday episodes—Kevin/Roland’s introductory chapter concludes. Following the third installment of the Roland contest, it’s time for LASH LaRUE.

On the inside back cover, Amerikas Upptäckare (“America’s Discoverer”) Christopher Columbus is given credit (though this is debatable). Nonetheless, Columbus’ portrait is featured on the back cover.


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

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.

Tom Mix Nr. 1 (1953)

With a release date of September 11, 1953, TOM MIX Nr. 1 was the first of 18 comic books to carry the Swedish version of KEVIN THE BOLD (ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE). As hyped on the cover, the issues ran in color (mostly!) The covers were nicely printed on slightly heavier paper stock than the interior pages; oddly, the inside front and back covers only ran in black and white. The 6-3/4″ x 10-3/16″ comic book is 36 pages long.

This repackaged version (ROLAND) appeared about three years after KEVIN’s initial newspaper run, and wasn’t the first time Kreigh Collins’ comics appeared in Sweden. Nine months earlier, the weekly magazine Allas Veckotidning started running episodes of ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE.

TOM MIX Nr. 1 was part of a wonderful gift from my friend Roger—18 comic books spanning ROLAND’s complete run. Having previously seen the 17th comic book in the series, I was familiar with UGH, the silent comic appearing on the inside front cover (I think it’s growing on me?) Facing it is an introduction modeled after a newspaper’s front page. This is immediately followed by the title comic, TOM MIX (possibly illustrated by Carl Pfeufer).

After the four TOM MIX spreads, a new feature is introduced—along with a contest. I wasn’t able to make out much of the text, and page 12 is very nicely composed, but what caught my eye were the illustrations on page 13, done by an unknown Swedish artist.

Roger graciously translated the text—page 12 reads as follows:

Giant Tom Mix competition
Hail, noble knight!  All brave and courageous men who can wield a two-handed sword as deftly as they wield their quill pen are invited to join my cruise! We intend to visit unknown shores, inhabited by heathens and Moors far away from our Ireland. Strange adventures await… We will reach ten different coasts on the journey, which you can follow in our cartoon log book. Unfortunately, our scribe is an uneducated chap and doesn’t know the names of all the places we sail past. Therefore, it is up to you to guess where each stage ends, guided by our drawings and scant text. If you manage to win one or more stages, you may travel to Ireland, my home country, and spend a week among my relatives on “The Green Island”!  The first stage begins on the next page. Where did we get to on our first leg?
Welcome aboard!

Page 13 includes the contest’s questions:

Cruising with Roland

First log book sheet  
1. Autumn had arrived in Ireland. All stores were on board when rain and windstorms whipped off the trees’ golden leaves, forming a thick carpet on the deck the day we sailed from the island of our birth.  

The trip has now been going on for a week. A storm forced us to seek shelter yesterday. We did not understand the language of the local people. We were passing the southern tip of the country. A high rock island.  

Shortly after we sailed through the strait, we were attacked by pirates. They were dressed like Arabs.  

Another week passed. We approached a country populated by heroic men and women.  

Arab horsemen attacked us. We sailed away… Like Odysseus, muttered Roland. What was the country?  

Submit your answer to “Cruising with Roland” before September 25!

Following the Roland den Djärve teaser spread were seven pages of BUFFALO BILL. Next up was ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE!

ROLAND’s seven pages were sourced from three original Sunday episodes, minus their throwaway panels. The illustrations were given new color schemes, and avoided the occasional two- or three-color treatments that appeared in some of the originals’ panels. The original episodes, as printed in the Chicago Sunday Tribune, can be found here. Interestingly, the action starts with the third KEVIN THE BOLD episode—I guess the first two are seen as a transition away from Collins’ first strip, MITZI McCOY.

Following ROLAND were seven pages featuring Lash LaRue, and on the inside back cover was a short story about Native Americans’ use of smoke signals called “The Prairie Telegraph.”

An ad promoting upcoming TOM MIX issues appeared on the back cover. Also mentioned were a series that would run on those future issues’ back covers, “Famous Men and their Accomplishments,” plus another mention of the ROLAND DEN DJÄRVE trip to Ireland contest (was this a real prize?!)


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

Don’t Call Her Mistress

The ominous footsteps heard by Marie belong to none other than Jaques, the thuggish bodyguard she has chosen.

Original artwork for the January 8, 1967 episode.

Well! That’s quite a twist on the old trope of the caveman clubbing a woman and dragging her back to his cave!

Marie’s fears are well-founded!

Jacques meets an unsavory end as the story concludes, and Saigen reappears as the audience for Kevin’s tale of the Norman Conquest, featuring his flaxen-haired ancestor.

The end of the chapter has arrived, but there are still 20 pages left in BIBLIOTEKA LALE — BROJ 174, most of which is filled with a military comic. I was curious to see who were the good guys and who was the enemy—after all, Yugoslavia was behind the iron curtain in 1968, when the comic book was published.

The series, apparently called “Partisan Ingenuity,” featured two episodes—the first of which was titled “Saboteur.” I had assumed the good guy was a Soviet soldier plotting against the Nazis. The saboteur was in fact a member of the Yugoslavian resistance. In real life, these partisans were led by Josip Broz Tito, who later became President of Yugoslavia. In the comic book, the saboteur is shown plotting against the fascists, and his mission is a smashing success. I was surprised to learn that Tito had in fact severed ties with Moscow in 1948, and by 1968, civic protests were erupting in cities, similar to what was happening in Paris and elsewhere. So, this comic basically served as nationalistic propaganda, much like Captain America and Sergeant Rock did in the USA.

The last couple of pages featured gag comics, and the back cover seemed to be hawking Disney product knock-offs.


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

A Girl in Love

Things are going terribly for the “Saxon Dogs,” and especially so for Kevin Cardiff.

Marie must have inherited her tenderness from her mother—her father, D’Este, is shown to be a cold-hearted opportunist.

While Marie still has tender feelings for her erstwhile Sea God, Kevin knows only bitterness.

Having laid eyes on the man she loves, Marie comes up with an outlandish rescue plan.

To be continued…


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

Love Your Enemy

Kevin and Marie have both experienced the sensation of love at first sight, but it’s complicated—Kevin thinks she has forsaken him.

Dealing with mixed emotions, Kevin makes his escape. (The panels from the Yugoslavian comic book are shown below).

Even as she watches her newfound infatuation bolt, Marie continues to help him.

Meanwhile, back in England, King Harold is unaware of the real danger he faces.

The December 11, 1966 episode is a wonderful example of Kreigh Collins’ skills as a cartoonist—the beautiful illustrations are filled with kinetic action and topped off with a historical tidbit found during his research of the subject matter.

The panel with the historical embroidery is also included in the Yugoslavian comic book.

To be continued…


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

Speaking of Flashbacks

Because the Yugolsavian comic book “BIBLIOTEKA LALE — BROJ 174” began with the third episode of the Norman Conquest chapter, some action at the beginning of the chapter is missing. And since the Norman Conquest story predates the action in KEVIN THE BOLD by a good five centuries, let’s back up a bit and take a look at the two omitted episodes to get a better handle on the events at the onset of the story arc.

The first several episodes (including the first two, below) used the standard KEVIN THE BOLD logo, but by the fourth episode, the title “Story of the Norman Conquest” was added just above the logo. The entire episode ran over 14 weeks, of which I have color 11 half-pages. Unfortunately, the opener is not one of them.

Poor Kevin Cardiff! The lad is out for a sail, dreaming of Saucy foreign gals, when a storm hits, his boat is ruined, and he is set upon by a couple of murderous thugs.

But the beautiful French of his dreams exists, and she quickly takes a shine to Kevin.

The action in the Yugoslavian comic book picks up after this episode (from October 30, 1966)

Lovely Marie certainly resembles Kevin the Bold’s first love, Moya McCoy, and the belle fille even steals a play from Moya’s playbook—with similarly disastrous results.

Sacrebleu! Marie is also taking fashion tips from Moya! I guess that green dress is timeless.


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

Biblioteka Lale — Broj 174

I recently wrote about a wonderful Christmas present I received from my friend Roger in Sweden—another awesome gift I received over the holiday season was sent by a friend in Serbia. Marko sent me scans of a KEVIN THE BOLD comic book published in the former Yugoslavia, likely from the early 1970s.

According to Marko, Biblioteka Lale was a magazine published by in the town of Gornji Milanovac, near Belgrade (now part of Serbia). It was released by Dečje novine, the largest comic book publisher in Yugoslavia. Besides this one, issue numbers 160, 180, and 206 also included Croatian translations of KEVIN THE BOLD.

Appearing on the first 46 pages of the comic book, Issue 174 features the entire “Story of the Norman Conquest” chapter, which originally ran from November, 1966 until January, 1967. Some other interesting comics in the rear portion of the comic book.

The first time I saw these Sunday comics I was confused—Kevin had blond hair! Because my collection was incomplete, I missed the fact that the chapter was a flashback, and the blond Kevin was an ancestor of Kreigh Collins’ protagonist.

The timeframe of the Norman Conquest preceded the action in KEVIN THE BOLD by about five centuries.

For a late-period episode, the illustration work is inspired, and the meeting of Marie and Kevin (Cardiff) is reminiscent of the one between Moya McCoy and Kevin (the Bold) from the comic strip’s debut chapter.

At this late stage in KEVIN THE BOLD’s existence, remember that the entire third tier of panels was absent from the more common third-page version—such a shame!

To be continued…


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