Finding new foreign versions of KEVIN THE BOLD is exciting, but someone else doing the research and taking the time to send me scans of a new incarnation of Kevin is incredible. A huge thank you to my friend Arnaud from the Netherlands, who sent me scans of an entire comic book. In addition to the images, Arnaud provided me with a load of background information on the other comics included, for which I am also grateful.
Sjors No. 45 was published in November, 1968, and this issue is likely the only one to feature Kreigh Collins’ hero, renamed KEVIN O’KELLY for the Dutch market. I always wonder if my grandfather was aware of these overseas publications, but no doubt he would have had a particular fondness for this one. Kreigh’s wife, Theresa, was born in Michigan, but her parents had both emigrated from the Netherlands c. 1900. The envelope of a mid-1940’s Christmas card from Kreigh to “Teddy” didn’t have her name on it, but had an illustration of a pair of wooden shoes.
The comic book’s cover illustration was created by Bert Bus, a Dutch comic legend who specialized in science fiction comics (CLIFF RENDALL, 1963–1965; and LANCE BARTON, 1967–1968). Outside of the Netherlands, he is known only for his take on ROBOT ARCHIE, originally a British comic strip. Besides the four spreads featuring KEVIN O’KELLY, Sjors No. 45 featured about a dozen other comic titles, plus a couple of extras, a “Parade of Stars” that featured current music acts, a page on sports cars, and a crossword puzzle.
I dig the Electric Prunes, but wasn’t familiar with the Eddysons (a bubblegum pop group from Rotterdam with at least one charming music video) or David Garrick, a British musician who achieved some success in Germany and the Netherlands (his video is also pretty sweet).
KEVIN O’KELLY begins on page 4, and consists of 13 KEVIN THE BOLD episodes from early 1966, condensed somewhat to fit a comic book format.
Much of the original artwork for late-period KEVIN THE BOLD is included Syracuse University Library’s Special Collections Research Center, including most of the episodes featured in Sjors No. 45.
I have not yet featured this story arc so these colorful Dutch renderings will have to suffice for now.
Besides the editing done by resequencing and eliminating certain panels, another difference is the elimination of any monochromatic or two-tone panels that widely appeared in the originals. The result is a much more colorful story presentation.
The March 13, 1966 episode features the splash panel that inspired Bert Bus’ cover illustration. That episode also includes a nasty bit of violence by the thuggish Gar against the lovely Nancy—but fear not, soon enough the brave lass gets sweet revenge with a small sledge hammer.
Next up is a version of BILLY BUTNER, by the British cartoonist Reg Parlett, renamed BILLIE TURF for the Dutch market, and a host of other comics for which I have no background information.
The final spread, above, contains the comic book’s titular comic, the Dutch version of Martin Branner’s PERRY WINKLE. Originally titled SJORS, the name changed to SJORS EN SJIMMIE when the Black character Sjimmie was added to the strip. Unfortunately, Sjimmie was originally drawn as a racial stereotype, but a year later (1969), his appearance changed so that it was less offensive.
The back cover featured SKIPPY DE KANGOEROE, who apparently knew how to surf.
Thanks again to Arnaud for the scans and background information, and apologies for this hastily-written post.
For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.