Starting in 1936, Kreigh Collins’ syndicate, NEA, produced special Christmas strips. A complete list of the titles and artists can be found here. In 1965, Collins’ creation “Legends of Christmas” was featured.
The first two episodes were stand-alones; they were followed by the two stories mentioned in the blurb above.
Running in various small-market papers that were typical for NEA clients, the “Legends of Christmas” comics are rather curious, and despite their yuletide theme, there was room to squeeze in a little anti-Soviet Cold War-era commentary (December 8). Take that, Brezhnev!
The final story of Collins’ “Legends of Christmas” featured an easier-to-follow legend. It starred Peter, a young boy trying to care for his ailing mother while his father was away.
Game of Thrones ended, big deal. No one seemed happy with the last season (especially the ending), so why not get your fix of medieval-style adventure with “Kevin the Bold?” It has all the action, thrills, and drama of the TV show, and it’s 100% incest-free. It is as beautifully depicted as GoT, but sorry—no dragons.
Here, the villains aren’t White Walkers and the army of the dead, but descendants of other evil beings—members of the armies of Attila the Hun and Genghis Kahn. They are led by a ruthless Russian usurper named Sarrov. With these comics appearing as the Cold War intensified, my guess is that the name Sarrov was derived from “Soviet Russia.”
Although Nikita Khrushchev wasn’t known to wear a big, furry hat with a skull emblem, what Sarrov states in the fourth panel was the general fear of many westerners. As Kevin visits his friend King Rupert, he learns that the king is wary of Russian interference in his peaceful kingdom.
Parallels to modern-day events are found in the September 12 episode, as Sarrov outlines his plans to destabilize Europe.
Unable to refuse his friend’s request, Kevin sets off for Muscovy. En route, he finds some outcasts with whom he sympathizes, and yet another in need of his help.
The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins
The Cold War hadn’t yet started when “Mitzi McCoy” was appearing in Sunday comics sections, the prevailing mood found in the comic is that of post-war optimism. Discover its charm in the first-ever collection of Kreigh Collins’ debut comic strip, 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.