Kevin den Tapre 1951-1955

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I recently received a copy of “Kevin den Tapre 1951–1955” from its publisher, Anders Hjorth-Jørgensen. His company, Forlaget desAHJn, has just released a beautiful volume of “Kevin the Bold” sourced from comics translated into Danish for the weekly magazine Hjemmet

This volume represents the first half of the comic strip’s nearly decade-long run in the magazine (and word has it that a second volume is planned that will feature the remaining comics). Initially, I thought the book’s title contained a typo. While the comics inside originally appeared in Sunday papers from 1950–1954, the book’s title refers to the dates when they appeared in Hjemmet

It has a great piece of promotional art to accompany its Forord (Preface), and yours truly is even thanked on its copyright page. (Aside to Mr. Hjorth-Jørgensen, Det er min fornøjelse! Please excuse my broken Danish).

While translating Danish is painstakingly slow for me, I can see that the layout is very nice; the Preface includes original art from Collins’ three NEA features, “Mitzi McCoy,” “Up Anchor!,” and “Kevin the Bold,” and the spread featuring “Up Anchor!” has some nautically-themed art accompanying it, a nice touch.

The book, over 200 pages long, is about the size of a half-tabloid comic. Its comics have great quality color, and it is obvious that much care was taken as the book was readied for print. By my count, there are 175 complete, original episodes—over three and a half years’ worth.

Many of the book’s images are familiar to me, and I am happy to have been a source for some of them. When I started this blog its aim was to raise my grandfather’s profile, and I am thrilled to see that it has done that. Leafing through the book, I am reminded of the expression, “it’s like looking at pictures of my children”—when in fact, many of the pictures are of my grandparents.

The book includes a long epilogue focusing on my grandfather’s early career as a painter, when he produced many landscapes, portraits and murals. I’m not sure what the price of the book is, but the ordering instructions suggest sending an email to desahjn@mail.dk to find out how to get a copy.

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Also available!

Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures, September 5, 1954 to June 2, 1957” contains over 140 episodes of this rollicking, witty and dramatic lost Sunday comics classic! This volume startes up about a dozen episodes after “Kevin den Tapre” ends.

With elegant artwork and smart storytelling by creator Kreigh Collins, KEVIN THE BOLD blends swordplay, suspense, humor and history in a rugged, highly appealing blend! Sourced from rare syndicate proofs and are reproduced in crisp black and white, the volume contains 14 complete story arcs. (Please note: three of the book’s 145 episodes were scanned from Sunday comics).

Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures, September 5, 1954 to June 2, 1957” is available on Amazon.


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

Happy Fifth!

Kreigh circa 1970 72

Today I am celebrating the fifth anniversary of this blog. I started it in order to raise my grandfather’s profile, and to try to help create a bit of a market for the book I was putting together, “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins: The Complete Mitzi McCoy.” At its onset, I had no idea how long I would keep the blog going, but at this point—about two years after the Mitzi book was published—I have no plans to stop (and I’m not even half-way through the comics my grandfather produced). 

Silver is the contemporary fifth anniversary gift; this seems appropriate for a blog celebrating a cartoonist whose work primarily appeared in comics’ Silver Age. The traditional fifth anniversary gift is wood, meant to symbolize the strength and durability of the bond. So, to all the loyal readers of this blog, thank you very much for your continued interest in Kreigh Collins’ oeuvre.


When I began researching my grandfather’s career, I had no idea his work appeared outside the United States. (I’m not sure he was fully aware, either). I enjoy looking at the statistics WordPress collects—tallies of view and visitors, and the countries people are from—and from the beginning I was surprised at how many readers were from outside the United States. Soon enough I began to discover all kinds of foreign publications that published his work.

KTC MM 1949 Contract

Regarding international rights, I’ll have to peruse this contract more closely next time I’m at the Public Library in Grand Rapids, Mich. And check out the signature—no longhand for Kreigh!

Early on I learned that in addition to their domestic newspapers, NEA also had papers in Canada. And because some of these were based in Québec, the episodes were translated into French.

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From the Free Press Weekly Prairie Farmer (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

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I’m not sure which Montreal newspaper carried this episode of “Kevin l”Audacieux.”

As for actual Sunday comics, with one exception, I have only seen them printed for newspapers in the US and Canada. In most cases, for foreign markets, Collins’ artwork was repurposed into comic books or weekly general interest magazines. I found an interesting two-color reproduction taken from Die Jongspan, a South African weekly magazine for children, which was translated into Afrikaans. This episode of “Kevin Die Dappere” appeared on Valentine’s Day, 1966, about seven moths after its original publication.

KTB 1965 09.12 afrikaans

The next foreign market I discovered for Kreigh’s comics was down under. Several different publishers produced these “Australian Edition” comic books, again featuring both Mitzi and Kevin.

While going through Special Collection #56 at the Grand Rapids Public Library, I found tear sheets of both Mitzi and Kevin comics from Havana, Cuba’s El Mundo newspaper. These tabloid comics are pretty cool, and coming from Cuba, they seemed rather exotic, as political differences had prevented travel between the US and Cuba between 1963 and 2000.

Another hit that came up in my search results was for “Kevin el Denodado,” which I learned was how it was branded in Argentina. The comics ran for several years in the weekly magazine Tit-Bits, which was a tabloid.

Sometimes Kevin was featured on the cover, and at its onset, several episodes were combined into one giant spread. In at least one case, a promotional poster was included. Later, only single episodes appeared inside.

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Scandinavia was another fertile market for Collins’ work. “Kevin den Tapre” ran in Denmark, either in the magazine Hjemmet or possibly in a newspaper.

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I also learned from my friend Anders Hjorth-Jørgensen that his company (Forlaget desAHJn) was in the process of publishing a three-volume “Kevin den Tapre” series.

After hearing about my efforts to publish the “Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Volume 1: Mitzi McCoy,” Asger sent me a Danish comic book in the mail featuring the exploits of Kevin hin Frygtløse.” Asger and some associates have been working on a similar project—reprinting “Willy På Eventyr” (Vol. 5 has since been published, see www.willy-centret.dk).

SM Solo Nr. 23 01 150

Kevin also appeared in a Swedish comic book. In Sweden, he was called “Roland den Djärve.” This comic book was in my grandfather’s collection, so at least he was aware of this one distant fanbase (and possible source of additional income). In addition to running three spreads of Kevin, it featured other comics as well.

At some point I also came across a couple of examples “Haukka” from Finland, although I don’t know the name of the publication in which they ran.

Several other times I have been contacted by people from other countries who were fans of my grandfather’s work. Davide even sent me a couple copies of the Italian weekly Il Nerbiniano. (I paid him back with a copy of the Kevin the Bold collection available on Amazon that was put together by Frank M. Young).

Another friend, Marko, sent scans from a Serbian comic book called Kevin Neustrasivi, One of the issues had a very nice cover, featuring artwork by an unknown Balkan artist.

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The most recent acquaintance I’ve made with a foreign Kreigh Collins fan is Gérard, who sent me scans of French comic books featuring both “Mitzi McCoy” and “Kevin le Hardi“. At this point, I’m not too surprised to hear about more Kevin comic books, but the revelation of a collection featuring my grandfather’s first feature astonished me.

 

The Fantax covers are especially great because the covers, inspired by Collins’ illustrations, were done by the French publisher and artist Pierre Mouchot (who signed his artwork, “Chott”). And While Big Horn didn’t use Kevin on its cover, he does get a mention there.

In commemoration of this blog’s fifth anniversary, I thank its readers for their continued interest in my grandfather’s comics career, and especially my far-flung comics friends who have shared parts of their collections with me..


The Perfect Anniversary Gift!

Nevermind wood or silver—now you can order “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.” directly from me. In addition to the entire run of “Mitzi McCoy,” the book includes the opening sequence of the comic strip “Mitzi” evolved into, “Kevin the Bold.”

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

The book’s price is $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, first class shipping costs $25. (A recent order sent from New Jersey to France took 10 calendar days to be delivered). To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

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 Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, 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.

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150


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

 

Book Report

I am happy to announce that “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy,” is now available directly from me. Upon its 2018 publication, the book was exclusively available on the publisher’s web site. However, some people experienced problems with order fulfillment (including me!)—this was heartbreaking! After all, this project was a labor of love, and after having invested so much time in it, hearing about this situation was particularly vexing—I couldn’t do anything about it.

Mitzi cover final

Because I now have a small inventory of the books, I am offering them for sale—with the promise that orders will be processed as quickly as possible. The cost per book is $30. For domestic shipping, I am charging $4; for international orders, shipping costs $25. To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

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 Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, 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.


Also available!

Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures, September 5, 1954 to June 2, 1957” contains over 140 episodes of this rollicking, witty and dramatic lost Sunday comics classic! With elegant artwork and smart storytelling by creator Kreigh Collins, KEVIN THE BOLD blends swordplay, suspense, humor and history in a rugged, highly appealing blend! Sourced from rare syndicate proofs and are reproduced in crisp black and white, the volume contains 14 complete story arcs. (Please note: three of the book’s 145 episodes were scanned from Sunday comics).

Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures, September 5, 1954 to June 2, 1957” is available on Amazon.


Coming Soon!

Cover v1

I have recently learned that a collection of “Kevin the Bold” episodes is forthcoming in a series of two volumes published by comics luminary Anders Hjorth-Jørgensen of Denmark.

KTB 100151 Denmark Kevin_Hjemmet_1951

“Kevin den Tapre” (Kevin the Brave) appeared in the weekly Danish magazine “Hjemmet” throughout the 1950s, first in color, then in black and white; these comics are the source material of what will be reprinted by Mr. Hjorth-Jørgensen’s publishing company, Forlaget desAHJn.

I will post further information on these books when it becomes available.


Podcast on the Making of “The Complete Mitzi McCoy”

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To learn more about Kreigh Collins, MITZI MCCOY, and how my recent book on Mitzi came together, listen to the interview I did with John Siuntres: “Anatomy of a Comic Strip,” from his long running pop culture audio podcast, Word Balloon.


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

Mad Dash from the Palace

This week’s installment features three third-pages and a throwback half-page.

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In order to help increase Elizabeth’s chances of escaping, Kevin selflessly stays behind to distract the Pasha’s men, who are in pursuit. But he’s not the only one with noble intentions.

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Th episode below marks the 17th anniversary of the debut of “Kevin the Bold”.

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October 1, 1967

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October 1, 1950

To be continued…


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

Great Shakes

Kevin and Smith set to meet the Pasha; they are wise to be leery.

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For the September 3, 1967 episode, I found an image of the original artwork from an online auction; a third-page version follows (minus a hookah and the Pasha’s nefarious thoughts).

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Regrettably, I only have a third-page version of the next episode. (What was illustrated in the bottom tier?!)

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The fact is, this episode has the most cold-blooded killing I can remember from “Kevin,” (but remember, it was Smith who wielded the dagger).

At the time these episodes were running, Kreigh Collins’ comics had been appearing in Sunday sections for 20 years. Adventure strips like “Kevin the Bold” were dying out, victims of the changing times. A vivid sign of the times appeared on the opposite side of the tabloid at the top of this post… groooovy!

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“Gasoline Alley” appeared alongside the advertisement; at the time, it was being handled by Bill Perry. At any rate, the very traditional-looking strip is quite a contrast to the Great Shakes ad.

A couple copies of the record are currently listed on ebay, and it looks pretty sweet. (Judy Hoots at least thought so!)


Need a great holiday gift idea?

(No, not “Shake-Out 2!”) You’d be hard pressed to find a more charming collection of Golden Age comics than The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins: The Complete Mitzi McCoy. 

Drawn and scripted by Kreigh Collins, Mitzi McCoy showcased the artist’s 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 here 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.

Edited and restored by the artist’s grandson, Brian E. Collins, with an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterword by comics columnist Ed Catto, and a new tribute illustration of Mitzi by Butch Guice

Available HERE from Lost Art Books.

Mitzi cover final


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

Vanishing Harbor Gates

Expecting a fight, Kevin is in for a surprise.

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While half-page examples of “Kevin the Bold” are obviously preferable to any other format, it is interesting to see how the strip appeared in other configurations. As in earlier examples, tabloid versions excised a single panel, but in these latter-day episodes, the throwaway wasn’t a small panel in the second tier but a larger one from the bottom.

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Because so many newspapers were running third-page examples of the comic strip, Collins began producing his layouts so that the entire third tier could be deleted. The benefit was that his artwork wouldn’t suffer from having all of its panels cropped, but the drawback was obvious. For this post’s first episode, this would be quite unfortunate. For the following pair of episodes, the results wouldn’t be quite as tragic—but a key plot element’s concise description would be lost.

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Lightly showing through the third-page above is another NEA feature, Jim Berry’s “Berry’s World.” Berry and Collins were friends; Kreigh was gifted a signed original. Its date is unknown, but its subject (president Lyndon B. Johnson) makes it about the same vintage as these episodes of “Kevin.”

Berry's World.jpg

The August 20, 1967 episode revisits the workings of the harbor’s pontoon gates.

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A year later, when “Kevin” morphed into “Up Anchor!”, this problem would be solved more diplomatically. Instead of an expandable third tier, a topper strip (“Water Lore”) would appear. While this solution had less effect on the presentation of the feature comic, it resulted in very few papers running “Up Anchor!” as a half page.

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Need a great holiday gift idea?

I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more charming collection of Golden Age comics than The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins: The Complete Mitzi McCoy. 

Drawn and scripted by Kreigh Collins, Mitzi McCoy showcased the artist’s 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 here 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.

Edited and restored by the artist’s grandson, Brian E. Collins, with an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterword by comics columnist Ed Catto, and a new tribute illustration of Mitzi by Butch Guice

Available HERE from Lost Art Books.

Mitzi cover final


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

Wild Night

While the entire Count del Morte story is short, its episodes are very graphic, and have a storyboard quality—the sequence seems as if it would translate very nicely to live action. Near the end of the comic strip’s run, plans were afoot for a television adaptation; sadly, this never came to fruition.

KTB TV GRP May 1966 QCC

Now back to our story!

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With one of his pursuers no longer a threat, Brett is not yet out of danger.

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The story ends with Kevin admonishing Brett for his carelessness, and neatly segues into a new adventure.


Need a great gift idea?

Call me biased, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find a more charming collection of Golden Age comics than The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins: The Complete Mitzi McCoy. 

Drawn as well as scripted by Collins, Mitzi McCoy showcased the artist’s 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 here 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.

Edited and restored by the artist’s grandson, Brian E. Collins, with an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterword by comics columnist Ed Catto, and a recently-inked tribute illustration of Mitzi by Butch Guice

Available HERE from Lost Art Books.

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

 


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