To commemorate today’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade in Manhattan, here are some more examples from El DIario. I don’t have much information about the newspaper (originally published in San Juan, Puerto Rico), but I learned its NYC edition originated in the late 1940s.
Based on the logo at the top of the page, this must be issue No. 126. I assume that El Diario was a daily, but if so, the “126” is confusing—June 15 is not the 126th day of the year, but the 152nd. “126” also doesn’t make sense if the paper was published six times a week—then it would be issue No. 141. in KEVIN EL AUDAZ, “–126–” is inscribed in the final panel, to the right of the usual NEA date identifier “6-15”. I don’t recall where I got this image, but I do have a hard copy of the 8-page comic section from El Diario No. 127, which follows. It is comprised of three NEA strips and five from United Features.
The action in KEVIN EL AUDAZ continues from the previous episode, and El Diario’s identification number is again inscribed in the final panel along with NEA’s “6-22”.
The second page has the United Features Syndicate’s title FERD’NAND (by Mik, AKA Henning Dahl Mikkelsen).
I don’t see a “–127–” label, but the final panel does have “7–13,” which seems to indicate a date (July 13, 1952 was a Sunday). Being unfamiliar with FERD’NAND, I wonder if this episode ran early?
Page 3 featured another United Features Syndicate title, DORITA, originally Ernie Bushmiller’s FRITZI RITZ.
DORITA is labelled with both a “127” and “July 13.” Next up, page 4 has NEA’s Spanish version of CHRIS WELKIN, PLANETEER (written by Russ Winterbotham and drawn by Art Sansom). CRISTOBAL TROTAMUNDOS DEL ESPACIO is labelled “6-22” and “–127–”.
VIC FLINT (Michal O’Malley and Dean Miller), on the fifth page, has the labels “6-29” (?) and “–127–”.
This is followed by the Spanish version of Raeburn Van Buren’s ABBIE AN’ SLATS (“7-13” and “–127–”).
That’s an interesting episode—I wish I could read Spanish! It is followed by EL CHIQUITO ABNER (Al Capp), also labelled “7-13” and “–127–”.
Running on the back page of the section was Warren Tufts’ CASEY RUGGLES, another United Features Syndicate title, also labelled “7-13” and “–127–”.
With all the 7-13 labels, I wonder if the section was actually from July, since only the NEA strips had June dates either 6-22 or 6-29). If any readers have better information on El DIario, please leave a comment. As I like to mention, I am no comics expert, and please accept my apologies for any mistakes I make.
While the publication dates are confusing, I think the publisher of El DIario clearly made the right call on which comic strip to feature on the front page of its comic section.
Over the summer, I came across a new outlet for KEVIN THE BOLD—El DIario, a newspaper that featured a Spanish translation called KEVIN EL AUDAZ. I wasn’t immediately able to find any publishing information for El DIario, and I wondered if it could be from Mexico City.
I’ve been collecting my grandfather’s comics for quite some time, and the related digital files on my computer are fairly organized, yet with all their different sources, sometimes things get… well not quite lost, but it’s a great feeling when they’re rediscovered (“so that’s where I saved it!”). That was how I felt when I came across a couple images from El Mundo (Havana, Cuba), also featuring KEVIN EL AUDAZ. OK, so these newspapers both ran the Spanish version of KEVIN.
While doing further research on El Diario, I learned it was originally published in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and a New York City edition appeared sometime after the end of World War II. A tip from a colleague led to my acquisition of a couple El Diario comic sections.
Because of the Spanish, It brought to mind KEVIN EL DENODADO (from Argentina’s Tit-Bits magazine), but I soon noticed differences between the two. For one thing, Tit-Bits ran KEVIN episodes about 15 months after their original publication date, whereas El Diario’s episodes appeared in a newspaper and were current. Not only that, but the translations differed, as the corresponding Tit-Bits version (below) shows.
The rest of the June 8, 1952 comic section follows. While I don’t have the entire section from Havana’s El Mundo, it also features the United Features Syndicate’s title FERD’NAND on the second page, behind KEVIN. Silent comics such as this were an obvious choice for markets with different languages, and it’s interesting to note that the window advertisement in the first panel wasn’t translated (especially since the strip originated in Denmark, and was created by Mik, AKA Henning Dahl Mikkelsen).
Page 3 featured another United Features Syndicate title, DORITA, originally Ernie Bushmiller’s FRITZI RITZ.
On Page 4 was NEA’s Spanish version of CHRIS WELKIN, PLANETEER (written by Russ Winterbotham and drawn by Art Sansom), and more NEA material followed, with Vic Flint on page 5.
Two more features from Unite Features were up next, the Spanish version of ABBIE AN’ SLATS (Raeburn Van Buren) and Al Capp’s EL CHIQUITO ABNER.
Running on the back page of the section was Warren Tufts’ CASEY RUGGLES, another United Features Syndicate title.
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.
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.
From the Free Press Weekly Prairie Farmer (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
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 months after its original publication.
The next foreign market I discovered for Kreigh’s comics was down under. Several differentpublishers 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 magazineTit-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.
Scandinavia was another fertile market for Collins’ work. “Kevin den Tapre” ran in Denmark, either in the magazine Hjemmet or possibly in a newspaper.
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).
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 IlNerbiniano. (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.
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—grab a copy of “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.” 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.”
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.
For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.
Tit-Bits was a British weekly with origins in the late 19th century. An Argentinian version was created in 1909, and among its pages, Spanish translations of American comics were featured.
Measuring 10.5″ x 13.5″, the 24-page, tabloid-sized magazine had full-color covers, and the interior was a mixture of black and white and color pages.
“Kevin the Bold” made its Tit-Bits debut in issue No. 2232, published on April 1, 1952. Retitled Kevin el Denodado, its adventure theme fit in nicely with the other comics the magazine featured. In addition to appearing on the cover, “Kevin” also ran on the inside spread. The other comics in this issue were Spanish versions of “Big Ben Bolt,” by John Cullen Murphy (Ben Bolt Campeón), “Rusty Riley” by Frank Godwin (Rusty Riley, Aprendiz de Jockey), “Terry and the Pirates” by Milt Caniff (Terry, el Piloto), and Dr. Nicholas P. Dallis’ “Rex Morgan, MD” (Rex Morgan, Médico). Sometimes the comics ran on full pages, and in other cases there was editorial content wrapping around them.
In all the copies I have seen of Tit-Bits, comics were featured on both the second page and facing the table of contents (page 3). The other comics appeared at random intervals throughout and generally ran in black and white.
On the other hand, the new comic found on the magazine’s center spread ran in color. Not only that, but this massive 21″ x 13.5″ image was made by combining three separate episodes into one.
It actually begins with the final episode of “Mitzi McCoy,” and continues with the first two episodes of “Kevin the Bold.” This composite comic was constructed from tabloid versions of the original—each of the three throwaway panels are missing—and the visuals of the third and fourth panels are reversed, with the dialog remaining in its original position (I guess the NEA’s Ernest “East” Lynn wasn’t the only fussy comics editor in the western hemisphere!)
As a comparison, here are the original versions of the spread’s three comics (September 24, October 1, and October 8, 1950).
Tit-Bits continued running episodes of Kevin el Denodado for at least three years. A single episode ran in each of the five issues following No. 2232, and then another three-comic combination graced the center spread of issue No. 2238, dated May 13, 1952. As was the case with the Menomonee Falls Gazette, the Tit-Bits cover images rotated based on the comics featured inside. From what I can tell from my small collection, Tit-Bits kept publishing “Kevin” episodes sequentially, possibly skipping a story arc, or occasionally running them in a different order.
“Mitzi McCoy” does not seem to have been featured in Tit-Bits, and the only case I have seen of that comic strip having been translated into Spanish appeared in Havana, Cuba’s “El Mundo” Sunday edition.
“El Mundo de Mitzi McCoy,” May 21, 1950.
Lost in Translation
The action featured in the epic “Kevin the Bold” comic above appears near the tail end of my book, “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy.” The book features all 99 episodes of “Mitzi McCoy” as well as the ensuing 12 “Kevin the Bold” adventures that following the “Mitzi”‘s transition to “Kevin”. While there are no immediate plans to translate the book into Spanish, it’s pretty awesome in its original English, if I do say so myself.