Generally set in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Kevin the Bold can be labelled as historical fiction, with its early story arcs and characters being Kreigh Collins’ brainchildren.
After a couple of years, famous historical figures started appearing—sometimes as ancillary characters, and at other times being more integral to the action. The first of these was Leonardo da Vinci, who made a couple of brief appearances in 1952. (Da Vinci would make another memorable cameo in 1967, in one of Kevin’s final adventures).
The historical figure most appearing frequently was King Henry VIII; in the September 24, 1961 episode he appears along with a mention of a noted portraitist of the era, (Hans) Holbein the Elder .
In 1964, a young William Shakespeare was a central character, and a few years later Captain John Smith figured prominently.
King Henry first appeared in 1956, and that entire sequence will run over the next few Sundays. The tone of this story arc is different than most of what had preceded it, and it is likely that Kreigh Collins was extensively using other’s scripts for the first time. In between the more historical storylines (with King Henry, Shakespeare, etc.), Collins’ own chapters become easier to spot. This change in direction was caused in part by burn out. According to wife Theresa’s oral history, “Kreigh was always trying to think up the next story. It was the equivalent of writing a full novel every ten weeks.” Giving up the writing likely meant a cut in pay but with the overall ascendance of “Kevin the Bold” and the income it generated, it was a good tradeoff for Collins.
As Henry’s first chapter got off the ground, any time Collins saved by not writing looks like it may have been spent on the illustration. The Florida Times-Union‘s reproduction is mediocre, but the artwork is quite nice, with many compelling scenes and characters.
To be continued…
For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.