The Witch Hunter

Stub’s warning proven true, Kevin starts to swim for shore, looking for safety.

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After being rudely welcomed ashore, Kevin makes an acquaintance with the opportunistic Tankard. There is plenty of knavery afoot, as geese come and go.

KTB 081951 HA 150 qcc

KTB 082651 HF 72 qcc

There is joy in the town, but its counterpart is manifest in the witch hunter, Swatrzhunt.

A little more than a year after the August 26, 1951 episode appeared in Sunday papers, its splash panel was repurposed as a cover for Tit-Bits, a weekly publication from Argentina. Tit-Bits featured other comics from the U.S., and even if you don’t know Spanish, like me, the strips are prettily easily identified. In addition to “Kevin el denodado,” typically there are episodes of “Ben Bolt Campeón,” by John Cullen Murphy, Dal Curtis’ “Rex Morgan, Médico,” and “Terry el Piloto/Terry and the Pirates” (George Wunder). Two comic strips whose names aren’t cognates also run—one is familiar to me (Lee Falk & W. McCoy’s “La Sombra/The Phantom”), and the other is not (“Las Llaves del palacio/The Keys to the Palace” by Fernanci).

Tit Bits KTB 2271 cover qcc squared

Later, there is more to come about “Kevin el Denodado,” but next week, Kevin’s adventures in Holland continue.

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

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150


Tit-Bits (originally named Tit-Bits from all the interesting Books, Periodicals, and Newspapers of the World) was a British weekly magazine with origins in the late 19th century. (It also makes for a blog post title that might come up in more internet searches than usual).

The publication’s emphasis was on dramatic human interest stories. An Argentinian version was created in 1909, and among other things, it featured American comics translated into Spanish.

In the 1950s, many of the comics it ran were King Features titles (“The Phantom,” “Judge Parker,” “Rex Morgan MD,” etc.) but it also ran “Terry and the Pirates” (the Chicago Tribune Syndicate, renamed “La Sombra”) and “Kevin the Bold” (Newspaper Enterprise Association/“Kevin el Denodado”), among others.

The Tit-Bits covers repurposed art from its variety of source material, and frequently used comics. “Kevin” was featured — generally in cases when it had dramatic double-decked illustrations. (Covers are shown with corresponding original Sunday comics).

KTB Tit-Bits cover5 Ship SQKTB 072752 HF 100 QCC

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KTB Tit-Bits cover1 Bear SQKTB 080253 HF 100 QCC

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KTB Tit-Bits cover2 Sword SQKTB 050954 HF 100 QCC

Looking at the five originals above, I’m reminded of other comics where Collins used similar devices or poses. The first two have echoes of throwaway panels from some of the earliest KTBs.

throwaway echos

At left, an earlier drowning victim (December 3, 1950). At far right, from the KTB debut strip,  Moya McCoy displays similar form to the damsel in the red dress.

Based on the publication dates of the Argentine monthlies (and the dates the comics originally ran), I’d speculate that each issue would contain four to six episodes of any given comic. The comics ran in a tabloid format, but in a much smaller size, with other stories wrapping around them on the pages.

Though many are currently listed on eBay, I haven’t seen any physical copies of these publications — the shipping costs put them out of my price range. However, I did spring for a rather unique full-page illustration from Tit-Bits. It shows a trussed up Moya McCoy, as she is being kidnapped by Moors. The artwork is from KTB’s opening sequence, and I will begin running that chapter in four installments starting next Sunday.

KTC Moya McCoy bound 111950 qcc

Nothing to see here — just a little pre-Code bondage!

Foreign Tongues

When it was launched in 1948, “Mitzi McCoy” appeared in about three dozen newspapers. Nearly all were located in the United States, but two were from Canada — the Farmer from Winnipeg, Manitoba and Montreal’s La Patrie. Being situated in Quebec, “Mitzi” was translated into French and ran as the more Gallic-sounding “Mitzi Morot.” When the strip rebooted as “Kevin the Bold,” it continued to run in a translated form in the pages of La Patrie.

As the popularity of “Kevin” grew, its reach spread further and it was translated into other languages. Often, the comics ran after their original publishing dates, as was the case when “Kevin el Denodado” appeared in Argentina in a magazine called Tit-Bits. (Though it sounds like a girlie mag, it was actually the Argentinian version of an eponymous British weekly first published in 1881).

“Kevin” eventually made his way to South Africa and was translated into Afrikaans, as shown in this comic from 1965.

KTB 1965 09.12 afrikaans

The comic was also repackaged into comic books for overseas markets, and besides the relatively common examples from Australia, it was translated into Norwegian and Swedish for Scandinavian readers. (More on the comic books later).

[French “Mitzi Morot” and “Kevin the Bold” images at top of post courtesy of Encyclopédie de la Bande Dessinée de Journal au  Québec 1918-1988]

One Man’s Trash

Throway panels 1950s 72 Gals

“Throwaway Panels” — such an unfortunate term for these wonderful little illustrations. Deleted in order to squeeze and rearrange a half-page comic into a tabloid format, they were usually somewhat incidental to the action. In “Kevin,” they often showed damsels — in distress, or otherwise.

Other options included villains, exclamations, or random bits of scenery. Kevin himself also made frequent appearances in this panel.

Throway panels 1950s 72 Thugs  Throway panels 1950s 72 exclamations

Throway panels 1950s 72 nice illo

After seeing enough of these, I couldn’t help but be reminded of Lotería, a Mexican game of chance similar to Bingo. With the strip having a presence in Latin America (“Kevin el Denodado”), I think the NEA missed a marketing opportunity!

loteria sets

kevin el denodado 72