Boxing Day

Today is Boxing Day, a day on which servants, tradespeople, and the needy are traditionally presented with gifts. It originated in the United Kingdom, and is primarily celebrated in countries formerly part of the British Empire.

It precedes Kevin the Bold, who might have celebrated it differently.

Panel taken from KEVIN THE BOLD’s third episode (October 15, 1950)

I learned of Boxing Day more as a day to share holiday leftovers and good cheer, and this post will follow that line of thinking. In my more freewheeling younger days, my brother (Brett) and I would often host Boxing Day parties where we’d encourage attendees to dress in boxer shorts and play a few rounds of Rock-em Sock-em Robots.

Brett and I are comics fans from way back but didn’t start throwing Boxing Day Parties until the late ’80s.

Brett was Kreigh Collins’s first grandchild and my brother’s namesake character was a major player in KEVIN THE BOLD from January 1952 until April 1965.

A character named Brian only appeared in a single 1961 sequence and although the characters Brett and Brian both preceded my brother’s and my existence, I can’t help but feel a bit jealous about the discrepancy in those characters’ roles—though I’d be smart to avoid mentioning this to my Uncle Glen (Uncle Kevin’s brother).

At least Brian, the Duke of Duval, was a bad guy and basically shared a name with a tasty Belgian beer.

Speaking of Belgian beer, the painting above, from the Grand Rapids Public Museum’s collection, with its unusual composition, is unlike any other I have seen by Kreigh Collins. Its date (5/14/31) indicates it was produced while Kreigh and his wife Theresa were summering in Europe, shortly after they were married.

Although there were no major characters named Brian in my grandfather’s comic strips, I was bestowed a cool nickname in the Christmas letter he and my grandmother sent out in 1964. (I was born three days before his third grandchild, my cousin Josh).

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With that, I wish you all a Merry Christmas, a gay holiday season, and that you look forward to 1965 2022 with as much anticipation as I look forward to all of the adventures the year promises to bring.

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

Brett in in the Lions’ Den

At each others’ throats just moments before, Kevin and Karl are now completely aligned.

The short chapter’s quick pace continues, and with Brett’s lion cub/baby switcheroo, the story begins to transition to Kevin’s next adventure.

Before Kevin’s lady friend gets a chance to share it, her story comes alive!

This story line would continue in the pages of the Monomonee Falls Gazette. KEVIN THE BOLD debuted in issue No. 109 (January 14, 1974), which featured Kreigh Collins’ artwork on the cover. For the next six months, KEVIN ran on the gazette’s back cover, and continued inside until the demise of the publication four years later.

In case you can’t get your hands on MFG issues 109–232, the next dozen or so KEVIN THE BOLD chapters are collected in the book Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures. The 154-page collection, about 97% of which was compiled from BW syndicate proofs, is available on Amazon.com.

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

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.

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.

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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!

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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.

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“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.

Catching a Snag

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Kevin learns the unlikely truth about the sword fighter he leapt to save, and of the horrible fate of the prince. This information is recounted by a newfound ally, and although the old man isn’t given a name, he has an unusual physical feature—a hook for a right hand (not so different than the Kingslayer, Jaime Lannister). Notably, the episode’s dramatic splash panel was used as back cover art for a highly-recommended 2017 collection of “Kevin the Bold” comics (details below).

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As a whole, these Chicago Tribune comics are not as vibrantly reproduced as examples from earlier in the decade, but the October 3 episode printed quite nicely.

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Kevin’s plan to get inside catches a snag—and another snag saves his hide.

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The October 10 episode is a marvel; it features perhaps my favorite panel in the comic strip’s entire 18-year run. It is even more dramatic as seen in a black-and-white syndicate proof, which showcases Collins’ mastery of composition and illustration.

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Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures

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Here are 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! 95% of the material is sourced from black and white syndicate proofs. Available here.

 


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