Do You Know–

Do you know Cover 150

To commemorate Michigan’s centennial, Kreigh Collins illustrated a daily feature called “Do You Know.” A collaboration with writer Willis Atwell, it appeared in eight Michigan newspapers and ran from September 2, 1935 to January 26, 1937 (the 100th anniversaries of Michigan first becoming a U.S. territory and then a member of the Union).

Because each panel was comprised of three separate illustrations and historical accuracy was paramount, the project required a great deal of research. The hard work paid off and the feature became a hit in Collins’ home state. Due to popular demand, Booth Newspapers, Inc. compiled these 441 panels into a book, allowing Collins’ reputation as an illustrator to spread.

 

“Do You Know” was quite similar in style to “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.” While “Ripley” will celebrate its 100th anniversary this October, at the time it was a relatively new feature, having debuted 16 years earlier. In fact, another comic feature, illustrated by Art Krenz, appeared around the same time. It was also titled “Do You Know,” and was put out by the syndicate that would hire Collins 13 years later, Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA). The two like-named features coexisted, and it is unclear to me which came first. Even if the Booth Newspapers concept was not entirely original, the illustrations are both entertaining and educational, qualities that would also describe Kreigh Collins’ future comic strips, especially “Kevin the Bold” and “Up Anchor!”

DYK 031836

The March 18, 1936 installment has a very informative diagram showing the relative depths of the Great Lakes, most of which Collins would later sail on extensively (all but Lake Superior). The earliest installments (below) describe a border skirmish between Ohio and Michigan, the results of which are a bit embarrassing for someone whose family hails from the Great Lakes State. 

The illustrations are filled with interesting details, like the reverse lettering on the ink stamp (October 4, 1935), clever political cartooning (October 30, 1935), and despite the time period in which they were published, not only highlight the accomplishments of men, but those of women and native Americans too (November 14 and 1, 1935).


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

A Pretty Little Speech

Besides becoming an artist, the only other career choice Kreigh Collins considered was to become a magician. By the time he reached high school he’d made up his mind, yet magic cropped up in his work frequently enough. In 1937, he wrote Tricks, Toys, and Tim, a unique “how-to-do-it” book  published by D. Appleton-Century — Kreigh’s illustrations appeared throughout. In his later work, subjects related to magic came up — “Mitzi McCoy” had a sequence featuring a yodeling cowboy with a ventriloquist’s dummy (!) — and ventriloquism was featured again in this “Kevin the Bold” storyline.

KTC Tricks Toys cover 150

If you find a copy, buy it! You won’t be sorry. More information on “Tricks, Toys, and Tim” here.

Unfortunately, Kevin and Tankard are unaware of the current fearful climate in the little Dutch city of Bomen.

KTB 090251* HA 150 qcc.jpg

The September 9 episode is a good example showing the difference between the Chicago Tribune’s superior color schemes and that of a typical newspaper. Although the image of the half page version is just a snapshot liberated from an old eBay listing, it has richer colors and and a much more extensive palette than the tabloid.

KTB 090951 HA CST 10.6x7.2_150 qcc.jpg

KTB 090951 TA 150

The ever-honorable Kevin bids to save his new friends’ lives by sacrificing his own. In what appears to be a cowardly move, Tankard quickly backs the idea.

KTB 091651 HA CST 150 qcc.jpg

Finding the perfect time to demonstrate his talents, Tankard saves the day. Meanwhile, Kevin is appreciative enough that Tankard accompanies him on his next adventure in Ireland, where no doubt he will demonstrate more magic.


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the 1949 “Mitzi McCoy” sequence featuring the yodeling cowboy and his ventriloquist’s dummy, pick up a copy of The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy, available here.


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

The Witch Hunter

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

KTB 081251 HA 150 qcc.jpg

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

A witch!

With the recent release of the Mueller Report, witch hunts are in the news. The subject came up on a couple of occasions in “Kevin the Bold.”

KTB 112667 96 qcc

Per wikipedia, the classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial North America took place around 1450 – 1750. This actually corresponds (more or less) to the years the events depicted in “Kevin the Bold” took place (c. 1490 – 1668). Obviously, Kreigh Collins took liberties with the timeline while including historical events in his comic strip.

Based on the apparent age of Leonardo Da Vinci, the episode above is set around the year 1510, when witch hunts were common. Ironically, they seem to have returned to prominence in the last couple of years, but that’s another story.

KTB 120367 96 qcc

There are holes in my collection during this sequence, so I can’t run it in its entirety. I was fortunate to have the two episodes above given to me by illustrator/blogger Thom Buchanan. I saw them on an old blog he ran, which I discovered when I began searching online for my grandfather’s comics ten years ago. Thom encouraged me to start a blog, and six and half years later, I did.

The sequence with Leonardo and his lovely assistant Angelina came very late in the comic strip’s run — only three more sequences followed — and it wasn’t the first time witch hunts were featured in “Kevin the Bold.” Sixteen years earlier, in only its fourth sequence, witches were being targeted in the Netherlands. Most of this sequence’s comics are missing from my collection. The images I post here were mined from old eBay listings—how I wish I’d bought them when I had the chance!

KTB 072951 150 cc wbg final panel

As the preceding storyline transitions, Tankard is introduced, and given his prominence, it’s quite likely he will play a large role in the coming events.

As Kevin sails north on the ship bringing home Sadea, the damsel he’d just saved as a favor to his erstwhile rival the Count de Falcon, Stub offers some words of advice that prove to be prophetic.

KTB 080551 HA* 150 qcc

To be continued…


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be ordered here.


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

Kevin the Bosnian

KTB NK LALE_174  KTB NK LALE_180

On St. Patrick’s Day, it seems only fitting to highlight Kevin’s adventures in… Bosnia?

My friend Marko recently pointed me toward some comic books with “Kevin the Bold” translated into Bosnian. Shown above are two late examples published by Lale that sold for 1.5 dinar. Without seeing the physical copies, it is difficult to tell which storyline is contained inside, because the covers were redrawn and don’t come from any of Collins’ original artwork.

Other Serbian publishers also featured Kreigh Collins’ noted strip. Dugin magazine #7-20 ran most of the Baron Von Blunt sequence (originally appearing in Sunday papers from October 21, 1951– January 27, 1952). Happy Party #51-63 ran most of the sequence where Kevin and Brett search for the Hartz family fortune, plus the following one featuring Zyclos the Pirate (April 13–August 3, 1952); #64-65 has the beginning of Leonardo Da VInci’s flaming dragon sequence (August 10–24, 1952). Zenit #10-23 has an interesting 1965 storyline about the lost colony of Roanoke (June 27–September 26, 1965); #45-62 has two sequences, more about the Hartz family fortune and another about Captain Duncan Bellows; and #63-134 apparently contains over a year’s worth of comics (September 20, 1959–January 29, 1961). I haven’t been able to find images of any of these titles.

My favorite is another Lale title, #11, “Neustrasivi Kevin.” It’s obviously an earlier publication, as its price was only 80 dinara. It also features another recreated cover. The cover artwork is very nice, if a bit unlikely—for over 18 years, Kevin ran away from the beautiful damseles he’d rescued—he had unfinished business and wouldn’t be tied down.

KTB NK VLALE_11.jpg

The comics inside told the tale of a kidnapped princess, and originally ran from February 8–May 3, 1959. I found this entire issue online, and have included it below.  The comic book is 36 pages long, with most of it devoted to Kevin. Pages 30–34 feature a comic called “Megdan.”

Uživaj!

And here’s “Megdan.”

There were no images for the inside covers, but there was a back cover.

page_36

For these foreign translations, I rely heavily on online translators, which deliver mixed results. The back cover text indicates there was something like a poll to determine what comics should be featured in this issue. It reads something along these lines:

Dear Readers,
According to your choice, we have prepared for the fall season a series of the most interesting world comics that will be published in our popular library. The editorial staff of the library on this occasion bestowed you on the support and advice you unselfishly provided.


Podcast

wb banner

To learn more about Kreigh Collins, “Mitzi McCoy,” and how my book on Mitzi (“The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Volume 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy“) came together, check out this interview: “Anatomy of a Comic Strip,” with host John Siuntres, on his long running pop culture audio podcast, Word Balloon.


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

The voiceless speak

KTB 090262 TA 150 qcc.jpg

Kevin’s tournament skills paid off in the first round of the joust, but by taking the high moral ground he is setting himself up for possible failure.

KTB 090962 TA 150 qcc.jpg

Kevin’s virtue is matched by Basa’s treachery, but while Kevin is saved by Hugo’s unexpected confession, Basa meets his end at the hands of the angry mob. 

KTB 091662 TA 150 qcc

As the story of the Field of the Cloth of Gold ends, another adventure begins.


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the complete run of “Mitzi McCoy” comics, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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

Foul Play

KTB 081262 TA 150 qcc.jpg

Sir Basa sets his nefarious plan in motion, and De Cagnes smells a rat. As usual, Kevin remains calm.

KTB 081962 TA 150 qcc.jpg

Evil to the bone, Sir Basa reneges on his promise to pay Hugo—and he confuses the stableboy’s inability to speak with stupidity. Perhaps Hugo isn’t the only one Basa has underestimated.  

KTB 082662 TA 150 qcc.jpg

In the August 26 episode, the “Ancient Code” is spelled out once again. From the beginning of his time with NEA, Collins had been instructed to repeat information critical to a story’s plot so that newspapers could pick up the strip at any time and start running it—and the same was true for readers. If they’d missed a sequence’s earlier episodes, they could be brought up to speed. The repetition might help newcomers, but to those following the action each week, the practice was no doubt a bit tedious.


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the complete run of “Mitzi McCoy” comics, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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

The Predator

The past six weeks’ Sunday comics set the scene in a historical context, taking place during the Field of the Cloth of Gold, and now the action settles into a more local, intimate setting. 

KTB 071562 TA 150 qcc.jpg

Surely there could be no harm in offering to stage a joust for an enthusiastic, convalescent child.

KTB 072262 TA 150 qcc.jpg

KTB 072962 TA 150 qcc.jpg

Having demonstrated his brute strength, Basa also shows he is a louse, and worse.

KTB 080562 TA 150 qcc.jpg


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

Mitzi cover final

To read the complete run of “Mitzi McCoy” comics, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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

A good line worth repeating

At the summit arranged by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, King Francis I of France and King Henry VIII of England tried to outshine the other, with dazzling tents and clothes, huge feasts, music, jousting and games. The days were taken up with tournaments, in which both kings took part. 

KTB 062462 TA 150 qcc

After the joust, Kevin was gracious in victory over his friend De Cagnes — but not everyone was so pleased, as the sourpuss Sir Basa is introduced.

KTB 070162 TA 150 qcc.jpg

“The Field of the Cloth of Gold” was the first sequence written by Kreigh Collins after a 13-month stretch of episodes written by Jay Heavilin. In fact, the episode above contains a line (paraphrased) that originally appeared in “Kevin the Bold” a decade earlier. 

KTB 012851 HA 150 qcc

Returning to our current sequence, Kevin has the misfortune of staying at the same inn as his detractor, and he also meets a mute stableboy. 

KTB 070862 TA 150 qcc.jpg


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

The Field of the Cloth of Gold

Last week I asked readers if their collections included any “Kevin the Bold” episodes that were missing in mine. This week a sequence starts using comic scans sent to me by my man in Rotterdam, Arnaud, with whom I traded a bunch of other “Kevin” scans (Nogmaals bedankt!). These tabloid comics were originally published starting in June, 1962, and were based on a historical event from 442 years earlier—the June, 1520 summit between England’s King Henry VIII and France’s King Francis I. 

KTB 060362 TA 150 qcc.jpgKTB 061062 TA 150 qcc.jpgKTB 061762 TA 150 qcc.jpg

These first few episodes serve as a preamble to the main event, but the June 17 comic shown above is a favorite of mine because I have the original artwork in my collection. 

KTB 061762

In 2010, when I first found an image of the artwork online, it appeared as shown above. Sadly, by the time I saw it listed for sale four years later, the illustration had been cropped so it would fit in an 18″ x 24″ picture frame (below). It might have been damaged goods, but I bought it anyway (frame not included). One interesting detail is found in the panel in the lower left-hand corner, where Brett is holding Kevin’s sword. The sword is a photostat, pasted onto the original art—apparently as a time saver for the artist. 

IMG_1598.JPG


Another shameless plug!

Mitzi cover final

Featuring the complete run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA comic, “Mitzi McCoy,” The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy can be found here; it’s still available at its pre-order price of $24.95.  


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