Tit-Bits No. 2232

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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.

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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.

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“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.

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“The Complete Mitzi McCoy” can be ordered here.


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

A Cripple Cured

Both Kevin and the Tyrantslayer receive a shock, but it’s all good news. Emboldened by the positive turn of events, the old man puts his body—or what’s left of it—on the line.

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[I stand corrected, the old man does have a name—Alexi. I still prefer “Tyrantslayer”].

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Two more surprises remain, the first being the guards’ reaction to the news of Sarrov’s death. The second involves Prince Ivan…

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The action transitions to a new story arc, which can be read in its entirety in “Kevin the Bold: Sunday Adventures,” along with a dozen other chapters of Kevin the Bold’s adventures.


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.

The Guinea Pig

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For a moment, it seemed that Kevin had found a way out, but it was not to be. Months pass, and Kevin remains caged like an animal (in this case, a guinea pig). While Kevin may be out of fighting shape, his mind is still sharp, and he comes up with a plan…

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Meanwhile, Kevin’s elderly ally has set upon providing some relief for his beloved, caged prince.

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It might be a bit of a stretch, but in an another parallel to Game of Thrones, the old man slays Sarrov. Since he’s unnamed, I’m dubbing him the Tyrantslayer. Appropriately enough, this spooky episode appeared on Halloween.

Next week—the sequence’s climax!


The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins

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The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy. The first-ever collection of Kreigh Collins’ debut NEA Sunday comic strip can be ordered here.


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

61NhkKcYitL

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.

Got G.o.T?

Game of Thrones ended, big deal. No one seemed happy with the last season (especially the ending), so why not get your fix of medieval-style adventure with “Kevin the Bold?” It has all the action, thrills, and drama of the TV show, and it’s 100% incest-free. It is as beautifully depicted as GoT, but sorry—no dragons.

Here, the villains aren’t White Walkers and the army of the dead, but descendants of other evil beings—members of the armies of Attila the Hun and Genghis Kahn. They are led by a ruthless Russian usurper named Sarrov. With these comics appearing as the Cold War intensified, my guess is that the name Sarrov was derived from “Soviet Russia.”

Although Nikita Khrushchev wasn’t known to wear a big, furry hat with a skull emblem,  what Sarrov states in the fourth panel was the general fear of many westerners. As Kevin visits his friend King Rupert, he learns that the king is wary of Russian interference in his peaceful kingdom.

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Parallels to modern-day events are found in the September 12 episode, as Sarrov outlines his plans to destabilize Europe.

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Unable to refuse his friend’s request, Kevin sets off for Muscovy. En route, he finds some outcasts with whom he sympathizes, and yet another in need of his help.

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The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins

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The Cold War hadn’t yet started when “Mitzi McCoy” was appearing in Sunday comics sections, the prevailing mood found in the comic is that of post-war optimism. Discover its charm in the first-ever collection of Kreigh Collins’ debut comic strip, 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 Twist

Things look bleak for Kevin, Sir Richard, and Lucia.

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The possessive nature of Sultana Safia is good fortune, as Kevin and his friends avoid another close shave.



The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins

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Although Mitzi never made it as far as Istanbul, she traveled quite a bit in her comic strip. Read about her exploits in her Michigan hometown, and her travels to Chicago, Florida, and Canada’s north woods in The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy. The first-ever collection of Kreigh Collins’ debut NEA Sunday comic strip can be ordered here.


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

The Fool

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After experiencing Sir Richard’s foolhardiness first hand, Kevin witnesses it again. This time it seem certain that it will cost Sir Richard his life.

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In a shocking turn of events, Sultan Murad releases Richard. And sure enough, the foolish Englishman puts them all in harm’s way again. How many times can Kevin overcome Richard’s ineptitude?


The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

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.

Escape from the Harem

Just prior to the following sequence, Kevin’s travels took him to Japan. How he got so far east is another story, and because my collection of “Kevin” comics is incomplete, it’s a story I cannot recount at this time.

As this new adventure begins, Kevin is aboard a sailboat near Istanbul, a seemingly unusual place to secure intel on Spain’s plans to invade England.

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Due to the reference to Sultan Murad (III), the events depicted would be occurring c. 1580, the height of the Ottoman Empire. Kevin and tagalong Sir Richard are set to rescue the fetching English spy, Lucia.

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The August 11 episode is a marvel, and Collins’ beautiful line work is fully on display in the NEA Daily. Despite Sir Richard’s timely suggestion to change into less conspicuous clothing, their daring escape is noticed.


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

Do You Know–

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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!”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.