Among the more than 900 episodes that appeared over 18 years, the December 12, 1965 installment is one of a handful of KEVIN THE BOLD pages missing from my collection. Until I discovered Newspapers.com, I was unsure how Kevin was able to broker the union between Ellen and Alan-a-Dale.
Kevin’s plan begins smoothly, but an obstacle is found in the form of the Bishop who intends to marry Ellen to Sir Guy.
The story within a story ends, as Kevin’s tale of Robin Hood reaches its conclusion (recall how Kevin’s narrative came at the end of the “Lost Colony or Roanoke” story arc). Young Saigen was satisfied with the tale, but one thing still puzzled Pedro.
Next week is Christmas, and if you celebrate the holiday, I hope you are fortunate enough to receive a gift as wonderful as one that was recently delivered to me.
The tale continues, and Robin Hood starts to get under the skin of his antagonist, the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Bows and arrows were a common theme in Kreigh Collins’ comics, especially in KEVIN THE BOLD, but the first time Collins illustrated an archery contest was in a mid-1949 episode of MITZI McCOY.
Another throwback to Collins’ earlier work is found in the third panel of the November 28 episode (below). Bathing by the stream, Robin’s pose harkens back to earlier work showcasing the artist’s skills in rendering figures and costumes. Sadly, in this example from late 1965, the results leave something to be desired, but the pose clearly seems to have been based on a piece of art from Collins’ illustration morgue.
With the third tier of each original episode now serving as an embellishment on the action shown in the third-page versions, the treatment the original’s “throwaway panels” has also changed. For the first 15 years of KEVIN THE BOLD’s run, the throwaway was a small panel generally found in the middle of the second tier (similar to the fifth panel, above). Now, a tabloid version was created by excising a tiny panel from the third tier—illustrated in a couple of black and white examples below.
A concise account of how young Robert Fitzooth became Robin Hood illustrates why the tale fits so nicely into the KEVIN THE BOLD narrative, and in the October 31, 1965 episode, Robin’s antagonist is introduced—the Sheriff of Nottingham.
Traveling through Sherwood Forest, Robin and his band are confronted by a formidable obstacle. It is Little John, who Kreigh Collins summarily rechristens with a name more appropriate for his comic strip—and his resemblance to the strip’s titular character no doubt helped casual readers stay interested in the action. (Two years later, in another story arc, a blond version of Kevin would appear!)
Collins’ chief antagonist for the 15 years he had been illustrating KEVIN THE BOLD was the abridged third-page abominations found in so many of his syndicate’s newspapers. The NEA created third-page versions by severely cropping the left and right edges of the strip’s panels, but toward the end of 1965 Kreigh took a new approach—laying out the episodes so that that the entire third tier was expendable. Half pages included it; third pages did not.
Collins generally captured the most relevant parts of each episode in the upper two tiers, but in many cases, readers were missing out on some lovely bonus material.
A commotion caused by the apparent change in tournament combatants causes a delay, much to the King’s displeasure.
Following the knight’s code of conduct puts Kevin at a disadvantage, facing a scoundrel such as Bruce Black.
Saved by his impeccable instincts, Kevin witnesses his opponent self-destruct.
The matter of Conovanshire’s title is settled by the King who, despite his surprise in bumping into Kevin, has a new task for the him—which certainly helps move the story along. That action, posted previously, continues here.