Happy Ending

After too many black and white episodes—eleven out of twelve, in case you lost count—the sequence wraps up with a couple of splashes of color.

Ponce and Snake, weakened by seasickness, can only watch as their nefarious plan unravels.

The story comes to a happy ending, with the messier details of the bad guys’ detainment left to the reader’s imagination. As the sequence transitions to a new chapter, my eye is caught by the action in the background of the second panel.

Young Dave is playing leapfrog (jumping over Heather’s boom?). The pose—used by Collins numerous times over the years—always makes me wonder of the whereabouts of the original illustration used as its source.

It first appeared in an episode of BIBLE STORIES COMICS (far right, c. 1944) and then twice in KEVIN THE BOLD (October 30, 1955 and December 15 1963). Collins used it another time in UP ANCHOR!’s seventh episode (December 15, 1968), when it popped up in the topper strip, “Water Lore.”

It’s a shame Dick Dixon never busted the move in MITZI McCOY!


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

Leaping Lizards, er, Lads!

Six episodes in, and so far two of Heather‘s crew have fallen into the drink. I wonder who’s next?

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Somewhere in Kreigh Collins’ morgue file, he had an image of a boy playing leapfrog. It was never referenced in “Mitzi McCoy,” but it appeared in Collins’ pre-NEA “Bible Picture Story Comics,” twice in “Kevin the Bold.” and at least once in “Water Lore,” above. Now that’s thrifty!

Leapfrog x3

From left: December 15, 1963; October 30, 1955; and c. 1946.

With the eighth episode of “Up Anchor!”, another recurring character was introduced—Kevin’s friend, Pedro. Pedro had been a mainstay in “Kevin the Bold,” he first appeared in 1958 and continued on and off until the very last episode, a decade later. While Kevin definitely changed when he transitioned between the two strips, Pedro remained essentially the same.

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Oho! It was Erik that somehow fell in—luckily Pedro was there to lend a hand. He also lets loose with what will become the big fella’s catchphrase.

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Waiting until late December to button up a boat for the winter would be ill-advised in Michigan, but if you factor in the three-month lead time that the production process of these episodes required, doing it in late September (when the artwork was inked) seems appropriate.

Collins also had the advantage of being able to photograph his sailboat in order to create reference images for use in his strip, and it looks like the photo below could have been used for the episode above. I’d guess the younger guy is my uncle Kevin.

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