Pt. 4: Stub ex machina

Though these past few “Mitzi McCoy” posts feature rather unique black and white one-third pages, last week’s final comic was quite titillating and deserves to be seen in full color.

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Yolo’s beautiful and valuable earring has been stolen and it seems that poor Jerry is going to take the fall. Stub Goodman is determined to get to the bottom of the things, and comes up with a plan where he lives up to his surname — even if it means a little blackmail and tampering with a crime scene.

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In the end, Jerry is exonerated. Stub fools everyone — except Mitzi. However, in two weeks, it will all be over as “Mitzi” is about to morph into “Kevin the Bold.” Goodman, who first appeared in the prototype comic “Tom Match and Stub,” was liked enough by Collins that he would reappear in the new comic as Kevin’s squire.

Pt. 3: Eye Appeal

The mood shifts again as the beautiful Yolo meets the staff of the Freedom Clarion. Mitzi McCoy had met Yolo while travelling to Fez with her father, and now the McCoys are hosting Yolo during her stay in Freedom. Meanwhile, Jerry has built a fine stage for Yolo’s dance performance. The benefit for a new waterfront park promised to be the town’s social event of the season.

The tension mounts quickly as an agitated and evidently left-handed Stub clobbers Jonas. A temporary open-air dressing room gives an intimate view of Yolo as she readies for her performance and disaster strikes as some of Yolo’s jewelry goes missing.

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Pt. 2: Darkness sets in

After the humor of the past two weeks’ transitional comics, a darkness sets in over Freedom as a new character is introduced. Jonas Crabtree, the “meanest man in town,” expresses his doubts to Stub about Tiny having saved a little girl from attack by wolves (in a previous sequence). He wishes the worst on Goodman’s Irish wolfhound.

Also introduced is the animal-loving ex-con Jerry Dor. After hearing his story, Stub puts him to work as stage manager for Yolo’s upcoming benefit performance. Danger comes Tiny’s way and Crabtree begins menacing Jerry, who shows a quick temper in defending his patron, editor Stub Goodman.

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An interesting detail in these strips shows that in the time between the July 22 & 29 comics, Stub has returned the bantam car and gotten his hot rod back from the shop.

Yolo, Part 1

Following a week-long promotional blitz (see December 6, 2015 post), “Mitzi McCoy” finally launched in the Grand Rapids Press, Kreigh Collins’s local paper. It appeared on Saturdays, running in black and white as a one-third pager. The timing was a bit awkward as plans were already in place for “Mitzi” to transition into “Kevin the Bold.” Nonetheless, appearing in an additional newspaper meant more revenue for Collins.

The promotional ads promised adventure, dramatic artwork and eye appeal and Kreigh delivered on all counts (and then some). The strip’s last full sequence featured Yolo, a Moroccan beauty who was headed to Hollywood. As the Yolo character is introduced, editor Stub Goodman is taking his car in to the shop.

Tellingly, Stub’s mechanic lives “way out in Ada,” the town in which Kreigh Collins had built his home. These two comics served as a light-hearted, humorous transition between the thrilling conclusion of the previous sequence (The Counterfeiters, in which Stub’s old hot rod had taken quite a beating) and the drama that was yet to come in the next ten comics.

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A cute detail in the fourth panel of the July 8 comic shows a puppy sitting by Tiny’s side and looking on in admiration. The July 15 comic has an appearance by Clancy, a recurring policeman character whom has taken exception to Stub’s driving.