The Gift

The scans for the following story arc were a gift from my friend Arnaud.


This sequence marks the end of Jay Heavilin’s run as the writer for “Kevin the Bold.” Like much of the action he scripted, it is comes across as more cartoonish than Collins’ work. An argument could be made that this isn’t a bad thing, that Collins’ stories were too traditional, and were more like illustration than cartooning. I’m biased, obviously, but what do you think? (There is a little-used comments feature at the very tail end of this post—hint, hint).

The characters are largely stereotypes, but they do have some redeeming visual qualities. Both Ahmed and his female friends have visible navels, so maybe that ban was no longer in effect.

KTB 040162 TA 150 qcc

Pedro enters, and as was. in the case of the story “The Powder Expert” (which I haven’t yet run), there is some confusion about the meaning of a certain phrase. 

KTB 040862 TA 150 qcc

KTB 041562 TA 150 qcc

To be continued…


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

Happy Fifth!

Kreigh circa 1970 72

Today I am celebrating the fifth anniversary of this blog. I started it in order to raise my grandfather’s profile, and to try to help create a bit of a market for the book I was putting together, “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins: The Complete Mitzi McCoy.” At its onset, I had no idea how long I would keep the blog going, but at this point—about two years after the Mitzi book was published—I have no plans to stop (and I’m not even half-way through the comics my grandfather produced). 

Silver is the contemporary fifth anniversary gift; this seems appropriate for a blog celebrating a cartoonist whose work primarily appeared in comics’ Silver Age. The traditional fifth anniversary gift is wood, meant to symbolize the strength and durability of the bond. So, to all the loyal readers of this blog, thank you very much for your continued interest in Kreigh Collins’ oeuvre.


When I began researching my grandfather’s career, I had no idea his work appeared outside the United States. (I’m not sure he was fully aware, either). I enjoy looking at the statistics WordPress collects—tallies of view and visitors, and the countries people are from—and from the beginning I was surprised at how many readers were from outside the United States. Soon enough I began to discover all kinds of foreign publications that published his work.

KTC MM 1949 Contract

Regarding international rights, I’ll have to peruse this contract more closely next time I’m at the Public Library in Grand Rapids, Mich. And check out the signature—no longhand for Kreigh!

Early on I learned that in addition to their domestic newspapers, NEA also had papers in Canada. And because some of these were based in Québec, the episodes were translated into French.

MM 091750 TA 150 qcc

From the Free Press Weekly Prairie Farmer (Winnipeg, Manitoba)

KTB 101864 TH Fr 72 qcc

I’m not sure which Montreal newspaper carried this episode of “Kevin l”Audacieux.”

As for actual Sunday comics, with one exception, I have only seen them printed for newspapers in the US and Canada. In most cases, for foreign markets, Collins’ artwork was repurposed into comic books or weekly general interest magazines. I found an interesting two-color reproduction taken from Die Jongspan, a South African weekly magazine for children, which was translated into Afrikaans. This episode of “Kevin Die Dappere” appeared on Valentine’s Day, 1966, about seven moths after its original publication.

KTB 1965 09.12 afrikaans

The next foreign market I discovered for Kreigh’s comics was down under. Several different publishers produced these “Australian Edition” comic books, again featuring both Mitzi and Kevin.

While going through Special Collection #56 at the Grand Rapids Public Library, I found tear sheets of both Mitzi and Kevin comics from Havana, Cuba’s El Mundo newspaper. These tabloid comics are pretty cool, and coming from Cuba, they seemed rather exotic, as political differences had prevented travel between the US and Cuba between 1963 and 2000.

Another hit that came up in my search results was for “Kevin el Denodado,” which I learned was how it was branded in Argentina. The comics ran for several years in the weekly magazine Tit-Bits, which was a tabloid.

Sometimes Kevin was featured on the cover, and at its onset, several episodes were combined into one giant spread. In at least one case, a promotional poster was included. Later, only single episodes appeared inside.

Tit-Bits 2238 12-13 150 qcc

KTC Moya McCoy bound 111950 qcc

Scandinavia was another fertile market for Collins’ work. “Kevin den Tapre” ran in Denmark, either in the magazine Hjemmet or possibly in a newspaper.

KTB 100151 Denmark Kevin_Hjemmet_1951

I also learned from my friend Anders Hjorth-Jørgensen that his company (Forlaget desAHJn) was in the process of publishing a three-volume “Kevin den Tapre” series.

After hearing about my efforts to publish the “Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Volume 1: Mitzi McCoy,” Asger sent me a Danish comic book in the mail featuring the exploits of Kevin hin Frygtløse.” Asger and some associates have been working on a similar project—reprinting “Willy På Eventyr” (Vol. 5 has since been published, see www.willy-centret.dk).

SM Solo Nr. 23 01 150

Kevin also appeared in a Swedish comic book. In Sweden, he was called “Roland den Djärve.” This comic book was in my grandfather’s collection, so at least he was aware of this one distant fanbase (and possible source of additional income). In addition to running three spreads of Kevin, it featured other comics as well.

At some point I also came across a couple of examples “Haukka” from Finland, although I don’t know the name of the publication in which they ran.

Several other times I have been contacted by people from other countries who were fans of my grandfather’s work. Davide even sent me a couple copies of the Italian weekly Il Nerbiniano. (I paid him back with a copy of the Kevin the Bold collection available on Amazon that was put together by Frank M. Young).

Another friend, Marko, sent scans from a Serbian comic book called Kevin Neustrasivi, One of the issues had a very nice cover, featuring artwork by an unknown Balkan artist.

KTB NK VLALE_11

The most recent acquaintance I’ve made with a foreign Kreigh Collins fan is Gérard, who sent me scans of French comic books featuring both “Mitzi McCoy” and “Kevin le Hardi“. At this point, I’m not too surprised to hear about more Kevin comic books, but the revelation of a collection featuring my grandfather’s first feature astonished me.

 

The Fantax covers are especially great because the covers, inspired by Collins’ illustrations, were done by the French publisher and artist Pierre Mouchot (who signed his artwork, “Chott”). And While Big Horn didn’t use Kevin on its cover, he does get a mention there.

In commemoration of this blog’s fifth anniversary, I thank its readers for their continued interest in my grandfather’s comics career, and especially my far-flung comics friends who have shared parts of their collections with me..


The Perfect Anniversary Gift!

Nevermind wood or silver—now you can order “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.” directly from me. In addition to the entire run of “Mitzi McCoy,” the book includes the opening sequence of the comic strip “Mitzi” evolved into, “Kevin the Bold.”

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

The book’s price is $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, first class shipping costs $25. (A recent order sent from New Jersey to France took 10 calendar days to be delivered). To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150


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

 

A Man Condemned

A brawl begins—and ends badly for Kevin and Brett. However, Grossmaul soon gets a taste of his own medicine.

KTB 121359 BWP 150 QCC

The story arc wraps up with poetic justice, and transitions to the next adventure.

KTB 122059 BWP 150 qcc

Sadly, for Chicago Tribune readers, the December 20, 1959 episode (above) is the last one to appear in the paper.

KTB 122759 BWP 150 qcc

Here are the sequence’s last three episodes in color, as third-pages.


Available Now

Initially available only from the publisher’s website, I now am happy to offer copies for sale of “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.”

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

The book’s price is $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, first class shipping costs $25. (A recent order sent from New Jersey to France took 10 calendar days to be delivered). To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.


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

 

The Plot’s Afoot

As a welcome change of pace, the following episode is a half page from the Sunday Independant. With its descriptive, educational labels, it is characteristic of Collins’ illustrative comics work.

Now let’s settle into our seats and watch as the action unfolds.

KTB 112259 HF 150 QCC

Although Kevin has finally made his appearance in this story arc, Brett continues to dominate the action.

KTB 112959 BWP 150 qcc

KTB 120659 HB 150 AMC

I don’t have a third-page version of the November 22, 1959 episode scanned but I do have a black and white proof—which has been embellished with some yellow paint. Kind of a drag, but it could’ve been worse—our young artist seemed to spend more time creating their own artwork, as shown on its reverse (“Mixed media with architectural details,” unknown artist).

Here are the other two episodes in color, as third-pages.


Available Now

Initially available only from the publisher’s website, I now am happy to offer copies for sale of “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.”

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

The book’s price is $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, first class shipping costs $25. (A recent order sent from New Jersey to France took 10 calendar days to be delivered). To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.


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

 

Send in the Cavalry, er, Clowns!

Brett’s nightmare keeps taking turns for the worse.

KTB 110159 BWP 150 qcc

Brett is in dire straits. Where is his benefactor, Kevin?

KTB 110859 TH 150 QCC

Wait—what? Was Brett just saved by a mime? I did not see (or hear) that coming! With any luck, Kevin will be ready for any sudden plot twists.

KTB 111559 HB 150 CSI

Here are the three episodes in color, as third-pages.


Available Now

Initially available only from the publisher’s website, I now am happy to offer copies for sale of “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.”

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

The book’s price is $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, shipping costs $25. To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.


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

 

The Proudest Boy in Europe

As was occsionally the case with these nice BW proofs, someone got handy with the scissors—though it seems kind of like an odd panel to remove. This one can’t be patched as nicely as some others I’ve run across.

KTB 101159 BWP 150 qcc

Gretchen instinctively avoids Hans, but the Grossmauls’ evil plan is set into motion. Poisoning someone with a sleeping potion is one thing…

KTB 101859 BWP 150 qcc

…but arson is another. Interestingly, the panel showing Hans running from the fire he had set was the throwaway panel, so this detail would be lost on tabloid or third-page readers. The panel that follows, where Hans’ father asks if the deed is done, leaves the fire’s origin as somewhat ambiguous.

KTB 102559 BWP 150 qcc

Poisoning, arson, murder… and a scapegoat. The aptly named Grossmauls are about as evil as any villains featured in “Kevin the Bold.”

Here are the three episodes in color, as third-pages.


Available Now

Initially available only from the publisher’s website, I now am happy to offer copies for sale of “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.”

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

The book’s price is $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, shipping costs $25. To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character Mitzi McCoy.


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

 

The Warden of the Smoke and Bells

When Kreigh Collins’ first NEA comic strip (“Mitzi McCoy”) debuted, it was designed to be carried by an ensemble cast, where any of the regulars could take the lead in a given story arc. This was certainly less the case with “Kevin the Bold,” with Kevin dominating the action, but there could be stretches of two or three weeks where he was completely absent.

A much longer sabbatical happened in late 1959. For seven consecutive episodes, Kevin’s ward Brett took the lead—it wasn’t until the final panel of the eighth episode that Kevin appeared. At the conclusion of the story arc, “Kevin” was dropped by the Chicago Sunday Tribune (it’s unclear if this was a coincidence). “Kevin the Bold” was the first NEA comic to grace the Trib‘s pages, and the paper had run the strip since its inception. No doubt this was a blow to its creator.

The first episode of this new story is a densely packed with exposition. While Brett is Kevin’s ward, he has yet to learn the importance of holding his tongue. However, the lad does manage some choice words.

KTB 092059 BWP 150 qcc

The next two episodes originally ran in the Carbondale Southern Illinoisian. Despite the pall cast over the last episode, the mood brightens considerably as we meet the kindly Professor Sachs…

KTB 092759 HB 150 CSI

…before taking another dark turn.`

KTB 100459 HB 150 CSI

Here are the three episodes in color, as third-pages.


Available Now

Initially available only from the publisher’s website, I now am happy to offer copies for sale of “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy.”

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

The book’s price is $30. For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, shipping costs $25. To place an order, email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information.

MITZI McCOY ran from 1948 to 1950 and showcased Kreigh Collins’ skill as an illustrator and storyteller. His picturesque landscapes, lovely character designs, and thrilling action sequences brimmed with detail and charm, and the strip’s ensemble cast rotated in and out of the spotlight taking turns as protagonists in the dozen story arcs collected in this volume. The last story collected in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” is the narrative bridge that set Collins and his characters off on a new journey, beautifully told for the next couple of decades in the much-lauded adventure strip Kevin the Bold.

The collection includes an introduction by Eisner Award-winning author Frank M. Young, an Afterward by Ithaca College’s Ed Catto, and previously unpublished artwork and photos. Longtime comics artist Butch Guice also provides a new pin-up of the character 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?

UA 121568 150 HA qcc

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.

UA 122268 150 HA qcc

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.

UA 122968 HA 150 qcc C-BW

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.

Heather cradle Apr 67 r 150


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

Secret Weapon

Heather's Crew

Kreigh: “Teddy, let’s sail the Great Loop with the twins.” Teddy: “Wouldn’t that be grand!”

“Up Anchor!” was narrated by Jane Marlin, who was loosely based on Kreigh Collins’ wife, Theresa. “Teddy” also had a hand in writing the strip, and the the November 24, 1968 episode, she also pitched in a bit with the illustration. I clearly recognize the handwritten labels on the drawings Jane holds from her numerous cards and letters over the years (and there were plenty of years—she lived to be nearly 102!)

UA 112468 HA 150 qcc C-BW

Teddy definitely fit the idiom, “Behind every great man is a great woman.” After all, besides “the Skipper” and eight-year-old twins, she served as Heather‘s only crew during it’s year-long circuit of the 6,000-mile Great Loop. Made plain in the strip, traditional gender roles were largely held, so she was responsible for cooking, cleaning, and all the other typical roles of a mother. The original plan was to home-school (boat-school?) Kevin and Glen during the journey, so teacher could be added to the list, too. Of course, Teddy was used to adventuring with her husband—shortly after their 1929 wedding, they took a steamship to Europe and spent several months exploring the continent (mostly France). She chronicled the Great Loop journey in her diary, and later the material was published in an article that appeared in The World Of Comic Art. The late 1966 article was reprinted and used as part of an NEA promotional push, and some of this material was repurposed as “Up Anchor!” storylines.

UA 120168 HA 150 qcc C-BW

After a bit of self-deprecation, another educational tidbit was dished out regarding alcohol fires.

Generally, the content of “Water Lore” didn’t reflect the action in an episode of “Up Anchor!,” but the December 1, 1968 episode was an exception, with its focus on cooking. Personally, I don’t have a lot of memories of sailing aboard Heather, but I do recall touching her smokestack once and burning my hand.

UA 120868 BH 130

This wouldn’t be the last time Heather went aground.


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

I’d Rather Be Sailing

In late October of 1968, with the final episode of “Kevin the Bold,” our hero made good on something he’d been trying to do for years.

KTB 102768 HA 150 qcc

The end of the trail found Kevin in his friend Pedro’s homeland, Spain, but if he was going to settle down, it would mean more than time travel—a change of scenery was also in the cards.

UA envelope 72

A true measure of local renown is not needing to list a street address on one’s stationery.

Set on Lake Macatawa, in western Michigan (the same place Collins docked his boat, Heather), “Up Anchor!” was Kreigh Collins’ final NEA comic feature. It launched on November 3, 1968 and was an attempt to adapt to changing times—adventure strips like “Kevin the Bold” had fallen out of favor. His new strip was largely based on his family’s real-life experiences aboard their schooner, Heather—but plenty of license was taken with the plot.

The tone of the strip changed too, as it was narrated by Jane Marlin. Jane was loosely based on Kreigh’s wife, Theresa; “Teddy” helped develop the strip’s continuity, too. With “Up Anchor!,” Collins had finally figured out how to best deal with dreaded third-page reproductions of his artwork—he added a topper strip, “Water Lore.” (For the last few years of “Kevin,” the bottom tier of panels had been considered expendable—an example is shown at the top of this post). When the new strip ran as a tabloid, the smaller of the two “Water Lore” panels was the throwaway; when it ran in a one-third page format, the topper was lost.

While the tone of the strip was more modern than in “Kevin,” there are still some elements that now seem dated, such as a recurring theme of male chauvinism, and even an awkward joke about a black eye in the strip’s debut.

Nonetheless, with summer here, a voyage under sail sounds wonderful.

UA 110368 Th 150 qcc C-BW

The debut introduced the characters, or crew—in addition to Jane and Kevin (remember, this was supposed to be the same character as from the previous strip), we meet the couple’s sons, Erik and Dave. In real life, Erik was my father and David is my uncle, and their little brothers are Kevin and Glen. Once again, Glen seems to have gotten short-changed, but maybe this was fine with him. For what it’s worth, Glen bears a much stronger physical resemblance to his father than his brothers.

Most of the examples I have are third-pages, but I have recreated the full illustrations with the help of black and white online downloads.

UA 111068 HA 150 QCC C-BW

A rather central component of the strip was education, and it wasn’t just relegated to the topper.

UA 111768 BH 130

This post has some pretty sweet examples of “Water Lore,” particularly the one above dealing with radar’s precursor, and the November 10 example even previews the following week’s edition.

As the episodes themselves indicate, “Continued next week.”


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