The Four Corners

Kreigh Collins truly had a wanderlust, and his comic strips’ settings reflected this as well. “Mitzi McCoy” was set in Freedom, Michigan, but in its short run, Mitzi traveled to Canada’s North Woods (in her own plane), Miami Beach, New York City, and Chicago; action also took place in ancient Rome and Ancient Israel.

“Kevin the Bold” had an 18-year run, and its protagonist travelled much more extensively—to the four corners of the Earth.

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This dramatic Irish cliff seems at least party inspired by the Cliffs of Moher.

Although Kreigh Collins never visited Ireland, he did travel to Morocco as a young man, and his classic Sadea sequence from 1952 featured the North African country.

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Situated as close to Ireland as it was, much action took place in the Netherlands, as in this episode from 1961. Bruges (Belgium), was also a relatively short trek for Kevin.

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Often, action was taking place in several distant lands in a single comic. The March 16, 1952 episode features Switzerland, northern Italy, and Byzantium (aka Constantinople).

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In a sequence that has yet to run on this blog, Kevin travels to Venice and eventually sails to the eastern Mediterranean in pursuit of the pirate Zyclos.

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Much of the action from the mid-50s episodes of “Kevin the Bold” took place in London and other locations in England; fictitious German towns were also a frequent setting. In Firenze, Kevin nearly bumped into Leonardo Da VInci.

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On an adventure that was published in the summer of 1953, Kevin traveled as far east as the Caucasus Foothills (Georgia, Asia). By the end of that chapter, he was back in the south of France.

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The next year, Kevin rode to Muscovy (modern-day Moscow). And of course, Kevin’s travels were generally in the name of fighting injustice. KTB 090554 HA CST 150 qcc

In 1955, Kevin set sail for Suez, Egypt, in order to return a princess to father. For this episode, Collins prepared a customized layout for the Chicago Tribune, featuring fewer panels and the addition of a nicer rendering of Kevin’s storm-tossed ship.

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A later sequence took place in Norway, again featuring one of the artist’s specialties, beautifully-drawn boats.

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In early 1962, Kevin’s adventures to him to the New World, the first of several trips he would make across the Atlantic.

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The following year, a storm struck Kevin’s ship and blew him off course—apparently around Cape Horn and into the Pacific, where he eventually beached in Japan. Unfortunately, and not so surprisingly, given the era in which this episode was published, the Japanese are shown with a skin tone beyond caricature. (However, by the time the sequence had wrapped, this travesty was corrected).

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In the mid-60s Kevin again crossed the Atlantic, reaching the North America mainland. He saw the location of the ill-fated colony of Roanoke, Niagara Falls, and the California coast.

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Near the end of its run, Kevin’s journey takes him furthest from his Irish beginnings, to the other side of the world, the South Sea Isles.

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Although Kevin’s journey seemingly brought him to the four corners of the world, this blog’s readers hail from an even more diverse list of exotic lands:

Estonia, Slovakia, Bolivia, Bahrain, Vietnam, Iceland, Malta,
the Bahamas, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Albania, Honduras,
Luxembourg, Greenland, Ecuador, Singapore, Qatar, Tunisia,
American Samoa, Costa Rica, Bulgaria, China, Egypt, Peru, Romania,
Japan, Guam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Russia, Macedonia, Puerto Rico,
Latvia, Myanmar, Poland, Greece, Indonesia, Uruguay, Panama,
Pakistan, Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Belgium, South Africa,
Nigeria, South Korea, Ukraine, Mexico, Switzerland, Hong Kong,
Ireland, Norway, Turkey, New Zealand, Bosnia & Herzegovina,
Philippians, Finland, Hungary, Chile, Australia, India, Argentina,
Thailand, Colombia, United Kingdom, Germany, Serbia, Denmark,
Canada, Sweden, Netherlands, Brazil, Croatia, Portugal, Spain,
Italy, France, and (not as exotic to me), the United States

In commemoration of this blog’s fourth anniversary, I thank its readers for their continued interest in my grandfather’s comics career.


The Perfect Anniversary Gift!

Forget those traditional and modern gift lists—click here to place your order for The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy. 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.”

The book also features an extensive introduction by Eisner Award-winner Frank M. Young and previously unpublished artwork and photographs.

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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

Mitzi McCoy Cover 150

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.

A witch!

With the recent release of the Mueller Report, witch hunts are in the news. The subject came up on a couple of occasions in “Kevin the Bold.”

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Per wikipedia, the classical period of witch-hunts in Early Modern Europe and Colonial North America took place around 1450 – 1750. This actually corresponds (more or less) to the years the events depicted in “Kevin the Bold” took place (c. 1490 – 1668). Obviously, Kreigh Collins took liberties with the timeline while including historical events in his comic strip.

Based on the apparent age of Leonardo Da Vinci, the episode above is set around the year 1510, when witch hunts were common. Ironically, they seem to have returned to prominence in the last couple of years, but that’s another story.

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There are holes in my collection during this sequence, so I can’t run it in its entirety. I was fortunate to have the two episodes above given to me by illustrator/blogger Thom Buchanan. I saw them on an old blog he ran, which I discovered when I began searching online for my grandfather’s comics ten years ago. Thom encouraged me to start a blog, and six and half years later, I did.

The sequence with Leonardo and his lovely assistant Angelina came very late in the comic strip’s run — only three more sequences followed — and it wasn’t the first time witch hunts were featured in “Kevin the Bold.” Sixteen years earlier, in only its fourth sequence, witches were being targeted in the Netherlands. Most of this sequence’s comics are missing from my collection. The images I post here were mined from old eBay listings—how I wish I’d bought them when I had the chance!

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As the preceding storyline transitions, Tankard is introduced, and given his prominence, it’s quite likely he will play a large role in the coming events.

As Kevin sails north on the ship bringing home Sadea, the damsel he’d just saved as a favor to his erstwhile rival the Count de Falcon, Stub offers some words of advice that prove to be prophetic.

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To be continued…


The Complete Mitzi McCoy

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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.

Kevin the Bosnian

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On St. Patrick’s Day, it seems only fitting to highlight Kevin’s adventures in… Bosnia?

My friend Marko recently pointed me toward some comic books with “Kevin the Bold” translated into Bosnian. Shown above are two late examples published by Lale that sold for 1.5 dinar. Without seeing the physical copies, it is difficult to tell which storyline is contained inside, because the covers were redrawn and don’t come from any of Collins’ original artwork.

Other Serbian publishers also featured Kreigh Collins’ noted strip. Dugin magazine #7-20 ran most of the Baron Von Blunt sequence (originally appearing in Sunday papers from October 21, 1951– January 27, 1952). Happy Party #51-63 ran most of the sequence where Kevin and Brett search for the Hartz family fortune, plus the following one featuring Zyclos the Pirate (April 13–August 3, 1952); #64-65 has the beginning of Leonardo Da VInci’s flaming dragon sequence (August 10–24, 1952). Zenit #10-23 has an interesting 1965 storyline about the lost colony of Roanoke (June 27–September 26, 1965); #45-62 has two sequences, more about the Hartz family fortune and another about Captain Duncan Bellows; and #63-134 apparently contains over a year’s worth of comics (September 20, 1959–January 29, 1961). I haven’t been able to find images of any of these titles.

My favorite is another Lale title, #11, “Neustrasivi Kevin.” It’s obviously an earlier publication, as its price was only 80 dinara. It also features another recreated cover. The cover artwork is very nice, if a bit unlikely—for over 18 years, Kevin ran away from the beautiful damseles he’d rescued—he had unfinished business and wouldn’t be tied down.

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The comics inside told the tale of a kidnapped princess, and originally ran from February 8–May 3, 1959. I found this entire issue online, and have included it below.  The comic book is 36 pages long, with most of it devoted to Kevin. Pages 30–34 feature a comic called “Megdan.”

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And here’s “Megdan.”

There were no images for the inside covers, but there was a back cover.

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For these foreign translations, I rely heavily on online translators, which deliver mixed results. The back cover text indicates there was something like a poll to determine what comics should be featured in this issue. It reads something along these lines:

Dear Readers,
According to your choice, we have prepared for the fall season a series of the most interesting world comics that will be published in our popular library. The editorial staff of the library on this occasion bestowed you on the support and advice you unselfishly provided.


Podcast

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To learn more about Kreigh Collins, “Mitzi McCoy,” and how my book on Mitzi (“The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Volume 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy“) came together, check out this interview: “Anatomy of a Comic Strip,” with host John Siuntres, on his long running pop culture audio podcast, Word Balloon.


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