Water Lore

“Water Lore” was the topper strip Kreigh Collins created for his third NEA comic, “Up Anchor!” The comic generally ran as a one-third page, so the topper was rarely seen in print. Until recently, I had only seen “Water Lore” when I’d come across Collins’ original illustrations for the comic, or in the handful of “Up Anchor!” syndicate proofs in my collection.

UA 051770 OA Rough

The May 17, 1970 episode is one of many pieces of Collins’ original art found in the collection of the Grand Rapids Public Library.

I recently acquired some half-page examples of “Up Anchor!” and have now seen its topper in print, and in color.

UA 051770 150 HA qcc

The “Evening Chronicle” from Allentown, Pennsylvania was one of the few newspapers to run “Up Anchor!” as a half page comic.

Collins had long hated the one-third page format in which most newspapers were running “Kevin the Bold,” and when the suits at the NEA convinced Collins to retire “Kevin” and replace it with something more contemporary, he utilized the topper so his panels wouldn’t get cropped and shrunken. In cases where it ran as a four-tiered tabloid comic, the second topper panel would be eliminated.

The “Water Lore” toppers occasionally had dates inscribed in them, indicating they may have been intended as stand-alone single panel comics. Collins often illustrated and wrote articles for consumer sailing magazines, perhaps they were the intended market.

UAWL 101969 150 qcc

More commonly, they were undated.

UAWL 032970 150 qccUAWL 071270 150 qccUAWL 062870 150 qccUAWL 053170 150 qccUAWL 052470 150 qccUAWL 042670 150 qccUAWL 041970 150 qccUAWL 102669 150 qccUAWL 090769 150 qccUAWL 101269 150 qcc


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