Finding a Friend

Kevin is confused by his new acquaintance’s behavior, and their relationship gets off to a rocky start.

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The two develop a certain amount of trust, and the July 25 episode presents Kevin with a couple of surprises.

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Saigen harks back to a character from a September, 1949 “Mitzi McCoy” episode. Tim Graham is saved in a very similar fashion by Mugs, another Native American boy. (This reminds me of a line by David Byrne, “There are a finite number of jokes in the universe.”)

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Although Kreigh Collins portrayed Native Americans as both heroes and villains, their speech was usually presented in the stereotypical fashion common of the era, a broken English where “me” was used instead of “I” and “-um” was appended to words. Kevin also shows some bias in making the mistake of underestimating his new friend Saigen.

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Not only that, but Kevin falls into the same trap as in an adventure from five years earlier…

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…as did Kevin’s dog Rory, in the comic strip’s inaugural 1950 sequence.

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As a kid, I remember digging holes for this type of trap out in the woods behind our house. Or more likely, I recall my brother Brett doing it in hopes of capturing me! We must have learned this trick from our father.


Tiger Traps and Other Comics

The 1950 “Kevin the Bold” episode directly above is featured along with 110+ others in “The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy.” It also features a wonderful essay by Eisner Award-winner Frank M. Young and is available here.

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

The Lost Colony

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The following “Kevin the Bold” sequence received quite a promotional push from Kreigh Collins’ syndicate. In addition to several paragraphs of descriptive text, four separate spots were prepared—three with illustrations and one with a photo of Collins at his drawing table.

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The promotional push generated other articles, such as this one from the Atlantic City Press. Placing it alongside an update on pole sitter Dixie Blandy is interesting perhaps only to me (but get a load of this!)

Although the comics came out in the summer of 1965, the required research was started five years earlier. Collins and his family had taken their schooner Heather south in 1959, wintering in Coconut Grove, Florida. This was the first step in their endeavor of sailing the Great Loop, an approximately 6,000-mile journey (quite a feat considering the 45′ sailboat’s crew consisted of Kreigh, wife Theresa, and 9-year-old twins Kevin and Glen.

It is worth mentioning that Collins continued working on his comic strip during this year-long adventure, he arose early in the morning and did his illustrations in the main salon of his sailboat’s cabin. Visits to post offices along the way were required for mailing off his scripts and illustrations, and for receiving feedback from the suits at the syndicate.

In April, the family headed north via the Intracoastal Waterway, eventually sailing through New York Harbor, the Hudson River, and across the Erie Canal. From there, they entered the Great Lakes, sailing through Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Michigan, making it back to their home port on Lake Macatawa in late August.

Somewhere in North Carolina, a photographer joined the crew (although these photos must have been taken by someone else, since the photographer appears in a couple of the shots).

Among their many stops was Hatteras Island on North Carolina’s Outer Banks—the location of the lost colony of Roanoke, and the mystery and disappearance of its settlers, including Virginia Dare. No one knows what happened, but as Collins said in the newspaper article about the sequence, he had his theory.

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A souvenir from an annual stage show about “America’s greatest mystery” (now in its 82nd season)

The action begins with Kevin about to sail for the New World, and with his amigo Pedro determined to join the crew.

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As usual, the comics’ tone is lighthearted at the beginning of the story arc, but soon the real action begins.

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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

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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.

Sunday, May 22, 1949

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When I was working on my book, The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1, The Complete Mitzi McCoy, a late stumbling block was finding replacement comics for episodes of which I only had third-page examples. Ironically, after searching far and wide for several years, I located them in a comic book shop about a dozen miles from my home. The catch was that I had to purchase them in complete comic sections. I left the shop with five 16-page New York Sunday Mirror Sunday comic sections and while I spent far more than I hoped to, my quest was over. The Mirror carried “Mitzi” for the duration of its run—usually in a half-tabloid format, but occasionally as a full tabloid page. I chose this particular section because its 70th anniversary is imminent.

Flipping through it reveals both big name features and comics now forgotten.

As usual, Ham Fisher’s “Joe Palooka” ran on the front page, followed by Milton Caniff’s “Steve Canyon” and “Mickey Finn” by Lank Leonard. Next up are “Henry” by Carl Anderson, “Kerry Drake,” “Superman” (neither credited, but by Alfred Andriola/Allen Saunders and Stan Kaye/Wayne Boring respectively), “The Flop Family” by Swan, an advertisement for Rinso, and Frank Miller’s “Barney Baxter in the Air.”

What was the main event for me likely falls into the category I mentioned earlier, “comics now forgotten.” This early episode, “Mitzi” ‘s 29th, is at the beginning of the strip’s fourth story arc. Half-tabloids are pretty small, but at least they include the throwaway panel, which full-page tabloid versions do not.

As a young man, Kreigh Collins worked as an illustrator at an ad agency in Chicago. This gig lasted about a year, and the primary reason it ended is that Collins despised having to produce commercial illustrations like the one in the Pepsi ad. At this point in time, I find the the ad’s style quite charming, but maybe I’m just biased because I drank so much Pepsi as a kid. On the facing page, Frank Godwin’s “Rusty Riley” has a style similar to “Mitzi” —leaning more toward illustration than cartooning. In fact, illustrations by Godwin and Collins appeared in Hermann Hagedorn’s The Book of Courage, published by the John C. Winston Company six years earlier.

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Now back to the comics… and advertisements.

Roy Crane’s “Captain Easy,” drawn here by Walt Scott, and V.T. Hamlin’s “Alley Oop” face a couple of nondescript advertisements for Dr. Lyon’s Tooth Powder and Danderine. Next up are “Bobby Sox” by Marty Links, “Rex Morgan, MD” by Bradley and Edgington, “Boots” by Martin, and Merrill Blossar’s “Freckles and His Friends” (plus the topper “Hector”).

The last full spread in the section features Harry Hanand’s silent comic “Louie,” “Out Our Way featuring the Willets,” by J.R. Williams, “Our Boarding House,” and an ad. The ad might be my favorite part of the entire section. It features the type of male chauvinism so common of the era, but it’s quite hysterical (in my reading, anyway).

Taking its usual spot on the back cover is “Lil’ Abner” by Al Capp.

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Patience Is a Virtue

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According to recent reports, there continues to be occasional delays with order fulfillment, but eventually your book will come, that is, if you order The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, Vol. 1: The Complete Mitzi McCoy. This 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 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

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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.

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.