Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I recently received a package in the mail from Roger, my blogger friend from Sweden. In addition to some “Falcon Stormfågeln” tear sheets from Allas Veckotidning magazine, It contained seven issues of the comic book Fantomen (featuring Lee Falk’s long running comic, THE PHANTOM). These issues of Fantomen were published in 1977, ran 70 pages, and had color covers and black and white interiors. In addition to the title feature, “Fantomen Nr. 17” included 13 pages of the Zane Gray/Jim Gary comic “King vid Gränspolisen” (KING OF THE ROYAL MOUNTED), and 15 pages of “Roland den Djärve” (KEVIN THE BOLD). “Roland” had previously appeared in Swedish TOM MIX comic books, published in the mid-1950s; Kreigh Collins’ work had first appeared in Allas Veckotidning as “Falcon Stormfågeln” about 11 months after the NEA versions ran in Sunday comic sections.
The inside front cover has a very cool ad for Serie Magisinet featuring Björn Borg, who had just achieved worldwide #1 ranking in tennis (I wonder if he’s reading 1977’s issue 13, which included MITZI McCOY?*)
About half the issue was devoted to THE PHANTOM, which debuted as a daily strip on February 17, 1936 (and continues to this day). A nice color poster was included, and luckily for me, it’s still attached and in perfect shape. The purpose of the poster is a mystery to me—perhaps it was intended to be used as a school schedule for the comic book reader.
A two-page PHANTOM fan club section followed.
Next up was Roland. The story arc (Förrädaren, or “The Traitor”) is the Swedish version of the one that appeared on this blog over the past five weeks, featuring the no-good Sir Will Ratigan. (The following scans originally appeared on Roger’s fantastic blog).
Bringing up the rear of the issue was “King vid Gränspolisen” (KING OF THE ROYAL MOUNTED started its nearly two-decade long run in the Sunday funnies in 1935).
Facing an ad for “The Saint” on the inside back cover was a PHANTOM letters section, plus an ad for a juvenile book publisher on the back cover.
*Who Is Mitzi McCoy, You Ask?
“The Lost Art of Kreigh Collins, the Complete Mitzi McCoy” features the entire run of Kreigh Collins’ first NEA feature, and is available for a limited time at a reduced price.
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 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.
The book is available for
$30 ONLY $20! For domestic shipping, add $4; for international orders, please add $25 to cover first class shipping. To place an order, leave a comment below or email me at BrianEdwardCollins1[at]gmail.com, and I will give you PayPal or Venmo information. Thank you!
For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.