Barda has a new muse, and she gives her new toy both freedom and fair warning.
Determined not to make the same mistake twice, Kevin is cautious.
The comic used to patch the hole in this proof reveals the main problem with one-third-page versions—a significant chunk of the opening panel (to the right of Kevin) has been cropped out.
The names of Kreigh Collins’ ancillary characters were generally symbolic. As the child of a druid-inspired cult’s spiritual leader, Barda (“daughter of the earth”) is an appropriate name for a young poetess. Although she seems to relish dominating her love interests, she is not to be confused with Big Barta (a DC comics character with similar proclivities that debuted a decade later).
In the December 11 episode, our poetess riffs on a scene from King Lear (“The knave turns fool that runs…”). Of note, five years down the road Shakespeare would figure even more prominently as inspiration for a “Kevin the Bold” sequence.
Having made Kevin an offer he could not refuse, Barda finds trouble of her own.
For more information on the career of Kreigh Collins, visit his page on Facebook.
The light-hearted sequence with young Will Shakespeare continues, and so do the cribbed lines. Looking them up is a nice way to be introduced to some of Shakespeare’s body of work, and I imagine Kreigh Collins and his editor had fun working them into the dialog. Who knew? (not me), there’s some good stuff in there. O tiger’s heart wrapt in a woman’s hide, and prepare to die… this stuff would keep me coming back for more if I was a reader of mid-’60s Sunday comics… which I guess I was, sort of (well, big brother Brett anyway).
Standing in front of our ’64 Ford Fairlane 500, from left to right, Edward Bear, Brian, and Brett (holding the Detroit News’ comics section).
The sequence is nearing its curtain, but there is still time for more fun with Shakespeare’s lines (Kill me tomorrow…).
Overall, the sequence is more whimsical than any other I can think of, as far as “Kevin the Bold” is concerned. Its mood is more reminiscent of “Mitzi McCoy,” and it serves as a nice change of pace from Kevin’s usual antics dealing with despots, pirates and thugs. It is followed by another sequence in which Brett plays a prominent role, likely these were an attempt to engage younger readers.
A new sequence deserves a knock-out opener, and Kreigh Collins delivers.
Perhaps Kevin’s penchant for saving dameselles in distress comes from him always keeping his eye on the “scenery.” The character upon whom Kevin was molded (to a degree), Tim Graham, from “Mitzi McCoy,” had a similar predilection. In this case, Kevin has unknowingly rescued the pretty friend of his ward, Brett.
While Kevin spent the summer in the West Indies, Brett had stayed behind in London. Upon his arrival, Kevin meets another friend of Brett’s, a boy named Will Shakespeare (an example of the sort of historical figure that can be found in “Kevin the Bold.”) With the date established as 1588, Shakespeare would have reached the age of 14. Brett is likely a couple years younger, while Julie appears to be a young lady, about 18 years old.
Will and Brett are rehearsing a play at the Unicorn Theater, and it turns out that Julie’s step-father (Jake Waggar) owns the rival theater, the Lantern. As far as step-fathers go, Jake falls into the “evil” category, and he stoops low in his competition with the Unicorn.
Along with the appearance of historical figures in his comics, Kreigh Collins could also be counted on for some related education. Collins was known for the depth or research he put into his subjects, all in the name of historical accuracy.
With Will Shakespeare a part of this storyline, one can expect numerous references to the famous author’s oeuvre. And with my personal knowledge of Shakespeare somewhat lacking, I bet my grandfather would get a kick out of the research I need to do in order to write these posts. I will mention references where I see them, but I would appreciate it if any reader would point out any that I have missed in the comments.