Tit-Bits

Tit-Bits (originally named Tit-Bits from all the interesting Books, Periodicals, and Newspapers of the World) was a British weekly magazine with origins in the late 19th century. (It also makes for a blog post title that might come up in more internet searches than usual).

The publication’s emphasis was on dramatic human interest stories. An Argentinian version was created in 1909, and among other things, it featured American comics translated into Spanish.

In the 1950s, many of the comics it ran were King Features titles (“The Phantom,” “Judge Parker,” “Rex Morgan MD,” etc.) but it also ran “Terry and the Pirates” (the Chicago Tribune Syndicate, renamed “La Sombra”) and “Kevin the Bold” (Newspaper Enterprise Association/“Kevin el Denodado”), among others.

The Tit-Bits covers repurposed art from its variety of source material, and frequently used comics. “Kevin” was featured — generally in cases when it had dramatic double-decked illustrations. (Covers are shown with corresponding original Sunday comics).

KTB Tit-Bits cover5 Ship SQKTB 072752 HF 100 QCC

KTB Tit-Bits cover3 R SQKTB 122852 HF 100 QCC

KTB Tit-Bits cover1 Bear SQKTB 080253 HF 100 QCC

KTB Tit-Bits Cover4 Kite SQKTB 091353 HF 100 QCC.jpg

KTB Tit-Bits cover2 Sword SQKTB 050954 HF 100 QCC

Looking at the five originals above, I’m reminded of other comics where Collins used similar devices or poses. The first two have echoes of throwaway panels from some of the earliest KTBs.

throwaway echos

At left, an earlier drowning victim (December 3, 1950). At far right, from the KTB debut strip,  Moya McCoy displays similar form to the damsel in the red dress.

Based on the publication dates of the Argentine monthlies (and the dates the comics originally ran), I’d speculate that each issue would contain four to six episodes of any given comic. The comics ran in a tabloid format, but in a much smaller size, with other stories wrapping around them on the pages.

Though many are currently listed on eBay, I haven’t seen any physical copies of these publications — the shipping costs put them out of my price range. However, I did spring for a rather unique full-page illustration from Tit-Bits. It shows a trussed up Moya McCoy, as she is being kidnapped by Moors. The artwork is from KTB’s opening sequence, and I will begin running that chapter in four installments starting next Sunday.

KTC Moya McCoy bound 111950 qcc

Nothing to see here — just a little pre-Code bondage!

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