A Close Shave

“Mitzi McCoy” was designed to have plot lines that could be carried by any of its main characters — Mitzi, Stub Goodman or Tim Graham. In this case, Tim grabs the spotlight, as he is the only regular character appearing in a string of four episodes. “Mitzi” also promised lively adventure, romance and human interest, and with Tim leading the way, the action veers into violence for the first time since Stub Goodman bounced Phil Rathbone from the offices of the Freedom Clarion.

Another strategy “Mitzi”used was to create new characters that would reflect various demographics it was trying to reach as it tried to grow its audience. A previous sequence had brought aboard young Dick Dixon, and Lynn and Collins had discussed the possibility of adding a girl to the Bow and Arrow Bear Hunt chapter. It was decided that a later sequence would feature a schoolgirl, and last week’s comic introduced Mugs, a native boy defended by Tim.

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Fortunately for Tim, his unlikely ally Mugs returns the favor… in spades. Mugs saves Tim once and after being warned away, the boy lingers long enough to save Tim yet again. Later, while setting up camp, stereotypes are shattered and his bond with Mugs is sealed.

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Perhaps reminding readers of the reason he had come to the north woods in the first place, Tim puts on an exhibition of his archery skills for his young friend. The October 2, 1949 comic also features some clever survival skills employed by Mugs. This comic proved to be very popular with Kreigh’s test audience (sons Erik and David, ages eleven and nine). In the final panel, an attractive young native woman heralds the return of the comic’s usual eye appeal, as Mitzi and her father have been summoned to Roaring Fork.

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