The Cave Bear

“Kevin the Bold” is essentially historical fiction, as Kreigh Collins used real events from the 15th and 16th centuries on which to base Kevin’s adventures. At times, the comics veered into the realm of fantasy, as with this mid-1953 sequence featuring an enormous, fearsome Cave Bear*.

*Skeptical reader: you say bears only walk on two feet in cartoons? Sure of that? A bear spotted in my home state of New Jersey became famous for his gait. (Sadly, “Pedals” was recently killed during this fall’s hunting season).

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Back in the funny papers, Kevin and Brett arrive in Antwerp, Belgium, seeking passage to Ireland. Their quest for peace and quiet ends abruptly with a chance encounter with an old friend. Soon enough, Kevin and Brett learn of their next adventure, and they have set sail for the East.

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Trial by Water

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Miraculously, Kevin is able to save David. After they struggle back to shore, a joyous family reunion occurs. The story’s plot has taken numerous twists, but at least one more remains… will Kevin be punished for his good deeds?

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Lord Dinsmore has absolved David and Kevin of any wrongdoing and has decided to provide finances so that David can become a fisherman. However, before returning to London, the plot turns again. The kindly Lord has taken ill. Unable to deliver a small fortune of gold for the King, he tasks Kevin with the job, and the comic transitions to its next chapter.

A Perfect Storm

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His conscience guilty, seeing a sailboat about to be smashed by the rocks, David fears that his family is about to suffer the same fate as the others. Little does he realize, but it is Llewellyn who has fallen to the curse of the Abbott’s Bell.

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Lord Dinsmore delivers Mary and Emily Drew, but instead of finding David at home, they meet young Robbie. As they rush off to find Mary’s husband, Kevin dives into the sea in a very risky attempt to save David.

Ringing the Bell

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Llewellyn proves to be a menace with a sling — fatally striking a hawk in flight and then “ringing the bell” of David himself. Kevin and David escape, but Llewellyn and his band of hooligans go to work on their nefarious plan.

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With the weather taking an ominous turn, David Drew fears for his family’s safety. Little does he realize that their travel plans had changed.

A Real Handful

While it was great to have The Detroit News running Kevin as a half-page comic, its color reproduction too often failed to live up to the standards set by the Chicago Tribune, as the sloppily-printed November 3 comic shows.

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Kevin deftly saves lovely Emily and impresses the girl’s mother. Mary explains her family’s situation and reveals that they are about to sail off to visit her husband — in spite of his stern warning for them never to travel by sea (due to his career choice).

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Meanwhile, in Wales, things are becoming complicated for David Drew.