Where’s Mitzi?

“Mitzi McCoy” was Kreigh Collins’ first syndicated (Newspaper Enterprise Association) comic strip, and in its November 7, 1948 debut, Mitzi bolted from her wedding after realizing her fiancé was a gold-digging jerk.

The comics that followed showed the transformation of Collins’ skills from that of a renowned illustrator to those of a successful cartoonist. Each panel of these early comics are jammed full of detail, and the original artwork is astonishing to behold. About half of the “Mitzi McCoy” originals are in the Local History collection of the Grand Rapids Public Library.

MM 111448 150 OA

These early Mitzi originals also show evidence of revisions to the artwork and dialogue. In addition to illustrating and scripting the comic, Collins did the lettering. Kreigh had similar responsibilities for his mid-1940s “Bible Stories Comics” (put out by the Methodist Publishing House) but the NEA required a more structured approach, and had more specific procedures to be followed. There were some growing pains, but the artwork is absolutely amazing.

MM 112148 150 OA.jpg

While comics fans might have been wondering where Ms. McCoy had gone in 1948, “Where’s Mitzi?” could also be a question posed more recently. Late last year, an announcement was made on the upcoming publication of a book collecting the comic strip’s entire run.

MM Sales Sheet LA1 150

While production of the book has been delayed, rest assured that the book is still in the works. Once it is published, Mitzi’s whereabouts will be more easily tracked.

Advertisements

The Song of the Angels

These Bible Picture Stories appeared in childrens’ Sunday school publications, and it is interesting to me that this age-old story shows the shepherds complaining about an age-old problem (i.e., This town is so boring!). I’m sure the target audience could relate. However, things soon change…

bps-mary04-qcc-200bps-mary05-qcc-200bps-mary06-qcc-200

“The Story of Mary” continues for several more weeks, but this seems like an appropriate time to end this sequence.

Merry Christmas!

The Story of Mary

Kreigh Collins had extensive experience with Biblical illustrations, and he used his expertise in the field on numerous occasions as a cartoonist. While the Christmas story never factored into an “Up Anchor!” sequence, it was featured in both of his other NEA-syndicated strips. However, it first appeared in his Bible Picture Stories for the Methodist Publishing House.

In advance of Christmas, here is a portion of “The Story of Mary,” from 1945.

bps-mary01-qcc-200-72bps-mary02-qcc-200-72

BPS Mary03 qcc 200-72.jpg