The winners of the 2014 Joe Shuster Awards

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JSA2014_poster_V3_smWriter / Scénariste

  • Kurtis Wiebe – Rat Queens 1-3, Peter Panzerfaust 8-15, Dia De Los Muertos 3
    “Lonesome” (Image)
  • Rat_Queens_Issue_1_cover

Cartoonist / Auteur

  • Zviane – les Deuxièmes (Pow Pow)
  • couverture_deuxiemes

Artist / Dessinateur

  • Fiona Staples – Saga 9-17 (Image)
  • Saga_9_cover1

Cover Artist / Dessinateur Couvertures

  • Julie Rocheleau
  • fant

Webcomics Creator / Créateur de Bandes Dessinées Web

The Dragon Award (Comics for Kids) / Le Prix Dragon (Bandes Dessinées pour Enfants)

dragonsm2This award recognizes the works which capture the attention and fascination of young readers, and help to create a passion for life-long reading. Works considered for this award are comic books and graphic novels by Canadian creators that are targeted at readers 14 and under. Nominees for this award are selected from the eligible creators lists by a team of educators led by Jennifer Haines, MA, B.Ed., who is also the proprietor of Guelph, Ontario’s The Dragon comic book shop.

  • Couette tomes 2 et 3 by (Severin Gauthier) and Minikim (Dargaud)
  • 9782505017851-couv-I400x523

Gene Day Award (Self-Publishers) / Prix Gene Day (Auto-éditeurs)

Gene DayNamed after the late Howard Eugene Day (1951-1982), this award honours Canadian comic book creators or creative teams who self-published their work but did not have the books distributed by a third party such as Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc. The nominees were selected from over 40 individual publications submitted for review before the deadline of May 12th, 2014.The winner receives an additional bursary.

  • Steven GilbertThe Journal of the Main Street Secret Lodge
  • thehournalofhtemainstreetsecretlodge

Harry Kremer Award (Retailers) / Prix Harry Kremer (Détaillants)

HARRY-KREMER-portrait-Paul-Named after the late Harry Kremer, original owner of Now & Then Books (in Kitchener, Ontario). The CCBCAA maintains a list of active comic book stores and a database of recommendations, referrals and secret shopper reports. A separate Retailer Award Committee overseen by Scott VanderPloeg and Anthony Falcone reviews the data and selects a short list of stores that have shown merit in a variety of categories.

    For inquiries please contact them at:

kremerretailer@comicbookdaily.com

  • The Comic Shop (Vancouver, BC)
  • comicstore

The T.M. Maple Award / Prix T.M. Maple

The T.M. Maple Award will go to someone (living or deceased) selected from the Canadian comics community for achievements made outside of the creative and retail categories who have had a positive impact on the community.

maple-775697Jim Burke (1956-1994)

    a fan who wrote more than 3,000 letters to comic book letter columns between 1977 and 1994. Burke’s letters were quite popular among readers as well as editors, and he wrote prolifically to a diverse number of comic publishing companies and titles. Burke originally signed his letters as “The Mad Maple,” but Marvel Comics editor Tom DeFalco abbreviated it to “T.M. Maple” to make it sound like a real name (thus circumventing a new policy at the company to stop printing letters submitted under pseudonyms). Burke took a liking to the new name and began using it exclusively (including variations like “Theodore Maddox Maplehurst”) until 1988, when in Scott McCloud’s Zot! #21 he revealed his real name. Burke published a fanzine about comics in the late 1980s. With artist/publisher Allen Freeman, Burke co-created the superhero Captain Optimist. Jim Burke had a fatal heart attack in 1994.

1556240_10152052158083159_217955737_oDebra Jane Shelly (1974-2014) was a comics fan, supporter, and self-described (and celebrated) nerd. She was known for her years of behind-the-scenes support at Toronto comic cons and other events celebrating comics and pop culture.An active member of many online fan communities such as the Comics Cube and the International Comics Society. In 2013, she was a volunteer at many conventions such as Fan Expo Canada, she contributed biographies and counsel to the Joe Shuster Awards, she co-founded the Comic Book Lounge’s Ladies Night, a seasonal event that has become a gathering point for women comic book fans in a community still largely dominated by and catering to a male audience. It was a first for the Toronto comics community, and came at a time when the critical question of diversity in comics (readers as much as creators and characters) was gaining serious momentum internationally.  Debra was known for her positivity, and did less to criticize the comic community’s shortcomings than to nurture the people, spaces, and ideas that were inspiring. In early 2014 she passed away from a epileptic seizure in her sleep.

“To so many people she was the first person we told of our successes and failures & she always knew the best way to respond -how to congratulate and console us. That kind of contribution doesn’t fit on a resume but it was felt throughout the community.”

–Alice Quinn, Ladies’ Night co-founder

Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame / Temple de la renommée Créateur Canadien de Bandes Dessinées

  • cy-bell-1971CY BELL (1904-197?)
    Cyril Vaughn Bell was born in Peterborough on October 5, 1904. By the time he was six the family was in Toronto where his father worked as an Electrician for the local Streets and Railways. In 1929, along with his brother Eugene, he organized Commercial Signs of Canada mainly as a sign painting company. During the last half of 1941 and at the instigation of one of his young artists, Edmund Legault, Cy Bell’s company began putting out Canadian comic books to fill in a void caused by a parliamentary ban of the importing of American comics into the country that was put in place at the end of 1940. His first title was Wow Comics, and in the ensuing months he followed with six more titles, including Dimedime-comics_720_978_90, Active, Joke, and Triumph Comics featuring such iconic characters as Nelvana of the North, Johnny Canuck, Speed Savage, Thunderfist, and The Penguin. In March of 1942, the company was incorporated as Bell Features and Publishing Company Ltd. and with its famous, trademark bell logo, the company’s output came to form one of the most recognizable set of books in Canadian war time production. During its peak years Bell Features produced about a hundred thousand comic books a week and employed over 60 artists. In 1947, Cy Bell wound up his company and turned the printing side of it over to his brothers leaving us one of the finest legacies in Canadian comics. Bell Features would continue without him until 1953. Bell himself operated a small resort hotel in Crystal Beach, ON until the mid-1960’s, at which time he returned to his roots and opened a small-scale sign business which he ran until his passing in the mid-1970’s.
  • goodorlandocon77ralphdunnigansigningEDMOND GOOD (1910-1991)
    Edmond Elbridge Good was born on July 1 (ironically, now Canada Day then Dominion Day in Canada) 1910 in Saco, Maine to parents originally from the Maritimes. The family returned to Canada when Edmond was 10 and settled in Hamilton, Ontario. Edmond received his art training there and was hired as the first Art Director by Cy Bell for his comic publishing business. Good created his best known strip, Rex Baxter, as the lead feature for the new title Dime Comics in Feb. of 1942. He continued producing this feature and all the covers for Dime Comics until issue 13. After Adrian Dingle, Good did the greatest number of covers for Bell Features (Wow Comics 8-13, Commando Comics 1-6, and others. Good continued to work for Bell Features, even after Cy Bell hired Adrian Dingle as Art Director in the spring of 1942. Good also did a number of Canadian pulp covers during this period. He then left forgooddagar work opportunities in the U.S. in late 1943. From 1944-46 he took over the “Scorchy Smith” newspaper strip from Frank Robbins and also worked on “Phantom Detective” in Thrilling Comics. Good was the original artist on “Tomahawk” when the character began in Star Spangled Comics in 1947 and worked on Dagar Comics from 1948-9. His longest run, and perhaps favourite work, was on Monte Hale Comics for Fawcett from 1949-53. In the mid-fifties he started his own small publishing company called Good Comics Inc. and created Johnny Law, Sky Ranger for its short run. He continued to do commercial art and wrote radio and television scripts in the fifties. At the end of the fifties he had moved his family to Florida hired as the Art Director for Tupperware at their head offices there, a position which he held until his retirement in 1974. In 1977 he moved from Orlando to Altoona. Edmond Good passed away on Friday, Sept. 13, 1991.
  • Ty TempletonTY TEMPLETON (1962-)
    Few comic artists, Canadian or otherwise, have had the consistent and varied career of Ty Templeton. Born on May 9, 1962, Ty blazed on the comic scene in 1984 writing and drawing the Vortex Comics series, Stig’s Inferno, a modern take on Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Ty eventually took on the role of editor of Vortex Comics, overseeing various series including the company’s flagship title, Mister X. A talented storyteller, Ty has worked for almost every major publishing company writing or drawing an array of well known characters including Superman, Spider-Man, Star Trek, The Simpsons, She-Hulk, Howard the Duck, Ren & Stimpy, Scooby Doo and a celebrated run on Batman Adventures. Ty was the Editor in Chief of Canadian publisher, Mr. Comics, hiring almost exclusively Canadian talent to produce the critically respected tybaseries, Revolution on the Planet of the Apes, Hoverboy, and Dan Slott’s Big Max. In addition to being a popular, gregarious ambassador of comics at Fan Conventions Ty is helping to train the next generation of Canadian comic artists through his popular series of comic book writing and drawing classes, Ty Templeton’s Comic Book Boot Camp. Presently Ty is the artist of DC Comics’ Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet and has a weekly webcomic ‘Bun Toons’.

About The Joe Shuster Awards

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s first national and bilingual award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. The awards are named after pioneering Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster who, along with writer Jerry Siegel, created the iconic super-powered hero, Superman. The name is used with the approval of the Estate of Joe Shuster – Michael Catron, Estate Agent.

For more information please contact Awards Director Kevin A. Boyd at kevin@joeshusterawards.com

The 2014 Joe Shuster Award Nominees / Les nominés pour le prix Joe Shuster 2014

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JSA2007logo

UPDATED – AUGUST 22, 2014

The Joe Shuster Awards will be presented on Saturday, September 20th in Toronto, Ontario at BACK SPACE TORONTO, 587A College Street (2nd Floor). Ceremony will commence at 8 pm.

June 4, 2014 – Canada has a rich tradition of supporting our national arts communities with awards that recognize the achievements of our citizens like the Genie Awards for film and television and the Juno Awards for music – the JOE SHUSTER AWARD is Canada’s national award that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comics books, graphic novels and webcomics.

joe_shuster-size-medium2-promo.jpg

Joe Shuster

They are named after pioneering Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), whose clear, dynamic style and inventive visual flourishes set the standard for graphic storytelling during the infancy of the North American comic book industry. It was Superman, a co-creation of Shuster and his friend Jerry Siegel, that electrified the industry over 75 years ago in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon.

shusteraward-portraitcoloursm.jpgNominees were selected this spring from lists of creators of original works published and distributed during the year 2013. Qualifying creators must be Canadian citizens – living at home or abroad, or a recognized permanent resident. The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.

And the nominees are: Continue reading

Staples, Zdarsky, North represent Canada in the winners circle at the 2014 Harvey Awards

harveyawardwinnersNamed in honor of the late Harvey Kurtzman, the Harvey Awards recognize outstanding work in comics and sequential art. The winners were presented September 6, 2014 in Baltimore, MD, in conjunction with the Baltimore Comic-Con.

This was the ninth year for the Harvey Awards in Baltimore, MD.

The 2014 Harvey Award Winners

  • Best Artist: Fiona Staples (Saga)

  • Best Continuing or Limited Series: Saga by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples, Image Comics
  • Best Cover Artist:  Fiona Staples, Saga, Image Comics
  • Best New Series: Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction & Chip Zdarsky, Image Comics
  • Most Promising New Talent: Chip Zdarsky, Sex Criminals, Image Comics
  • Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers: Adventure Time, KaBOOM!
  • Special Award for Humor in Comics: Ryan North, Adventure Time, KaBOOM!

Fiona Staples, Chip Zdarsky and Ryan North are all nominated for 2014 Joe Shuster Awards, which will be presented in Toronto on Saturday, September 20th.

The Five Finalists for the Harry Kremer Canadian Comic Book Retailer Award

Harry Kremer Award (Retailers) / Prix Harry Kremer (Détaillants)

HARRY-KREMER-portrait-Paul-Throughout the year, the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association (CBCAA) works to maintain an accurate list of active comic book stores and a database of recommendations, referrals and secret shopper reports.

A separate Retailer Award Committee overseen by Scott VanderPloeg and Anthony Falcone reviews the data and selects a short list of stores that have shown merit in a variety of categories. In June we announced the 10 finalists for the Harry Kremer Award and they were:

  • Amazing Stories (Saskatoon, SK)
  • Another Dimension (Calgary, AB)
  • The Comic Hunter (Moncton, NB)
  • Imaginaire (Quebec City, QC)
  • Comic Readers (Regina, SK)
  • The Comic Shop (Vancouver, BC)
  • Paradise Comics (Toronto, ON)
  • Conspiracy Comics (Burlington, ON)
  • Timemasters (St. John’s, NL)
  • Stuff 2 Do Toys & Games (Iqaluit, NU)

Since that announcement, all of the retailers were asked to provide details about their business and why they should receive the Kremer Award for Canadian Comic Book Retailer. After reviewing the data received, the five finalists are:

  • Amazing Stories (Saskatoon, SK)
  • Comic Readers (Regina, SK)
  • Another Dimension (Calgary, AB)
  • The Comic Shop (Vancouver, BC)
  • Timemasters (St. John’s, NL)

Congratulations to all! This year’s list has very strong western Canadian representation with 2 stores from Saskatchewan, 1 from Alberta and 1 from British Columbia.

The winner will be announced in Toronto at a ceremony that will take place on Saturday, September 20th.

The Harry Kremer Retailer Award, is named after the late owner of Kitchener, ON store Now & Then Books. Kremer’s store was one of the first comic book specialty shops in North America and Kremer has a tremendous impact as a retailer, aficionado and patron of the sequential arts.

Previous Winners:

2005 – Now and Then Books (Kitchener, ON)

2006 – Strange Adventures (Halifax, NB)

2007 – Happy Harbor Comics (Edmonton, AB)

2008 – Big B Comics (Hamilton, ON)

2009 – Legends Comics (Victoria, BC)

2010 – The Beguiling (Toronto, ON)

2011 – Librairie Planète BD (Montreal, QC)

2012 – Silver Snail (Toronto, ON)

2013 – Heroes (London, ON)

Announcing your Hall of Fame Inductees for 2014: Bell, Good & Templeton

On the weekend of August 28-31, we will be presenting the 10th Annual Joe Shuster Awards for Canadian Comic Book Creators and three new inductees will join the ranks of the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame, and they are:

cy-bell-1971CY BELL (1904-197?)
Cyril Vaughn Bell was born in Peterborough on October 5, 1904. By the time he was six the family was in Toronto where his father worked as an Electrician for the local Streets and Railways. In 1929, along with his brother Eugene, he organized Commercial Signs of Canada mainly as a sign painting company. During the last half of 1941 and at the instigation of one of his young artists, Edmund Legault, Cy Bell’s company began putting out Canadian comic books to fill in a void caused by a parliamentary ban of the importing of American comics into the country that was put in place at the end of 1940. His first title was Wow Comics, and in the ensuing months he followed with six more titles, including Dimedime-comics_720_978_90, Active, Joke, and Triumph Comics featuring such iconic characters as Nelvana of the North, Johnny Canuck, Speed Savage, Thunderfist, and The Penguin. In March of 1942, the company was incorporated as Bell Features and Publishing Company Ltd. and with its famous, trademark bell logo, the company’s output came to form one of the most recognizable set of books in Canadian war time production. During its peak years Bell Features produced about a hundred thousand comic books a week and employed over 60 artists. In 1947, Cy Bell wound up his company and turned the printing side of it over to his brothers leaving us one of the finest legacies in Canadian comics. Bell Features would continue without him until 1953. Bell himself operated a small resort hotel in Crystal Beach, ON until the mid-1960’s, at which time he returned to his roots and opened a small-scale sign business which he ran until his passing in the mid-1970’s.

goodorlandocon77ralphdunnigansigningEDMOND GOOD (1910-1991)
Edmond Elbridge Good was born on July 1 (ironically, now Canada Day then Dominion Day in Canada) 1910 in Saco, Maine to parents originally from the Maritimes. The family returned to Canada when Edmond was 10 and settled in Hamilton, Ontario. Edmond received his art training there and was hired as the first Art Director by Cy Bell for his comic publishing business. Good created his best known strip, Rex Baxter, as the lead feature for the new title Dime Comics in Feb. of 1942. He continued producing this feature and all the covers for Dime Comics until issue 13. After Adrian Dingle, Good did the greatest number of covers for Bell Features (Wow Comics 8-13, Commando Comics 1-6, and others. Good continued to work for Bell Features, even after Cy Bell hired Adrian Dingle as Art Director in the spring of 1942. Good also did a number of Canadian pulp covers during this period. He then left forgooddagar work opportunities in the U.S. in late 1943. From 1944-46 he took over the “Scorchy Smith” newspaper strip from Frank Robbins and also worked on “Phantom Detective” in Thrilling Comics. Good was the original artist on “Tomahawk” when the character began in Star Spangled Comics in 1947 and worked on Dagar Comics from 1948-9. His longest run, and perhaps favourite work, was on Monte Hale Comics for Fawcett from 1949-53. In the mid-fifties he started his own small publishing company called Good Comics Inc. and created Johnny Law, Sky Ranger for its short run. He continued to do commercial art and wrote radio and television scripts in the fifties. At the end of the fifties he had moved his family to Florida hired as the Art Director for Tupperware at their head offices there, a position which he held until his retirement in 1974. In 1977 he moved from Orlando to Altoona, PA. Edmond Good passed away on Friday, Sept. 13, 1991.

Ty TempletonTY TEMPLETON (1962-)
tyba Few comic artists, Canadian or otherwise, have had the consistent and varied career of Ty Templeton. Born on May 9, 1962, Ty blazed on the comic scene in 1984 writing and drawing the Vortex Comics series, Stig’s Inferno, a modern take on Dante’s The Divine Comedy. Ty eventually took on the role of editor of Vortex Comics, overseeing various series including the company’s flagship title, Mister X. A talented storyteller, Ty has worked for almost every major publishing company writing or drawing an array of well known characters including Superman, Spider-Man, Star Trek, The Simpsons, She-Hulk, Howard the Duck, Ren & Stimpy, Scooby Doo and a celebrated run on Batman Adventures. Ty was the Editor in Chief of Canadian publisher, Mr. Comics, hiring almost exclusively Canadian talent to produce the critically respected series, Revolution on the Planet of the Apes, Hoverboy, and Dan Slott’s Big Max. In addition to being a popular, gregarious ambassador of comics at Fan Conventions Ty is helping to train the next generation of Canadian comic artists through his popular series of comic book writing and drawing classes, Ty Templeton’s Comic Book Boot Camp. Presently Ty is the artist of DC Comics’ Batman ’66 Meets The Green Hornet and has a weekly webcomic ‘Bun Toons’.

Selection committee: Kevin A. Boyd, Walter Durajlija, Joe Kilmartin, Ivan Kocmarek, Robert Pincombe, Rachel Richey.

Biographies compiled by Ivan Kocmarek (Cy Bell, Edmond Good) and Robert Pincombe (Ty Templeton).

Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame

A lifetime achievement award honouring Canadian comic book creators (including editors and publishers) and associated individuals (historians, retailers) for their contributions to comic books.

Temple de la renommée Bandes Dessinées Canadien 

Une récompense de carrière honorant des créateurs canadiens (et autres) de Bandes Dessinées pour l’ensemble de leurs oeuvres au neuvième art.

2005* 2005 Joe Shuster (1914-1992)
* 2005 Leo Bachle (aka Les Barker) (1926-2003)
* 2005 Adrian Dingle (1911-1974)
* 2005 Hal Foster (1892-1982)
* 2005 Ed Furness (1911-2005)
* 2005 Rand Holmes (1942-2002)

2006.jpg* 2006 Jon St. Ables (1912-1999)
* 2006 Owen McCarron (1929-2005)
* 2006 Win Mortimer (1919-1998)
* 2006 Dave Sim (1956-)

2007* 2007 Albert Chartier (1912-2004)
* 2007 Gerald Lazare (1927-)
* 2007 Jacques Hurtubise aka ZYX (1950-)
* 2007 Gene Day (1951-1982)

2008* 2008 Ted McCall (1901-1975)
* 2008 Pierre Fournier (1949-)
* 2008 Stanley Berneche (1947-)
* 2008 John Byrne (1950-)

JoeShuster_Poster.pdf, page 1 @ PDFReady* 2009 George Menendez Rae (1906-1992)
* 2009 Real Godbout (1951-)
* 2009 Ken Steacy (1955-)
* 2009 Diana Schutz (1955-)

JSA2010_poster* 2010 Richard Comely (1950-)
* 2010 Dave Darrigo (1954-)
* 2010 George Freeman (1951-)
* 2010 Serge Gaboury (1954-)
* 2010 Deni Loubert (1951-)
* 2010 Jean-Claude St. Aubin (1951-)

JSA_2011_poster* 2011 Chester Brown (1960-)
* 2011 Todd McFarlane (1961-)

JSA_Montreal_Expo67_poster* 2012 No Inductees Selected

JSA_poster_2013_LG* 2013 Murray Karn (1924-)
* 2013 Vernon Miller (1912-1974)
* 2013 Arn Saba (Katherine Collins) (1947-)

About The Joe Shuster Awards

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s first national and bilingual award recognizing outstanding achievement in the creation of comic books, graphic novels and webcomics. The awards are named after pioneering Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster who, along with writer Jerry Siegel, created the iconic super-powered hero, Superman. The name is used with the approval of the Estate of Joe Shuster – Michael Catron, Estate Agent.

For more information please contact Awards Director Kevin A. Boyd at kevin@joeshusterawards.com

Golden Age Canadian Comic Reprint Crowdsourcing Campaigns Launched this Week

Those two Kickstarters we mentioned in July are now live, and both are performing exceptionally well for early into their campaigns. Both end at the end of August.

LEO BACHLE’S JOHNNY CANUCK

10548190_594818443972350_3324093143756110752_o(Johnny Canuck Kickstarter art by Francis Manapul)

JON STABLES’ BROK WINDSOR6fbd6499cbecd211c4c295975215b15d_large(Brok Windsor Kickstarter art by Scott Chantler)

Congratulations to Canadian Eisner Winners 2014 Edition

Announced on Friday night, the annual Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards featured a few Canadian creator winners. Congratulations all!

Best Continuing Series
Saga, by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Image)

Best New Series
Sex Criminals, by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky (Image)

Best Publication for Kids (ages 8-12)
The Adventures of Superhero Girl, by Faith Erin Hicks (Dark Horse)

Best Adaptation from Another Medium
Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground, by Donald Westlake, adapted by Darwyn Cooke (IDW)

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art)
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

Best Lettering
Darwyn Cooke, Richard Stark’s Parker: Slayground (IDW)

News and Notes – July 2014

Wonder-WomanHusband and wife team Meredith and David Finch (a previous Outstanding Artist winner) will be taking over the Wonder Woman title with issue #36.

Volume 9 of the stunning Prince Valiant by Hal Foster hardcover series from Fantagraphics came out on Wednesday this week.

Jeff Lemire’s acclaimed run on Green Arrow will be ending with the 34th issue. The Arrow television show producer and a show writer will be taking over the title in the fall.

DC Comics has changed their contracts, and now colourists will receive cover credits and royalties, the bummer is that the royalties are much harder to get.APR141206

Speaking of DC, they continue to provide Justice League Canada variants of Justice League United which are the preferred version to get at many comic shops. It’s also written by Jeff Lemire.

Later this month we’ll have some more details on the Harry Kremer Award finalists (narrowing down the selection from 10 to 5), and on our 2014 Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame Inductees.

Canada Day has come and gone, but the media was awash with stories about Canadian superheroes, Johnny Canuck, Brok Windsor, and in particular, Captain Canuck. The good Captain is getting a new comic book series later this year, hopefully you were able to get your free Captain Canuck Canada Day comic!

 

 

Johnny Canuck and Brok Windsor archival collections on their way, following successful Nelvana Kickstarter

nelvanaLast fall, the Kickstarter for restoring and reprinting Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Adrian Dingle’s Inuit goddess and superheroine from the Golden Age of Canadian Comics, was an astounding financial and cultural success. As one commentator said to me “the Nelvana revival was a zeitgeist moment” that was not only interesting historically and culturally, but also socially, as the project was orchestrated by two young women who met while working on the documentary “Lost Heroes”, namely Associate Producer Hope L. Nicholson and researcher Rachel Richey.

Now that Nelvana is out and the backers have received their copies, the book is now available for order through American publisher IDW and will hopefully reach an even wider audience south of the border. Meanwhile copies are still available for order from http://www.nelvanacomics.com

Nelvana, though, is but one of many characters that appeared in the “Canadian Whites”, black and white comics available to Canadian youngsters in the early 1940’s when the War Exchange Conservation Act prevented Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman,  Captain America and the Human Torch from Canadian newsstands. Nelvana was published by Bell Features, one of a handful of Canadian comics publishers from BC, Ontario and Quebec. Other dynamic characters made their debut in the pages of these hard-to-find disposable treasures, many of them were rugged Canadian frontiersman, fighting the good fight in the name of Queen and country.

Two of those characters are about to reemerge from the mists of time as Hope and Rachel move in separate directions, handling the revivals of different characters. Plans are afoot to restore and republish other Golden Age Canadian characters after the first two – Thunderfist and the Penguin among them, but for now, two creators who are members of the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame will have their most memorable characters brought to light. Both of these characters (see below) will hopefully be successfully funded by Kickstarter crowdfunding campaigns set to launch later this year.

JOHNNY CANUCK created by Leo Bachle aka Les Barker – Rachel Richeycropped-jam_smallfin-copy1.jpg

Johnny Canuck appeared on the 2005 Hall of Fame print, he’s the young fellow on the right of the upper ice platform wearing the jodhpurs and flight cap.

In late 1940, John Ezrin, the manager of Bell Features, found a brash, unimpressed, young boy skimming through the company’s comics. Ezrin challenged the youth to come up with something better and the next day, Leo Bachle walked into the offices with the first sketches of Johnny Canuck! The spitting image of his handsome young creator, Johnny debuted in Bell’s Dime Comics number one, dated February 1941. Johnny’s first adventure brought him face to face with Hitler and instantly made Dime Comics Bell’s top-seller.

Johnny made mincemeat of Hitler’s elite guards, declaring, “The Germans had better make stronger rope if they want to hold Canadians captive!” Leo became one of Bell’s key artists, drawing characters like Wild Bill, the Invisible Commando, Chip Pipher, Southpaw, Super Sub and the Brain. Leo’s success opened the door for Bell to hire a cadre of young artists, including Ross Saakel, Ted Steele and Jerry Lazare. But it was Johnny Canuck who was considered so invaluable to the war effort, the government refused to grant Leo a visa to move to the States until he’d completed a backlog of adventures!

Johnny Canuck remains Leo’s most enduring creation. In 1995, years after Leo had changed his name, given up comic books for a lifetime of touring and performing around the globe with his unique comedy act, “Quick on the Draw”, Canada Post honoured Johnny with his own postage stamp. Leo Bachle passed away in May, 2003.

Biography compiled by Rob Pincombe

BROK WINDSOR created by Jon St. Ables aka Stables – Hope L. Nicholson

2006hofBrok Windsor is the manly fellow in red and white on the right side of the 2006 Hall of Fame print

Born in Ulverston, England on December 23rd 1912, Jon Stables left school at 13 to follow his father and older brother to Winnipeg and become an artist. With the outbreak of World War II, he ventured west to Victoria and contributed to the war effort as a painter and sign writer for the shipbuilding industry. It was there he met his wife Esther and the pair were married in May, 1942. Shortly after, Stables was hired by Imperial News Ltd. to work for Maple Leaf Comics, one of the first golden age publishers of Canadian Comics.

Stables fit right in with Maple Leaf’s British approach to comics and was by far its most accomplished artist, signing his work with the nom de plume, St. Ables. His facility with bigfoot-style cartooning in the prehistoric Piltdown Pete and equal ease with adventure strips like Brok Windsor and Bill Speed helped make Maple Leaf titles the slickest of all the Canadian Whites. Brok Windsor debuted in Better Comics Vol. 3 Number 3, dated April/May 1944. Already a manly outdoorsman-type, physician Brok was portaging through the Lake of the Woods region and stumbled upon an island upon which he was transformed into a 7 foot tall muscle-bound specimen of the superhuman variety. Teaming with the 12 foot tall son of the chieftain of a unique Native Canadian tribe that lives in this uncharted territory named Torgon. Brok, needing the unique serum that enables Torgon’s people to endure the physical transformations, embarks on a perilous journey to find the special waters. Brok and Torgon would go on to have many Burroughs-inspired adventures.

Stables eventually took over the art editing chores from publisher and fellow creator Vernon Miller and became the line’s top cover artist. In 1946, Maple Leaf made an effort to launch several syndicated comic strips based on their features Callaghan and Bill Speed but were unable to make significant inroads.

With two sons to support, Stables and Esther opened a studio and briefly produced a line of colouring books. In 1950, the family moved to California where Stables attempted to pitch ideas and artwork to Disney. Eventually Stables settled in Seattle, working in the art department at Boeing until retiring in 1975. Jon Stables passed away in 1999. He was 87.

Bio compiled by Robert Pincombe (with the aid of Peter Hansen), with details on Brok Windsor supplied by Ivan Kocmarek.

Captain Canuck Canada Day Special arrives this holiday weekend

ccPress Release

In celebration of the great nation of Canada, Captain Canuck Incorporated is releasing the 1st Annual Captain Canuck Canada Day Edition.

WHEN & WHERE : From June 28- July 1st, 2014, the Canada Day edition will be distributed free through comic book stores, public libraries, convenience stores and shopping malls across Canada. After July 1st, it will be sold at comic book shops across Canada for $2.99.

WHAT : This beautifully bound, 64 page Canada Day Annual will be packed with features, including:

TWO UNIQUE CAPTAIN CANUCK STORIES FEATURING THE CLASSIC AND NEW CANUCK

The original team of Richard Comely, George Freeman and Claude St. Aubin have collaborated with new Canuck talent- Kalman Andrasofszky, Paul Gardner and Dean Henry to offer two unique Captain Canuck stories.

THE ULTIMATE CANADIAN COMIC BOOK STORE AND CONVENTION DIRECTORY

Listed by province, this directory promises to be the most up to date Comic Book store and Comic Book Convention Directory available anywhere.

SNEAK PEEKS OF WHAT’S COMING UP F OR ALL THINGS CANUCK!

We will have the latest on the upcoming new Captain Canuck comic book series written and illustrated by Kalman Andrasofszky, plus interviews with the talent working on the Animated Series.

THE BEST OF CAPTAIN CANUCK FAN ART

Fans have been sending the Cap fan art for decades. We will feature some of Team Canuck’s favourites in our first annual.

CAPTAIN CANUCK COSMOS BIO-CARDS

Bio-cards on all the characters in Equilibrium, featuring never before seen characters and art by Kalman Andrasofszky, George Freeman and more!

POP CULTURE CANADA

A listing of Music festivals, Fringe festivals, Book and Magazine Expos, Comedy Festivals, and Multi-cultural events across Canada.

Like us at facebook.com/ CaptainCanuck; Follow us on twitter.com/ CaptainCanuck; Add your art on captaincanuckinc.tumblr.com/ and watch us at captaincanuck.com

Photo courtesy 3rd Quadrant Comics

Photo courtesy 3rd Quadrant Comics

New award for 2014: T.M. Maple Award

In 2014, with the arrival of the 10th Annual Joe Shuster Awards, we are introducing a new award into the current line-up, one that will replace the long defunct Outstanding Achievement Award and fill a gap in our existing coverage.

The new T.M. Maple Award will go to one person (living or deceased) selected from the Canadian comics community for achievements made outside of the creative and retail categories who had a positive impact on the community.

Since this is the inaugural year for the TM Maple Award, two recipients will be recognized:

T.M. Maple was the pseudonym of Jim Burke (1956-1994), a fan who wrote more than 3,000 letters to comic book letter columns between 1977 and 1994. Burke’s letters were quite popular among readers as well as editors, and he wrote prolifically to a diverse number of comic publishing companies and titles. Burke originally signed his letters as “The Mad Maple,” but Marvel Comics editor Tom DeFalco abbreviated it to “T.M. Maple” to make it sound like a real name (thus circumventing a new policy at the company to stop printing letters submitted under pseudonyms). Burke took a liking to the new name and began using it exclusively (including variations like “Theodore Maddox Maplehurst”) until 1988, when in Scott McCloud’s Zot! #21 he revealed his real name. Burke published a fanzine about comics in the late 1980s. With artist/publisher Allen Freeman, Burke co-created the superhero Captain Optimist. Jim Burke had a fatal heart attack in 1994.

Debra Jane Shelly (1974-2014) was a comics fan, supporter, and self-described (and celebrated) nerd. She was known for her years of behind-the-scenes support at Toronto comic cons and other events celebrating comics and pop culture.An active member of many online fan communities such as the Comics Cube and the International Comics Society. In 2013, she was a volunteer at many conventions such as Fan Expo Canada, she contributed biographies and counsel to the Joe Shuster Awards, she co-founded the Comic Book Lounge in Toronto’s Ladies Night, which met bi-monthly and became a gathering point for women comic book fans in a community still largely dominated by and catering to a male audience. It was a first for the Toronto comics community, and came at a time when the critical question of diversity in comics (readers as much as creators and characters) was gaining serious momentum internationally.  Debra was known for her positivity, and did less to criticize the comic community’s shortcomings than to nurture the people, spaces, and ideas that were inspiring. In early 2014 she passed away from a epileptic seizure in her sleep.

“To so many people she was the first person we told of our successes and failures & she always knew the best way to respond -how to congratulate and console us. That kind of contribution doesn’t fit on a resume but it was felt throughout the community.”

–Alice Quinn, Ladies’ Night co-founder

JSA Director Kevin Boyd:

I am deeply moved that members of the community would push the Joe Shuster Awards to create an award that honours those people in our community that don’t create or sell comics, that fall through the cracks, and I am proud to be able to announce that we will be debuting this new award in the fall of 2014, our tenth year. In February 2014, after Debra’s passing, there was an overwhelming push on the organization from people in the community to do something with the Joe Shuster Awards to honour Debra and people like her, the fans and members of our Canadian comics communities that make a positive impact on others. In our search for someone to name the award after, one name stood out from among the many possibilities, someone who has come up many times in discussions for the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame, and that was Jim Burke, aka T.M. Maple. Burke was more than just a letter writer, here was a person that loved comics and wanted better of them and became an important part of the comics community by voicing those opinions and influencing publishers, editors and creators.

Late May update

Okay, so we’re nearing the end of the extension given for the Retailer, Webcomics, Comics for Kids, and Gene Day Awards and if all goes as planned we’ll be announcing the nominations next week.

I would like to thank the many folks who have contacted me about being involved in the awards this year, I’ll be contacting you all shortly and we can begin planning for the ceremony and fundraising as soon as the nominations list goes public.

As usual, it should be stated that since these are awards with only 7 (sometimes 8) nominees per category, not everyone can be nominated for an award. Our committees have been narrowing down the lists to a smaller set of nominations (in some categories from hundreds of individual artists) and we know that inevitably some people will feel we neglected a creator, a book, or a store…

Congratulations to the winners of the Doug Wright Awards for 2014 (handed out as usual at TCAF in Mid-May) for non-mainstream, non-superhero comics:
paulscoutsBest Book – Paul Joins the Scouts by Michel Rabagliati (Conundrum Press)
Spotlight aka “The Nipper” – Steven Gilbert for The Journal of the Main Street Secret Lodge
Pigskin Peters (non-narrative) – “Out of Skin” by Emily Carroll

Looking for new team members

We’re looking for motivated individuals to join our planning and fundraising team for 2014, are you interested in being one of those people and be a part of the Joe Shuster Awards team? It will involve some in-person meetings (for people in the Greater Toronto Area) on a semi-regular basis, or email meetings for people who aren’t — and interested parties must be willing to take direction, offer their opinion, help out at events, and to take on tasks outside of meetings. We’re a not-for-profit organization, but this is good experience for people willing to learn about and interact with the Canadian comics community. If you are interested, please contact me (Kevin Boyd) at kevin@joeshusterawards.com

Mark McCarron on Owen McCarron

Hello, I thought I would throw some more details your way, regarding Owen McCarron, Marvel’s “Puzzlemaster”.

Starting as an Advertising Director at the Halifax Herald, Owen transitioned to War and Romance at Charlton Comics. From there, his friend, Marvel Editor Stan Lee, hired him to craft character-oriented puzzles in comics, books and newspapers. These included Marvel Fun Books, Marvel Mazes, Activity books, Ghost Rider, and a host of Spider-Man titles. This working relationship meant that Owen could call the Marvel Bullpen in New York, and ask them to send him much of their unused original art (instead of throwing it in the wastebasket, as they were doing previously!).

Appreciating the rising stock value of Marvel artists and writers, McCarron compiled a broad selection of original art and storytelling information, years before the first comic book convention in 1964.

McCarron drew an alternate cover for an early Amazing Spider-Man issue which wasn’t printed, but featured a cluster of villains centered around a back alley. He later acquired a great alternate cover of Amazing Spider-Man #10 (The Enforcers!), which was also unprinted, drawn by Steve Ditko. These alternate Spider-Man covers remain with the family to this day. As Owen said, “I’ve been offered tens of thousands of dollars for it… but I didn’t need the money.”

He must’ve played his cards right, becoming one of Canada’s more successful self-publishers of comics, producing books which taught kids how to avoid various catastrophes!

In the vintage family photograph below, we see Douglas McCarron (Sidney Crosby’s great-grandfather) with Owen McCarron (although Sidney’s grandmother is not shown). In the other vintage photo, we see Owen at his drafting table. This was included with the biography in the book, “Invaders From The North: How Canada Conquered the Comic Strip” by Author John Bell.

One of Owen’s last projects was an illustrated poem regarding the traumatic events of the Halifax Explosion in 1917, which killed 2,000 people, and injured 9,000 more.

- Mark

 

 

JSA noms coming week of June 1, happenings, TCAF, Doug Wright Awards…

While we have finalized some categories, some of the selection committees have asked for an extension, so we will announce all of the 2014 nominees the week of June 1.

You may have noticed I’ve cut back on the announcements of upcoming conventions — it’s getting to the point where there are so many events going on every week across the country that we aren’t able to give all of them the attention that they deserve. We suggest you consult the list of conventions across Canada that we have posted elsewhere on this website.

This week however is a busy one with a convention in Ottawa and the Beguiling’s Toronto Comic Arts Festival (in Toronto, obviously). The festival is also the host event for the annual Wright Awards for Canadian cartoonists who work on non-mainstream, independent books like the books published by awards sponsors Drawn + Quarterly, Conundrum Press and Koyama Press. The Giants of the North (their hall of fame) appears to be sponsored by CGA Comics, who is debuting the Nelvana of the Northern Lights collection at the event and using it to maintain interest in their future reprinting plans.

Winners of the 2014 Bedeis Causa

Prix Réal-Fillion

Auteur québécois, scénariste ou dessinateur, s’étant le plus illustré avec son premier album professionnel.

  • Fabien Dreuil, Xavier Hardy, Simon Leclerc et Anouk Pérusse-Bell, pour Nevada t. 1 (Glénat Québec)

Grand prix de la ville de Québec

Meilleur album de langue française publié au Québec.

  • Les deuxièmes (Pow Pow), de Zviane

Prix Albéric-Bourgeois

Meilleur album de langue française publié à l’étranger par un auteur québécois, dessinateur ou scénariste.

  • La colère de Fantômas t. 1 : Les bois de justice (Dargaud), de Julie Rocheleau

Prix Maurice-Petitdidier

Coup de cœur du jury pour album francophone publié à l’étranger.

  • Tyler Cross (Dargaud), de Fabien Nury et Brüno

Prix traduction

Coup de cœur du jury pour album publié en français et issu d’une traduction.

  • Mon ami Dahmer (Ça et là), de Derf Backderf

Prix Albert-Chartier

  •  Michel Rabagliati

 

Bédéis Causa – Finaliste 2014

finalistesLa cérémonie de remise de prix, qui est l’occasion de rassembler de nombreux acteurs du 9e art québécois et de souligner la vitalité actuelle du milieu, se déroulera cette année encore à l’Observatoire de la Capitale, le vendredi 11 avril, à 17 h. 

LES FINALISTES

Prix Réal-Fillion

Auteur québécois, scénariste ou dessinateur, s’étant le plus illustré avec son premier album professionnel.

  • Fabien Dreuil, Xavier Hardy, Simon Leclerc et Anouk Pérusse-Bell, pour Nevada t. 1 (Glénat Québec)
  • Julien Paré-Sorel, pour Léthéonie (Front Froid)
  • Ami Vaillancourt et Bruno Rouyère, pour Kissinger & nous (Glénat Québec)

Grand prix de la ville de Québec

Meilleur album de langue française publié au Québec.

  • Vil et misérable (Pow Pow), de Samuel Cantin
  • L’Amérique ou le disparu (La Pastèque), de Réal Godbout
  • Promise t. 1 : Le livre des derniers jours (Glénat Québec), de Mikaël
  • Kissinger & nous (Glénat Québec), d’Ami Vaillancourt et Bruno Rouyère
  • Les deuxièmes (Pow Pow), de Zviane

Prix Albéric-Bourgeois

Meilleur album de langue française publié à l’étranger par un auteur québécois, dessinateur ou scénariste.

  • Le crépuscule des dieux t. 7 : Le grand hiver (Soleil), de Djief
  • Les nombrils t. 6 : Un été trop mortel (Dupuis), de Delaf et Dubuc
  • La colère de Fantômas t. 1 : Les bois de justice (Dargaud), de Julie Rocheleau

Prix Maurice-Petitdidier

Coup de cœur du jury pour album francophone publié à l’étranger.

  • Incredible India (Vents d’ouest), de Georges Bess
  • Mauvais genre (Delcourt), de Chloé Cruchaudet
  • L’entrevue (Futuropolis), de Manuele Fior
  • Le décalage (Delcourt), de Marc-Antoine Mathieu
  • Tyler Cross (Dargaud), de Fabien Nury et Brüno

Prix traduction

Coup de cœur du jury pour album publié en français et issu d’une traduction.

  • Mon ami Dahmer (Ça et là), de Derf Backderf
  • Goliath (L’Association), de Tom Gauld
  • Jack Joseph, soudeur sous-marin (Futuropolis), de Jeff Lemire

Lors de la cérémonie, l’organisation du FBDFQ remettra également le Prix Albert-Chartier, décerné à chaque année en hommage à un individu ou organisme ayant marqué le monde de la bande dessinée francophone au Québec.

Rappelons que la présente édition des Bédéis Causa porte sur les albums publiés entre le 1er janvier et le 31 décembre 2013. Comme à l’habitude, la sélection des finalistes a été effectuée par un jury formé de libraires et de chroniqueurs spécialisés.

 

Updates

We have a near complete list of English and French creators ready and so we are initiating the nominating process and should have some announcements to make in time for Free Comic Book Day (May 3rd).

We’d like to thank all of the creators that sent in books for consideration for the Gene Day Award this year, we’re still accepting submissions right up until May, so there’s still time.

The Hall of Fame committee has initiated discussions on who will be included in 2014.

Congratulations to Jeff Lemire – in addition to writing Animal Man (now completed), Green Arrow and the upcoming Justice League United (formerly Canada, but set in Canada), Jeff will be writing Teen Titans: Earth One, an original graphic novel being illustrated by Terry and Rachel Dodson.

Is it time to start flag-waving?

71_LRGThere seems to be a lot of media attention this week once again regarding Canadian super-heroes – specifically the comics of the 1940s. This weekend – tonight and tomorrow afternoon – the Royal Theatre in Toronto will be hosting two screenings of the now-completed LOST HEROES Movie, directed by Will Pascoe. Members of the Canadian comics scene – creators, academics, media personalities and so on — were brought in to discuss aspects of the Canadian comic book super-heroes of the past and the present. After this two screening event (note that there will be a director Q&A after the Friday evening screening but not the Saturday one) the film moves to Superchannel where it will run at various times and on various dates.

Here’s the synopsis from imdb:

LOST HEROES is the story of Canada’s forgotten comic book superheroes and their legendary creators. A ninety-minute journey to recover a forgotten part of Canada’s pop culture and a national treasure few have ever heard about. LOST HEROES is the tale of a small country striving to create its own heroes, but finding itself constantly out muscled by better-funded and better-marketed superheroes from the media empire next door.

lhrRAD0598920131210_11334Incidentally, American comics auction house Comiclink recently auctioned off a number of hard to find Canadian whites, including a CGC 6.5 graded copy of the Nelvana of the Northern Lights Colour Special – it sold for a whopping $13,750.