About Kevin A. Boyd

Owner of the Comic Book Lounge + Gallery in Toronto, Associate Director of the Joe Shuster Awards for Canadian Comic Book Creators, Overstreet price guide adviser, Clinical Data Coordinator at UHN,

Joe Shuster Awards Presentation Schedule – 3PM, October 18, 2015 at the Forest City Comic Con in London, ON

Ceremony will be held in a theatre at the London Convention Centre.

The Joe Shuster Awards are brought to you care of our platinum sponsor:

Happy Harbor Comics of Edmonton, AB.

3PM Start

Ceremony order:

Opening remarks

The T.M. Maple Awards brought to you by All New Comics
Michael Hirsh and Patrick Loubert presented by Ivan Kocmarek
Robert Charpentier presented by Brian Garside

Canadian Comic Creator Hall of Fame Inductions
Doris Slater presented by Ivan Kocmarek
James Waley presented by Ron Kasman

Harry Kremer Outstanding Canadian Comics Retailer Award brought to you by the Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund (CLLDF) – presented by Scott Vanderploeg (coordinator)

The Dragon Award (Comics for Kids) brought to you by The Dragon Comic Shop of Guelph, ON – presented by Jennifer Haines (coordinator)

The Gene Day Award (Self-Publishing) – presented by Kevin Boyd (coordinator)

The Joe Shuster Awards – presented by Kevin Boyd (coordinator)
Outstanding Webcomics Creator
Outstanding Cover Artist
Outstanding Writer
Outstanding Artist
Outstanding Cartoonist brought to you courtesy of THE STORY ATTIC


Canadians Tamaki and Carroll win 2015 Ignatz Awards

Winners of 2015 Ignatz logo_ignatzAwards Announced

In order to give honor to people that have outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning, the Ignatz Awards are awarded at SPX (Small Press Expo), held on September 19 and 20, 2015 at the Marriott Bethesda North Hotel and Conference Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

18659623Female creators swept the awards this year, taking top honors in all categories. Creator Sophia Foster-Dimino took three awards – Outstanding Mini Comic, Promising New Talent, and Outstanding Series – for her self-published comic Sex Fantasy, while Sophie Goldstein won two: Outstanding Comic and Outstanding Graphic Novel for her book The Oven.

The Ignatz was awarded in nine categories, were created by a panel of five cartoonists, and were voted on by attendees of this year’s SPX. This year’s judges were Lamar Abrams, Cara Bean, Robyn Chapman, Sophie Goldstein, and Corinne Mucha. The ceremony was MC’ed by Templar, Arizona creator C. Spike Trotman and was sponsored by ComiXology.

The winners of the Ignatz Awards for 2015 are:

Outstanding Mini Comic: Sex Fantasy #4 by Sophia Foster-Dimino

Outstanding Story: “Sex Coven” from Frontier #7 by Jillian Tamaki (Youth in Decline)

Outstanding Comic: The Oven by Sophie Goldstein (Adhouse Books) (FEB150903)

Outstanding Anthology: How to Be Happy by Eleanor Davis (Fantagraphics Books)

Promising New Talent: Sophia Foster-Dimino – Sphincter: Sex Fantasy

Outstanding Online Comic: The Bloody Footprint by Lilli Carré

Outstanding Series: Sphincter: Sex Fantasy by Sophia Foster-Dimino

Outstanding Graphic Novel: The Oven by Sophie Goldstein (Adhouse Books)

Outstanding Artist: Emily Carroll – Through the Woods (Margaret K. McElderry Books)

This weekend in Baltimore, they will be presenting the 2015 Harvey Awards.

Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony – Sunday, October 18 in London, ON at the Forest City ComiCon


The 2015 Joe Shuster Awards are brought to your courtesy of Happy Harbor Comics of Edmonton, AB.HHC_v1_logoFor a list of nominees please click here.
For a list of nominees for the Gene Day Award please click here.

The 11th annual ceremony presentation of the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards will take place on Sunday, October 18th, 2015 in London, Ontario at the Forest City ComiCon.

fc3headerlargestThe convention features many great comic guests including nominated creators BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY, CHIP ZDARSKY, SCOTT CHANTLER and more!

2015 Sponsors


Award Sponsors:

The Harry Kremer Retailer award is brought to you courtesy of of the COMIC LEGENDS LEGAL DEFENSE FUND (CLLDF).

The T.M. Maple Award is brought to you courtesy of ALL NEW COMICS, INC.

The Dragon Award for Comics for Kids is brought to you courtesy of THE DRAGON comic shop.

The Outstanding Cartoonist Award is brought to your courtesy of THE STORY ATTIC.


About The Joe Shuster Awards

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s national 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

About The Convention

A celebration of nerd culture like no other: the largest event of its kind ever to hit London, Ontario will return on Sunday, October 18, 2015. Featuring a new venue at the London Convention Centre and a new partnership with Project Play, the event will feature costumes, vendors, panels, board games, and video game tournaments. The event promises to a celebration of nerd culture and the popular culture that surrounds it.

In its first year the Forest City Comicon was the largest first-year comic con type event ever held in London and surrounding area. Fans are encouraged to sign-up for the Forest City Comicon’s e-mail updates at http://www.forestcitycomicon.ca to be included in special announcements leading up to the event. Vendor information is also available through this website.

The Forest City Comicon can be reached by e-mail at info@forestcitycomicon.ca

2015 Gene Day Award Nominees


Here are your 2015 nominees for self-published comics from 2014:

DUST-SHIP GLORY #1 and #2 by Elaine M. Will and Andreas Schroeder

EVIL #3 by James Edward Clark

THE PITIFUL HUMAN LIZARD #1 and #2 by Jason Loo


TREADWELL by Dominic Bercier (Mirror Comics)


Canadians win big at last night’s Eisners: Tamakis, Carroll, Staples Cooke, D+Q

eisner-awards1Last night in San Diego the Eisner Awards were handed out and as usual many Canadians took the top spots, this year in particular Canadian women dominated in many categories including Best Short Story, Best Continuing Series, Best Graphic Albums (new and reprint) and Best Penciller/Inker. So congratulations to Emily Carroll, Fiona Staples, Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, Darwyn Cooke, D+Q and those who participated in the Dream Another Dream anthology.

18659623thissaga_tp_04DC+Comics+Darwyn+Cooke+Variant+Cover+Month+-+Detective+Comics+#37Best Short Story
“When the Darkness Presses,” by Emily Carroll, http://emcarroll.com/comics/darkness/ (link is external)

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

Best Anthology
Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, edited by Josh O’Neill, Andrew Carl, & Chris Stevens (Locust Moon) features the work of many Canadian artists among the 140 contributors to the project.

Best Graphic Album—New
This One Summer, by Mariko Tamaki & Jillian Tamaki (First Second)

Best Graphic Album—Reprint
Through the Woods, by Emily Carroll (McElderry Books)

Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia
Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953: A History of Japan, by Shigeru Mizuki (Drawn & Quarterly)

Best Penciller/Inker
Fiona Staples, Saga (Image)

Best Cover Artist
Darwyn Cooke, DC Comics Darwyn Cooke Month Variant Covers (DC)

byrne2Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame member John Byrne joined the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame.

Byrne does not consider himself to be a Canadian because he emigrated from the UK in the 60s and left Canada in the 80’s to become an American citizen. He was Canadian in the years in between where he became a superstar creator and made the X-Men the biggest book in the industry with fellow Eisner Award Hall of Fame inductee Chris Claremont.

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners of the 2015 Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards.

Full list (Courtesy of the Comics Reporter)

The 2015 Joe Shuster Award Nominees / Les nominés pour le prix Joe Shuster 2015

JSA2007logoThe 2015 Joe Shuster Award Nominees / Les nominés pour le prix Joe Shuster 2015

BROUGHT TO YOU BY HAPPY HARBOR COMICSHHC_v1_logoJune 15, 2015 – Canada has a rich tradition of supporting our national arts communities with awards that recognize the achievements of our citizens in books, music, stage, television and film – 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.

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 and neighbour Jerry Siegel that electrified the industry over 75 years ago in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon and spawned a legion of costume-clad adventure heroes and heroines.

It was the absence of Superman and his costumed peers from Canadian newsstands during World War II that would help spawn Canada’s first and last country-wide attempt at launching an indigenous, Canadian comic book industry and saw the rise of popular characters like Freelance, Nelvana and Johnny Canuck. The end of the war eliminated these restrictions and Canadian comic companies disappeared shortly afterwards. Since then Canadian creators have been part of a larger North America-wide comic-book industry and in some cases, international publishing efforts, which is why we recognize Canadians who work within the framework of the larger comics ‘industry’.

Nominees were selected this spring from lists of creators of original works published and distributed during the year 2014, as well as reviewing websites, retail stores and more. Qualifying creators must be Canadian citizens – living at home or abroad, or a recognized as a permanent resident of Canada and been living in Canada for at least three years. The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.

The ceremony will take place in Fall 2015 at a venue to be announced.

And the nominees are:

Webcomics Creator / Créateur de Bandes Dessinées Web

SOPHIE BEDARDGlorieux printemps
MICHAEL DEFORGESticks Angelica, Folk Hero
KATE LETHLittle Ghost

Writer / Scénariste

ED BRISSON – 24, X-File/TMNT (IDW), The Field, Sheltered (image), Robocop: Beta, Robocop: Last Stand, Sons of Anarchy (Boom!)
BRENDAN FLETCHER – Gotham Academy (with BECKY CLOONAN), Batgirl (with CAMERON STEWART ) (DC)
ALEXANDRE FONTAINE-ROUSSEAU – Les cousines vampires (Pow Pow)
JEFF LEMIRE – Animal Man, Green Arrow, New 52: Future’s End, Teen Titans: Earth One (DC) The Valiant (with MATT KINDT) (Valiant)
RYAN NORTH – Adventure Time, Midas Touch (Boom!), Original Sins (Marvel)
YVES PELLETIER – Le pouvoir de l’amour (La Pastèque)
MARIKO TAMAKI – This One Summer (Groundwood Books)
KURTIS WIEBE – Peter Panzerfaust, Rat Queens (image)

Cover Artist / Dessinateur Couvertures


Artist / Dessinateur

ADRIAN ALPHONA – Ms. Marvel (Marvel)
NICK BRADSHAW – Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers (Marvel)
LEONARD KIRK – Fantastic Four (Marvel)
MIKAEL – Promise Tome 2 – L’Homme souffrance (Glénat BD)
JULIE ROCHELEAU – La colère de Fantômas -2- Tout l’or de Paris (Dargaud)
JILLIAN TAMAKI – This One Summer (Groundwood Books)
CHIP ZDARSKY – Sex Criminals (image)

Cartoonist / Auteur

BLONK – 23h72 (Pow Pow)
NINA BUNJEVAC – Fatherland (Jonathan Cape)
EMILY CARROLL – Through the Woods (Margaret K. McElderry Books)
MICHAEL CHO – Shoplifter (Pantheon)
MEAGS FITZGERALD – Photobooth: A Biography (Conundrum Press)
JESSE JACOBS – Safari Honeymoon (Koyama Press)
BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY – Seconds : A Graphic Novel (Ballantine)
RICHARD SUICIDE – Chroniques du centre-sud (Pow Pow)

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

This 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 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.

AGENT JEAN TOMES 6 ET 7 (Presses Aventure) – ALEX A.
ARIANE ET NICOLAS TOME 8 (Vents d’Ouest /Premières Lignes) – PAUL ROUX

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

Named 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 individual publications submitted for review before the deadline of May 30th, 2015.

Nominees for the Gene Day Award will be announced in early July 2015 along with the date and location of the award ceremony.

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

Named after the Harry Kremer, the 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 from Comic Book Daily 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

IMAGINAIRE (Quebec City, QC)

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.

– Authors of the book The Great Canadian Comic Books, published in 1971, which looked primarily at the Canadian Whites, comics published in Canada during World War II. Hirsh and Loubert acquired the Bell Features archives and reprint rights for the comics, which included Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Johnny Canuck, from Bell’s capital investor John Ezrin. The archives included copies of the comics, original artwork and more which were used as the foundation for the book. It was followed by a two-year touring gallery exhibit ‘Comic Art Traditions in Canada, 1941-45.’ They would go on to form animation studio Nelvana, Ltd. (named after Adrian Dingle’s character) with Clive Smith and would later donate the material from Bell Features to the National Archives where they reside to this day, preserving part of our national comics heritage. Without their efforts, recent collections of Adrian Dingle’s Nelvana and Leo Bachle’s Johnny Canuck would not have been possible.

– Rob or Bob as he was known to his friends and customers, was a long-time fixture on the Toronto comics scene as a comics retailer and fan. At his Danforth Avenue store Shining Knight Comics, later rebranded Comics & More, Bob believed strongly that the local comics shop should be active in, and support the local community. He sponsored many local teams, schools and young people’s organizations. In the summer of 2014 he was diagnosed with brain cancer and began treatment, but succumbed to the disease in late 2014, he was 54 years old.

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

DORIS SLATER (1918-1964)
Doris Slater of Chatham and later Toronto, Ontario attended the Ontario College of art in the late 1930’s, and was hired by brother-in-law Ted McCall at Anglo-American Comics to work on the first issues of Grand Slam Comics and Three Aces Comics for which she drew characters like Pat the Air Cadet and Martin Blake, The Animal King. In the fall of 1944 Doris made arrangements to draw scripts from Pat Joudry’s popular CBC radio show “Penny’s Diary” for Bell Features’ Active Comics 29-26. Around this time she also married popular Canadian crooner Russ Titus and soon had two children Robin and Patricia. The marriage did not last long as Titus moved to England to pursue an entertainment career under the name Larry Cross. After the decline of the Canadian comics industry, Doris drew commercially for magazines and children’s books and did murals. She would move to teaching, and taught art in Brantford and later Ottawa. In 1964, Doris Titus was killed in head on collision. Her daughter Patti, who was in the back seat, survived the accident. Doris Slater/Titus was 56, and is recognized as Canada’s first female comic book creator.

James Waley was the publisher, editor-in-chief, and sometimes writer, artist and colourist of Orb Magazine, a quality black and white magazine-sized anthology, which could be found on Canadian newsstands between 1974 and 1976. Orb lasted six issues. With it, Jim provided readers with some of the most sophisticated comic book stories available anywhere while giving a start to many young creators, many of whom would become the finest Canadian comic artists and writers of their generation. He also co-created Canadian superhero the Northern Light, who debuted in Orb and would later appear in the American publication Power Comics. Waley’s many other subsequent accomplishments include writing for Heavy Metal, creating a comic from scratch for Charlton, filling the Propeller Gallery with art by prominent Toronto comic book artists, running the monthly one-day convention “Supershow” for many years at the Ontario College of Art, and being instrumental in developing the Joe Shuster Award as co-founder and instigator of the idea of a Canadian comic book award.

2015 Sponsors




About The Joe Shuster Awards

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s national 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

What’s going on? Where are the nominations?

We did announce the nominations on June 6th at the Niagara Falls Comic Con, however we have yet to relay that information here on our site, to our media partners and on social media. Why?

The nominees were finalized in some cases the morning of June 6th, so we could read off the list of nominees, but when we send it out in a written format, there are things that we want to have correct – including concise biographies for our Hall of Fame and TM Maple Award recipients. Nearly everything is written up and ready to go, but we need to finalize some biographies. so it looks like the release will go out on Monday, June 15th.

Thank you for your patience!

Director’s Remarks before the Announcement of the 2015 Nominees

One bit of pigeon-holing I will always argue against is that the Joe Shuster Awards are mainstream (i.e. superhero) comics awards and it’s a shame that we were identified in that manner in the one book out there on Canadian comics, I think we prove — year after year after year — that we are as inclusive of all published and distributed comics featuring work by Canadians as possible and we go beyond that by including webcomics and self-published works. In certain categories there may be more genre comics featured than in others, but in others you’ll see more works by creators producing personal works, there is room for both. Which is why I always argue that we are an inclusive award, not a mainstream one.

One thing that the awards intend to do is support comics retailers, and we also have the retailer award, of course, to showcase some great shops across the country. In the core categories we nominate creators whose books can be ordered, promoted and sold to your clients. In some cases (BD, certain books not orderable from Diamond) they are not easily obtainable, but we can certainly point retailers in the right direction to carry those nominated and winning books. Canadian retailers should consider including works in other languages to expand their customer base, and since we are a bilingual nation, having both languages featured makes some sense (and you can see the work being produced in both languages is fantastic), so I urge retailers to look at everything nominated.

The only disappointing aspect of what we do with the awards is that we have to narrow the lists down to a select number of nominees. In some categories there are dozens of creators who could easily be among the top seven or eight, but because we can only have 7 (or 8) nominees each year some people will not be included. You may see a person win one year, and then not be nominated the following year – because the awards are for outstanding creators – it isn’t a competition for best, but for finding work that “stands out” on the racks and shelves, and online.

Watch for the official nominees announcement next week on this site, nominees will be announced on Saturday, June 5 at a panel at the Niagara Falls Comic Con.

Ty Templeton in hospital following a heart attack, in stable but critical condition

Ty Templeton

Ty Templeton

Early Wednesday morning friends and fans were shocked to learn that Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame member TY TEMPLETON was in hospital following a heart attack. His wife, Keiren Templeton-Smith, sent out the following update yesterday.

I don’t have Ty’s way with words or images so I can’t cushion this news within a funny Bun Toon, but Ty is currently hospitalized after having suffered a heart attack. I’m sorry to tell everyone in a Facebook post but it seemed the easiest way to reach everyone who might need to know. Email me if it’s important but at this time, our family is concentrating on Ty.

In the early hours of Thursday, April 16 she sent out another update:

Ty is still in a medically induced coma and on a ventilator. The plan is to take him off both the sedatives and the ventilator tomorrow. If you wish to send Ty a message you can email him (tybunny@gmail.com) and I will make sure he sees them when he is able. He is in critical but stable condition. His location will change in the next few days depending on his condition.

Everyone here at the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association wishes Ty a speedy recovery and are hoping for the best possible outcome. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ty and his family during this stressful time.

Sponsorship Drive Update

We are happy to announce we have agreement in principal for four new sponsors for 2015.

Happy Harbor Comics of Edmonton, Alberta is our TITLE sponsor.

HHC_v1_logoStrange Adventures of Halifax, NS is a general sponsor of the awards.

strangeBig B Comics of Hamilton, ON is one of the Hall of Fame sponsors.

??????????????The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund (CLLDF) will be sponsoring the Harry Kremer Outstanding Canadian Retailer Award.430312_349894878384348_871274077_n

They join The Dragon, The Story Attic, All New Comics and Comic Book Lounge as co-sponsors for 2015.

Sponsorships are still available. The more we raise, the more we can do.

New Sponsor – The Story Attic

The Joe Shuster Awards have another sponsor — the Cartoonist Award (which tends to be very graphic novel-centric) will be sponsored by film company THE STORY ATTIC.

storyattic-smallThat brings our sponsorship count up to four – The Story Attic (Cartoonist), The Dragon (Comics for Kids), All New Comics (The TM Maple Awards) and The Comic Book Lounge (Cover Artist).

Between these four sponsors we can now consider the costs of producing an awards show in 2015 (not just an online announcement of the winners).

The more awards that are sponsored, the more we can do with the ceremony. Thanks to everyone who has stepped up so far, thank you for your love and support of the Canadian comics community!

More information on sponsorships can be found here.

Dave Sim admitted to hospital

The CCBCAA would like to wish cartoonist Dave Sim a speedy recovery from his diagnosis of Secal Vulvulus, which required emergency surgery yesterday.

Sim, who had been dealing with issues with his hand, checked himself into hospital yesterday after experiencing extreme discomfort and pain in the morning. The diagnosis required immediate emergency draining of the intestine and he had to have an emergency right hemi-colectomy, which is the removal of the right side of the colon.

He is currently recovering in hospital in Kitchener, Ontario.

Status Update – Welcome new sponsor All New Comics

We are still looking for sponsorships in order to cover costs associated with putting the awards on. We are happy to announce that we have a new sponsor as of March 17th —  online retailer ALL NEW COMICS will be sponsoring our two community awards – the TM MAPLE AWARD of which two individuals are selected from the community for their contributions to Canadian comic book culture.


Current status of awards available for sponsorship:

Title Sponsor
Cover Artist – sponsored by The Comic Book Lounge (Toronto, ON)
Comics for Kids – sponsored by The Dragon (Guelph, ON)
The Gene Day Award
The Harry Kremer Retailer Award
The TM Maple Award (2) – sponsored by All New Comics (Toronto, ON)
Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame

Still plenty of sponsorship opportunities open.

An Important Update on the 2015 Joe Shuster Awards

You’ve probably been wondering why there have been few announcements about the 2015 awards. That’s because at this time, the Joe Shuster Awards are out of funds. I have had to pay out of pocket for the remaining 2014 costs and cannot afford to privately sponsor the costs of doing the annual Joe Shuster Awards.

We will continue to proceed with preparations for the 2015 Awards, but at this time we cannot commit any financial resources towards the awards.

At this time we are looking for Canadian businesses who are interested in sponsoring individual awards. We also accept donations. Donations and sponsorship does not imply influence over the nominating and judging of the individual awards.

Kevin Boyd

York University’s Cosmicon: one of Canada’s earliest comics conventions

Many thanks to Ron Kasman for sending me this article for the site (back in October no less). It has also appeared elsewhere online, primarily the Collector’s Society Message Boards. I’m running it here as is, unedited, as I asked him if I could re-publish it here as it gives a fairly accurate look at what the comics scene was like forty years ago. Heads up that Ron’s language and perspective on what transpired is a little spicy and may offend some.

A little preface: before Cosmicon, Toronto hadn’t really had much of a convention scene.

In 1968, Captain George Henderson – owner of Canada’s first comics shop, Memory Lane, had brought Stan Lee to the city for the Triple FanFair (no doubt inspired by the convention of the same name that had been taking place in Detroit around the same time – the three fandoms in the name being science fiction, movies and comics). That event took place in tents on Markham Street (where Memory Lane used to be and currently where the Beguiling is). For the most part Canadian comic fans of this era in this region had to pile in a car and drive to Detroit, Chicago or primarily New York to attend a comic book convention. What happened at York University was pretty amazing and was the highlight for many young fans, a lot of whom would go on to work in comics or related things.

I should note that I see some of the folks mentioned here pretty regularly. Ron and I visited the New York Comic Con together this last October, and stayed with our mutual friend Walter Dickinson. Ronn Sutton just had a graphic novel published last week, and you can find him as a guest at many Canadian shows, primarily in Ontario and Quebec. I see Ken Ketter nearly every Saturday night when he comes by for his comics fix, he’s one of my regular customers at the Comic Book Lounge, here in Toronto.

COSMICON: 1972-1975

A Tell-All Expose by Ron Kasman

Steranko Poster for Cosmicon I

Steranko Poster for Cosmicon I

Steranko’s surrealistic, day-glo poster for Cosmicon,
distributed free in 1972,
just went for $212.00 Am. on Ebay!


In January of 1972 Cosmicon was potentially a horror show, both literally and figuratively. What saved it, in the immortal words of Howard Chaykin, was “Canadian Bacon”.

Ken Ketter was a horror film fan, a university sophomore who chose York Fine Arts over his old job at a soap factory, and the most courageous man I’ve ever met. He applied to Winter’s College of York University for $600 to put on a comic book/ SF/ horror movie convention… and they gave it to him!

I was a Winter’s student too, at least I was until I dropped out and couldn’t find a job even in a soap factory. I told Ken I’d help out. I brought in fan artist Ronn Sutton and fan publisher Mark Segel. Gloria Agnew was hired to do administrative work. Many, many others contributed to the convention. We invited Jim Steranko (comics), Gray Morrow (SF) and Alain Resnais (film) as our guests. We paid for their plane tickets and expected them to be the only celebrities in attendance.

As the big day approached things were all set to become a terrible mess. Hundreds of fans were coming in, some from as far away as Quebec, Ohio, Michigan and even Germany and we just didn’t have a lot going on to entertain them. As the VW minivan drove off to Toronto International Airport to pick up our guests, Mark Segel looked anguished and annoumced, “I wish this wasn’t going to happen”. But, what do you know, it went very well. Here’s why: European comic art was getting noticed in the U.S. through Jim Warren’s Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella magazines. Outside of that, most European comic art was inaccessible. The New York comic artists’ community (as well as most Americans, it seemed) was so ignorant of what Toronto was like that they naturally assumed that we all spoke French and that they’d find lots of comics by Philippe Druillet, Jean Giraud and others up here. When they arrived, the invited guests and many more that paid their own way — soo-prise!… no European comics! They should have phoned ahead.

Well, you’d think they’d have been disappointed but other factors entered. Cosmicon was probably the first comic convention ever held at a university. Back then, all the little fanboys like me treated the New York Comic Book artists like they were gods. So the girls who lived at the Winter’s College Residence (and would never ever sleep with a pimply creep like me) figured these guys from New York had to be important! The comic artists, not unlike rock stars, had gained a perk not known to us lesser beings — groupies! These comic geeks, by the sheer fact that they could draw better than the rest of us and whose faces had probably only recently cleared up, got laid!

Furthermore, the part of the convention not held in the Winter’s Women’s Dorm Rooms was held at the Absinthe Pub just steps away from our dealers’ room. Aside from the beer there was lots of dope which could be consumed with impunity on the liberal arts campus.

The next year the artists returned bringing friends, displays and slide shows. By year three Cosmicon was the place to be. Among other attendees that year were Jim Warren of Warren Publications; Carmine Infantino, editor-in-chief at D.C., Stan Lee from Marvel; Michele Eury, comic editor at Playboy and P.J.O’Rourke, the editor-in-chief of National Lampoon. There were so many big time pros that if the Absinthe beer had been teeming with salmonella, comics today would look quite different.

But Cosmicon became a political issue. Students at the left leaning university (which like North Korea, Cuba and Albania is still probably babbling about the truth of communism to this very day) thought too much money was being spent by the university for the benefit of Americans. Furthermore, the ever increasing budget shifted the convention to being student administered instead of fan administered. Most of the people who had ran it were about to graduate. Also I still wasn’t getting laid. Why bring Americans up to score with girls who’d have nothing to do with me?

Year Four was Cosmicon’s swan song. The budget was $24,000. This is back when a comic book cost $.20, a chocolate bar was dime and a year of university tuition was $600. We were the front page headline in Friday night’s Toronto Star. Pete and Geets, a popular comedy duo of the day, satirized us on their morning show on CHUM-FM and later came down as convention guests. We were the talk of the town.

Cosmicon II poster by Michael William Kaluta

Cosmicon II art by Michael William Kaluta


Talking to Stan Lee for about an hour at a cocktail party. He was a tall, handsome man, dressed in high boots and suede. I stared and stared but I honestly couldn’t tell that he was wearing a wig.

Hippy comic scribe Steve Skeates being questioned at the border until they phoned the university and were told that he was a respected writer coming to York University to lecture.

T. Casey Brennan, Vampirella scripter, coming to Toronto and not knowing just where Cosmicon was taking place (we neglected to put the exact location in our first ad). He took a chance and asked a random geek on the subway and, of course, he knew!

Jeff Jones and Vaughn Bode together in a photo in the program book — as men!

Alain Resnais sticking the convention with unexpectedly high food and hotel bills.

Buying a $10 EC Portfolio from Ed April’s widow only because she was doing no business and as an organizer I felt responsible. It is worth about $200 today.

Ron Peterson, Winter’s student and perpetual life of the party, getting more attention than Jones, Wrightson and Kaluta put together.

Ken Ketter inviting Alice Cooper and being turned down then getting Ted Nugent and Amboy Dukes. They had had a hit with “Journey to the Center of Your Mind” but had yet to emerge with “Cat Scratch Fever”. I think Ken paid them $1100 for the concert. Admission was free with a Cosmicon pass.

Harry Kremer, comic book dealer, buying a stack of Wrightson coloured drawings at $50 to $100 each. His estate sold them thirty years later for more than 50 times that.

So where are they now? The people involved in Cosmicon became famous, dead, washed-up, struggling, jailbirds, real estate salesmen, comic artists, teachers, musicians, collectors, legends, rumours, and painters of motorcycle gas tanks and the sides of vans. Some of us grew up and some of us never would. Cosmicon was fun but looking back, it was hard to be nineteen. It was even harder to be nineteen and a comic fan. Back then I wished I was Jeff Jones and so did hundreds of other little geeks just like me. We lacked his talent, intelligence and drive. I was pretty sure at the time that he got a lot of action from the females at Cosmicon though now, it seems rather ironic, as he’s clearly crossed the gender boundary in recent years. Nonetheless, I’m absolutely sure he got to see Jody Winthrop’s tits because she posed naked as a model for his National Lampoon IDYL comic strip. She had great tits. I wonder what they look like today. They are probably still pretty good.

Canadian Superheroes march in Guelph, ON’s Santa Claus Parade TODAY 11/16

Today in Guelph, ON’s Santa Claus parade there will be a superhero themed float, covered with paintings of notable Canadian heroes by Jay Stephens and featuring cosplayers dressed as Canadian superheroes. It will be followed by an event at the Eisner Award-winning shop The Dragon, who are also sponsors of the Dragon Award handed out annually as part of the Joe Shuster Awards.

From the press release:

At 1.45pm the grand parade opener will set off. Canadian Superheroes such as Wolverine, Superman, Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Arrowhead, Captain Canuck and Equinox will be showcased on a float built by Turtleshell Studios. Event organizer Sam Jewell says ‘people might know that Wolverine is Canadian, but lesser known is the fact that Superman was co-created by a Canadian and Clark Kent first worked at the Daily Star, based on the Toronto Star. Also his hometown of Metropolis was based on Toronto’.

One of the two female superheroes, Nelvana of the Northern Lights, was Canada’s first ever comic book superhero in 1941 and was based on a real-life Inuit woman. Cecile Lyall, who will play Nelvana at the parade, is from the same community as the original Nelvana and is excited to travel to Guelph for the parade. ‘She was a role model in my community and I’m very proud to be here and show her to the people of Guelph’.

An event at award-winning comics and games store, The Dragon, will give parade-goers the chance to meet with their superheroes. Based in the warmth of Old Quebec Street Shoppes, the store will run the event directly after the parade and will have Captain Canuck costume creator Kalman Andrasofszky signing for fans, as well as Nelvana historian Hope L Nicholson to tell us all about Canada’s first female superhero. Also in attendance, local illustrator and creator of Arrowhead, Jay Stephens.

Full release can be read here http://visitguelphwellington.ca/events/3024

Robert Joseph Charpentier (1960-2014), owner of Toronto’s Comics and More (updated)

3031997To follow-up on a recent story, we here at the Joe Shuster Awards are saddened to learn of the passing of ROBERT JOSEPH CHARPENTIER, the owner of Toronto’s Comics & More shop on Danforth Avenue.

Rob or Bob as he was known to his friends and customers, was a long-time fixture on the Toronto comics scene, having owned Shining Knight comics, later renamed Comics & More. He had been a comics retailer for over 20 years.

In the late summer Rob had been diagnosed with a brain tumour after experiencing a series of excruciatingly painful headaches. The tumour was removed, but while undergoing adjuvant treatment it was discovered that the cancer had spread and could not be treated. In September Bob made the announcement on his store blog.

Rob passed on Friday, October 17th. Viewing and service will be held on Saturday, October 25th.

CHARPENTIER, Robert Joseph – Quietly in his sleep at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre after a short battle with cancer at the age of 54. Brother to Stephen Douglas (Elaine), James Thomas (Lynda) and Edward Anthony. Beloved uncle and granduncle to his numerous nieces and nephews and their children. Predeceased by his parents Douglas Charpentier and Evelyn Dame and his sister Sarah Hacker. He will be dearly missed by his whole family, as well as his family at ‘Comics and More’. Visitation will be held from 12-2 p.m. on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at the HERITAGE FUNERAL CENTRE, 50 Overlea Blvd., 416-423-1000, with a memorial service in the Chapel at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the

or the Canadian Diabetes Association would be greatly appreciated by the family. Online condolences and directions may be found at www.heritagefuneralcentre.ca

Details on the service can be found here: Book of Memories
storefront4Official statement from the staff of Comics & More

Bleeding Cool has also run the story, copying the text of the obituary and the eulogy from the Comics and More Site.

Jeff Lemire lives near the shop and was a regular customer, and has blogged about Rob. IN MEMORY OF ROB CHARPENTIER

I was saddened to learn about Rob’s illness a couple months back. He was unable to work at the store anymore, but continued reading. One of his fears near the end was not getting a chance to see the end of Grant Morrison’s long anticipated Multiversity project. (It should be noted that when I reached out to DC Comics about this they helped connect Grant with Rob. Grant spent nearly an hour talking to Rob on the phone in his hospital room. DC and Grant’s kindness was not lost on Rob or his friends at the store, and was a real bright spot for Rob near the end).

This is such a wonderful example of people helping people. Rob was very excited to see where Multiversity was going and worried about missing it’s conclusion, but after the operation, Rob could no longer read (the removal of the tumour had affected his ability to read), so this is an even more wonderful story, in that Grant Morrison was able to tell him about the project, and about how it ended.

Rob Charpentier, comics retailer hospitalized

storefront4It’s with a heavy heart that I must report some unfortunate news that I’ve known about for a little while…

Rob Charpentier is the owner/operator of Toronto’s Danforth Avenue store Comics & More. Comics & More has been around in various incarnations since 1987.

Unfortunately, back in the summer Rob was diagnosed with progressive brain cancer, a situation that he recently shared with his friends and customers on his store blog a few weeks back.

Not sure what you may have heard around the store, but the reason you haven’t seen much of me lately is due to my hospitalization, Just a warning to anyone reading these words, if you suffer from occasional migraines and they suddenly increase in intensity and frequency – get to a damn hospital quick. A brain tumor is not something you can tough out.
It has been strange what has been going through my head lately, well, other other than radiation and scalpels that is. I am worried that I might not see the end of Grant Morrison’s Multiversity series – even if they manage to keep it on schedule – it’s six months away. More of a worry if the store will still be open at that point. I have limited options; I can try and sell, shut it down or just kind of fade away. I will not be able to work in the store again but I will try and do what’s fairest for all the loyal customers who’ve been with me over the years.
i will try to update you more often

Rob is currently undergoing palliative treatment and is under observation. Friends, like his former business partner Peter Fisico (online retailer All New Comics) who have visited him say that he remains positive and upbeat. At this point, the future of the store is uncertain, as it’s unlikely that Rob will be able to return to the store. Thankfully friends and staff have been keeping the business going for him.

I’ve known Rob for a long time, mostly from my days as a show promoter, but I have visited his various stores over the years and I’ve always found him to be a friendly, warm guy always happy to talk comics and discuss the business of comics retailing and shows. I regret I haven’t seen him for while, since he stopped exhibiting at events, but I know many people who call Comics & More their home store, and everyone in the community is distraught over the news and wishing the best for Rob. It can’t be easy.

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.

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