2015 Gene Day Award Nominees

gene-day-colours-revised-2

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

TORONTO COMICS ANTHOLOGY Vol. 1 by Various

TREADWELL by Dominic Bercier (Mirror Comics)

ULTIMATE POWER DUO PRESENTS THE ADVENTURES OF SPACE JOE: AD ASTRA by various

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

Featured

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
BOUMBoumeries
NICOLE CHARTRANDFey Winds
MICHAEL DEFORGESticks Angelica, Folk Hero
CANAAN GRALLMax Overacts
KATE LETHLittle Ghost
TARA TALLANGalaxion
TY TEMPLETONBun Toons

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

DARWYN COOKE
MIKE DEL MUNDO
KARL KERSCHL
KEN LASHLEY
FRANCIS MANAPUL
FRANCOIS MIVILLE-DESCHENES
JULIE ROCHELEAU
CAMERON STEWART

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
SPONSORED BY THE STORY ATTIC

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)
SPONSORED BY THE DRAGON

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.
THREE THIEVES BOOKS 4 AND 5 (Kids Can Press) – SCOTT CHANTLER
A CAT NAMED TIM AND OTHER STORIES (Koyama Press) – JOHN MARTZ
MIDAS FLESH (Boom!) – RYAN NORTH
MADDY KETTLE: THE ADVENTURE OF THE THIMBLEWITCH (Top Shelf) – ERIC ORCHARD
ARIANE ET NICOLAS TOME 8 (Vents d’Ouest /Premières Lignes) – PAUL ROUX
THIS ONE SUMMER (Groundwood Books) – MARIKO TAMAKI, JILLIAN TAMAKI

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

AMAZING STORIES (Saskatoon, SK)
ANOTHER DIMENSION (Calgary, AB)
THE COMIC HUNTER (Moncton, NC)
COMIC READERS (Regina, SK)
CONSPIRACY COMICS (Burlington, ON)
EXPERT COMICS (Montreal, QC)
GALAXY COMICS AND COLLECTIBLES (Winnipeg, MB)
IMAGINAIRE (Quebec City, QC)
PARADISE COMICS (Toronto, ON)
STADIUM COMICS (Brampton, ON)

The T.M. Maple Award / Prix T.M. Maple
SPONSORED BY ALL NEW COMICS, INC.

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.

MICHAEL HIRSH (1948-) AND PATRICK LOUBERT (1947-)
– 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.

ROBERT CHARPENTIER (1960-2014)
– 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 (1951-)
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

Primary Sponsor: HAPPY HARBOR COMICS

Award Sponsors: ALL NEW COMICS, INC., THE DRAGON, THE STORY ATTIC

General Sponsors: BIG B COMICS, STRANGE ADVENTURES, VISIONS OF UTOPIA, COMIC BOOK LOUNGE

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.

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.

anc-324x75

Current status of awards available for sponsorship:

Title Sponsor
Artist
Writer
Cartoonist
Webcomics
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

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.

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.

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

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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.

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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

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

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.