For your consideration, is Superman a Canadian character?
For your consideration, is Superman a Canadian character?
The Kickstarter campaign for the reprinting of Adrian Dingle’s Nelvana of the Northern Lights stories from Triumph-Adventure (later just Triumph) Comics published between 1941 and 1946 by Hillborough Studios/Bell Features has reached it’s aggressive target of 25,000 in 6 days and has resulted in exposure of the character and the Canadian golden age to a number of people not aware of Canada’s short-lived comic book industry of the 1940′s.
The Kickstarter campaign launched on Tuesday, October 1 – and as of this writing it is currently at just over 27,000 with 454 backers and has three weeks left.
Backers were tempted with perks such as new Nelvana drawings by industry pros like Francis Manapul, Jeff Lemire and Ray Fawkes. A reprinting of the Bell Nelvana colour one-shot, as well as prints and calendars by a number of different artists and a limited edition hardcover.
The editors, friends and supporters celebrated last night with a party at the Harry Kremer Award winning Silver Snail comic shop in downtown Toronto.
Canadian Whites have come to mean books produced and published in Canada as a result of the Canadian government’s implementation of the War Exchange Conservation Act (WECA) which banned the import of American comics into the Canadian wartime economy of World War II. WECA was implemented by the Canadian government in December of 1940. The act was repealed in 1946 allowing US imports to resume, the Canadian industry died out shortly thereafter. ~ Walter Durajlija (Big B Comics)
Here at the Joe Shuster Awards, you can’t discuss English Canadian comic books without some sort of recognition for the 5+ years when English Canada actually had it’s own comic book publishing industry. It’s something that has never quite been repeated in our history, despite a slow boom of self-published books in the mid-to-late 1970′s and early 1980′s and a handful of Canadian publishers over the years like Aardvark-Vanaheim, Renegade Press, Vortex, Drawn & Quarterly, Red 5 Comics, Conundrum Press and Koyama Press.
On the flip side, French Canada (specifically Quebec) has had an active comics publishing industry for the past few decades.
In this article I’ll touch briefly on the short but important war years when we had our own nascent industry that was heavily influenced by the American industry, when Canadian artists didn’t have to go to New York or Chicago to make it as a comic artist or writer. They could do it in Toronto or Vancouver. Continue reading
So thanks to the few people who donated money to the awards, we appreciate your support and we are always in need of more assistance if you haven’t considered donating already!
We have been meeting and discussing plans going forward, as we do need to raise money in order to put on the 2014 awards, if we cannot raise the small amounts required to put on the awards we will not be able to do them, it’s as simple as that. On top of that, we need funds fairly urgently to reimburse us for the costs of the 2013 awards which we have already paid out of pocket for.
To that end we are exploring crowdfunding options whereby you get a perk for supporting the awards. We have a fair amount of original art and a lot of different prints left over from previous years that we can offer as perks, and many new pieces of original art have been offered to us by different creators, so we will probably expand on that with a wider appeal to the artistic community – so instead of selling pieces on eBay as we have in the past, they will be offered as perks in the crowdfunding campaign. We’re thinking of going with Indiegogo rather than Kickstarter in that Indiegogo allows you to keep whatever funds are raised even if your target is not reached.
One idea that we are exploring is creating sketchbooks of the Superman and Wolverine artwork from the two Visions of an Icon fundraising campaigns to offer as perks for certain donation plateaus. Printing these would be an additional cost we would have to absorb into the cost of the perks.
Our target is going to be two years funding, with anything beyond that allowing us to expand our print and promotional goals to promote nominated and award-winning books.
We are currently examining launch dates and planning the campaign. We’ll provide updates when we have some more concrete plans.
The background and the pitch:
At large group of misfits, band together to take on missions in time and space, too trivial for real detectives.
Greetings! George Peter Gatsis here. I am the creator of Canada’s first computer generated comic book series, The Black Diamond Effect, that has been publishing since 1990!
–JOE KING vs.
–150 page digital and print comic book
—5 months to produce.
—EVERYONE who donates $15 or more, get the digital volume, which Will be in the DRM FREE formats of CBZ, ePUB and PDF!
At large group of misfits, band together to take on missions in time and space, too trivial for real detectives. It’s about JOE KING, SYNTAX E.R.R.O.R., MsTAKE, CRYPLET, SLITHER, CHEF, OLDIE and a whole bunch more characters that are in the KickStarter video and a lot more that haven’t made an appearance yet. The big bad is really BIG! The universe, since the big bang, has been invaded by THE BEYONDERS. The crew of the LADYSTAR come across information —from the future— about the Beyonder’s evil plan… and they have a slim chance of actually stopping it, save the universe and look good in the eyes of their peers! Sooooo… like responsible, caring, law binding crew that they are… they start off on their mission by having a pool party on the hanger deck.
It may well be its last.
Year to year the awards struggle to get by. This is generally by relying on the kind donations from creators in the industry. We auction the pieces for key funding.
We are quite thankful to all the volunteers who contribute to our committees and awards ceremony year after year. Also to sponsors that have stepped up for the cause. Without their involvement there would be no JSA Awards, period.
No one is making money on this folks.
We are a true non-profit organization and have operated as such from its inception.
As Kevin Boyd, our Associate Director, pointed out in the post here, we need funding.
The number one comment I hear from people is that “The JSA’s, don’t you get grants for that?” The answer is that the grants are out there but we need the help of volunteers that can interpret that world and assist us in completing effective proposals to secure them.
Hoping that the word can spread within the community and that any grant writers out there can give us some help.
In the meantime, if you’d like to help us out you can donate any amount via PayPal or Interac.
Much thanks to all.
The cost of putting on the annual Joe Shuster Awards for Canadian Comic Book Creators is currently assumed by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association, however since the awards are a not-for-profit organization we often find ourselves without funds to cover costs and must rely on fundraising to keep going.
While we (the directors) have been able to cover the costs from our personal accounts to ensure that the program endures, we must rely on donations of artwork and other promotional items to sell and your private donations to keep us going. We have considered doing elaborate crowdfunding projects, and that’s something we may do in the future, but now we are making a straightforward appeal for donations.
However, con season never seems to end, and we apologize to the Saskatchewan Entertainment Expo who held their event last weekend for not mentioning the event beforehand on the site.
However, on September 28-29 it’s the return of the Edmonton Entertainment Expo and it also looks to be a great convention.
The week after that Hamilton gets the spotlight with the debut of the new Hammer Town Comic Con on Saturday, October 5th.
We barely scratched the surface of the story back in late August, but Hobbystar Marketing, Inc. – the company that puts on Fan Expo Canada, Fan Expo Vancouver and the Toronto ComiCON — was purchased earlier this summer by Informa Exhibitions, an English/Swiss Company that puts on events all around the world. It is literally one of the world’s powerhouse event organizers, with a history of putting on events that goes as far back as 1880 with the launch of IPEX, the oldest running print exhibition in London. The purchase has raised many questions, but the word for now is that it means business as usual for Canada’s largest comics-related event as the existing management is being absorbed into the Informa structure (here in Ontario they put on the One of a Kind Craft Shows so they have experience running events locally as well, so the old HSM team will be sharing their experience with others and learning from them as well). The Informa influence in this year’s show seems to have been more money for guests to help launch the expansion of the Expo into the entire Metro Toronto Convention Centre and the new Fan Expo Sports. Since they bought a brand, don’t expect them to change the name — chances are you may end up seeing the addition of more Fan Expo events in different locations around the world in the coming years.
The buzz on the floor of the Montreal ComicCon last weekend seemed to be that other people are looking at Toronto as a potential site for new comic cons. One exhibitor seemed to hint that a new player was coming to town, one with 10 years+ experience organizing comic shows (Reed Exhibitions perhaps?), or maybe Wizard is planning on reviving their dormant Wizard World Toronto (one artist I spoke to seemed convinced that was the case). It’s also been suggested that at least two* different GTA stores (one central, one west end) are looking at starting their own conventions, so who knows what the future holds.
(*I’m not interested in naming names until something more concrete is announced, but it’s definitely not my store.)
One event that was announced for 2014 that seems to be under construction is the new GTA Comic Con, which was supposed to debut next April in Oakville, ON. The website says that the dates and location are now changing, so we’ll let people know when we hear anything new.
That’s the fall update on the world of comic cons, there are some pretty high profile events comic up in November (HalCon, The Central Canada Comic Con, along with a new December event in Ottawa), we’ll be running stories on those when we get a little closer to their dates.
Needless to say, Comic book conventions and pop culture fairs are now big business and attracting a lot of interest. The big ones get bigger, and the fascination with them and the massive success of the big events (like San Diego, Seattle, Calgary, Toronto, Chicago and New York) will seem attractive to new investors, players and outside money. Will the bubble grow or burst? Only time will tell.
The Ignatz Award, named for the character in the classic comic strip Krazy Kat by George Herriman, is the festival prize of the Small Press Expo, that since 1997 has recognized outstanding achievement in comics and cartooning. The ballot is created by a panel of five cartoonists and is voted on by the attendees of the SPX festival.
This year Canadians swept many of the categories, with 3 wins for Michael DeForge, and 1 each for Jillian Tamaki, John Martz and Ethan Rilly.
THE 2013 JURY
The Ignatz jury was composed of: Lisa Hanawalt, Dustin Harbin, Damien Jay, Sakura Maku and Jason Shiga.
Below is a complete list of the 2013 nominees, with winners in bold, Canadians in Red.
Lilli Carré, Heads or Tails
Michael DeForge, Lose #4
Miriam Katin, Letting It Go
Ulli Lust,Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life
Patrick McEown, Hair Shirt
Outstanding Anthology Or Collection
Freddie Stories,Lynda Barry
Heads or Tails, Lilli Carré
Peter Bagge’s Other Stuff, Peter Bagge
Tusen Hjartan Stark#1
Very Casual, Michael DeForge
Outstanding Graphic Novel
The Property, Rutu Modan
Susceptible, Genevieve Castree
Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, Ulli Lust
When David Lost His Voice,Judith Vanistendael
You’ll Never Know Volume Three: A Soldier’s Heart, Carol Tyler
“Arid” (Secret Prison #7), Tom Hart
Birdseye Bristoe, Dan Zettwoch
“The Carnival” (Heads or Tails),Lilli Carré
Gold Star, John Martz
“Neighbors” (Stark #1), Joanna Heligren
Promising New Talent
Sam Alden, Hawaii 1997 & Haunter
Nathan Bulmer, Eat More Bikes
Philippa Rice, Looking Out
Diana Thung, August Moon
Angie Wang, “The Teacup Tree,” Secret Prison #7
The Hive, Charles Burns
Lose, Michael DeForge
Madtown High, Whit Taylor
Pope Hats, Ethan Rilly
Prison Pit, Johnny Ryan
Hyperspeed to Nowhere, Lale Westvind
The Life Problem, Austin English
Looking Out, Philippa Rice
Pope Hats #3, Ethan Rilly
St. Owl’s Bay, Simon Hanselmann
Il Cammino Delle Capre, Kris Mukai & Zachary Zezima
The End of the F*cking World #16, Charles Forsman
Hawaii 1997, Sam Alden
Layaway, Joseph Lambert
Powdered Milk Volume Ten: The Man Who Could Not Read, Keiler Roberts
Outstanding Online Comic
Bird Boy, Annie Szabla
Gabby’s Playhouse, Ken Dahl & Gabby Schulz
Haunter, Sam Alden
July Diary, Gabrielle Bell
SuperMutant Magic Academy, Jillian Tamaki
One day: Friday $20, Saturday $35, Sunday $25
Weekend: $55, Deluxe $75, VIP $175
On Saturday, September 7, the winners of the 26th annual Harvey Awards were announced at the Baltimore Comic Con. Chief among the standouts was Image’s Saga – who won awards for Best Colorer, Best New Series, Best Continuing Series, Best Writer, Best Artist, and Best Single Issue for Saga #1.
KaBoom!’s Adventure Time took home two Harvey Awards for Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers and writer Ryan North received a Special Award for Humor in Comics for the title.
The full list of winners, as chosen by comics professionals, include:
Todd Klein for Fables (DC Comics)
Fiona Staples for Saga (Image Comics)
Joe Staton, Mike Curtis for Dick Tracy (Tribune Media Services)
Online Comics Work:
Battle Pug by Mike Norton
American Edition of Foreign Material:
Blacksad: A Silent Hell (Dark Horse)
Klaus Janson for Captain America (Marvel Comics)
Dennis Hopeless for Avengers Arena (Marvel Comics)
Best Original Graphic Publication for Younger Readers:
Adventure Time (KaBoom!)
Best Graphic Album Previously Published:
Alien: the Illustrated Story (Titan Comics)
Dark Horse Presents (Dark Horse)
Best Domestic Reprint Project:
Daredevil: Born Again Artists Edition by David Mazzucchelli (IDW Publishing)
Best Cover Artist:
David Aja for Hawkeye
Best Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation:
Robot 6 blog by Comic Book Resources
Best Graphic Album, Original:
Richard Stark’s Parker: The Score by Darwyn Cooke (IDW Publishing)
Best Continuing or Limited Series:
Saga (Image Comics)
Brian K. Vaughan, Saga
Fiona Staples, Saga
Jaime Hernandez for Love and Rockets: New Stories (Fantagraphics)
Best Single Issue or Story:
Special Awards for Excellence in Presentation:
Building Stories by Chris Ware
Dick Giordano Hero Initiative Humanitarian of the Year Award:
Special Award for Humor in Comics:
Ryan North for Adventure Time (KaBoom!)
Hero Initiative Lifetime Achievement Award:
I had the pleasure to sit on a panel entitled the Canadian Superhero Renaissance at Fan Expo Canada on August 23rd, and had to decline participation in the Golden Age of Canadian Comics panel on Sunday, August 25 (Rachel Richey had an important message to relay and I could not justify both of us being away from the Comic Book Lounge booth). With the completion of this year’s Joe Shuster Awards I’ve had some more time to digest the material that came out of those panels and the discussions I’ve seen online.
What if everyone who ever had superpowers had gone insane and become a threat to society? What if, after decades of this, one man gained abilities “far beyond those of mortal men” but kept his sanity? Recently discharged from the Army and faced with a society that fears superhumans, a government that hunts them down and growing numbers of crazed supervillains all around him, JACOB ROTH must decide to either put himself at risk by using his powers to help people or do nothing and remain safe while innocent people get hurt.
“THE F1RST HERO” is a unique new take on the superhero mythos, written by ANTHONY RUTTGAIZER and illustrated by PHILLIP SEVY with colors/letters by KT SMITH (American Splendor, Northern Guard) and covers by LEE MODER (Shinku, Wonder Woman, Stars and S.T.R.I.P.E.). The first story arc is four issues long and debuts around March 2014 from ACTION LAB COMICS (Molly Danger, Princeless, NFL Rush Zone).
Please support the campaign by making a donation on Indiegogo. There are incentives!
“A really, really good high concept. It instantly offers a reader a character who we know will face tons of nasty challenges and a character who is unique in the world – always a good start.”
- Ty Templeton: Writer, Batman Adventures
“I like the implicit sense of humour. I like the idea that [superhumans] are shunned. I like the dilemma.”
- Mark Askwith: Senior Producer, Space Television
“Anthony Ruttgaizer has created a ‘Mutant Registration Act’ that actually makes sense.”
- George Zotti: Co-Owner, Silver Snail Comic Shops
“The premise sounds very interesting. I’m inclined to think it’ll be a hit.”
- Richard Pace: Penciller, New Warriors/Starman
“I thought [the preview] was great.”
- Tony S. Daniel: Writer/Artist, Detective Comics/Action Comics
“[Sevy] is ready to go!”
- Francis Manapul: Writer/Artist, Flash
By Manfred J. von Vulte
Deputy Headmaster, Northmount School
There is always a sense of satisfaction when we finally see our children reading, especially when they have been deemed reluctant readers. The phrase that is most often heard, “Well, at least they are reading!” Granted, a milestone has been reached. This cannot be underestimated or relegated to a natural stepping stone that would have ultimately occurred. The difficult truth remains that if a student is not encouraged or driven to read, the process can be markedly protracted with episodes of stagnation and loss of competency with the development of literacy and comprehension. Thus, while there is much to celebrate when a reluctant reader begins to find an interest in reading, which is akin to the germination of a seed. If one wishes a child to flourish and bloom (to use an overstated, and frankly, syrupy term) that initial spark needs to be stoked, so that a competent student can be forged. The question remains, how then do we progress our children beyond that initial “Big Bang” effect? At the heart of the issue is a required acceptance that reading is a long-term temporal construct that requires all stakeholders to recognize that while short-term solutions may affect change (tutoring, differentiated instruction, moments of intervention, and academic accommodations) the genuine drive to move forward rests in the frequency and consistency of the aforementioned short-term solutions acting in concert with each other inside, and perhaps more importantly, outside of the course and classroom experience. Much like the broad consensus regarding student success: an interested and active parent in education equals high performance; so too, the same active and interventionist oversight is required.
Ultimately, our children should be able to gain the techniques required to see and interpret the world behind the book. To take hold of a text and deconstruct it, based on a set of criteria inherent to their ability to read and evaluate/synthesise material. As a laudable goal, this is undoubtedly the end game. The items listed below are the bridges across that great gulf from first contact to mastery. Be warned, be cautious, and be patient, the transference of literacy to a level beyond cursory entertainment-based reading does work in tandem with the passing of time, the development of scholastic skills, and something that cannot be disregarded, the evolution of personality, maturity and life experience that ebbs and flows along an intersecting continuum, not a straight line. Perhaps the former is the factor which most acts as a governor switch on the development of literacy.
Some news announced at the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards ceremony and reiterated the following day at Fan Expo Canada — Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey (who were both involved in Lost Heroes the Movie, which is said to be released later this year) have received permission from Corus Media and the National Archives to reprint the 31 Nelvana stories. Richey, who has worked for the National Archives in the past, has a blog on Canadian comics entitled Comic Syrup.
The character was published from 1941-1947 in the pages of Hillborough Studios and later Bell Features’ Triumph-Adventure Comics. Nelvana is one of the medium’s earliest female superhero characters.
Nelvana was created by Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame Inductee Adrian Dingle in 1941 for his company Hillborough Studios, after hearing tales of Inuit legends by well-known Canadian painter Franz Johnston. After merging his Toronto studio with publishers Gene and Cy Bell’s Bell Features, Dingle officially signed over the rights and trademark to Bell Features in a 1946 dated document.
However in 1947 Bell Features sold the rights to Nelvana and other characters to F.E. Howard Publications, and Nelvana’s last appearance in comics (still written and drawn by Adrian Dingle) was in F.E. Howard’s Super-Duper Comics #3 (May-June 1947 issue), which won’t be included in this collection.
While Bell Features/Commercial Signs of Canada closed up shop in 1953, the original artwork and the publication rights to the Bell Features Comics (incl. presumably the Hillborough Studios issues) were sold to Michael Hirsh and Patrick Loubert in 1971 by John Ezrin, Bell’s former Capital Officer. They in turn donated the collection to the National Archives under the provision that the material could not be reprinted without their permission. Their company Nelvana, was named after Dingle’s character, which was bought by Corus Entertainment in 2000, and presumably that includes the company’s assets – including the publication rights to Bell Features comics. So this could be just the first re-presentation of Bell Features comics, providing that this one is successful.
The majority of these comics have not been seen since they were originally published in the 1940′s. Some scans have been reprinted in books such as Hirsh and Loubert’s Great Canadian Comic Books. Nelvana was featured on a postage stamp.
Inspired by tales of the Inuit people told to him by Group of Seven and Ontario College of Art professor Franz (or Frank) Johnston, creator and cartoonist Adrian Dingle loosely adapted many Inuit legends into the superhero mythology of Canada’s first female superhero, predating the arrival of Wonder Woman by less than a handful of months.
When asked about potential new comics featuring Nelvana of the Northern Lights, someone on the facebook group for the character indicated that permission for any NEW comics with the character would require the permission and involvement of Adrian Dingle’s estate, that is until 2024 — our research indicates the date is specifically January 1, 2025 (as Dingle died in 1974 the copyright act indicates that the control of the artist’s work falls to his or her estate for 50 years after the death of the artist/author up until the end of the calendar year in which they passed away). At that time, presumably Nelvana becomes a public domain character. We’re not entirely sure where F.E. Howard Publications fit into this mix – they bought the rights to Nelvana with the intent to create new comics from Bell in 1947, and the 1971 agreement would indicate that Hirsch and Loubert obtained just the reprint rights to those stories published by Hillborough/Bell Features. The creation rights may have had a specific time limit, or conditions that were not met, but at the latest they likely lapsed back to the Dingle Estate in 1997 (50 years after they were licensed). The Dingle Estate has always controlled what Canadian copyright law refers to as the Moral Rights to Nelvana, and can veto depictions of the character they don’t agree with if they so choose.
Nicholson and Richey announced that the project would be crowdfunded (probably by either Kickstarter or Indiegogo) with the campaign to begin on October 1, 2013. The collection we are told will be priced at $30, in softcover trade paperback format. Black and white interiors, with a colour cover. Book design for the project is being handled by Joe Shuster Award winning cartoonist Ramon Perez (Jim Henson’s A Tale of Sand).
Perks are to be announced, but many artists such as Jeff Lemire and Steve Manale have been announced as providing something for the project, and others such as David Cutler and Adriana Blake have done art pieces of Nelvana that will presumably be perks or turned into prints or other media for perks.
For updates and interaction with the editors, please check out the facebook page.
Toronto, ON - Saturday, August 24. Earlier this evening at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, the 9th annual Joe Shuster Awards were presented at a gala ceremony hosted by the Toronto Star’s ROB SALEM and Cartoonist TY TEMPLETON.
The results are: Continue reading
We’re really proud to welcome back the one and only ROB SALEM as our co-host for the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony! Joining him will be Joe Shuster Award winning creator and nominee TY TEMPLETON!
So in 8 days the big show aka Fan Expo Canada starts at the Metro Convention Centre. This year the show is so massive they had to add a second building and for the first time ever the event will be in both the North and the South Buildings.
Many Joe Shuster Award nominees and winners (past and present) are at the event, and we encourage you to visit the website to look at the floorplans and schedules.
2011 JSA Hall of Fame inductee TODD MCFARLANE is a headlining guest. Full guest list here.
Our retail sponsors The Dragon and The Comic Book Lounge (my store) will be in the dealers section along with Harry Kremer award winning retailers Big B Comics (Hamilton) and the Silver Snail (Toronto).
There are two Canadian comics related panels worth checking out:
FRIDAY AUG 23 – 11:15 AM In room 703
THE CANADIAN SUPERHERO RENAISSANCE
With projects like the True Patriot anthology, the Captain Canuck webseries, the Lost Heroes documentary, The Wolverine movie and more – are we witnessing a Canadian superhero renaissance? Where is this all coming from? Does the industry need this? Will the market support it? Are Canadian superheroes poised to be the next big thing in comics?
Join moderator Fearless Fred and panelists Jay Torres (“True Patriot”), Ramón K Pérez (“True Patriot”), Mike Valiquette (“Captain Canuck”), Hope L Nicholson (“Lost Heroes”), and Kevin A. Boyd (“Joe Shuster Awards”) to discuss The Canadian Superhero Renaissance.
SUNDAY AUG 25 – 2:15 PM in room 703
THE GOLDEN AGE OF CANADIAN COMICS
During WWII the Canadian government initiated the War Exchange Conservation Act and Canadian artists stepped up to fill the void of comics on our newsstands.
Join moderator Ivan Kocmarek and a panel of industry experts as they discuss the first age of Canadian comics and characters like Iron Man, Johnny Canuck, Freelance, The Penguin and many other forgotten heroes and their impact on Canadian-made comics.
ALSO DON’T FORGET THE JOE SHUSTER AWARDS ARE TAKING PLACE ON SATURDAY NIGHT – JACKMAN HALL, ART GALLERY OF ONTARIO! Seating at 8pm – Ceremony to begin around 8:30PM