Just for fun: Canadian heroes

poster2Pictured above is an image by Kaare Andrews that was used as the cover art for the 2005 Paradise Toronto Comicon program booklet. It celebrates the launch of the Joe Shuster Awards and it features a number of characters that have Canadian ties:

SUPERMAN (upper centre)

Created by Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born Joe Shuster. The first comic book superhero, Superman, has had many high profile Canadian creators chronicle his adventures over the years, including John Byrne, Stuart Immonen, Tom Grummett and Darwyn Cooke.

NELVANA OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS (upper right)

Nelvana debuted in August 1941 in Hillborough Studio’s Triumph-Adventure Comics #1. Canada’s first national superhero and one of the first comic-book superheroines (pre-dating Wonder Woman), Nelvana was created by Canadian cartoonist Adrian Dingle. Toronto’s Nelvana animation studio was named after the character.

DOC FRANKENSTEIN (lower right)

Writer Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein monster lives on in this series co-created by Canadian artist Steve Skroce and the famed film directors the Wachowski Brothers. 6 issues of this series have shipped from Burleyman Press.

WOLVERINE (lower centre)

Created by Americans Roy Thomas, John Romita, Len Wein and Herb Trimpe – Wolverine was Marvel Comics’ first acknowledged Canadian superhero and was later followed by Alpha Flight. Wolverine truly became a popular character when he was illustrated by Canadian artist John Byrne in the pages of the Uncanny X-Men.

CEREBUS THE AARDVARK (lower left)

Dave Sim‘s Cerebus the Aardvark first appeared in 1977. Sim chronicled the character’s “life” for 300 issues (setting a creative milestone in North American comic books) and became a pioneering self-publisher and champion for creator’s rights. Sim’s “phonebook” reprints of Cerebus issues/storylines were an obvious inspiration for Marvel’s Essential and DC’s Showcase volumes.

CAPTAIN CANUCK (upper left)

Created by writer Ron Leishman and artist/co-writer Richard Comely, Captain Canuck debuted in 1975 from Comely’s Winnipeg based Comely Comics. The character has been published sporadically since his debut in the mid-1970’s and has had three incarnations – the first is pictured above.