As we have now completed our 8th year of producing the Joe Shuster Awards I would like to thank (their names were noted earlier this week on the site), the many people across the country and beyond who supported and assisted us in putting together the 2012 Joe Shuster Awards. I would also like to thank the Montreal Comic Con team that helped make this year’s event happen – Oscar Yazedjian, translator supreme Elizabeth Jutras and Cliff Caporale, as well as Jason Rockman and Catherine Smith-Desbiens our hosts for the ceremony.
I would particularly like to support the other members of the Executive Committee – Robert Haines, Allison Covey, Andrew Walsh, Peter DeCourcy and my old friend and fellow awards founder Tyrone Biljan.
Of course, the most important congratulations and thanks go to our many nominees and particularly, the 2012 winners — Francois, Kurtis, Emily, Dakota, Ramon, Stuart, Paul and the folks at the Silver Snail.
I hope that you, like myself, were able to discover some great comics by Canadian creators as a result of our work here with the JSAs and there was definitely no shortage of said works in 2011. Since we started this in 2004, the CCBCAA — with the annual Joe Shuster Awards and this website have done what we could to raise awareness of Canadians working in the comic book industry and we believe that has worked – visibility and international awareness of Canadian creators is at an all-time high, but that wouldn’t be possible if our Canadian creators were not so talented! So it becomes a chicken and egg scenario. Well, no — it doesn’t. Creative talent comes first and foremost, we’re here to back it up.
This was my 5th ceremony as the Executive Director of these awards (the first two I was Co-Director), and as per our organizational charter, I have now served a complete term and I am required to step down from the position for at least one award season. Since the new Executive Director has not been selected, for the time being I will continue to serve as interim Director until that person is found and approved by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association, hopefully that will happen this fall.
Certainly those regular visitors to this site will have noticed a general slowing down of articles posted, and that’s because I’ve been pretty busy juggling my four hats — the awards, Fan Expo and related events, my unrelated day job and finally my responsibilities as owner of the Comic Book Lounge and Gallery in Toronto. It’s the latter that has become quite time consuming, so article writing has taken a back seat to accounting, in-store event planning and keeping up with ordering and learning about what our customers are interested in.
I do want to make it quite clear that I am not leaving the CCBCAA, an organization I co-founded in late 2003. I will continue to serve as a coordinator for these awards, working with the nominating committees and juries. Unless they feel that my services are not needed.
Unfortunately, Associate Director, Robert Haines has decided to retire from participating in the CCBCAA in 2012-13. Robert has been a strong catalyst for change here in the CCBCAA, and we have achieved much with his earnest appreciation for the medium and his direct method of communicating. He was instrumental in the creation and development of the Gene Day Award, and his work with the Retailer Committee and creating and supporting Canada’s infrastructure of stores is a tremendous achievement in improving standards. He has definitely raised the bar in what our perception of what a quality Canadian comic book retailer can and should be. I don’t believe that this is the last that we will hear of Robert, as he is an innovator and passionate advocator for the medium and for retailers.
The Dragon will continue as the sponsor of the Dragon Prize for Comics for Kids in 2013.
This is also the last year of the Joe Shuster Award Plaque. For a year and a half, we have been working with cartoonist Darwyn Cooke to develop a new award trophy that we are planning to unveil at the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards ceremony, but we should be able to show you the design here on the site once we get a prototype.
As for the location of the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards, that has yet to be finalized. The new team will meet to discuss possibilities and look at the event schedule for larger, middle-ground (i.e. open to all types of comics), multiple-day comic book centred events scheduled to take place between April 1 and September 1 (that don’t already have an awards show i.e. TCAF). The events we are currently considering presenting them at are: Fan Expo Vancouver, Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo, Ottawa Comic-Con and Fan Expo Canada (in Toronto). We’ll know where and when by the end of 2012.