The 2018 Joe Shuster Award Winners

JSA2007logoSeptember 5, 2018 — The JOE SHUSTER AWARD is Canada’s national award that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell comic books, digital comics and graphic novels.

The nominated works were published between January 1 and December 31, 2017. The award winners were chosen by a jury vote.

All images shown are copyright (c) and trademark (TM) their respective owners, and are used to promote the nominations.

And the winners are:

Writer / Scénariste


Cover Artist / Dessinateur Couvertures

DJIBRIL MORISSETTE-PHAN – Chapterhouse, Image Comics


Artist / Dessinateur


Amazing_Spider-Man_Vol_4_25_Immonen_Variant_TextlessCartoonist / Auteur



Webcomics Creator / Créateur de Bandes Dessinées Web



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

gene-day-colours-revised-21Named 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 13th, 2017.

This year the award will be split into two categories:

Single Creator/Creative Team:



(C)=Cartoonist, (A)=Artist, (W)=Writer

Anthology Format:



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 across the country and a database of recommendations, referrals and secret shopper reports.


Gotham Central

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

x4JFdYgx_400x400This 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.

Another Castle (Oni Press) by Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau


The T.M. Maple Award / Prix T.M. Maple

maple-775697The 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.

2018 Recipient: MARK ASKWITH (1956-)


Mark Askwith (born April 6, 1956) is a Canadian producer, writer, interviewer (and sometime-publisher/editor), and a familiar name in the fields of science fiction and comics.

After working at Oberon Press, and Coach House Press, between 1982 and 1987, Askwith managed one of the premiere North American comic book stores – The Silver Snail in Toronto. Situated at that time opposite the Bakka-Phoenix Science Fiction Bookstore, it provided an opportunity to soak up the comics/Sci-Fi atmosphere, and allowed Askwith to meet legendary (and local) Science Fiction and comics authors, including Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz.

Leaving the Silver Snail in 1987, he started work on a Prisoner comic with Dean Motter (below), and worked in an art directorial supportive role on Ron Mann’s comics documentary Comic Book Confidential (Sphinx Productions, 1988), an overview/history of the comic book medium in the U.S.A, from the 1930s to the ’80s. The documentary featured interviews with such noteworthy individuals as Charles Burns, Art Spiegelman, Françoise Mouly, Frank Miller, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Robert Crumb, Harvey Pekar, and William M. Gaines. The success of the documentary inspired Askwith to expand upon some of Mann’s ideas into a television magazine programme which would similarly explore areas of fan interest (comics, Science Fiction, horror, etc.) largely through interviews and commentary. The programme was called Prisoners of Gravity.

In 1989, Askwith became a full-time television producer and writer, and one of his first programmes was Prisoners of Gravity. The brainchild of Askwith, Daniel Richler, and Rick Green (who also hosted the programme), Prisoners of Gravity was a Canadian news magazine program that explored speculative fiction, specifically Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror and Comics. Produced by TVOntario, the series ran for 139 episodes over five seasons.

The establishing framework for the programme is not dissimilar to that of its similarly-targeted peer Mystery Science Theater 3000, both featuring a stranded host who ostensibly broadcast the programme themselves from isolation. The similarities largely end there, however. MST3K was a comedy programme that focused each episode on a particular film and provided running gag commentary on it. Prisoners of Gravity ran a series of interviews with authors and creators from the science fiction and comics communities, with the host linking the subject matter together and focusing down on a specific topic for that episode.

Episodes from the first season (broadcast between August 1989 and March 1990, and now believed largely missing/wiped) reportedly focused on areas including UFOs, Star Trek and Comic book conventions. The subsequent four seasons (preserved, and available for viewing by appointment at The Merril Collection of Science Fiction, Speculation and Fantasy[1] public library located in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada) often featured episodes on much more specific topics. These included “Will Eisner & The Spirit”, “Watchmen”, “Cyberpunk”, “Ray Bradbury”, “The Sandman”, “Tolkien” and Jack Kirby” among many others.

Many of the interviews for these programmes (including specific interviews with Watchmen creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, and Sandman author Neil Gaiman) were apparently carried out by Askwith himself.

Prisoners of Gravity first aired on TVOntario and ran for five seasons and 139 episodes before being canceled in 1994. Many of its episodes were subsequently syndicated, and have appeared (briefly) on PBS, The Discovery Channel and Space, of which Askwith is one of the founding producers.

Askwith was one of the founding producers of the channel, which was licensed by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in 1996, and debuted on October 17, 1997 at 6:00 p.m. EST, under the ownership of CHUM Limited. Askwith is particularly involved in the documentary side of things, and the so-called ‘interstitial’ materials which pepper the channels’ output. The first of which was a comment on the channels first-broadcast film Forbidden Planet by noted Canadian Science Fiction author Robert J. Sawyer.

He has produced – and appeared in – SPACE’s HypaSpace Daily/Weekly, an entertainment news show which looks specifically at the Science Fiction news, which was later renamed InnerSpace.

Askwith has dabbled in writing himself, mostly comics.

Most notably, his collaboration with Dean Motter in helping write the authorized “The Prisoner” sequel met with considerable critical and fan-approval. The four-part prestige-format mini-series, serialized between 1988 and 1989 has subsequently been collected in graphic novel format as Shattered Visage, still in print (since 1990) and published by DC Comics/Warner Bros. in the US, and Titan Books in the UK.

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

    • SID BARRON (1917-2006) 8969060622_19ca88fd6a_o.jpg

Sid Arnold Barron was born in Toronto on June 13, 1917. From his obituary written by Tom Hawthorn for the Globe and Mail in 2006 (he died on April 29 in Victoria) we learn that he was an illegitimate child of a Belgian officer billeted with his mother’s family. He was raised by his aunt and her family who moved the family quickly to Victoria, B. C. when Sid was just two. He did not learn the truth about his real mother until he was an adult. Sid also had a pronounced stammer and was treated for the speech disorder. He took classes from Allan Edwards (who also taught Pierre Berton) in the late thirties. In his mid-twenties he began working in the fledgling Canadian comic book industry for the last major publisher, Educational Projects out of Montreal which began publishing its main comic, Canadian Heroes Comics in October of 1942. Sid drew a variety of stories for this, almost entirely, non-fictional comic.

In 1958 Sid began working as a cartoonist for The Victoria Times and then in 1961 began selling cartoons to the Toronto Star. A year later he moved to Calgary to work for The Albertan while still selling material to The Star. In 1964 his work also began to appear in Maclean’s Magazine.

His medium was black ink and crayon on commercial board and his subject matter dealt wittily, dryly, and satirically with themes from daily life rather than the directly political. His cartoons were dense and packed with nuances and detail. Robert Fulford called him “…the poet of the mundane….”

His cartoons almost always contained his trademark, striped “puddy tat” somewhere in the lower vestiges of the piece, holding up a sign with a snide comment and often a old biplane sailing through the background trailing a “Mild, isn’t it?” banner.

Sid Barron quit cartooning in 1989 and moved to Coombs on Vancouver Island with his wife Jesi, herself an artist, to concentrate on painting water colours with a nautical theme carrying on his life-long passion for boats.

Canada remembers Sid Barron as a war-time comic book artist,an editorial cartoonist, and a fine arts painter.

Biography by Ivan Kocmarek.

    • JACQUES GOLDSTYN aka BORIS (1958-) 594270-gf
  • Jacques Goldstyn was born in 1958 in Saint-Eugène d’Argentenay, in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. A graduate of the Université de Montréal in geology, he was a petroleum geologist who worked in locations such as Gaspésie , Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Alberta.In 1981, he began his career as an illustrator. Also known by the pen name of Boris, Jacques Goldstyn is an illustrator and a political cartoonist. He is a regular contributor to the children’s magazine Les Débrouillards and his books include Letters to a Prisoner and Bertolt, both of which were chosen as a Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Books of 2017. He has twice won Le Grand Prix du journalisme indépendant for editorial illustration and lives in Montreal, Quebec. In 2017, he won the Governor General’s Award for the album Azadah.
    • DAVID BOSWELL (1953-) rf01cover-big

David E. Boswell (born 1953) is a comic book writer and artist, illustrator, and photographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia who has worked in the comics industry. He is the creator of the series Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman.

Boswell grew up in London, Ontario, and Hamilton and Dundas, Ontario. He studied film at Oakville, Ontario’s Sheridan College, where he graduated in 1974. After graduation, Boswell attempted to earn a living as a cartoonist, and his first full-page comic, “Heart Break Comics”, was published in The Georgia Straight from 1977–1978. Boswell moved to Vancouver in 1977, and in 1978, he launched Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman. Another title Boswell created was Ray-Mond.

Boswell’s influences include film directors Josef von Sternberg and Luis Buñuel, composer Hector Berlioz, comedians Buster Keaton, and W.C. Fields, and humourist Robert Benchley, as well as early Hollywood and European cinema stars, and he often features references in his work. He has written a number of screenplays for movies, none of which have been made.

Boswell based the character of Reid Fleming on a childhood bully with the same name. Reid employs extremely aggressive means in delivering his dairy products. His supervisor is Mr.Crabbe, whose head is unusual in shape, and who has little, if any, patience with Reid Fleming. If it was up to him, Reid would have been fired years ago, but Reid’s employer, Mr. O’Clock, prefers to just dock Reid’s pay for all the milk trucks he wrecked in his recklessness (8 at the start of the story); O’Clock’s reticence to fire Reid may be due to the fact that he is Reid’s biological father, as implied in issue #5 (#6 under the Deep Sea Comics imprint); at the end of the issue, a scene set in the future shows that Reid is now president of the company.

Reid is in love with Lena Toast, who has a TV show with Commander Bob. The latter wears “winged boots of doom” that do not enable him to fly. He gets around in a flying house, and uses a rope ladder to literally drop in on a randomly selected guest and kidnap him or her to be interviewed on the show. He uses a power blast on uncooperative guests. He is not the only super-powered character on the show. Reid is able to lift his milk truck with his bare hands and has a degree of invulnerability that has prevented serious or lethal injury. Lena, having been divorced 3 times now, is not a good prospect for a guaranteed marriage.

In the 1980s Hollywood bought the rights to the screenplay, which was written by Boswell. A film has yet to be made.

Although Reid’s adventures were first published in The Georgia Straight newspaper in 1978, the first comic book collecting them was self-published by Boswell in 1980. This 36-page magazine was the only Reid Fleming comic book for six years. The character did appear in a secondary role in the 44-page Heartbreak Comics in 1984.

In 1986 Eclipse Comics republished the 1980 issue, and then began publishing a regular series, appearing annually for five issues, and finally the unnumbered Fun with Reid Fleming in 1991. Eclipse went bankrupt not long after, leaving Reid without a publisher for several years. From 1996–1998, the Canadian publisher Deep Sea Comics reprinted the 1980 issue and the five Eclipse issues as Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman 1-6, followed by three issues (#7-9) of new material.

After again lying dormant for four years, Reid Fleming was revived for a Dark Horse Comics one-shot teaming him with Bob Burden’s Flaming Carrot. This has been the last new Reid Fleming material to date.

2011 saw the first of two hardcover collected volumes released by IDW Publishing, Reid Fleming, World’s Toughest Milkman Volume 1 contains the first Reid Fleming comic and the mini-series Rogue to Riches as well as Heartbreak Comics.


  • TOM GRUMMETT (1959-)grummett

Saskatoon’s Tom Grummett is a Canadian comic book artist who’s been a mainstay of the industry since the late 1980s. He is best known for his work on such DC Comics titles as Superman, Superboy, Robin, Teen Titans, and Power Company and Marvel Comics titles such as Avengers/Thunderbolts, Generation X, Silver Surfer, X-Men Unlimited, New Thunderbolts and Spider-Man.

2018 sponsors include:

  • The Dragon
  • All New Comics
  • The Comic Legends Legal Defense Fund (CLLDF)

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.

The Joe Shuster Awards are assembled by the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association. For more information please contact Awards Director Kevin A. Boyd at


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