Nelvana of the Northern Lights by Adrian Dingle to be reprinted.

Nelvana_oneshotSome 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.

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Happenings: OMG…. is Fan Expo really next week? August 22-25, 2013

2013cSo 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.

phototoddMost of the comics folk are in the South Building though, and that’s where the comics programming will be as well.

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

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2013 Poster #1

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JSA_poster_2013_LG2013 marks the 75th year of Siegel and Shuster’s Superman, so the Metropolis Marvel is joined by some irregular allies in the fight for freedom: Tom Evans, aka Captain Canuck as envisioned by co-creator Richard Comely, Doc Stearne in his fight togs as Mister Monster (by creator Fred Kelly from Super Duper Comics) and the Aardvark warrior Cerebus, by creator Dave Sim.

The three bubbles on the left side spotlight some of the great creations of our Hall of Fame Inductees for 2013 — The Iron Man, the first Canadian superhero as created by Vernon Miller for Better Comics, Neil the Horse by Katherine Collins (formerly known as Arn Saba), and finally Thunderfist, by Murray Karn.

Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony: 8:30 PM – Saturday, August 24, 2013 at Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario

jhJuly 5, 2013 – TORONTO, ON

The Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association is pleased to announce the venue of the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony. The 8 2013 awards and 3 Hall of Fame presentations will be presented on SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 2013 at JACKMAN HALL at the Art Gallery of Ontario, starting at 8:30 PM.

Seating: 200 – priority seating for nominees, their family and friends and other industry professionals, with limited general admission seating.

The Art Gallery of Ontario – 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, ON

The Art Gallery of Ontario is an art museum in Toronto’s Downtown Grange Park district, on Dundas Street West between McCaul Street and Beverley Street. Its collection includes more than 80,000 works spanning the 1st century to the present day.

Jackman Hall has it’s own entrance on McCaul Street, South of Dundas Street West (pictured above)

.About The Joe Shuster Awards

Established in 2004, The Joe Shuster Awards are Canada’s first national and bilingual 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.

2013 Sponsors include: Guerilla Printing, The Dragon, The Comic Book Lounge & Gallery, Autodesk.

For more information please contact info@joeshusterawards.com

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April 18, 1938 – 75 Years of Siegel and Shuster’s Superman

Joe Shuster, Superman, Jerry Siegel

Jerry Siegel (left), Superman, Joe Shuster (right). Drawing by Shuster.

75 years ago today on April 18, 1938: Action Comics #1 (cover dated June 1938), featuring Canadian-born Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel’s Superman debuts on newsstands. They were each paid $130 for the work (about $10 a page each), but National retained the rights to the Superman character as part of the deal.

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JSA update and more on Lost Heroes documentary

So everything is well under way now here at JSA central. We’re once again aiming for a Free Comic Book Day (May 4th) deadline for our nominee announcements.

I must say that it’s been an enthusiastic year for Canadian comics so far, as there’s been a lot going on recently – especially for things related to Canadian comics history. The shooting for the upcoming documentary LOST HEROES has wrapped and the crew is currently in post-production mode, we eagerly await the final product. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to watch some of the interviews filmed at the Comic Book Lounge, and I think people are in for a real treat when the film finally airs on Super Channel later this year. Here’s the official blurb followed by the promotional poster for the film:

Lost Heroes is a feature documentary set to air on Super Channel in 2013. We explore the history of the great Canadian superheroes, from Johnny Canuck to Captain Canuck. Currently in post-production.

Lost Heroes explores the past of the Canadian superhero, from the golden age when millions of children read the tales of Inuit goddess Nelvana of the Northern Lights, to the thrilling days when Canadian superheroes returned to the newstands with Captain Canuck and Cerebus. Lost Heroes celebrates the unique Canadian talent behind these characters and asks why can’t Canada keep their heroes?

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Mister Monster by Fred Kelly, Captain Canuck by George Freeman, Fleur-de-Lys by Ken Steacy, with Adrian Dingle’s Nelvana and other characters in the background.

In what I’ve seen of it, this is a top-notch, professional production and I think it will be a great chance to expose a lot of people to Canada’s comics past, as well as it’s present and future.

With the completion of the eligible English and French list I’ve spent some time perusing the lists to play my guessing game of who I think the nominating committees will be selecting for the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards, and I think that this year’s list is strong, but seems to working from a smaller pool than in previous years. That certainly means that a lot of projects by people absent this year are on the horizon, but I’m eager to see who the nomcoms select.

Currently we have 19 individuals participating in the Nominating Committee for  Artist, Cartoonist, Cover Artist and Writer. They come from across the country, but as per protocol we won’t be publishing their names until after they have finished their selections in case anyone drops out before the end.

Our Hall of Fame selection committee has expanded quite considerably this year, to make up for last year’s year off. Of the seven members, only three have participated in previous HOF nomcoms. Maybe I can convince them finally to rename the HOF “Hinterland’s Who’s Who”.

Ivan Kocmarek on the War Exchange Conservation Act (WECA) and the 1st Age of Canadian Comics

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Ivan’s latest column at Comic Book Daily digs into just what WECA was and how it led to the first great age of Canadian comic books. Ivan wants us to start referring to the comics published during this time period as “WECA Comics” (or books), instead of the more traditional term “Canadian Whites”.

“WECA” is an acronym for the War Exchange Conservation Act brought into being by the parliament of Canada on Dec. 6, 1940 prohibiting the importation of “non-essential” materials into the country including magazines and comics from the U.S.

Hamilton Spectator discusses Carpet King’s Comics Past

Great article for the Hamilton Spectator about ARAM ALEXANIAN’s contributions to both Canadian and American Golden Age Comics before he went to work for his well known family’s carpet business. Plus a discussion on the Canadian Whites with Big B’s Walter Durajlija and White’s authority Ivan Koczmarek.

Canadian Comic Anthology TRUE PATRIOT needs your help!

Some amazing Canadian comic talent has assembled to create TRUE PATRIOT, an anthology of unmistakably Canadian content. Amongst the fellowship are:

Adrian Alphona (Runaways), Andy B. (Kill Shakespeare), J. Bone (Super Friends), Jack Briglio (Scooby Doo), Scott Chantler (Two Generals), Tom Fowler (Hulk: Season One), Agnes Garbowska (Girl Comics), Faith Erin Hicks (Adventure Time), Tim Levins (Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes), Ramon Perez (A Tale of Sand), Ron Salas (28 Days Later), Jay Stephens (Secret Saturdays), J. Torres (Teen Titans Go), Howard Wong (After the Cape).

They need your help! There’s a campaign running at Indiegogo to get financing, and there’s only four days left to get them to their goal! It looks like it’ll be a fantastic book, so get on board and help this get made.

2012 Joe Shuster Awards – Credits / Les Prix Joe Shuster 2012 – Crédits

SECTION A

Outstanding Comic Book Cover Artist / Dessinateur de couverture de bande dessinée exceptionnel
Outstanding Comic Book Writer / Scénariste de bande dessinée exceptionnel
Outstanding Comic Book Artist / Dessinateur de bande dessinée exceptionnel
Outstanding Comic Book Cartoonist / Auteur de bande dessinée exceptionnel

Nominating Committee / Comité des Candidatures :
Laurent Boutin (Montreal, QC)
Eric Bouchard (Montreal, QC)
Jeff Brown (Toronto, ON)
Lloyd Chesney (Victoria, BC)
Amy Chop (Guelph, ON)
Jamie Coville (Kingston, ON)
Gareth Gaudin (Victoria, BC)
Tyler Jirik (Guelph, ON)
Mike Jozik (Saskatoon, SK)
David Kelly (Montreal, QC)
Jonathan Kuehlein (Toronto, ON)
Andrew Uys (Toronto, ON
Leonard Wong (Vancouver, BC)
Sarrah Young (Toronto, ON)

– Outstanding Web Comics Creator / Créateur de bande dessinée web exceptionnel

Nominating Committee / Comité des Candidatures :
Tyrone Biljan
Kevin Boyd
Allison Covey
Robert Haines
Andrew Walsh

Art Jury (Artist / Cover Artist / Webcomics)

Cliff Caporale (Montreal, QC)
Amy Chop (Guelph, ON)
Calum Johnston (Halifax, NS)
Hope Nicholson (Toronto, ON)
Ethan Peacock (Vancouver, BC)

Story Jury (Cartoonist / Writer)

Cliff Caporale (Montreal, QC)
Robin Fisher (Montreal, QC)
Robin McConnell (Vancouver, BC)
Rachel Richey (Ottawa, ON)
Salgood Sam (Montreal, QC)

Coordiinator/Coordinateur – Kevin Boyd, Executive Director

SECTION B

The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishers / Le Prix Gene Day de l’auto-édition

Nominating Committee / Comité des Candidatures::
Robert Haines, with input from Kevin Boyd

Day Jury:
Calum Johnston
Jesse Jacobs
Diana Schutz

The Harry Kremer Award for Outstanding Comic Book Retailer / Le Prix Harry Kremer du libraire de bandes dessinées exceptionnel

Nominating Committee / Comité des Candidatures :
Robert Haines

Kremer Jury:
Tyrone Biljan
Kevin Boyd
Allison Covey
Peter DeCourcy
Andrew Walsh

Coordinator/Coordinateur – Robert Haines, Associate Director

SECTION C

The Dragon Award – Comics for Kids / Le Prix Dragon – Bande dessinée jeunesse

Nominating Committee / Comité des Candidatures :
Jennifer Stewart (BEd)
Beth Alexander (BEd – elementary)
Diana Pai (BEd)

Comics for Kids Jury:
Douglas Davey (Halton Hills librarian)
Graham Purcell (BEd – elementary)
Renee Jackson (BEd, MFA)
Kate McEvenue (BEd)
Scott Robins (Toronto librarian)

Coordinator/Coordinateur – Jennifer Haines

ADDITIONAL THANKS TO:

Webcomics Coordinator – Andrew Walsh

Publisher Liason – Allison Covey

Graphics and Audio Visual Presentation – Tyrone Biljan

Awards Ceremony Hosts: Jason Rockman, Catherine Smith-Desbiens

Host Convention: Montreal Comic Con – contacts: Oscar Yazedjian, Elizabeth Jutras, Cliff Caporale

Awards manufactured by ACE Awards, Toronto, ON

Hall of Fame Committee – Joe Kilmartin, Robert Pincombe

The Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association would also like to thank the following publishers for their assistance in providing book for our juries to review:
Éditions Alto
Éditions Pow Pow
Éditions Soleil
IDW
Image Comics
Kids Can Press
La Pasteque
Les 400 Coups
Oni Press
Presses Aventure
Puffin Books
Katie and Steven Shanahan.

Additional books published by Archaia Press, Éditions Delcourt, Drawn & Quarterly, DC Comics, some additional IDW  and Marvel Comics were provided by:
The Comic Book Lounge + Gallery, (Toronto, ON)

Finally, the CCBCAA would like to thank and acknowledge the financial contributions of our private donours, and the support of the Canadian comics community across our great nation.

THE CCBCAA 2011-2012:
Kevin Boyd, Director
Robert Haines, Associate Director
Tyrone Biljan
Allison Covey
Peter DeCourcy
Andrew Walsh

The 2012 Joe Shuster Award winners

Montreal, QC – In a ceremony presided by JASON ROCKMAN and CATHERINE SMITH-DESBIENS at the MONTREAL COMIC-CON, the 8th Annual Joe Shuster Awards for Canadian Comic Book Creators and Retailers were presented to an enthusiastic crowd of nominees, friends and fans of the medium. Continue reading

Back to school and work JSA update for Sept. 4

Welcome back! Hope your summer was as eventful as ours was.

We’re now a mere 11 days away from the presentation of the 8th annual Joe Shuster Awards and we’ll be posting some updates as we near the event.

JURY DECISIONS

The Art Jury (Artist, Cover Artist and Webcomics) have finished their selections, as have the ones selecting the Dragon Prize and the Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing. That leaves the Retailer Jury and the Story Jury (Cartoonist and Writer), and we hope to have those wrapped up later today or early tomorrow.

HARRY KREMER RETAILER AWARD FINALISTS

The 10 stores have been narrowed down to a final five – watch for a release here shortly.

POSTER

Our promotional image is ready, just waiting for some final approvals.

HALL OF FAME

Our Hall of Fame committee has opted to pass on inducting a new member in 2012.

FINAL AWARDS LIST FOR 2012 (8 awards to be given out in Montreal on September 15):

– Artist / Dessinateur
– Cartoonist / Créateur
– Writer / Écrivain
– Cover Artist / Dessinateur Couvertures
– Webcomics Creator / Créateur de Bandes Dessinées Web
– The Dragon Award (Comics for Kids) / Prix Dragon (Bandes Dessinées Jeunesse)
– Gene Day Award (Self-Publishers) / Prix Gene Day (Auto-éditeurs)
– Harry Kremer Award (Retailers) / Prix Harry Kremer (Détaillants)

 

Alvin Schwartz (1916-2011)

We here at the CCBCAA are saddened to learn of the recent passing of writer Alvin Schwartz on October 28 from heart complications.

Schwartz, an American who moved to Canada after his contributions to comics is best known for writing Batman, Superman and other comic strips for DC Comics, and is credited as the creator of Bizarro. Schwartz has lived in Chesterville, ON for decades, working mostly with the National Film Board of Canada and writing reports for the Federal Government, as well as writing two final novels on metaphysics involving Superman and Batman.

Here’s his bio, as prepared for Alvin for his website, modified slightly for publication here with updated information.

Born in NYC in 1916, Alvin Schwartz wrote his first comics for Fairy Tale Parade in 1939, and wrote extensively for Shelley Mayer, then an editor at Max Gaines’ All-American Publications (later purchased by National/DC in 1944). He had also done a short stint at Fawcett on Captain Marvel. Schwartz wrote his first Batman story in 1942, and his first Batman newspaper strip in Aug 1944 (an assignment he continued on until 1958) and his first Superman newspaper strip in Oct 1944. He had a long association with Superman as the writer of both the Man of Steel’s newspaper strip and many of his comic book appearances, and one of his many enduring contributions to the Superman mythology was the creation of Bizarro, a character who became a part of popular culture, quite apart from comics. While writing most of DC’s newspaper strips between 1944 and 1952, he also went on to do stories for many of their comics magazines, working on characters such as Aquaman, Vigilante, Slam Bradley, Date With Judy, Buzzy, House of Mystery, Tomahawk, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Newsboy Legion and numerous others.

After his 1958 departure from comics, Schwartz took on a whole new role in the corporate world, using the knowledge of plotting gained in comics to open new directions in market research, developing the now well-known techniques of psycho-graphics, typological identification and others, until as Research Director for the famed think tank of Dr Ernst Dichter, The Institute for Motivational Research, he provided structural and marketing advice to some of America’s largest corporations ranging from General Motors to General Foods. He was subsequently appointed to an advisory committee of the American Association of Advertising Agencies.

Schwartz also authored three novels for Arco Press, one of which, Sword of Desire, a detective story, won praise for its successful takeoff on Reichian orgone therapy, a popular psychotherapeutic technique during the 40s and 50s. His Beat generation novel, The Blowtop was published by Dial in 1948. Under the title Le Cinglé, it became a best seller in France. He also wrote and lectured on superheroes at various universities and received a prestigious Canada Council Grant for a study on the religious symbolism in popular culture, using Superman as a springboard.

Also in Canada, he wrote feature films and did numerous docu-dramas for The National Film Board for nearly 20 years and did a number of economic and social studies for the Canadian government.

His last two books, written in his eighties, were: An Unlikely Prophet: Revelations on the Path Without Form (published in 1997) — a memoir dealing with some very off-the-wall experiences generated by his years doing Superman which led him to a unique understanding of Superman’s significance as well as some life-enriching possibilities available to every one of us, and the sequel A Gathering of Selves: The Spiritual Journey of the Legendary Writer of Superman and Batman (published in 2006).

Schwartz received the first Bill Finger Award for his contributions to comics via writing in 2006. The Finger Award was created by the legendary creator Jerry Robinson to honour his friend Bill Finger (the uncredited co-creator of Batman) and is given to comic book writers as part of the Will Eisner Comic Book Industry Awards in July of each year.

I exchanged emails with Schwartz a few times in the mid-2000’s when I had invited him to attend a Toronto Comicon, and he seemed excited by the fact that fans still remembered his comics work, but at the time he was not able to travel for health reasons. He did make an appearance at an Ottawa comic show in November 2009 (pictured above).

Our condolences to Mr. Schwartz’s family and friends.

The Comics Journal reviews Prince Valiant by Hal Foster Vol. 4

Just came across this great review of the fourth hardcover collection from Fantagraphics’s latest Prince Valiant collection by TCJ’s Matt Seneca.

The conventional wisdom surrounding Prince Valiant these days characterizes it as a fussily drawn, belabored relic of the past.

Of course, critical judgments of a comic stop mattering once you read it. A few pages into the fourth of Fantagraphics’ beautifully reprinted new editions of Hal Foster’s masterpiece and it’s difficult indeed to remember that this isn’t the greatest comic ever. Comparisons of Foster’s work to that of more recent luminaries like Chris Ware and Jaime Hernandez are apples to oranges; readers will more than likely prefer one to the other, but there’s no convincing way to prove one kind of comic is objectively better than the other. And the mastery Foster brings to bear on his every panel may have been equaled both before and since his prime, but it’s never been surpassed. As far as long-form serialized action comics go, the only equal to Foster American comics have produced is Kirby, and Kirby was never shy about proclaiming his debts to the master.

~Matt Seneca, from his review for The Comics Journal

There are some great comments after the review from illustrator William Stout and cartoonist Paul Chadwick.

Hal Foster (1892-1982) was inducted into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame in the first year of these awards along with the artist after which these awards are named, Joe Shuster. When it comes to comic art illustration, Nova Scotian Hal Foster is undoubtedly Canada’s greatest and most influential export.

2012 Categories update:

Earlier this month we asked for feedback on our categories as we determine which will make up the list for the 2012 Awards. Based on your feedback and our internal debates this is the list as it stands:

2012 Categories:

* Outstanding Artist/Artist Team (no change)

* Outstanding Cartoonist (no change)

* Outstanding Cover Artist (no change)

* Outstanding Webcomics Creator/Creative Team (no change)

Note: after a lot of discussion and debate, the team has decided that we will leave webcomics as a unique category again. A line of distinction is being drawn between digital comics (online versions of concurrent with print edition comics or online previews of digital comics) which will not be eligible for the category. This remains for comics content created exclusively for the internet (later print editions are irrelevant and are considered reprints in the print categories), and one of the nominating and judging criteria will be usage of the online delivery system itself in the storytelling and presentation of these comics.

* Outstanding Writer (no change)

* Comics for Kids Award – Beginner Reader Level
* Comics for Kids Award – Intermediate Reader Level

Note: if there are enough books of each criteria to justify having two categories, the Comics for Kids Award will be split into two categories — Beginner, for younger readers, and Intermediate, for older children. For example, Binky the Space Cat might be considered a Beginner book, while Three Thieves: Tower of Treasure might be considered an intermediate level entry. The hope is to provide more information and recommendations to parents, teachers, librarians and of, course, young readers!

* Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing (no change)

* Harry Kremer Award for Comic Book Retailing (no change)

* Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame (1-2) (no change)

There is one additional category currently being reviewed by our group and is at the proposal stage.

* TENTATIVE: Outstanding Original Graphic Novel by Canadian Creator / Creative Team

The members feel that it should be specifically for original (i.e. new) graphic novels published in French or English during the previous calendar year. Unfortunately new collections of serialized comics that are later collected that same year are not going to be eligible for this award (if it happens). We are still VERY concerned about this being duplication of efforts as many of these books may be recognized in the Cartoonist, Writer and Artist categories. As it stands, we would like to follow the lead of Comics for Kids and have a similar nomination and judging process for this potential new category.

Unfortunately we’ll be placing two categories “on hiatus” for 2012: Outstanding Publisher and Outstanding Colourist.

2012 Joe Shuster Awards – Saturday, September 15, 2012 in Montreal, QC

I’m happy to report on behalf of the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Organization that we have agreed in principle with the organizers of the Montreal Comic Con and will be presenting the 8th Annual Joe Shuster Awards in conjunction with that event on the evening of Saturday, September 15, 2012.

In preparation for the ceremony, the CCBCAA will be working with members of the comics community to provide a fully bilingual awards ceremony, and we are all excited at the possibilities of providing better translation services on this site in order to help spread the word on comics and graphic novels by Canadians in both official languages.

The Montreal Comic Con will be held on the weekend of September 14-16, 2012. Due to unexpected demand, the MCC will be expanding to a full three days in 2012.

The MCC will also be changing facilities in 2012. It will no longer be held at Place Bonaventure but will be moving into the newer, larger and more colourful (!) convention facilities at the Palais des Congrès in Montreal, QC (pictured, right).

http://www.montrealcomiccon.com

This marks the second time that the Joe Shuster Awards will be presented outside of Toronto. Earlier this year we presented the 7th Annual Awards at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. Plans are for the JSAs to be presented in conjunction with a different comic book convention in Canada each year.

Upcoming: Michel Rabagliati’s Paul au Parc, Expo Paul and The Song of Roland.

Set to debut in November 2011 from Montreal-based publisher La Pastèque is the seventh Paul graphic novel by Michel Rabagliati Paul au Parc. In this volume we go back to Paul’s childhood and his days scouting and mentoring, during the time of the FLQ and the October Crisis.

Paul au parc par Michel Rabagliati
ISBN  978-2-923841-05-2
144 pages, 7.5×10 inches, black and white
$24.95

For a preview of six pages from the book, please visit here!

Also, in Montreal this November to coincide with the release, a special exhibit entitled EXPO PAUL opens – it’s a look at the world of Paul and his creator, and includes original art, reference materials, notes & photos. It will be held in two locations:

* Bibliothèque Parc-Extension – November 2-28, 2011 – 421, Rue Saint-Roch, Montréal, 514-872-6071
* Maison de la culture Mercier – December 4-January 17, 2012 – 8105 rue Hochelaga, Montréal, 514-872-8755

In May 2012, just in time for the Toronto Comic Arts Festival, Conundrum Press will be releasing THE SONG OF ROLAND, the English translation of Michel Rabagliati’s acclaimed graphic novel Paul à Québec (published by La Pastèque), for which he was honoured as the Outstanding Canadian Comic Book Cartoonist / Créateur Canadien Exceptionnel de Bandes Dessinées in 2010. It is the sixth book in the Paul series

Here’s the specifics:

The Song of Roland by Michel Rabagliati
May 2012
ISBN 978-1-894994-61-3
192 pages, 7.5×10 inches, black and white
$20
BDANG Imprint
Translation by Helge Dascher

The Song of Roland focuses on the life and death of the father-in-law of Rabagliati’s alter-ego Paul, who has been called “The Tintin of Quebec” By Le Devoir. The French edition, Paul à Québec, was critically hailed, winning the FNAC Audience Award at France’s Angouleme festival, a Joe Shuster Award for Outstanding Cartoonist, and was nominated for the City of Montreal’s Grand Prize, and the Audience Award at Montreal’s Salon du Livre. The book is currently in production by Caramel Films. In his classic European cartooning style Rabagliati effortlessly tackles big subjects. As the family stands vigil over Roland in his hospital bed, Rabagliati weaves a story of one man’s journey through life and the legacy he leaves behind. The Song of Roland is a mid-career masterpiece from one of Quebec’s finest draftsmen.

“A formidable ode to life that reminds us of the importance of knowing how to say goodbye” – La Presse

“A novel that goes straight to the heart” – Le Soleil

“His stories are personally revealing but gentle, full of kind people with common problems… Rabagliati employs a light, curvy drawing style and episodic plotting that overtly recalls Herge’s Tintin adventures.” — The Onion

Michel Rabagliati was born in 1961 in Montreal, where he grew up in the Rosemont neighbourhood. Having developed an interest in typography, he studied graphic design and in 1988 moved into freelance illustration. Since 1998, his graphic novels have revolutionized the comic-book art form in Quebec. With his six books, Michel Rabagliati has become an essential figure in the comics scene of Quebec. In April 2005, he was awarded the Grand Prix de la ville de Québec, care of the Festival de BD de Québec, and was selected as a Personality of the Week by the daily newspaper La Presse. In 2007, Rabagliati’s body of work to date earned a Special Mention from the Prix des libraires du Québec.

Bibliography (includes translated editions).

Deciding the 2012 Categories

Here at the JSAs we’re fairly open to making changes to the existing award categories if a solid argument can be made for the alteration, or for adding new or retiring old categories. In recent years new awards have included The Comics for Kids Award, The Gene Day Award, as well as the Outstanding Cover Artist and Outstanding Colourist Awards. Retired Awards include Outstanding Achievement, Favourite French and Favourite English creator.

As we are beginning our work in compiling the eligible comics for the 2012 Awards, the discussion has begun on the subject of Award categories. I’ve nothing to announce at present, other than over the next couple of weeks we will be hopefully deciding which of our current categories will continue on into the next Awards season and which ones will be put “On Hiatus”.

2011 Categories included:

Outstanding Artist/Artist Team
Outstanding Cartoonist
Outstanding Colourist
Outstanding Cover Artist
Outstanding Publisher
Outstanding Webcomics Creator/Creative Team
Outstanding Writer
Comics for Kids Award for Material Aimed at Younger Readers
Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing
Harry Kremer Award for Comic Book Retailing
Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame

The Webcomics Award is something that is being discussed – should webcomics (one of the most popular and well regarded awards) be retired and incorporated into the other categories (which have been exclusively for printed, distributed works)? It’s something we are debating internally so we’d love to read your thoughts on the subject.

Generally we are looking to maintain the same number of awards in 2012 — 12.

If you have any suggestions, thoughts or recommendations, please reply to this post or email me at kevin@joeshusterawards.com

Superman set to be overhauled in the DCnU starting with Action Comics #1 (Vol.2)

Tomorrow at comics shops across North America and the UK DC Comics will be releasing ACTION COMICS #1 (Vol.2) starring a familiar, but not so familiar, character that they are calling Superman.

Action Comics will detail his early years leading up to his current “five years later” incarnation that will appear in the similarly restarted Superman #1.

Action Comics is written by Scotsman Grant Morrison, with art by American artist Rags Morales. Based on early previews, it seems that this Superman has a lot more in common with Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s original crusader for social justice that appeared in the pages of Action Comics in 1938. He’s also significantly depowered and is only able to leap tall buildings with a single bound and can be hurt by exploding shells.

This marks the second time the character has been completely overhauled for a new generation – the first time being in the pages of the 1986 6 issue weekly mini-series MAN OF STEEL by former Canadian writer/artist JOHN BYRNE. One of the changes Byrne made – keeping Ma and Pa Kent alive, is undone by Morrison for the DCnU and both will be deceased at the time that Superman debuts.

The new Superman is visually similar to his previous incarnations, although in this timeline he debuts wearing jeans, a t-shirt and his Kryptonian blanket sewn into his shirt as a makeshift cape. As in the early days of comics, Superman will once again be the first superhuman in the DC Universe. In the pages of Superman and Justice League he will be wearing some kind of armour, similar to the traditional costume but lacking the signature red trunks that were a design hallmark of the 1930’s circus strongmen and trapeze artists that inspired the original Superman.Good or Bad? Necessary or Unnecessary? Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster’s Superman receives a facelift in ACTION COMICS VOL.2 #1, out September 7th in print and also available online in a day and date digital edition. DC have already announced that the first printing is sold out on the distributor level (not at stores), with over 100,000 copies sold this marks a significant sales improvement over previous monthly issue sales of Action Comics, and only time will tell as to whether this is a short term blip or a permanent change.