Golden Age Canadian Comic Reprint Crowdsourcing Campaigns Launched this Week

Those two Kickstarters we mentioned in July are now live, and both are performing exceptionally well for early into their campaigns. Both end at the end of August.


10548190_594818443972350_3324093143756110752_o(Johnny Canuck Kickstarter art by Francis Manapul)

JON STABLES’ BROK WINDSOR6fbd6499cbecd211c4c295975215b15d_large(Brok Windsor Kickstarter art by Scott Chantler)


More from True Patriot 2

2ruePatriot25TORONTO – A who’s who of Canadian comic talent teams up once again for a second volume of the True Patriot anthology. After the successful crowd-funding campaign and fan reception of the first volume of True Patriot, “the anthology of Canadian superheroes by some of your favourite Canadian comic creators” is now on Kickstarter ( with a campaign running from November 1st to December 1st.
Among the graphic novel’s contributors are cartoonist Jeff Lemire, creator of Essex County; Scott Chantler, the writer/artist behind Two Generals; Jay Stephens, creator of the Emmy Award-winning Tutenstein; Ramon Perez, who adapted Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand into an award-winning graphic novel; Paul Rivoche, illustrator and co-creator of Mister X; and Faith Erin Hicks, creator of the recently-announcedNameless City trilogy.
“We grew up reading superhero comics,” says writer J. Torres who is spearheading the project. “But we all think there needs to be more Canadian superheroes out there. Considering the success of our first volume, our readers seem to agree.” Comic book heroes were a huge part of the True Patriot creators’ childhoods. Torres hopes these new heroes will have a similar impact on their readers.
Through the Kickstarter campaign, comic book fans, including comic store retailers, are able to pre-order the hardcover version of True Patriot Volume 2, scheduled for release next summer. Additional rewards are also up for grabs, including digital copies of both volumes, bookplates with original sketches, exclusive prints, t-shirts, and sticker sets. As well, there are opportunities to be drawn in one of the stories or buy original art by some of the creators involved.
Contact: J. Torres <>
Twitter: @truepatriotcmx

Nelvana’s strong finish, True Patriot 2 begins, Neil the Horse has 1 week to go

The Nelvana of the Northern Lights: Canada’s First Superheroine Kickstarter campaign ended early this morning, raising an astonishing $54,876 (more than double the $25K amount original targeted). Organizers Hope Nicholson and Rachel Richey now have the task of finding, scanning and upgrading the scarce originals for publication, but the announced target date for release of the book is April 2014, with a reproduction of the colour Nelvana issue planned for a January 2014 release. We look forward to seeing the end results next year.Nelvana_oneshotAnd as one campaign ends, another begins. The True Patriot team has launched the crowdfunding campaign for True Patriot 2, this time on Kickstarter (last time it was on Indiegogo). Pretty much the same crew is back for volume 2, with some new faces on the team like Paul Rivoche (co-creator of Mister X). The campaign went live earlier today and has already reached 21% of it’s desired funding target. We’re hosting a launch party for the campaign tonight (November 1) at my store, the Comic Book Lounge at 587A College Street in Toronto. Creators Jason Bone, Scott Chantler, Adam Gorham, Paul Rivoche and J. Torres will be there representing Team True Patriot!

2ruePatriot25However things don’t seem so bright for the Save Neil the Horse Indiegogo Campaign. Which is currently at just over 10% of it’s desired fundraising target, with only one week left to go. Creator Katherine Collins (formerly known as Arn Saba) joined Robin McConnell recently on the Inkstuds radio show to discuss comics and Neil the Horse, and a lot more — it’s a very thorough interview with lots of reveals and insight, and it is encouraging to hear that Collins (inducted into the Hall of Fame earlier this year) is thinking of returning to do some autobiographical comics and that she is confidant Neil will get reprinted eventually. The good thing about Indiegogo is that they will get to keep the funds raised even if the target is not met, but we are hopeful that more people will help out before the clock runs out, so please consider donating or ordering a book so that we can have another important Canadian comic available for people to find and enjoy. aardvark-vanaheim-neil-the-horse-comics-and-stories-issue-1b

Neil the Horse needs help.

nthhcSaving Neil the Horse

Greetings from Hermes Press! We are a comic book and popular culture art publisher based in New Castle, Pennsylvania. We are a family business that has existed since 2001, and run our company with only 3 full-time employees, along with our unpaid office-dog Moose. Over the years HP has reprinted such titles as The Phantom, Buck Rogers, and Dark Shadows. We have also dabbled in new works such as Scratch9.

Our newest reprint project, Neil the Horse, is a reprint of the much-beloved  1980s Canadian comic book series created by Arn Saba (now Katherine Collins).  Hermes Press wants to print Neil the Horse, but to do that we need your help!  

We are already working on restoring the pages, but don’t have the dedicated funds to print the book. Until we do, it’ll just be sitting on our desktops! By helping us fund this project, you will be saving an iconic series. Neil the Horse  will always be in comics history. But we want more for our horsey hero. How about letting him live again?

Neil and his friends Soapy and Mam’selle Poupée are an always-struggling songand-dance act. To gain success, they will go anywhere, do anything, and put up  with anything — like a trip to Hell, or captivity inside a video game, or a gang of  slap-happy aliens in a stunt-driving saucer. Oh, and a drunken and disorderly  back-up band of cats.

Neil is a happy go-lucky (and not too bright) horse with a mania for bananas.  He’s one heck of a tap-dancer and singer, and he can also get down to breakdancing. He adores his two pals, and will do anything for them. 

Mam’selle Poupée is a romantic and lovelorn living doll from France, whose wooden body is jointed with hinges. With red circles on her cheeks, curly blonde hair, and large bust, Poupée appears to be a cross between Raggedy Ann and Dolly Parton. She is a serious dancer, and practices at the studio every day.

Soapy is a street-wise and cynical (with a heart of gold) orange alley cat, a cigarsmoker and a drinker, who serves as their trumpet player, manager and the brains of the operation. Neil thinks that Soapy is the smartest guy in the world . . . and he just might be right.

The book includes an introduction by Trina Robbins, and brand-new commentary by Neil’s creator, Katherine Collins. There’s also some rare art, and souvenirs of the early career of Neil.

Help us help you get this project started so that we can successfully reprint Neil the Horse!

What We Need & What You Get

So what exactly do we need this money for? All of our work in done in-house, so that’s already paid for by our boss, but we are lacking funding in one very specific area: printing. The cost to print this kind of book is pretty high if we do it correctly (and we want it done correctly!)

We want $15,000 to pay for printing the book, as well as shipping it back to the United States (we print in China). None of this money will go to anything but our printing costs, because we want, more than anything, to preserve this comic series.

If you help us, beyond the satisfaction of knowing that you put your money to a good cause, you can also get a copy of the finished book if we get funding!

We want to keep this simple and keep costs down, so the only real perks are the regular edition of the comic book reprint or the special limited edition version, with extra pages, and signed by Katherine Collins. The regular edition is priced currently at $60.00, and the limited edition at $95.00. You’ll also get your name in the Thanks page if you donate $25 or more!

The Impact

Every project Hermes Press has done has been a success. This time we decided to reach out to the fans, old and new alike, and see if they’d like to be a part of the process from the beginning, instead of just at the bookstore.

By reprinting Neil the Horse you will be helping preserve a unique comic creation. Not to mention Making the World Safe for Musical Comedy, of course!

Other Ways You Can Help

If you can’t donate, please spread the word! Social media can only help us, so please share this on your Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or any other media you use!

The ‘SAVE NEIL THE HORSE’ INDIEGOGO Campaign runs until November 7, 2013. Please help if you want to see this book printed.

New Canadian Superhero Age dawning?

Continuing the ongoing discussion — are we prepared for a new age of home grown Canadian superheroes?

Certainly there are many people who feel that yes, we are.

Some examples:cc

1) Captain Canuck the recently launched animated web series is spinning off in the near future back into the medium that inspired it – namely comics.

The new series is by the updated character designer Kalman Andrasofszky and friends.

tp22) True Patriot 2 (aka 2rue Patriot) — the first volume was successful enough to warrant a sequel, and the crowdfunding for it launches next month (November 2013).

J. Torres, Jack Briglio, Tom Fowler, J. Bone and more

The Countdown is On

3) The return of Canadian Whites heroes?

lemire nelvanaIt’s no secret that the publishers of the upcoming Nelvana reprint really, really, really want to do new comics featuring Nelvana of the Northern Lights. Will the Dingle family give them permission to do them or do they have to wait until 2025 when she becomes a public domain character?

Could other characters be far behind or already in the works? Is the race on to secure the licenses of whites characters such as Dizzie Don? The Penguin? Nitro? Major Domo? Iron Man? Johnny Canuck? Time will tell.

How does Mister (or Mr.) Monster fit into all of this?

4) Justice League Canada.

A fan created cover for the internet. Not the real deal.At New York Comic Con I was told by a DC editor not to expect this new title, written by Jeff Lemire and illustrated by Dough Mahnke, until well into 2014… after some of the upcoming events of Forever Evil have played out in the pages of the old Justice League of America title.

6) Untapped revivals?

Maybe James Waley should revive the Northern Light? Or at least collect the old comics for the folks that haven’t seen them…

How about the Northern Guard? Or Northguard?

7) Marvel – Department H (for How Long do we have to wait?)Origin_II_Vol_1_1_Textless

What about Alpha Flight? Is it time for another revival of Marvel’s erstwhile Canadian team?

The upcoming Wolverine Origin II will probably take place in Canada given it has snow, and wolves… and Wolverine.

COMICS_BANNER8) The Heroes of the North

Unfortunately the recent Indiegogo campaign raised about 10% of what they were hoping to get, at least Indiegogo allows them to keep the money they did raise.

I would expect that we’ll see more from this ambitious project going into 2014…

Nelvana campaign meets target in 6 days.

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.

Nelvana by Toronto artist Alexander Perkins. Created for the campaign.

Nelvana and her brother by Toronto artist Alexander Perkins. Created for the campaign.

Yes, Canada actually does have a Golden Age of Comics

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

More on Fundraising

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.

Joe King vs. … Kickstarter Campaign

The background and the pitch:

The campaign:

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!

The project:
–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!

The story:
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.

Crowdfunding: The F1rst Hero

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

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.