For your consideration, is Superman a Canadian character?
For your consideration, is Superman a Canadian character?
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
By Manfred J. von Vulte
Deputy Headmaster, Northmount School
There is always a sense of satisfaction when we finally see our children reading, especially when they have been deemed reluctant readers. The phrase that is most often heard, “Well, at least they are reading!” Granted, a milestone has been reached. This cannot be underestimated or relegated to a natural stepping stone that would have ultimately occurred. The difficult truth remains that if a student is not encouraged or driven to read, the process can be markedly protracted with episodes of stagnation and loss of competency with the development of literacy and comprehension. Thus, while there is much to celebrate when a reluctant reader begins to find an interest in reading, which is akin to the germination of a seed. If one wishes a child to flourish and bloom (to use an overstated, and frankly, syrupy term) that initial spark needs to be stoked, so that a competent student can be forged. The question remains, how then do we progress our children beyond that initial “Big Bang” effect? At the heart of the issue is a required acceptance that reading is a long-term temporal construct that requires all stakeholders to recognize that while short-term solutions may affect change (tutoring, differentiated instruction, moments of intervention, and academic accommodations) the genuine drive to move forward rests in the frequency and consistency of the aforementioned short-term solutions acting in concert with each other inside, and perhaps more importantly, outside of the course and classroom experience. Much like the broad consensus regarding student success: an interested and active parent in education equals high performance; so too, the same active and interventionist oversight is required.
Ultimately, our children should be able to gain the techniques required to see and interpret the world behind the book. To take hold of a text and deconstruct it, based on a set of criteria inherent to their ability to read and evaluate/synthesise material. As a laudable goal, this is undoubtedly the end game. The items listed below are the bridges across that great gulf from first contact to mastery. Be warned, be cautious, and be patient, the transference of literacy to a level beyond cursory entertainment-based reading does work in tandem with the passing of time, the development of scholastic skills, and something that cannot be disregarded, the evolution of personality, maturity and life experience that ebbs and flows along an intersecting continuum, not a straight line. Perhaps the former is the factor which most acts as a governor switch on the development of literacy.
Some 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.
Toronto, ON – Saturday, August 24. Earlier this evening at the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Jackman Hall, the 9th annual Joe Shuster Awards were presented at a gala ceremony hosted by the Toronto Star’s ROB SALEM and Cartoonist TY TEMPLETON.
The results are: Continue reading
We’re really proud to welcome back the one and only ROB SALEM as our co-host for the 2013 Joe Shuster Awards Ceremony! Joining him will be Joe Shuster Award winning creator and nominee TY TEMPLETON!
So 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.
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
Torontonians awoke earlier this week to news that David Mirvish had decided to sell Honest Ed’s, the store founded by his father in 1948 and a Toronto landmark of sorts (featured prominently in the graphic novel series Scott Pilgrim by Bryan Lee O’Malley). The estimated $100 million dollar property was to include the 160,000 square foot retail store as well as 190,000 square feet of additional property.
Comics aficionados perked up — what does this mean for THE BEGUILING (Harry Kremer and Will Eisner Award Winning retailer) and the affiliate store LITTLE ISLAND COMICS? Both are located on land adjacent to the Honest Ed’s property. Not only that, but older fans will know the area has ties to the comics community that go back to the late 1960’s.
This morning, the Toronto Star confirmed that the 190,000 square feet of additional property does include all of the properties known as Mirvish Village – a series of mostly Victorian era homes that have subsidized rents to arts based businesses and studio spaces for working artists.
David Mirvish indicated in the Star article that the existing tenants would have about 3 years to relocate.
While this is not unusual in Toronto – Silver Snail had to relocate from it’s traditional home on Queen Street last year when the building it was in was sold to developers some years prior, and Dragon Lady Comics closed in early 2012 when rising rent was enough of a discouragement for that business’ owner to call it a day (although the new comics side of the business transitioned to the Comic Book Lounge just east of the old location). Even One Million Comix has had to make a couple of jumps over the years, having occupied three different store fronts in 2 decades.
However what is unfortunate is that with the sale of Mirvish Village, Toronto loses an area with strong ties to the comics community that has been virtually preserved since the 1960’s.
Mirvish Village was the home to Canada’s first comic book store MEMORY LANE, established by “Captain” George Henderson in 1967. Memory Lane at 594 Markham Street would survive in the area for almost two decades. The shop closed just prior to Henderson’s passing in 1992.
Little Island Comics (on Bathurst Street) occupies space that used to be the home of YESTERDAY’S HEROES, which closed in 2010.
As they say in the comics, to be continued….
2013 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.
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 email@example.com
For Artist, Cartoonist, Cover Artist, Writer: John Babos, Erik Bouchard, Laurent Boutin, Shawn Bryan, Jeff Brown, Amy Chop, Tyler Jirik, Mike Jozic, David Kelly, Patrick Marleau, Conor McCreery, Alice Quinn, Rachel Richey, Andrew Wheeler, Leonard Wong, Sarrah Young with additional input from Bill Code, Kelly Dowd and Andrew Uys.
For Webcomics: Tyrone Biljan, Allison Covey, and Andrew Walsh.
For Hall of Fame: Kevin A. Boyd, Walter Durajlija, Joseph Kilmartin, Ivan Kocmarek, Robert MacMillan, Hope Nicholson, Robert Pincombe, and Rachel Richey.
For the Gene Day Award: Tyrone Biljan, Kevin A. Boyd, Peter DeCourcy, Rachel Richey, and Debra Jane Shelly.
For the Harry Kremer Award: Anthony Falcone and Scott VanderPloeg. With additional input from Robert Haines (research) and the CCBCAA secret shopper team.
For the Dragon Award: Jennifer Haines (coordinator) and a team of her fellow educators: Beth Alexander (BEd – elementary) and Diana Pai (BEd).
Full list of 2013 Nominees / La liste complète des nominés 2013
Canada has a rich tradition of supporting our national arts communities with awards that recognize the achievements of our citizens like the Genie Awards for film and television and the Juno Awards for music – the JOE SHUSTER AWARD is Canada’s national award that honours and raises the awareness of Canadians that create, self-publish and sell all kinds of comics, graphic novels and webcomics.
They are named after pioneering Canadian-born artist Joe Shuster (1914-1992), whose clear, dynamic style and inventive visual flourishes set the standard for graphic storytelling during the infancy of the North American comic book industry. It was Superman, a co-creation of Shuster and his friend Jerry Siegel, that electrified the industry 75 years ago in 1938 and, almost overnight, transformed comic books into an enormous pop-cultural phenomenon.
Nominees were selected this spring from lists of creators including all eligible original works published and distributed during the year 2012. Qualifying creators must be Canadian citizens living at home or abroad, as well as permanent residents in Canada. The award winners will be chosen by a jury vote to ensure every nominee is given adequate consideration.
The awards will be presented at a gala ceremony in Toronto, open to the public, on the evening of Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 8:30 PM. This year the awards will be held in JACKMAN HALL, at the Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto.
And the nominees are:
Okay, so the Prix Bedeis Causa were handed out last month, the Doug Wright Awards are being presented this Saturday night, and the Prix Bedelys are going to be presented on June 2nd.
What about the Joe Shuster Awards?
Well, they’ll be handed out in late August, and we’re almost finished with the selection process.
So far we’ve finalized the 2013 nomines for:
– Cover Artist
– The Harry Kremer Award for Comic Book Retailing
– The Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame (aka what I like to call the “Hinterland’s Who’s Who”)
There will be 3 inductees into the Hall of Fame in 2013.
– The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing
– The Dragon Award for Comics for Kids/Younger Readers
The Nominating Committee for the Dragon Prize and for Webcomics have asked for a little extra time, while the Selection Committee for the Gene Day Award will be picking up some final books this weekend at TCAF to enlarge the pool of nominees.
We’ll be announcing the full list of nominees in a press release in late May, unfortunately we missed the Free Comic Book Day deadline I was shooting for.
The awards are going to be presented in Toronto this year, in late August – the specific date and venue will be announced later as well.
I’m trying to be sparing about posting kickstarters, but this one’s very close to success and with less than 48 hours to go it needs a few fans to put it over the top. Salgood Sam, author of Shuster Award nominee Dream Life is putting together a new project with writer Mark Sable to tell the origin story of Vlad the Impaler in Dracula: Son Of The Dragon. It’s a very ambitious project, and there’s some really remarkable art available as part of the kickstarter, so take a look and support a cool comic.
To me the position is all about collaboration with like minded individuals to promote and celebrate great Canadian talent working in the comic book industry. I’m very proud to contribute to the ongoing celebration of these great creative talents, as well as looking back at our Canadian heritage when comic books were in their infancy.
I’m also very lucky I get to work with Kevin Boyd and the rest of the committee members. Kevin continues to put countless hours and thought into the JSA’s evolution, and I’m glad that he will continue on with us as the Associate Director. He’s weathered the rough seas better than anyone could, and has seen the awards continue to grow year after year. It was his vision and urging that lead me to work with him, James Waley and Dave Darrigo to get the JSA’s off the ground nearly a decade ago.
The number one thing I hope all current and future committee members bring to the table will be a focus on the sustainability of the Canadian Comic Book Creator Awards Association. We need to work on our funding initiatives, period. The awards infrastructure is in place and is a well-oiled machine, but I feel that year to year it’s always been a little too close to the edge with a little reserve for the following year. I’m hoping with all our collective contacts and the community’s continued support that we make inroads in creating something sustainable beyond our time with the JSA’s.
It’s a very exciting time and I look forward to working with all committee members and the community in general as we lead to a very successful 2013 awards program.
Joe Shuster Awards
I’d like to take the time to officially welcome the new Executive Director – Mr. Tyrone Biljan. Tyrone was one of the four founders of these awards in 2004, but stepped away from 2007-2010 for personal reasons.
I’ll be stepping back a bit as required and I will be resuming my original post of Associate Director, helping Tyrone and the rest of the Executive out.
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?
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’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.
To be announced June 4th, 2013.
Back in early November a diverse group of individuals met with the standing Executive (Allison Covey, Andrew Walsh, Tyrone Biljan, Peter DeCourcy and myself) and we decided on a basic framework for 2013.
The plan is to present the 2013 Awards in Toronto in late August 2013 at a venue to be determined, with a ceremony coinciding with the largest Canadian comics convention: Fan Expo Canada — as an off-site, after hours event.
In recent years we’ve presented the awards in Calgary and Montreal, and hope to revisit those and other cities in the future – ideally we are looking at comic related events scheduled between May and September as possible sites with which to coincide the awards ceremony. This year Toronto seemed to meet the proper requirements. Where possible we try to work in coordination with the host convention, but we remain an autonomous, national, not-for-profit organization and are not festival/convention prizes.
On that note, we should have a larger update for you soon, as the eligible creators/books list should be ready shortly. At that time we’ll introduce our expanded 2013 Awards Committee.