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.

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Is Superman Canadian?

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For your consideration, is Superman a Canadian character?

See also Joe Shuster, Hal Foster (and other creators that moved outside of Canada and had a career working in American comics) are they Canadian or not?
Continue reading

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

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.

2013 Joe Shuster Award Winners

jsa_poster_2013_lg2.jpgToronto, 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

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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Honest Ed’s and Mirvish Village for sale – and with it over four decades of ties to Toronto’s comics community.

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.

pilgrim003(3)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.

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The building that houses the Beguiling is part of the $100 Million land package currently up for sale.

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.

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Graphic Courtesy of the Toronto Star.

David Mirvish indicated in the Star article that the existing tenants would have about 3 years to relocate.

Little Island Comics - Photo by Matt Demers, by way of the Torontoist blog

Little Island Comics – Photo by Matt Demers, by way of the Torontoist blog

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.

hendersonMirvish Village was home to one of Canada’s first comic book conventions, THE TRIPLE FAN FAIR in 1968, which included a visit from Marvel Comics spokesman Stan “the Man” Lee and a Tarzan exhibit.

tcaf2005-cookeThe second Toronto Comic Arts Festival was held in the large parking lot adjacent to Honest Ed’s Alley (behind the Beguiling) in 2005.

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 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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The 2013 Joe Shuster Award Nominating Teams

Awards Nomination - StockFor 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).

The 2013 Joe Shuster Award Nominees / Les nominés pour le prix Joe Shuster 2013

Full list of 2013 Nominees / La liste complète des nominés 2013

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2013 marks the 75th year since the debut of Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in the pages of Action Comics #1. Tom Grummett prepared this portrait of Joe in 2005 that has adorned the Joe Shuster Award plaques ever since. Fun facts: Joe was left handed, the building in the background is the original Toronto Star building that inspired the Daily Star / Daily Planet building in Superman’s Metropolis. On the drawing table behind Joe is an earlier version of ‘The Superman’.

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.

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Joe Shuster in 1975.

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:

Continue reading

Award season continues — what of the JSAs? An Update is Provided

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.

Joe Shuster in 1975

Joe Shuster in 1975

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:

– Artist
– Cartoonist
– Cover Artist
– Writer
– 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.

Still pending:

– The Gene Day Award for Self-Publishing
– The  Dragon Award for Comics for Kids/Younger Readers
– Webcomics

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.

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.

Welcome to 2013!

A new year is well underway and we are getting back to business here at JSA central!

Unfortunately, I was not able to run a wrap survey for 2012 as I normally do, work on the store and various events (such as the 24 Hour Comic Challenge we ran in-store this past Saturday at the Comic Book Lounge) have been keeping me pretty busy.

Currently being assembled for a late January release will be the LIST OF ELIGIBLE CREATORS AND 2012 PUBLICATIONS list, and if you want to be proactive and make sure your comics projects are recognized you can email me at kevin@joeshusterawards.com and I’ll update the list.

Current plans are for the nomination process to begin in earnest on February 1, so if you are interested in participating in nominating the 2012 award categories, you can email me at the same address listed in this article.

A later start for the process does seem indicative of an awards ceremony for later in 2013, and that is once again the case — as we have a weekend in mind, an event and a city in which to hold the ceremony, just not an official venue yet. Current plans are for the ceremony to take place in late summer at a venue that will be announced in March when the nominations are announced.

December Update

As the year begins winding down, we begin the finalizing of the list of eligible publications and creators for the 2013 nominating committee to make their selections from.

In early November we had some meetings to discuss the direction the awards will take in 2013, the positions needing to be filled, and a number of new folks have joined the CCBCAA team.

We’ll have some news on the various fronts in early 2013 as well as the city, date and convention that we plan to coincide the award presentations with.

As we near the holidays, now is a great time to consider buying comics or graphic novels for your friends and loved ones as Christmas gifts. We hope you’ll consider the many great works by Canadian creators… some recent arrivals that would make great gifts: The Flash New 52 Vol. 1 hardcover (by Francis Manapul), Parker – The Hunter softcover edition (by Darwyn Cooke), and the X-O Manowar Vol. 1 trade paperback (art by Cary Nord). Recently, All New X-Men 1-3 (4 is out next week) has been a bona fide smash hit (art by Stuart Immonen).

Congratulations also to Jim Zubkavich and Ray Fawkes for their recently announced gigs writing for DC Comics (Birds of Prey and Batgirl respectively), and Jeff Lemire will be moving over to write Green Arrow in February, and as Sweet Tooth concludes in early January comes word that he will have a new Vertigo series to be released sometime in 2013. J. Bone will be drawing a new Rocketeer mini-series in February, and Kill Shakespeare will be returning that month as well, as the original creative team reunites to continue the tale.