Tuesday, August 1, 2017

CCBA Card Set Forthcoming!

The following information is copied from a Facebook post from earlier today by the Canadian Comic Book Alliance.
Soooo you like Canadian Comic Books? Well you wouldn't be a fan of this page if you didn't! What about trading card? What if the trading cards featured characters by the creators that are members of the CCBA? Well hang onto your beaver pelt hats because coming very soon is exactly that...the first series of CCBA trading cards! Keep your eyes peeled for more information but for now feast your peepers on the triptych checklist cards for the set with art by Justin Shauf and colours and layouts by Donovan Yaciuk! This scene features many characters from the CCBA roster and is actually taken from an upcoming team up comic featuring a plethora of the characters from across the CCBA!!

That last bit about the team up might be the best part. Lots of familiar faces up there, but I admit I'm drawing a blank on the lady second from the right...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mr. Monster Action Figure Available Later This Year?

How sweet is this thing?

Fresh Monkey Fiction has had some past Kickstarter success with its Amazing Heroes line. They are planning another wave of twenty or so characters, including Mr. Monster.

Toronto's Fred Kelly created Jim Stearne in, I believe, 1946, and the character first appeared in Triumph #31. Stearne then appeared as Mr. Monster in Super Duper #3 the following year.

And...That was about it until Michael T. Gilbert created his own version of the character. Gilbert's wrote the tales of Jim Stearne's son, Strongfort. He fleshed out Jim's background a fair bit as well, though he made him an American that traveled to Canada (as opposed to being Canadian born, raised and educated) in the process.

Still, at his root, Mr. Monster is among the first Canadian superheroes and getting an action of him would be a real treat. FMF's next Kickstarter campaign is said to be launching "later this summer" and I very much plan to participate.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Canadianas' Sesquicentennial Struggles

I must admit, when I first saw the announcement below, I thought it was a joke. It was posted on artist Sandy Carruthers' Facebook page.
Coming July 1st: The new adventures of Canadiana! Written by the amazing Mark Shainblum (creator of Northguard to name a few) and illustrated by me! I'm very stoked to see her return (since 2006!), and will post more info/website at a later date!

It's not that the notion of Canadiana's return is so ludicrous, mind you. Quite the opposite.  I've enjoyed her all-too-few appearances to this point. And it has long felt like her return was simmering (at low heat, granted) and just waiting for the right time to happen.

It was more a matter of the above image being a Canadian spin on an old Captain America comic. And when writer Mark Shainblum referred to the cover in a comment to the above post, he called it an "in-joke". This caused me to think that we were just being offered a pin-up of the character inspired by a classic cover. But subsequent comments by Shainblum seem to support that we will indeed have new Canadiana material on July 1st. So...Yay!

Are you new to Canadiana? If so, several of the pages of the web comic, which ran from about 2003 to 2006, are posted on Mark Shainblum's deviantart page so there's your opportunity to educate yourself a bit.

The entire story, at least to the point it had reached (I have 33 pages stored), was posted on a site called Comic Dish for a while but that now appears to have gone dormant. Perhaps her revival will cause those to resurface as well. In the meantime, here are the first two pages by way of introduction.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Early Look at Northguard, Volume 2

Being that I found the image on the Chapterhouse Publishing website, I don't think it's wrong or even premature to share it.

The fan favourite super-spy returns! Still reeling from the events in Captain Canuck, Phil Wise is struggling to adapt to civilian life. But when Phil is marked for death by the deadly assassin Wolf, Northguard is thrust back into action! 
Written by Anthony Falcone
Illustration by Giovanni Valletta
Cover by Alex Perkins
This was the last book listed in the "coming soon" section and is apparently available for pre-order. You'll probably have to wait a while though because even its solicitation text has yet to be released to media.

In all likelihood, the book will be promoted as a September release in a few days. Whether it's actually out on time is a whole other issue. Still, cool to see.

I took a look at Giovanni Valletta's Twitter feed and a couple of months ago he shared the following image, describing it as work being done for Chapterhouse.

I'm going to take a shot in the dark and assume that this is "Wolf" from the book's description above.

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Black Scorpion Collected

Redbud Studio is not based in Canada (I believe they are in Colorado) but they recently sent out feelers about a project they are considering taking on which initially involved a Canadian publisher. The following was posted on Facebook on June 3rd:
The Black Scorpion was a 3 issue mini-series written by Ron Fortier & David Darigo (sic) under a pen-name back in the 90s. We're giving some thought to putting them all together in one volume and making the collection available. Any thoughts?

The Joe Shuster Awards website offer a very thorough biography of Dave Darrigo, including his time as publisher under the Special Studio banner in Brantford, Ontario. It was during this period that Black Scorpion was published. All three issues appeared in 1991.

Darrigo co-wrote the stories with Ron Fortier using the name George Stryker. That name was a not-particularly-subtle nod to The Green Hornet's creators, George Trendle and Fran Stryker. Fortier had written Hornet for Now Comics for some time but that gig had come to an end. Black Scorpion is essentially Darrigo's version of the Green Hornet so few people could be better suited to help write the character than Fortier.

To be clear, for those unfamiliar with the character, Black Scorpion is not identified as being either Canadian or American. I had to refer back to my post about him in my previous blog to be reminded that he operates out of a town called Ravenia. I do seem to recall that some of the names of buildings or streets seemed to have a bit of a Canadian sound to them, however.

If you have any interest in an arguably-Canadian version of The Green Hornet, then I would suggest you head on over to Redbud Studio's Facebook page and make them aware of it. Apparently the project would involve a significant amount of work and Redbud will only follow through if interest appear to be high. At the very least, it would be the restoration of a book created predominantly by Canadian talent at the time.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Canadian Creators Omnibus

New on Comixology as of today for $1.99 (U.S., naturally).

This 280+ page collection of 14 stories sprang to life out of the original Kickstarter for The Adventures of Auroraman and highlights some of the most fun and entertaining Canadian independent comics being produced today! Featuring stories about Auroraman by Jeff Burton, The Canadian Corps from Andrew Lorenz’s September 17 productions, Donovan Yaciuk’s Spacepig Hamadeus, Jason Loo’s Pitiful Human Lizard even makes a brief appearance! A great way to get a taste of some of these comics, characters and creators all in one place.
The original description of the Omnibus, when it was offered as a perk to the Auroraman campaign, also included the following:
Sam Noir and Christopher Yao’s Major North, Gary Boyarski’s Jack Grimm...a piece from Mark Shainblum co-creator of Northguard, the 3D comic Road Trip by Jason Sylvestre, a story by James Zintel, Hockeypocalypse by Jeff Martin, work from Eric Theriault, a story from Ryan Howe and a story from Elaine Will.
Credit to Chapterhouse Publishing for using their platform to promote this talented bunch and their respective characters.

Edit: I bought it as a show of support and unfortunately, Major North is not included.  Evidently something changed after the original solicitation.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Who Is Desbois?

Things have been a little quieter here than I'd like. But it's not you, publishers and creators, it's me. I'm in the process of buying/selling a house. It sucks all kinds of ass, I hate it, and I can't wait to have a normal life again.

I received my copy of the third issue Auric Of The Great White North last week, which made for a nice distraction. However, the Auric Facebook page had me eager for #4 before #3 reached my soon-to-be-former house.

Who's that mysterious masked man? Well, what's a hero without his team? In Issue #4 you will meet and read the origin of Auric's newest team member, Desbois! Who's behind the mask? What's his tie to Auric's history? You'll have to pick up a copy to find out! Beautiful colors by Donovan Yaciuk. Estimated release: September for FanExpo!
He has a brief teaser appearance in issue three to whet our appetites. That issue (and the previous ones, naturally) are available for purchase now on the publisher's website and no doubt will be available on drivethru before long.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Turning Over A New...Nah, Too Obvious.

Based on the name "Red Leaf Comics", you wouldn't immediately assume that the publisher was based out of Pheonix, Arizona (at least first went into business there).

But they are (were?) and damned if they didn't publish more Canadian characters than most of the other publishers I followed throughout the five years that my previous blog, They Stand On Guard ran. That includes flagship character The Leaf, who spanned multiple generations.

Of late, founder/publisher John Michael Helmer has directed much of his attention to Lucky Comics. That publishing imprint is more geared towards classic, public domain characters, some re-imagined, some less so, and their own original material. The most prominent members of their cast include Beetle Girl (granddaughter of the original Blue Beetle) and both a classic and modern version of The Black Bat, the pulp hero from the late 30s to the early 50s.

And now it seems that Red Leaf's own classic character is getting an update through Lucky. A few days ago, writer Mark F. Davis posted the following comment on his Facebook page:
I made a pitch to John Helmer of Lucky Comics for a new Leaf ongoing comic book for his Lucky Universe, and he dug it enough to launch a new Leaf title and give me full creative reigns on writing the book!  
We've got Laudable Luis Rivera staying up nights working hard on the design for the new character. How can you beat that? Watch for The New Leaf, from Lucky Comics!
And Rivera came through with the following:

Helmer further confirms that...
The character is NOT related to the MacSorly clan (the Red Leaf versions of the character) or any of their classic stories. All New-All Different and published by Lucky Comics!
The book is expected to be out in late summer/fall of this year. Presumably it will follow the now-standard Lucky Comics format of an 8-page pdf available from Drivethru Comics and in print from Indyplanet.