Sunday, May 27, 2018

Alter Ego

May 2018 - Toronto ON

We checked out the Toronto Reference Library TD Gallery exhibit Alter Ego: Comics And Canadian Identity.



The Alter Ego exhibition was created by Library and Archives Canada and is presented by the Toronto Public Library.

Click here to see digitized 1940s comic books.


The first Canadian comic book, Better Comics no. 1, was published 75 years ago by Vancouver’s Maple Leaf Publishing. Since that time, Canada has produced many talented comic book artists.



“Secret Identity” spotlights some of the Canadian artists who have found success outside Canada. From the earliest days of American comic books when Canadian Joe Shuster co-created Superman, Canadian artists have made significant contributions to international comics. Often, these artists’ work has little to do with their home country. To fit in with the wider world, they keep their Canadian origins hidden below the surface—like a superhero’s secret identity.



Source: Canada Post
About Stamp 1995
What do Superman, Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Johnny Canuck, Captain Canuck and Fleur de Lys have in common? For one thing, they're all super heroes sprung from the wondrous pages of comic book; and for another, they're all the marvelous creations of Canadian talent. Without Superman, it's doubtful that comic books would ever have achieved their enormous popularity. Superman is the creation of Toronto-born Joe Shuster and Cleveland's Jerry Siegel. As classmates in Cleveland, Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel created several Superman newspaper strips. However, nobody seemed interested at first. Superman was launched in Action Comics in June 1938; by the third issue, Action Comics pulled ahead of its competitors, and in July 1939 the "Man of Steel" was given his own title, Superman. Shuster died in 1992, but the super hero he created is famous around the world. From Krypton to the Arctic, to Second World War battlefields and the Montreal Forum, Canada's super heroes have fought our country's enemies and never failed. And in delighting readers for some 50 years, they have given the world uniquely Canadian heroes.


“Collective Identity” looks at the ways Canadian artists have engaged with national identity in their work. The Canadian identity is built through shared symbols and a shared history. Many Canadian comics, particularly in the superhero genre, have used the country’s national symbols to build patriotic feeling. There are also several comics about important figures and events from Canadian history. Through their depictions of distinctly Canadian stories, these comics help us consider what it means to be Canadian.



Source: Wikipedia
Johnny Canuck is a Canadian cartoon hero and superhero who was created as a political cartoon in 1869 and was later re-invented, most notably as a Second World War action hero in 1942. The Vancouver Canucks, a professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL), currently use a lumberjack rendition of Johnny Canuck as one of their team logos.

Johnny Canuck is a fictional lumberjack and a national personification of Canada. He first appeared in early political cartoons dating to 1869 where he was portrayed as a younger cousin of the United States' Uncle Sam and Britain's John Bull. Dressed as a habitant, farmer, logger, rancher or soldier, he was characterized as wholesome and simple-minded and was often depicted resisting the bullying of John Bull or Uncle Sam. He appeared regularly in editorial cartoons for 30 years before declining in usage in the early twentieth century.



A portrayal c. 1942 of Johnny Canuck as a World War II hero


Dixon of the Mounted was a character created by E.T. Legault who starred in the first seven issues of Active Comics, beginning in 1942. Corporal Dixon would regularly need to go in search for his female companion, Ruth Barton, to rescue her from this or that.





You have to have spent some time in the province of Quebec to understand the humour in this one.


Mark Shainblum (born 1963 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian writer who now lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Though he has worked as a journalist and editor, Shainblum is best known as a science fiction and comic book writer.

Angloman, co-created with Gabriel Morrissette. A humorous parody of politics in Shainblum's native province of Quebec, Angloman was first published in book form and then made the leap to two Montreal newspapers, the alternative newsweekly Montreal Mirror and the mass-circulation daily Montreal Gazette.


Pierre Fournier (born in 1949) is a French-Canadian comic book writer/artist, editor, promoter and publisher, best known for his Michel Risque and Red Ketchup series which he co-created with his long-time friend Réal Godbout.


Fournier's satirical superhero comic, Les Aventures du Capitaine Kébec, debuted in 1973 and was important to the "Springtime of Comics" movement that saw a new generation of artists creating comic books in Québec. Fournier was involved as a writer/artist, editor, art director, publisher and a passionate promoter. In 1974, he organized Québecomics, the first exhibition of its kind, shown in New York, Eastern Canada and Europe. In 1975-76, Fournier produced and hosted a popular television series, Les Amis du Capitaine Kébec, entirely devoted to comics.


1 comment:

  1. Ah, you got to see it, good! I enjoyed this one when it was exhibiting here.

    ReplyDelete