Marvelous Anglo-American

In the summer of that year Anglo-American put out Freelance Comics No. 1 (July/August) and then just after that Grand Slam Comics No. 1 (Sept./Oct.) and then Three Aces Comics No. 1 (Nov./Dec. 1941). This rounded off that first year for Anglo-American with all original Canadian material and characters such as Freelance, The Crusaders, Pat the Air Cadet, and Don Shield. At this point, however, Anglo-American decided to veer off this Canadian path and contract with Fawcett in the States, not to reprint their superhero stories, but to use their scripts for redraws. Of course, government acts prevented them from reprinting American comics outright (reprints weren’t really legalized until the war was over) in Canada, but not from drawing their own versions of the Fawcett scripted stories.

Undervalued Spotlight #214

Aquaman #11, DC Comics, September 1963 Recently I was lucky enough to pick up a nice run of 1960s Aquaman, there were strong copies of #1, #3, #4, #5, #8, #10 and #13. As I was pricing out the issues I noticed the Mera issue, #11, was missing. I remembered a while back having a nice copy of...

Review | Void

A fast-paced story now translated into English, Titan Comics’ Void sets a new bar for graphic novel thrillers and is a must for fans of Sean Phillips.


This third week in September is quite a significant week for WECA book fans. This past Saturday night I attended the Shuster Awards for the first time and served as a presenter for the induction of former Hamiltonian Edmond Good into the Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame. He and publisher of Bell Features books, Cy Bell, were the two WECA era inductees this year. In the past few years it has we have inducted two creators from the Canadian Golden Age and one more recent creator—this year well deserving Ty Templeton. One oversight that I think needs to be corrected is that a female WECA artist has yet to be inducted (top of my list is Doris Slater with Shirley Fortune not too far behind). You can see all the winners at the Shusters web site and read Scott VanderPloeg’s report here.

Undervalued Spotlight #213

Echo of Futurepast #1, Pacific Comics, May 1984 This week the Undervalued Spotlight features a submission from guest writer Jonathan Winchester. Jonathan picks a beauty from that Copper Age of comics I love so much. There are so many undervalued books from this era and Jonathan’s pick...

The 44th Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide

The 44th edition of the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide came out several weeks back and I’d like to take this a bit tardy opportunity to chime in with some thoughts.

For comic book collectors the Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is the one resource that is needed above all others. It remains the “Bible” of collecting.

I’ve done a few comic cons this year and I’m happy to report that I see the Guide carried around by lots of collectors, those that don’t carry one often ask me if they could look at a guide while considering a purchase.


Trimming is easily the most difficult form of restoration to detect, at least with any degree of certainty.

50 Years Ago…

It was 50 years ago this week that the earliest article I know of on Canadian WECA comics appeared in the Sept. 19, 1964 issue of Maclean’s Magazine. It was written by Alexander (“Sandy”) Cameron Ross as part of a series called “A Maclean’s Flashback” and its title was “A Fond Portrait of those Wild Wartime Comics.” Ross was perhaps best known for founding Canadian Business magazine in 1977 and posthumously has had a national award ‘The Alexander Ross Award for Best New Writer’ given out by the National Magazines Awards Foundation.

Undervalued Spotlight #212

New Triumph featuring Northguard #1, Matrix Graphic Series, September 1984 I just spent a lovely weekend at the Montreal Comic Con. Montreal is a great town and their Con is a great event. This year, because I booked late, I ended up at a hotel right beside McGill University. Anyone that...

Auction Highlights #86

Comic Link Summer Featured Auction The comic book portion of ComicLink’s Summer Featured Auction ended Wednesday September 10th and I must say that results seemed strong through most of the auction. The Action #1 graded CGC 6.5 with extensive restoration took top book crown closing at...

Review | Conan: Red Nails Original Art Archives Vol 1

The first and only artist edition style book of Barry Windsor-Smith sumptuous artwork, Conan: Red Nails Original Art Archives Volume 1 presents the full story in a wonderful package.

John Bell

  John Bell is probably best known to you for his published work on Canadian comics. He was kind enough to take the time to answer a number of questions I sent him with a view to publishing his responses in this column and I include the questions and his responses below. IK: Comic-book...

Undervalued Spotlight #211

Marvel Premiere #49, Marvel Comics, August 1979 That Marvel Premiere sure does have a lot of good books. The run features important appearances of Warlock, Doc Strange, Iron Fist, Legion of Monsters, Ant-Man, Alice Cooper, Dr. Who and more. One of the ‘more’ books is the feature of this...

Halftone patterns and overpainting

But more than a quick glance at almost any comic book cover in existence will reveal that all the blue’s, red’s, green’s and especially grey’s are far more than a simple blotch of colour on paper.

WECA Price Guide

Now that the latest Overstreet Price Guide has included an article on the Canadian war-time comic books and now that the books themselves are beginning to realize handsome price ranges, is it time to put together a Canadian WECA Price Guide, or Canadian Golden Age Price Guide, or Canadian...

Are There Still Comics at Fan Expo?

Hell Yeah! Another year and another Fan Expo attendance record. Big B Comics has set up at every Fan Expo so far giving us a behind the table view of this dramatic growth over these past two decades. I heard some comic dealers griping about how the show has changed, how it’s not about comics...

Review | Robocop Versus The Terminator Gallery Edition

Dark Horse’s first foray into the Artist’s Edition market, Robocop Versus The Terminator Gallery Edition hits all the right notes. One of the most beloved comics crossovers of all time is back to usher in Dark Horse’s new gallery edition format—reprinting Walter Simonson’s...


As a collector of various things for more than 50 years and, specifically, as a collector of Canadian war-time comics for the last two years or so, I have had pause to step outside myself and take an up high and a little to the side look at myself and this activity, pastime, or, some (specifically wives) would say, a kind of pathology, that has echoed in us down through history. With Fan Expo looming, in this column I want to examine what has put the wind in my collecting sails over this past half century and hope that it makes some sense at one point or another.

Undervalued Spotlight #210

The Spotlight format only allows passing references and hopefully some insightful tidbits sprinkled here and there. In other words I have to pick a book worthy of a birthday tribute to the Man. I’ve picked Superman’s Pal Jimmy Olsen #133 because this book sticks out among the books that stick out, it represents Jack Kirby embarking on the most ambitious project of his career.


While some evidence of restoration can be revealed by viewing a book in natural daylight and using a magnification loupe, my favourite tool in detecting restoration (both amateur and professional) is my UVA blacklight.