Well, the total hasn’t moved much in this second week and it appears that, at this pace, we’ll fall short of our $25,000 goal. This would mean that we’d be back at square one with getting this book printed and published and into the hands of those people who would want it. But, we’re just at about half of the amount $12,198 with half of the time of the Kickstarter left.  I’ve still got faith that we’ll come through in the end and that this project will be realized.

If you’re reading this and have a local comic shop that you frequent and support, mention the book to them and see if they’ll pledge for a wholesale three-pack for the store. If anybody can think of some other positive angles to take in promoting the Heroes of the Home Front Kickstarter during the last half of the campaign, please share them with me. I received a lengthy email from Jim Finlay last week with some very good suggestions. Finally, consider a pledge of any amount because it will all help. A Kickstarter campaign is a slog and we’ve still got a couple of weeks to go. More needs to be known about these men and one woman who worked on comic books in our country while it was at war and laid the ground work for our comic book industry.

On Saturday, I’ll be at Forest City Comicon in London with a table to promote my book and the Kickstarter Campaign. Art Cooper will be with me and he’ll have a few copies of his portfolio of Canadian golden age characters available for purchase. Gerald Lazare has been kind enough to sign a few more copies of his Air Woman poster and I’ll bring them along to sell with proceeds going to the Kickstarter.

The signed poster is done from this original art. The Story appeared in Triumph 21.

I’d like to thank Hamilton cartoonist, David Collier, for sharing the Spectator article about my Kickstarter with the Forest City Comicon organizers who, on the basis of it, were considerate enough to provide me with that table. Look for David Collier at the show and we should be situated just beside him. If any readers are planning to attend, come over and say hi. It would be a pleasure to meet you and chat about Golden Age Canadian comics.

I’ll also be giving a talk on Eddy Smet at 1:45 pm in Salon J. Eddy has been a life-long collector of comics and operated The Comic Collector store with the help of his wife Zorka from 1979-86. He has also made large comic book donations to the archives at Western University with the latest being his collection of Canadian golden comics in Oct. 2015.  The best copy I’ve seen of Better Comics Vol. 1 No. 1 is in this collection. Eddy has said that he’ll be there himself for the talk as well.

If you’re at Forest City Comicon, make sure you swing by our table for a chat. We’ll have a bunch of giveaway postcards to promote my Heroes of the Home Front book and Kickstarter and a draft mock up of the first quarter of the book that you can check out plus some other stuff. Here is my design for the postcard:

Postcard front.

 

Postcard back.

Adrian Dingle’s wonderful rendition of Gerald Lazare’s “The Dreamer” character from Wow Comics 26 has become the main promotional icon for this book project and he has become kind of the ‘mascot’ and, I hope, an efficacious talisman towards its successful outcome.

Back a couple of weeks ago when I picked Gerry Lazare and his wife Setsuko up to make the drive down to Fan Expo for our presentation, Gerry presented me with five carbon copies of his pay invoices for work he’d done for Bell Features in 1944. Here’s one to share with you and it’s amazing that Gerry would have saved these from almost 75 years ago. What a treat! I can’t thank Gerry and Setsuko enough for the amount of encouragement and support they have given me over these past couple of years.

OriginaliInvoice carbon for Gerald Lazare from Bell Features.

I’ll also offer up a picture of Gerry Lazare when he was nine-years-old in 1936 on the Toronto Island Ferry. This was seven years before he started drawing for Bell Features. Gerry is resplendent in what almost looks like a yachting outfit. I bet he was relishing the Sunday comics every weekend and was lost in mystery and adventure radio shows every night.

Nine-year-old Gerry Lazare in 1936.

I haven’t decided whether or not to reproduce either, or both, of these Lazare images in the book and would love some feedback.


There was some talk in the column comments from last week about a sort of one-day mini-conference on the Canadian wartime comic books. This idea has been tossed around for a couple of years now in one form or another. These old Canadian books are pulsing radioactively with the recent collecting, historical, and general reprint interest they’ve acquired over the last couple of years and maybe the time has really become ripe for a core event like this.

The event would necessarily be a small-scale/high-info affair say in a central location like that renaissance of an art hub called Hamilton (recently lauded by Guillermo del Toro at TIFF for its art scene, atmospheric locations, and, especially, the waffles at The Canon restaurant) and booked into a low-cost library meeting room. No dealers, no hype, no cosplay—just a plain sharing a love for these books and an exchange of information (with the only expense incurred being that which granted us access to the venue for the day). It wouldn’t matter whether we had 10, 20, or 50 people at this amazing little conference, it would be a day spent worthwhile for whoever chose to attend.

It would be easy to come up with a sample programme:

9:00-9:30 Morning coffee and doughnuts – Meet and greet
9:45-10:45 Ed Furness and his Role with Anglo-American Comics (Robert MacMillan)
11:00-12:00 Who was the Best Artist from the WECA period? – A Look at Adrian Dingle, Ed Furness, George Menendez Rae, and Jon Stables (Ivan Kocmarek)
12:00-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 Panel–Investing in WECA Comics and a Price Guide (Tony Andrews, Jim Finlay, Ivan Kocmarek, and Walter Durajlija)
2:15-3:15 Discussion—The Future of WECA comics – What needs to be and what can be done? (Ivan Kocmarek, moderator)

 

There you have it. An easy school-type day. There could be many other topics and I urge you suggest some. If we chose to hold this modest event in Toronto, I’m sure that Gerry Lazare could make an appearance and offer the best session of the lot.

Anyway, let’s put this on the radar.

Remember, try to support my Heroes of the Home Front Kickstarter if you are at all able. It looks like it will be a close call to make the finish line, but I know we’ll get there.