WECA Checklist

Back Cover for Red Hot Comics 3. Each of these titles contains full colour reprints of American Comics.
Back Cover for Red Hot Comics 3. Each of these titles contains full colour reprints of American Comics.

I miss doing this column and I wish I had enough hands and time to do justice to it and the other work I am doing. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that the column is dead.

There’s a lot going on in the WECA world with the two newest reprint projects, Rachel Richey’s Johnny Canuck and Hope Nicholson’s Brok Windsor in the very final stages and soon to be on your local comic book store shelves. It’s also time to start thinking of nominations to the Shuster Awards Hall of Fame and my own front runners are Doris Slater/Titus who was the first woman in Canadian comics, and Tedd Steele, the prolific Bell Features artist and creator of Speed Savage. I’d love to hear other suggestions.

Comic Crimes 11 back cover.
Comic Crimes 11 back cover.

What I’d like to do for this column is to offer up a working copy of a WECA comic book checklist I knocked together the other day. The question that it both presupposes and raises at the same time is “What is the definition of a ‘WECA Comic’ or if you prefer to call it that, a ‘Canadian White?’” As you know, I prefer the name “WECA comic” for these books and for me this means any comic that was published in Canada between the cover date of Robin Hood Comics Vol. 1 No. 1 (March, 1941) and the last issue of that same title, Robin Hood and Company Comics Vol. 3 No. 34 (Dec. 1946-Jan. 1947). This forms a continuous streak of Canadian war time comics whose existence was the result of an Act of Canadian Parliament enacted on Dec. 6, 1940. Whatever falls between these two bookends is, to me, a WECA Comic.

Smasher Comics back cover, distributed in UK only and has a reference to The Dreamer Comics which was never published.
Smasher Comics back cover, distributed in UK only and has a reference to The Dreamer Comics which was never published.

This may lead to some controversy because, according to this definition, a book like Super Duper Comics No. 3 (May 1947) which features a handful of the old Bell characters (including Nelvana, Nitro, and The Penguin as The Blue Raven) in full-colour new stories. But to me the almost six-month gap since the last continuous WECA comic prevents this book from coming into the fold.  By May, 1947 we are already into the next era of reprints but, I can also see the argument that because these characters are original WECA characters the Super Duper Comics No. 3 should be considered to be a WECA comic. The same might be said of the 1947 F. E. Howard Dizzy Don Comics which were, in fact, American publications. Please chime in with your own thoughts, definitions, and examples of comics that should definitely be “in” or definitely be “out.”

New Active Comics 30
New Active Comics 30 back cover.

Anyway, here is the working list as Rod Serling would say, “for your consideration.” My initial total comes to

Publisher # of Titles
Anglo-American 309
Bell Features 216
Century Pub. 18
Educational Projects 37
Feature Pub. 3
F. E. Howard 10
Hillborough 7
Maple Leaf 133
Marvel Annuals 2
Rucker 14
TOTAL 749

 

Anglo-American           (Total = 309)

Capt. Marvel:  V. 1 N. 1 -12; V. 2 N. 1-12; V. 3 N. 1-12, V. 4 N. 1-12.

Freelance:  V. 1 N. 1-12; V. 2 N. 1-12; V. 3 N. 1-2; Freelance/Robin Hood 27-30; Freelance 31-35

Grand Slam: V. 1 N. 1-12; V. 2 N. 1-12; V. 3 N. 1-12; V. 1-7; G-Slam/3-Aces 44-50; G-Slam 51-56

Robin Hood: V. 1 N. 1 -12; V. 2 N. 1-12; 31-34

Spy Smasher:   V. 1 N. 1 -12; V. 2 N. 1-12; V. 3 N. 1-3; V. 4 N. 1-11

Three Aces:  V. 1 N. 1-12; V. 2 N. 1-12; V. 3 N. 1-12; V. 4 N. 1-3; 51-55

Whiz: V. 1 N. 1-12; V. 2 N. 1-12; V. 3 N. 1-12; V. 4 N. 1-7

Whiz/Spy Smasher:  V. 4 N. 6-11

Fox Reprints (1941)   4

Mighty Midget Reprints (1943) 4

Holiday Comics Gift Book

Red Rover Adventures

 

Bell Features              (Total =216)

Active Comics: 1-28

Commando Comics: 1-22

Dime Comics: 1-28

Funny Comics: 1-20

Dizzy Don Comics: 21-22

Joke Comics: 1-26

Triumph Comics: 7-31

Wow Comics: 1-30

1945 Compendiums and Slam Bang 7 and British Speed Savage     9

Reprint Books: Active 29-30; Dime 29-30; Joke 27-28; Triumph 32 (27); Unusual 1-2; Red Hot 1-3; Terrific 1-3; Johnny Canuck 1; The Brain 1; Doodlebugs 1; FBI Comics 2, Johnny Canuck 2; Jet Man 10; Comic Crimes 11; Smasher 7; Slam-Bang 8; Unusual Comics 1-2;

 

Century Publications                        (Total=18)

Blazing Comics

Blue Circle Comics

Bombardier Comics

Circus Comics

Coverless Comics: Conquerors; Dr. Mercy; Golden Lad

Jeep Comics: N. 1-2

Latest Comics

Space Nomads: N. 1-2

Three Ring Comics: 3 variants

Twinkle

Zor The Mighty: N. 1-2

 

Educational Projects             (Total=37)

Canadian Heroes: V. 1 N. 1-6; V. 2 N. 1-6; V. 3 N. 1-6; V. 4 N. 1-6

Famous Authors, Canada Jack 1-shot, Action Stories of the Mounties, Pict. Story Annual

Jewish War Heroes 1-3

 

Feature Publications             (Total=3)

Lightning Comics 10-12

 

F. E. Howard (Total=10)

Archie Comics Special

Bingo Comics

Black Hood Comics

Capt. Commando

Super Comics: N. 1 Citren

Super Comics: V. 2 N. 2-6

 

Hillborough Studios              (Total=7)

Triumph-Adventure: 1-6

Top-Flight

 

Maple Leaf Pubs.                   (Total=1

Better Comics: V. 1 N.1-10; V. 2 N. 1-10; V. 3 N. 1-7; V. 4 N. 8-9; V. 5 N. 10; V.  6 N. 1-2; V.7 N. 3-6; N. 37, 38

Bing Bang: V. 1 N. 1-10; V. 2 N. 1-10; V. 4 N. 1; V. 5 N. 1-7; V. 3 N. 29-30

Lucky: V. 1 N. 1-10; V. 2 N. 1-10; V. 4 N. 1-3; V. 5 N. 3-10, 32, 33, 34

Rocket: V. 1 N. 1-8; V. 2 N. 1-10; V. 3 N. 1-2; V. 4 N, 3-4; V. 5 N. 5-10; V. 4 N. 1; 30

Your New World

 

Misc.                                       (Total=2)

Captain America Annual

Marvel Mystery Annual

 

Rucker Pubs.                          (Total=14)

Lucky Coyne Comics: No. 1

UN Battle Heroes

UN War Heroes

Scooter Comics: N. 1-2

Snuggy Comics: N. 1-2

Weekender:  V. 1 N. 1-4; V. 2 N. 1-3

 

Terrific Comics 3 back cover
Terrific Comics 3 back cover.
Default image
Ivan Kocmarek
Grew up in Hamilton's North End. Comic collector for over 50 yrs. Recent interest in Canadian WECA era comics.
Articles: 170

11 Comments

  1. Hey Ivan
    Great info here! As far as I can determine this is the first concerted effort at a comprehensive checklist since John Bell’s Canuck Comics…waaay back in 1986. Almost thirty years! This is a dandy start for anyone interested in documenting these materials. What a great supplement to your already impressive contribution to the history of these wonderful books! Many thanks! Looking forward to seeing you when the spring thaw arrives!
    cheers, mel

  2. Thanks Mel, it’s a start that still needs a lot of work. We especially need a consensus on what a “Canadian White,” or “WECA book” is. I hope other people can offer some input on this. It needs to be refined quite a bit and then agreed on.

  3. Ivan
    why don’t you state for your record of when the eras are and what , and lets see what most of us have to say on the matter !
    oh , and thanks for all the work you done as well ! there are more of us out there than you probably know , especially out here on the warm west coast , lol!
    ps , do ever plan on coming out to the big Calgary expo ? I’d love to meet you in person and take you out for dinner so we can talk comics ! yes , I’m a comic book geek !

  4. Thanks for your comment, Chris. As I say in the article, for me the boundaries of a WECA book are the first issues of Better Comics and Robin Hood Comics (March, 1941) at the start and the last issue or Robin Hood Comics (Dec. 1946-Jan. 47) at the other end. Also big thanks for the invite. Really the best think about all this detective work into these Canadian war time comics is meeting the human beings who like them and are interested in them and want to talk about them and especially those people and their relatives who actually had a hand in creating them. There are a bunch of you out on the West Coast and points in between here and there and it would be fantastic it would be fantastic to have a relaxed time jawing about these books. You know what we really need is a mini-con or small conference devoted just to these Canadian war time books where we could all get together for a day or even two to listen to presentations about these comics and just hang around and chat and get to know each other. I wonder how hard it would be to put something like that together and how many people would actually be interested in attending something like this?

  5. I’m in! That would be a great thing. Maybe something coinciding with TCAF or one of the big Toronto summer cons? Fanexpo?

    I like your date suggestion, but I feel if their is original work being done on such major characters a short 6 months after your cut-off date maybe you could extend it?

  6. When the WECA era ended I think the publishers still had both original Canadian material being produced months ahead of actual publication dates and started planning their future if the floodgates opened again.
    I don’t think there can be hard dates set based on times of legislation based on that.
    There needs to be some flexibility as Bryan suggests.
    WECA/Canadian Whites/FECA type books share a porous border with each other with several criteria that need to be established that determines where each books fits in the overall history.
    Post WECA, Hybrid Canadian reprint, Early FECA might describe some of the books based on their varied content, date of publication etc.
    I have several dozen books in this era that I have also indexed and scanned that I would love to bring to further this discussion if there is a meeting.
    I can also throw up some scans of books not included in Ivans list to start off the discussion here.
    There are a lot of gray areas in the entire early 40’s to mid 50’s era of Canadian Comics that still need to be defined by us in terms of our history.
    Canada is an immigrant nation with a close association and mixed heritage with the USA and Great Britain so its not surprising that our comic history does too.

  7. That Super Duper No. 3 will always be a bone of contention. No doubt its a valuable book with new and colour stories on some central WECA characters like Nitro, The Wing, Jeff Waring, and the transformation of The Penguin into The Blue Raven and the first full Mr. Monster story. These stories were all originally drawn in 1946 just before Cy Bell pulled the plug on his original Bell Features books. The artists who created these stories had already moved on to do other things. F. E. Howard had the rights and probably found these stories in a back room along with a bunch of others that had never seen the light of day and tried to market them. So original work was not being done. It had been finished and was being revived or exploited for a buck by a new publisher. My own personal point (and I may eventually have to change this) is that the WECA period was over when this comic book came out and, though it may belong to some Twilight Zone between the two periods (the WECA period and the reprint period), and though it contains original, previously unpublished stories, from this period, it doesn’t belong in the WECA period. Let’s say Marvel discovered a couple of previously unpublished Cap., Torch, and Subby, stories and published them in Feb. 1957, six months after Showcase No. 4, would that comic be considered a Golden Age book? There are arguments the other way too.

  8. I think there should be a end of WECA era overlap of no less than 6 months and no more than 1 year for those books that still contained Canadian content, I think just because the WECA era is a specific date timeline like you mentioned Ivan with the Robin Hood books means just that, the books that fall within will be considered WECA for that timeline,other books directly after, that contain Canadian content should maybe be called post WECA to encompass all the books that Jim is discussing. Books that are in too much contention should just be put into a latter category as it can always be changed at a later date as more information comes to light or a quorum vote can be given on individual books

  9. Thanks for the comment, Tony. We’re actually going to deal with this point more fully in another post at the end of this month.

Comments are closed.

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