Tag Bell Features

The Other Woman: John G. Hilkert’s The Wing

The Wing was the creation of John G. Hilkert and first appeared in Joke Comics No. 4 (Sept./Oct. 1942) as the Wing, but if we look closely we can find an appearance of a character (not costumed or super powerful) named Trixie Rogers in a text story written by Hilkert and art by Murray Karn in Dime Comics 5 called “Death Casts a Vote” a couple of months before she put on the costume in Joke Comics.
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WECA Toons 2

My last post was on the “toony” side of Vancouver’s Maple Leaf Publications and in it I stated that there were no real toons in Montreal’s Educational Projects Publishers. I now want to qualify that since I’ve been able to find three fillers that might qualify.
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Edmond Good

A couple of interesting original art pieces by Edmond came up on Heritage this week and this made me want to draw attention to his WECA work in this week’s post.
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Masked Marvels

One great result of having a forum to make posts about WECA comics is that the readers can make corrections and cleanups of what I’ve written as well as offer new information that can fill in essential blanks, see my post from two weeks ago for example. Here are a couple more “blanks” for you all.
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Lazare: The Orphan Strips

Some of the most interesting Lazare creations are the orphan “left-overs,” those stories that were one-shot “try-outs” or “fillers” and there were eight of these. The first three were in consecutive issues of Triumph Comics Nos. 20-22 which is a Bell title for which Lazare never did a feature character.
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Lou’s Goose

I attended an auction in Vineland this past weekend and it prompted me to write another short piece on one of the WECA artists. I went to the auction because, among other things, they were offering seven Toronto-themed coasters from the early thirties.
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The Canuck Corps.

“Johnny (Jack) Canuck.” He was a personification of our national identity much in the same way that America had “Uncle Sam” and Britain “John Bull,” who started to be depicted in political cartoons just a couple of years (1869) after Confederation. Like all national personifications he is an hyperbole, let’s say like a lumberjack riding a Timmie’s donut inner tube down the rapids a river of maple syrup and using a hockey stick for a rudder.
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My Back Pages

On occasion these B-sides became hits in themselves and sometimes even outshone their original A-sides in popularity. In the same vein, I think that there are a few WECA book back covers that merit attention and offer lots of historical information to mine and I wanted to share some of them with you.
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Bell Reprints and Covers

The first happened during the WECA period itself when, in 1945, Bell Features decided to issue 6 compendiums of stories from earlier issues. These took features already published and brought them together in large (68 pg.) books that sold for 15 cents.
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Home Ice

Let me then try to point to a few times in the WECA books that specifically locate the action on Canadian soil or at least, in some way, make it clear that the story is taking place in Canada or, finally, directly connect the story to Canada.
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Casting Call

The brief seventies awakening to and appreciation of the Canadian war-time comic industry began with Michael Hirsh and Patrick Loubert’s November, 1971 publication of the compendium of Bell Features material they called The Great Canadian Comic Books (Peter Martin).
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Avrom Yanovsky

Avrom Yanovsky was born in Krivoy Rog, in the southern Ukraine in 1911 and two years later his family emigrated to Winnipeg. His parents were political activists and were involved in the Winnipeg general strike of 1919. During the twenties…

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Mel Crawford

Mel Crawford was born in Toronto in 1925. His parents divorced when he was four and he went with his mother and her parents to Drumheller, Alberta for a few years and then they all moved onto Oklahoma to live…

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Top 20?

  I was talking with Walter Durajlija the other day about doing an entry on the WECA keys and he suggested a good task might be to start to create a list of the top twenty WECA (1941-46) books much…

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Texting Murray Karn

On Saturday, August 25, among many other winners, three Canadian comics creators will be inducted into the Hall of Fame category:  Katherine Collins (Arn Saba) from more recent decades and Vernon Miller and Murray Karn from earliest days of Canadian…

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How about a date?

By the end of 1942 all 7 main Bell Features titles were in place. These included Action Comics, Commando Comics, Dime Comics, The Funny Comics, Joke Comics, Triumph Comics, and Wow Comics. All but a handful had no date of…

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