Tag Canadian Golden Age Comics

Johnny Canuck

Rachel Richey’s new collection of Johnny Canuck pages from the 28 issues of Bell Feature’s Dime Comics is a welcome addition to the bookshelf of any Canadian comic book collector and the libraries of anybody interested in Canadiana or Canadian…

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Brok Windsor 1944-1946

The reprint package of Brok Windsor stories came out last month: Brok Windsor/Jon Stables (edited by Hope Nicholson), Bedside Press, 2015, and is a welcome addition to your Canadiana bookshelf and to your comic bookshelf in general. Overall, this is a…

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WECA or Not

This is a two-part post containing first my own, kind of orthodox, view on what constitutes a WECA comic followed by fellow WECA collector Jim Finlay’s view on a finer and more porous line of distinction between the WECA period…

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Mel Crawford 1925-2015

Last week I received, from his wife Ginni, the sad news that Mel Crawford had passed away peacefully on Monday, Feb. 23. He had been in a long-term care facility for about the last year. Mel started out as a…

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WECA Checklist

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…

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100

I began doing this column on Jan. 3rd 2013 just after I had finished and sent off the long article I’d written on WECA comics for the Overstreet Price Guide which was finally published this year.  I had been out of…

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‘Twas the Night…

Presents and surprises are one part of Christmas, for some a huge part, but one can’t deny that it’s invariably a pleasant experience to get a gift, especially an unexpected one. My friend and fellow WECA book collector, Walter Durajlija,…

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Easson Find

It’s an understatement to point out that most average income collectors, like me, have been priced out of battling for WECA comics through online auctions now that the comic collecting community has more widely become aware of them: of their…

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Your New World

There are very few comic books that are truly scary and cause those fine hairs on the back of my neck to stand to attention but here’s one that’s a Canadian WECA book. In the spring of 1942 a strange…

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Frederick Griffin

Text stories, a whole bunch of words and a couple of pictures; they were probably the most skipped-over part of any WECA comic they appeared in. Though they didn’t appear in every war-time Bell Features comic book, they did appear…

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Citren, Feature and Classics Comics

When we think of Canadian war-time comic publishing companies, we usually think of the “Big Four”: Maple Leaf Publications, Anglo-American Publications, Bell Features, and Educational Projects with Adrian Dingle’s Hillborough Studio run of Triumph-Adventure Comics appended to Cy Bell’s books.…

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Robin Hood

For me those comics that so many people affectionately call the “Canadian Whites” fall into a specific window whose most convenient frame is a single run of comics: Robin Hood Comics Vol. 1 No. 1 (March, 1941) to Robin Hood Comics Vol. 3 No. 34 (Dec. 1946-Jan. 1947). This is what II'vecome to term the WECA era because it was initiated by the War Exchange Conservation Act (WECA) passed Dec. 6, 1940 and came to an end as the provisions of this Act were repealed.
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Three Firsts

In this post I want to discuss three WECA firsts starting with a curiosity I take to be one of the first “horror type” stories in comics. “Grim Tales” was a brief two-story run in Wow Comics No. 12 (Jan.-Feb. 1943) and No. 13 (March-April 1943) by Don McKague (my dates for Bell books are all extrapolated estimates, since they stopped listing them in the indicia after the first early issues of their titles). For me, these two stories foreshadow the first true horror comics of the late forties and the horror boom that started with E. C. comics in 1950.
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Jim Aldridge

On one of my research visits to Gerry Lazare and his wife Setsuko, Gerry said that he had recently received a phone call from someone who had written him a fan letter 40 years ago. Gerry said that the man’s…

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WECA Worth

My question is, does the scarcity of WECA comics put them in a universe of their own when it comes to determining their fair market value? These books are still somewhat impenetrable for the majority of collectors and maybe an accurate price guide can’t be set down because of the lack of available sales data. I don’t subscribe to GPA so I don’t know if there is any data on sales of some of the slabbed WECA books, but so far this year I have seen about 130 of these books change hands on line, but this unusually high number of WECA books made available in a single year was chiefly due to the 100 or so books offered in the February and March ComicLink (CLINK) auctions. The usual number of books exchanged on line per year is probably below 50. I suspect that most WECA books never reach the online market and are exchanged between collectors, or dealers and collectors hand to hand—or they are discovered when collections come to light from across the country when a collector digs extra hard and uncovers one.
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Birthdays

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.
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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.
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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…

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Harry Brunt

Harry Joseph Brunt was born on Nov. 22, 1918 in Chicago but his family seems to have settled in the Toronto-Hamilton area a few years after he was born. Brunt started to work for Bell features as one of its artists while he was in his mid-twenties around the Christmas season of 1943. The nature of his contribution to these comics consisted of two or three page featurettes that were cartoony and goofy and invariably had an alliterative name.
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