Tag: Maple Leaf Publications

Name-It Comics

By the time Name-It Comics came out, Maple Leaf’s first title, and Canada’s first comic book, Better Comics had already had eight issues out and its second title, Lucky Comics (at that time known as “Union Jack – Lucky Comics”) had had half that. The other title that came out concurrently with Name-It Comics was Bing Bang Comics with its lead and cover feature being the adolescent, Denis the Menace type of trouble maker, Pinky.

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Bill Speed

John Stables (most often signing his work Jon St. Ables) has always been amongst the most appreciated of the WECA artists and his name is consistently placed at the head of lists of those artists best representative of the excellent, professional quality of Canadian war-time comic art whenever the artistic output of the Canadian Whites is brought into question. He was inducted into the Shuster Hall of Fame in 2006 and the write up with the induction by Robert Pincombe and Peter Hansen supplies you with the necessary details of his life and career.

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WECA Toons 1

Comic book art runs the rainbow spectrum from realistic, to semi-realistic, to surrealistic, each time the metaphor getting stronger. In the surrealistic “toons” the world is populated by caricature humanoids and/or anthropomorphic fauna (‘funny animals”). Each of the four WECA publishers, except Educational Projects, had features that fell somewhere on the surrealistic end of this continuum.

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Where are they now?

Many times over the last year or so I’ve wondered about what became of the original locations of all the WECA era Canadian comic book publishing houses. Are the original buildings still standing or have they been razed to make way for modern money making enterprises? I glean the following address information from the indicia of the actual comics.

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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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