Category Archives: Canadian Superheroes

Now I Understand the Oscars Bun Toon! YAY!

I don't care if the Olympics are over, I like my new shirt

I don’t care if the Olympics are over, I like my new shirt

It’s Oscar night, and the whole of human civilization is a buzz.

And THIS year, I’m an admired insider in the world of show-biz.  You don’t believe me…?

insights into fame and fortuneSuddenly that Travolta/Cage movie makes SO much more sense.

I’m not sure if our little documentary is up for an Oscar next year, but if it is, I’m already dealing with my celebrity in a healthy way, and planning to call my plastic surgeon asap.   He’ll have to do a better job than the guy who did my ears…they still REALLY stick out.

Ty the Famous Guy OUT!

Here’s the very theatre that was showing my giant puss this weekend.

That's right, I went to the mid-afternoon showing of a documentary, so you can IMAGINE how crowded the building was...

That’s right, I went to the mid-afternoon showing of a documentary, so you can IMAGINE how crowded the building was…

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For last week's not-famous Bun Toon click here.

For last week’s not-famous Bun Toon click here.

 

For the Bun Toon Archive, click here

For the Bun Toon Archive, click here

 

Northern Guard #2 is headed for the stores!

…with another LOVELY Jason Edmiston cover.  It’s due out this Wednesday, so far as I can tell, but I’m never in the loop on these things.  The issue has made it’s way into the hands of a few reviewers already. They have their say here and here.  (Go ahead and click, they’re good reviews or I wouldn’t have linked to ‘em.)

If #2 is not in your comic stores this week, holler and shout and cause a ruckus, without doing any bodily harm, and get them to order an issue #2 (and back issues of #1 while you’re making the fuss).     Our little hockey-playing band of super-heroes could use the extra noise, and the artwork by David J. Cutler (as well as the colouring by K.T. Smith!) is thrice worth getting before it’s all turned into a common trade paperback and EVERYONE has one.  You DO want to be first on your block to discover Cutler and Smith before they become the standard bearers of 21st comic art, don’t you?

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, you Canadian Comic Book Moment of the Day:

Little known fact: Northern Guard is not, in fact, the first super-hero comic book set in Canada.

SHAMELESS PLUG BLOG NOVEMBER 2010.

Every now and then, comics I wrote or drew get published, and I get to ask you to buy them.  I often forget to do this, but this week, I’ve got enough coming out in a row to pester you.

I present the SHAMELESS PLUG BLOG

Shameless Plugging you with the Jason Edmiston Cover A

First up:  I’m fairly sure that Johnny Canuck’s big return to comics in the NORTHERN GUARD is this Wednesday or next Wednesday, if your local doesn’t get it tomorrow.  There’s some chewy good fun in this comic – a revival of some terrific Canadian Golden Age characters, and the first published work of a couple of good Canadian pals of mine.  (I just called my wife a “pal”.  I’m a dead man.)

 

Shameless Plugging you with the less-often-seen David J. Cutler's alt cover B

Speaking of the lovely Keiren, it’s fun to see her credit on the Harvey Pekar meets the Thing story that’s coming out NEXT week.   She’s lettered a couple of the stories I did with Harvey Pekar, and keeping with the tradition, she gets her first Marvel credit.  And she did a terrific job!  I’m allowed to show off the first page, now that Marvel’s put it into promotion rotation.  This one’s in the stores in a week, I’m told.

If you have any fondness for Pekar, you’re going to love his take on the Thing.  This is, by far, my favorite Pekar story I ever got to do, sad as the events surrounding it were, and I’m going to blog about why it was so wonderful and bittersweet, right after it comes out next week…no spoilers here.

The cover looks like this, so you’ll know to get it when it’s out…

 

this series is so cool, you should be buying it, regardless.

And just to top off the sudden flood of Templeton product on the market in one fortnight, this came out in England last week –  check it-

 

Issue #14 of Murky Depths.

It’s a horror/sf writer’s magazine, with both prose and comics contained within.  Not a bad little offering and you can find much more about this publisher at   http://www.murkydepths.com  But you probably figured that out on your own.  I’ll bet you can order copies there.

For my part, I did thumbnail layouts and original edits on a terrific horror/adult story about a man who finds out the world is going to end, and wants to go out – ehem…with a bang.  It was written by Greg Dunford, and illustrated by Gibson Quarter and Eden Bachelder –  a group of friends who are all merry members of the Toronto Cartoonist Workshop usual suspects.

All right…the shameless plugging is done for today. Though it may come up again when my issue of Mad Magazine comes out next month, or my upcoming issues of the Simpsons.   Or…

Ty the Guy OUT!

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Here now, your Shameless Plug Comic Book moment of zen:

 

Look at that outfit. The man is clearly shameless.

Remembering the brave.

Fictional Canadian Soldier

It’s November 11th, and time to think of someone other than ourselves for at least one day.

Real Canadian soldiers, one of whom was lost to a bomb in Afghanistan.

Around here, I tend to treat war as a subject for adventure comic books, and exciting fiction…but I’m never too far away from thoughts of the real men and women who put on the uniform and serve.  My stepfather was in the Canadian Air Force during WWII…my father-in-law served as a company clerk and supply sargeant for the American Army…and one of my closest friends Glenn Reid (a former roommate and band-member) spent years in the air force as a mechanic and ground-crew tech.

Glenn wrote and performed the music on this CD, the proceeds of which went to the families of the fallen, an organization that helps the loved ones of lost soldiers in Afghanistan. I was honoured to have played on this record and been allowed to design the cover. That's Glenn with his arms folded, standing under the number 182...in his youth, in the RCAF.

I’ve never been in the armed services, I’m too much of a wimp to have even considered it, but I can tell you what it’s like to know veterans, and have them as part of your close circle of friends and family.  It chokes me up inside to think of what they did….and what others still do every day to keep my ass safe on the ground.   Years ago, I was helping an old fellow across the street near where I lived…he was moving a little slow and I offered my arm to help him make the lights in time.  He thanked me, and we crossed to the sidewalk, where he needed to to lean against a building for a moment to catch his breath.  He told to me that he’d been having trouble with the leg lately, which surprised him, since it had been years since he caught a bullet there on Omaha beach.  When I heard that, I became weak in the knees and couldn’t stand myself, as I’d never met anyone who’d survived Omaha before.  I started crying and shaking his hand, and acting like a complete baby around this guy, whose name I never got.

I hate war.  I hate the occupation of Iraq.  I hated Viet Nam.  I hate some of the things that have happened in Afghanistan, and Bosnia on both sides of the conflict.  But the men and women who march towards danger because it’s their job, are the people that own my heart in a way that’s hard to describe.

Thanks, people.  So many of you are humanity’s best example.  I hope they retire your occupation someday.

Ty the Guy Out!

Here now, your comic book moment of zen:

That’s  a page from Scott Chantler’s “TWO GENERALS”, a graphic novel about Scott’s grandfather, who served with the Canadian Infantry in WWII.  You may order a copy here.

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And Comic Book Connection Initiative, which gives disadvantaged children and teens comic books and graphic novels, is working to send comic books to soldiers serving overseas. If you know of any soldiers who might appreciate some reading material, check out the contact info on CBCI’s Facebook page.

Thank Canada! Thank Canada!

 

Don't make us put on our antler costumes and come down there.

 

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada.  We do it early, which proves (by the science of common sense) that we invented it, and gave Thanksgiving to the world as a gift.  The United States later introduced our introspective holiday into their calendar, retroactively attaching it to a big dinner that starving English settlers shared with local Indians a few years before the shooting started.  But it’s our holiday obviously:   It’s based on politeness. Don’t look it up or you’ll insult me.  It’s ours.

Besides Canada’s generosity in giving humanity a moment to reflect on their good fortune, I’ve created a list of the other things the people of the world SHOULD be thanking Canada for.

 

Thank you, Mr. Shatner.

 

And no, it’s not going to be about Bill Shatner, though obviously it could be.  It’s about the world of comic books, and that fact that it simply wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Canada, and that’s a fact.

So on behalf of the bacon-eating hockey players of this proud nation everywhere… Eskimos and fur trappers, and frozen Frenchmen…

…you’re WELCOME, comic fans.

 

THE TOP EIGHT REASONS COMIC FANS SHOULD THANK CANADA

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8)  John Byrne


Normally these are top SEVEN lists, but John Byrne is so insistent that people include him in things, that I let him have his way, even though, technically, he’s a Brit.  Canada should be thanked because we educated the Byrne boy.  Took him in from that wretched England, and raised him up from the tender age of eight, until we let him go into the world in middle age.  Turned out he was the biggest thing in comics for most of the late 70s, and to politely thank us back, he made Canadian comic star, WOLVERINE, into the most popular comic book character for the last thirty years.

 

And made "Snikt" a household word, along with "beer".

 

7)  Hal Foster


His Tarzan comic strips were phenomenal, but Foster’s PRINCE VALIANT Sunday pages throughout the 40s and 50s are often considered the most beautiful illustrations ever done for the comics page.    Here, look…

 

That's just one panel.

 

Wally Wood, Al Williamson, Mark Shultz, Joe Kubert, Dave Sim and literally hundreds of other illustrators of the Golden and Silver ages cite Nova Scotia local boy Hal Foster as their primary influence.  Gee, you think Kirby might have borrowed the look of his “DEMON” from somewhere in panel three…?  Say “Thank you”, Jack.
6)  Our Trees.

 

Marvel Comics, slightly before they're collectable.

 

Every American comic book you’ve ever held in your hand started life as a Canadian tree.  You can forget that the printing industry of the North East has ALWAYS used our fine Quebec forests as their principal source of paper, as long as you remember that since the 80s, damn near every comic book published by every publisher, large or small, was printed at QUEBECOR PRINTING in…you guessed it, Quebec.  Thank the French-Canadian lumberjacks for this one.

 

Oh ho! Ze Comics...they all rely on Jacques to exist, mais non?

 

5)  Darywn Cooke


Besides being the only man who can collapse civilization by saying “sudden lesbian” in an online video, Darwyn Cooke is comics current “it boy”, with critical gushes and swooning fans following him from project to project.   His retro style has earned him every award the biz has to offer, and he’s done all this while being a dead ringer for Slam Bradley – an achievement in itself.  Without Darwyn, comics nowadays would be nothing more but hyperbolic close up details of forearm veins.  Thank the stars, he stems that tide.

 

That's a very patriotic American image there, Darwyn...

 

4)  Lynn Johnston.


FOR BETTER OF FOR WORSE is easily the best comic art ever given to us by a female creator, and for the whole time it was being published, Lynn drew it from her home a few hours north of Toronto.

This magnificent series (only recently finished up) aged along with its readers, and touched the lives of millions in a way that the comics hadn’t since the early days of the century.  Along with Doonesbury, Peanuts, Pogo, Li’l Abner, Krazy Kat, Popeye, Little Nemo, Prince Valiant and Calvin and Hobbes, FBOFW is one of the ten best comic strips ever produced.  If you know who Farley is, and the mere mention of his name doesn’t start to choke you up, you’re an inhuman monster.

 

The series finale from 2008

 

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3)  Dave Sim

 

a rare photo of Dave with his mouth shut

 

The creation and the COMPLETION of the astounding run of CEREBUS THE AARDVARK is the No. #1 most inspiring story the world over for both indie cartoonists and people prone to spelling mistakes.

 

Yes, that's a typo. A thirty year typo...

 

Dave Sim proved that if you have an insanely long, mind-bogglingly intricate story that’s going to take you twenty seven years to tell…then BY GOD, it can be done, even if you have to do it yourself!!  CEREBUS is the longest running series ever written and drawn by the same guy – don’t even bring up the part about publishing it and promoting it himself (with the help of his temporary wife and temporary publisher Deni Loubert, of course, and his inker/background assistant GERHARD).  300 issues, 6000 pages, 12,000 loud mouth opinions in the letters pages.  When people say Sim wrote the book on self-publishing, he literally did.  Image Comics, wouldn’t exist without his ground-breaking influence, and apparently, neither would Babylon 5.

2)  Todd McFarlane

 

The '90s: they were his fault. But at least he has balls.

 

Speaking of Image Comics…  We must give thanks for our man of the Western Praries:  Todd McFarlane.  Without him, we wouldn’t have all those extra fidgety lines on all those drawings for the last twenty years.  Besides re-inventing Spider-Man’s face mask, Marvel’s sales figures and humanity’s basic anatomy, Todd re-invented the toy industry by adding so many bendy bits to action figures, that they are now too cool to remove from the box.

 

Don't you DARE play with this. It's not a TOY, it's a McFarlane Action Figure!

 

Because of the twin revolutions of Image Comics and McFarlane Toys, the fanboy universe would not be the same without him, and neither would the million dollar home-run-collectible baseball market, as I think Todd owns them all.  I think he part-owns the Edmonton Oilers too, but there’s no American who needs to thank him for that.

 

The Million Dollar Balls of Todd

 

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1)  Joe Shuster

 

Shuster, hard at work cheating himself out of millions.

 

Ah, you knew I was going here.  Joe Shuster was the Canadian artist who co-created Superman to help out his American friend Jerry Seigel accomplish SOMETHING in his life.

 

He helped create this guy.

 

Canadians know this because we have the stamps, the “Heritage Minute”,  the street named after him in Toronto, and the cousin he left behind to create WAYNE AND SHUSTER.  (It’s absolutely true, they were blood relatives!)

 

You'll note the resemblance to Jor-El.

 

Superman is practically a Canadian citizen we hear about this so much.  Metropolis is based on Toronto.  The Daily Planet is based on Toronto’s

 

He was not born on this street, but it's in the right town, at least.

 

“Daily Star” newspaper, and the original editor “George Taylor” was named after a real Daily Star Editor, and former boss of former Star copy boy, Shuster.   I don’t  have to tell you that comics in America would have died out long ago without the fellows in the capes, and that the fellows in the capes are ALL a variation on the Man of Steel in one way or another.

So you’re welcome, world!  Thank Canada!

Honorable Mentions:

Stuart Immomen, Ian Boothby,  Dave Ross, Kaare Andrews, Win Mortimer, Ken Lashley, Chester Brown, Tom Fowler, Pia Guerra, Bryan Lee O’Malley, Seth, Max Douglas, Richard Pace, Dale Keown, Bernie Mireault, Gabriel Morrissette, Yanick Paquette, Travis Charest, Diana Shutz,Tom Grummett, Howard Wong,  Steve McNiven, David Finch, Gene Day, Sam Agro, Kate Beaton, Richard Comely, Denis Rodier, Gibson Quarter, David J. Cutler, Clement Sauve, Steve Platt, George Freeman, Dean Motter, Ken Steacy, Adrian Alphona, Pat Davidson, Ramon Perez, Ho Che Anderson, Martin Pasko, Rand Holmes, Cam Stewart, Marcus To, Francis Manapul, Ryan Sohmer, Bob Smith, Mark Shainblum, Kent Burles,  Lar Desouza, J.  Bone, Kalman Adrasofszky…and K.T. Smith.

Just off the top of my head.

TY THE GUY OUT!

Here now, your comic book moment of zen:

 

Art by Joe Shuster, for adult publishers, shortly after he stopped drawing Superman.

 

Canadian Superheroes cont’d

Ty did a post on Johnny Canuck and Heroes of the North yesterday, focussed on little ol’ me, because we were talking about the work I’d done on the weekend. But there are quite a few other people involved in these projects, so I’m going to post ‘em here so you can take a look at their work:

Northern Guard/Moonstone Books

David Cutler, artist

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Jason Edmiston, cover artist

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Heroes of the North

Marcus MASman Smith/artist

(Check out MAS’s colouring–there are other examples on his site. I have to turn from lettering to colouring some pages and I’m having some serious artistic insecurities after working on MAS’s pages)

(not a relative btw–I didn’t get the lettering gig through nepotism! At least I don’t think he is, hard to tell with us Smiths)

Will add more links as I find them…

Keiren

Ty tells me that I’m not supposed to post anything without adding a Comic Book Moment of Zen. I’ve got nothing “comic book” that fits so I’m going to post Keiren’s Moment of Zen…a Canadian Superhero! (he’s Canadian, and he’s a superhero–it fits)

More Canadian Superheroes!

Okay, I’ll admit I’m a Canadian.  It’s something I was born with, I’m not bragging or anything…

And as a result of all that Canadian blood in my veins, and stuff, y’all know that I’m the writer for a new mini-series from Moonstone Books featuring Johnny Canuck and the heroes of the NORTHERN GUARD, all based on the Canadian Golden Age comic book heroes….

Ty Templeton, David Cutler, KT Smith, covers Jason Edmiston

but did y’all know that my wife, the lovely and talented KT SMITH, is the letterer  for ANOTHER Canadian superhero series, an online extravaganza called HEROES OF THE NORTH? And they JUST put up the latest issue of the online comic and the latest episode of the online live-action series.

written by Michel Brouillette & Yann Brouillette/ art by Marcus MASMan Smith/ letters by KT Smith

You heard me right, snow-heroes…HOTN has downloadable comics, live action webisodes, and more, and it’s great fun.  Click here to bathe in the rich, bacony goodness of heroism amidst the tundra fur trappers. (Click HERE to join their Facebook Fan Page)

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your comic book moment of zen: