Tag Archives: Johnny Canuck

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

 

Top Ten Fictional Canadians! YAY!

It’s Canada Day!  That’s like the American 4th of July, only we do it first, just like Thanksgiving.  Today to celebrate, I’m listing my 10 favorite fictional characters from our vast, empty and frozen country.  These are the characters so popular that people who DON’T live here have heard of them, and I didn’t even have to scrape the barrel deep enough to mention Degrassi HighDixon of the Mounted, or The Littlest Hobo.

And because everything is slightly bigger in Canada than anywhere else in the world, our top ten requires eleven entries.  Deal with THAT, smaller, tiny countries.

11 – Terrance and Phillip

They fart, they sing, they laugh, and they start wars.  These are all things that Canadians are known for the world over, except for the starting wars, or the singing, really.  But we do laugh a lot, and because of all the donuts, there is a substantial amount of farting.  Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for South Park, these two characters have given the world a glimpse at the true Canadian spirit, albeit an embarrassing one that we’d rather not talk about.

10- Dudley Do-Right

Loosely based on Canada’s genuine Mountie super-hero Sam Steele, the character of Dudley was the personification of selflessness, sacrifice, bravery and incompetence, only one of which wasn’t based on Steele.  With his trusted horse, and his highly untrustworthy enemy Snidely Whiplash, Dudley kept a fairly remote part of the Yukon safe for his female companion “Nell” for a few years, in cartoons by Jay Ward, and a sadly forgettable film with Brendan Frasier (a Canadian! –kts), and Eric Idle.

9-The Transvestite Lumberjack

He doesn’t want to be a barber, he’d rather not own a pet shop …he always wanted to be…a LUMBERJACK!  Debuting on Monty Python’s Flying Circus, Christmas of 1969, he’s subsequently shown up in stage shows, films, German TV specials, and hit records.  He’s usually played by Michael Palin or Eric Idle, accompanied by the likes of Tom Hanks, George Harrison, Peter Cook, and others, and there’s not much to him, beyond a fondness for buttered scones, watching Scots Pine trees floating down the mighty rivers of British Columbia and dressing in women’s clothing to hang around in bars.  I’m fairly sure his name is Beavis, but I’ve never met someone with that name and I live here.

8-Captain Canuck

Created by Richard Comely back in the 70s, when comics mattered and people still read them, the Captain was the first All-Canadian Super-hero since the Golden Age who didn’t completely and utterly suck.  Under the beautiful artwork of George Freeman, the Captain’s adventures looked slick and professional…almost as though an American was drawing them!  A generation of Canadian cartoonists was inspired to get into this gig because of the Captain, and creators such as John Byrne and Todd McFarlane came and kicked ass for quite a while as a result.  Sadly, the comic industry is gone now, and we’re left only with memories.

7 – Anne of Green Gables

Now there's a face only a Canadian could love.

She is sort of the Canadian version of Pippi Longstocking, in that Anne Shirley has red hair and people have heard of her in other countries.  Originally based on a “Gibson Girl” portrait of Evelyn Nesbitt (the scandalous Girl in the Red Velvet Swing) Anne was a 19th Century orphan from the Maritimes who is sent to work on the Hammond farm when a garbled telegram mistakes her for a boy.  Feisty and adventurous, Anne soon wins over the Hammond family and the people of the small town of Avonlea and has the sort of adventures that Canadian orphans living in the Maritimes have.  Besides the books by Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne has featured in cartoons, TV series, and Japanese Anime, and even became a live, breathing human being when the actress Dawn O’Day (I’m assuming not her real name) played her in a 1934 film, and changed her name to Anne Shirley as a tribute to her own performance.  If you’re Canadian girl, the Little House on the Prairie sucks and you prefer Anne, trust me–I have a daughter.

6 – Bob and Doug McKenzie


Created by Dave Thomas and his brother Ian when they were young lads, the characters debuted on SCTV (played by Dave Thomas and series regular Rick Moranis) when the performers realized the CBC broadcasts were two minutes longer than the American syndicated versions of the show and they needed filler they could easily cut for viewers down south.  As characters INTENDED to be removed from the US broadcasts, the sketches were simply ad-libbed nonsense, making enough references to beer, hockey, bacon, donuts, winter toques and being a “hoser” to please their Canadian audience.  Somehow they became a HUGE international sensation in the 80s, leading to movies, record albums, commercials, an animated TV series, and a delightful cameo in a Disney film as a pair of moose.  They’re not particularly impressive examples of Canadian citizens, but they stand as the most recognized Canadians the world over.

5- Scott Pilgrim


This is the quintessential Canadian comic book hero, so quintessential that he was published in Portland.  Created by Brian Lee O’Malley in 2004, Scott is a hyper-geek comic fan/rock musician and his quest is to beat up the ex-boyfriends of a bike courier he meets one evening, so she will allow him to date her.  If you didn’t see the much praised movie starring Michael Cera in 2010, then you share that distinction with almost everyone else on the planet Earth.  It didn’t make money, but it pleased everyone in my family and that’s all that really mattered.

4 – Johnny Canuck

Pictured on a stamp so we can all lick his backside.

Originally Johnny was a political cartoon character, a bearded lumberjack who hung out with Uncle Sam, John Bull, and other personifications of national spirit.  In the second world war, he became our comic book hero, a fighter pilot who didn’t mind smacking Nazis around with his bare hands (sometimes while wearing a ripped shirt, Doc Savage style!).  His only super-power was the indomitable fighting spirit that lives in all Canadians.  He was revived last year by Moonstone Comics as the lead character in “THE NORTHERN GUARD” a comic series presenting many Golden Age Canadian Super-Heroes in a modern setting.  Of course, it was canceled after a few issues, because no one had heard of him.

3 – Wolverine

art by Gibson Quarter. A CANADIAN!

If you don’t know who Wolverine is, then you simply don’t read comics and aren’t aware of the existence of Canada.  He’s likely our most famous fiction character in comics, and has brought a lot of quite popular Canadian comic characters with him as a result, including DEADPOOL, SABERTOOTH, ALPHA FLIGHT, WENDIGO, and many others.  Other than a string of blockbuster movies, best-selling comics, toys, TV shows, and T-Shirts, he’s not particularly successful.

2 – Dark Claw

Cover art by Bruce Timm, more or less, but swiped by a Canadian.

He’s Wolverine mixed with Batman so he’s even cooler.  Besides having all of Wolverine’s super-powers and popularity, he has a cave and a way-wicked flying car and a sidekick with a yellow cape.  Most importantly, he’s Canadian and has a giant nickel in his underground lair instead of a penny, so by the transitive property rule, he’s five times better than Wolverine.

1- William Shatner

My imaginary friend.

Shatner was a character I dreamed up as a small child to entertain me and the world.  He was (in my imagination) a handsome leading man with an ability to make fun of himself and a need to go out into space and screw green women.  Later, I imagined he was a crazy lawyer and a nutty retired doctor and tough-as-nails police drill sergeant with a fondness for riding on the front hoods of a car.  I even dreamed he starred in a movie my father wrote.  Lately, I’ve discovered that other people share my delusion of a “real” Bill Shatner and they’ve told me that they’ve “met” him.  Too many Molsons and Timbits will do that to you, or too much LDS in the 60s.  Anyway, if people want to believe he’s real, that’s okay with me, just so long as you don’t imagine him out on the wing of a plane in flight.  No one will buy that.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your BONUS Canadian Fictional Characters.  These are the ones that didn’t make the list:

Captain Canada. No, seriously, he was a real thing.

...and not the ONLY Captain Canada either.

Not Captain Canada, but darn close.

If this was TRULY a Canadian drunk, he'd have a Moose Head, a Labatts or a Molsons.

Because he's not polite, people forget he's one of ours.

A Mad Mag Birthday Card and A Lovely Review. How nice.

It’s time for more happy stuff around here, to counter the lousy news of the world.  First off, a couple of days ago, I mentioned it was Al Jaffee’s 90th Birthday, and the gang at Mad was tasked to make Genius Jaffee some gifts and cards.  Here’s mine…

And now…folded in…

Okay, okay…it’s corny, I admit.  But until you’ve tried one, you have NO idea how difficult it is to create a fold-in.  I used to think Jaffee was merely a talented guy, but after trying to walk into his shoes, I cannot conceive of how his brain works –  to be able to come up with these fold-in images month in, month out, for fifty years and every one of them, much cleverer than anything I could do — AHH!

Again Happy Birthday Mr. Jaffee.  Clearly I believe you look like some blinged-out moron’s hairy ears.

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click the image to read a gushing review!

And now, one of the nicer reviews that Northern Guard #2 has gotten this week.  We’ve had a couple of good ones, and some “okay” reviews, (and nary a bad one…yet!).  This one from Ain’t It Cool News, however, went full out drooling happy, and that puts a little whistle in my tune and a spring in my step.

Go HERE to read it.  And when you’re done, stomp down to your retailer and DEMAND he order more copies of the first two issues…(and a TON of the third…) we need a little support for this book…who knew Golden Age Canadian Super-heroes didn’t set the American imagination on fire?  If you like snow, radioactive Russian scientists, fur bikinis, and explosions, we’re your one stop shopping experience.  All that and Johnny Canuck?  Grab your maple syrup and run!

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now, your Al Jaffee Fold-In Moment:

Tom Toles, one of the best political cartoonists of our time, did this wonderful tribute to Mr. Jaffe, May 2008.

If you’re not following the great Tom Toles at the Washington Post, you’re missing out! Oh, and here’s what the ‘toon looks like folded in.

(kts–You can check out more of Tole’s work at the link–the archive links don’t seem to be working at the moment to link to the original cartoon posting).

Northern Guard #2 is out, OFFICIALLY this time.

In the fifteenth quatrain of the eighty-ninth stanza of the Complete Prophesies of Nostradamus,  the great seer wrote:  “and shall the beaver, after long delay/find distribution through the patterns of diamond/unto the shops therein/the second week of March”.

Only a fool would argue with Nostradamus.  So it’s OFFICIALLY OUT ON WEDNESDAY! Northern Guard #2 (featuring Golden Age Canadian Superheroes JOHNNY CANUCK and FREELANCE) is hitting the stands, it’s kicking the stands, and it’s slapping the fans around a bit, too.  Don’t just take my word for it, check these  sample pages with art by David J. Cutler and K.T. Smith to whet the appetite of the most discerning reader and wet the beds of the most scardy-cat ones.

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How can Moonstone Books cram that much action into one comic?  It must include science and wizardry.  I know I’m running out to buy a copy just to find out how they did it!

The excitement is overwhelming me, I have to sit down.

Ty the Guy OUT!

Here now,  your shameless Plug Moment:

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 DECEMBER 15 2010

Yeah, yeah, this was originally written and published in November. November 23 2010 to be precise. But life happens…plans change, especially plans of publishers and printers. Both these books were delayed from their original release date, but it’s been confirmed that they will really truly be in stores tomorrow, Wednesday December 15 2010. So, read this re-post quickly…then off you go.

SHAMELESS PLUG BLOG

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.

 

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:

Holy COW! One Hundred Thousand?!?

Rich Chocolately Goodness

I’ve been VERY bad about blogging the last week or so.  It’s entirely because I’ve been VERY busy, drawing some covers, writing some scripts and working on some interior pages…the last two weeks, everything I owe publishers is late, and I’m working 15 hour days, which means, dear, dear readers I’ve had to slack off on this VERY fun, but VERY unpaid blog.  Don’t worry, that will all settle out in a few days, with luck.

But in the meantime, I’m beyond thrilled to announce that it seems the blog is working.  I started sporadically blogging after the start in Septeber, and with more regularity and intention in January, and started the Saturday Webcomic in March, and you guys seem to have shown up to read ‘em.  Two days ago I discovered that this blog passed the one hundred thousand mark in readers, and that tickles the hell out of me.

Now, obviously, I’m aware it’s not 100,000 individual readers, I know the difference between a visit and a unique visitor.  Our UNIQUE numbers are down in the twenty thousand range, which means folks are coming back after they’ve been here once or twice.

So thanks for showing up.  Sorry it’s been a little sparse the last few days.  I’ll be back to regular blogging by the start of next week, and on Saturday, you ALWAYS  get the webcomic, even if I have to stay awake for 48 hours in a row.

And since I’m here, and since I’m the only one who has a copy of this cover with THIS logo, I’m showing off one of the many projects that are taking me away from this blog.

Hands up if you know who Johnny Canuck is...

It’s been announced on Moonstone Books at this point, but not around here, so I gets to announce.  The ALL-NEW Johnny Canuck comic book is coming out this November.   Moonstone is reviving the CANADIAN super-heroes from the Golden Age, and I’m writing and editing the project and another fellow Canadian (DAVID J. CUTLER) is drawing it.   David is a graduate of some of the comic book courses I teach, and WOW, are you going to be impressed with his work when you see it this fall!  He’s going to be BIG!  Big, I tell you!  (I’d like to pretend I taught him everything he knows, but he was already disturbingly skilled when I met him…)

For those who don’t live in Canada and aren’t in the know, we had our own comic industry in the forties, during the war paper shortages, featuring such characters as Johnny Canuck, Nelvana, Freelance and others.  The art and writing in the “Canadian Whites” (so named because there was no interior colours, just black and white) was fairly spectacular, and the characters created are uniformly entertaining, and as a proud Canadian, I’m delighted to be involved in bringing ‘em back to a modern audience.

Moonstone’s Joe Gentile has been very supportive of the project, but was concerned that American audiences will have never heard of Johnny Canuck and his pals, and asked me to change the logo and name of the series to work for a buyer who never heard of the Canadian Whites.  I utterly see his point, but this patriotic Canadian is so in love with the Johnny Canuck character that I can’t help but show off THIS version of the cover (painted by the amazing Jason Edmiston) with the original logo.

I’ll show off the new logo and title tomorrow, along with a REALLY fun story of the gig I got last week that may well be the happiest job offer I have ever received….(how’s THAT for a teaser?!?)

Again, thanks for showing up and making the hit counter rock 100,000 hits in the last few months.  It’s very gratifying to know you like me as LEAST as much as Sally Field.  (Wow, is that a dated reference!)

Ty the Guy

UPDATE: in the Comments, Scott Dutton has been kind enough to direct us to his site where he’s giving some Canadian Whites away for FREE! FREE I tell you!

Nepotism Thursday! Apples, Trees and Original Sin!

It’s my son’s 14th Birthday today, so naturally it’s time for another “NEPOTISM THURSDAY!” (which falls on a Wednesday this month,  quite common, I assure you).  But because the kid’s going to get lots of expensive gadgets and free food later, I’m going to talk instead about the cartooning work of my father, Charles “Chuck” Templeton, and how far apples fall from trees.  So THERE, beloved son!

Just a quick tease this time out, with a couple of Dad’s sports pieces, scanned from the original art that hangs on my wall and from clippings…Chuck had a  regular cartoon gig for the  Toronto Globe and Mail in the 30s (*actually, when Charles was 17.  By 21, he started his career as an evangelist.  kts),  for about four or five years in what was Dad’s early twenties.  He drew mostly sports,  and some political cartoons with both a remarkable skill for likeness, and a playful skill for comedy.

I had no real sense of my father’s illustrating and cartooning work until after he died.  And though he taught me one or two things about proportion and how to hold a pencil when I was very young, it was nothing like professional secrets or anything.  And since his work was all printed and packed away decades before I was born, I saw almost none of it, until it was entrusted to me when he passed away.

So, what that amazed me most about his work once I got to see a lot of a it at once, is that I see many similar things to my own style in there.  Similar compositional methods, similar lettering even, and the basic skills are in the same zone, though in different styles for different generations.

Considering how little he taught me about the biz, and how little of his work I saw growing up, how freaking odd that there are so many similarities.  My parents were divorced, and I was raised by my mother, so it’s not a question of nurture…  Is there a GENETIC component to an artist’s aesthetic?

YEESH?!?

More of my father’s work to come in future weeks.  I’ve got stacks of it, and much of it is very good.  PLUS, it’s a nice slice of history for the Canadian Comics Corner buffs out there…including Mr. Pincombe.  As for me, I’m off to teach my comic book bootcamp course tonight, and maybe buy my teenaged son a slice of cake, and sing.

NEXT:  How I turned down sitting on an upcoming panel with Stan Lee and Harvey Pekar next week, (I’m an idiot), and the stirrings of JOHNNY CANUCK!  Oh, so exciting!

Ty the Guy!

Speaking of Johnny Canuck…

The very talented David Cutler posted a sneak peek of promo art he did for Johnny Canuck...