superheroes


Cloudscape Call for Submissions: "Epic Canadiana" Cover Gallery

Epic Canadiana #2, Cloudscape’s second anthology of Canadian superheroes, will be coming out later this year, and we want it to include a gallery of fake superhero comic book covers. If you’re interested in being a part of Cloudscape’s latest anthology, send in your design!

The deadline for all covers is May 1st. Send all submissions and questions to Bevan Thomas at [email protected] Anyone who lives in or has lived in Canada is free to submit.

What We Want
A cover of a Canadian comic that never existed. The image should include a title, cover price, and all the other things required for a comic cover. The hypothetical comic could be from any appropriate time period – modify the general look and price accordingly (such as a comic supposedly from the 1960s having a 10 c price).

The cover image must include at least one hero or villain. The characters featured on the cover could be already established members of the Epic Canadiana “world” or could be entirely new characters. They could also be historical Canadian figures (such as a crime-fighting Prime Minister Mackenzie King). Either the cover should be depicting a place somewhere in Canada or the characters themselves should be Canadian (or both).

Page Format
The page should be 300 dpi. It should be in black-and-white (gray shades are acceptable).

1. Full Bleed Size: 7 inches wide x 10.5 inches high
These are the dimensions that the page files you send to us MUST be.

2. Trimmed Size: 6.75 x 10.25
This is the size that your comic will be after it has been printed and trimmed.

3. Live Area: 6.25 x 9.75

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Canadian Superhero Anthology Looking for Submissions

Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy

Tesseracts, a long-running series of SF anthologies published by EDGE Science Fiction & Fantastic Publishing, has announced an open call for its 19th book, and its theme is an intriguing one:

“Superheroes! Supervillains! Superpowered antiheroes. Super scientists. Adventurers into the unknown. Costumed crimefighters. Mutant superterrorists. Far-future supergroups. Crusading aliens in a strange land. Secret histories of covert superspies … and more! We want to see any and all permutations of the superhero genre. Any genre-mashing goes: alternate history, crime, horror, romance, SF, fantasy, surrealism; we want a variety of tones, approaches, subgenres, cultural perspectives, etc. We’re interested in submissions where Canadian setting (a specific city, region, or province) plays a role, but we’re open to other types of stories, too, set anywhere in the world, the universe, or the multiverse!”

The anthology is co-edited by Mark Shainblum, creator of the classic Canadian superhero Northguard.

Note that this is a regular fiction anthology, not comics. Payment for short stories is $50 for stories up to 1,500 words, rising to a maximum of $150 for stories up to 5,000 words, and $160.00 for stories up to 6,000 words. Payment for poetry is $20.00 for each poem, up to a maximum of 2 pages in length. Deadline for all submissions is February 2, 2015. For more information, visit Superhero Universe: Tesseracts Nineteen.


Collecting Classic Canadian Comic Characters

Brok Windsor

Johnny Canuck

As we mentioned before, a few enterprising individuals are publishing impressive anthologies that collect the adventures of classic Canadian superheroes. The first collection focused on Nelvana of the Northern Lights, perhaps Canadian’s most well-known hero from the Golden Age of Comics, and now they’ve started kickstarter campaigns for two other iconic classic Canadian heroes: Johnny Canuck, Canada’s intrepid hero of WWII, and Brok Windsor, Flash Gordon-esque explorer of the magical Land Beyond the Mists.

Interested in discovering more about the rip-roaring adventures of Canada’s Golden Age? Then show your support at:

Johnny Canuck Kickstarter

Brok Windsor Kickstarter

They’re fascinating pieces of Canadian pop culture history. They’re fascinating comics too. Go take a look!


Canadiana Comics: Files of Number None

canadaAs some of you know, I’m putting together an anthology of Canadian superhero comics. The final section of the book is to be the “Number None Files,” the supposed files of Number None, a fictional division of the Canadian government that monitors superhumans. This section would include bios of various superheroes and supervillains, in the manner of “DC’s Who’s Who,” “Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe,” Cloudscape’s bestiary in “Giants of Main Street,” and so forth.

Your character can be a superhero or a supervillain; it can be someone with superpowers, super-technology, or just an iconic gimmick. It can be from the past, the present, or the future. It could be a street-level crimefighter, a superspy, the champion of a dying fantasy world, or anything you like. All that is required is that your character be either born in Canada, currently operating in Canada, or both.

If you’re interesting in creating a character, then send me a black-and-white full body image of the figure with 4 length x 6 height image proportions as well as info about the hero or villain. The info can be in note form, as I’ll be writing all of the entries up together so they have a cohesive style. For information, include the characters’ name (both names of they have a secret identity), alter ego (if relevant), base of operations (city, province, etc.), origin, most important deeds, superpowers and technology,  and anything else it would be important to know.

Deadline for submissions is March 7th. Send all submissions to me, Bevan Thomas, at [email protected].

All the best,

-Bevan


All-Canadian Heroes 2

So I’m currently putting together the roster for the graphic novel anthology All-Canadian Comics, and have been sent a wide variety of heroes, all compelling and all very Canadian.

Here’s a sample of the ones we have so far:

[nggallery id=73]
  1. Johnny Canuck (by Bevan Thomas and Jeff Ellis): Canada’s living legend, who helped drive back the Nazis in World War II and now returns to confront modern foes.
  2. The Loon II (by Bevan Thomas and Jeff Ellis): The scourge of the Montreal underworld, a mysterious lunatic vigilante with unknown ties to the Loon of the 1940s.
  3. E. Pauline Johnson (by Shannon Campbell and Reetta Linjama): One of Canada’s first national poets, who in this universe was a prominent reporter of BC superhumans at the dawn of the 20th century.
  4. Ikniqpalagaq (by Bevan Thomas and Jeri Weaver): Half-human daughter of the North Wind, guardian of the Arctic and all its secrets.
  5. The Energy Trader (by Morgan Wolf and Cody Andreasen): Mild-mannered Torontonian transformed by an evil corporation into an energy conduit.
  6. Canada Jacques (by Bevan Thomas and Ksenia Kozhevnikova): Perhaps the first Metis gay-activist superhero.

There’s still room for more!


Calling All Canadian Heroes!

Cloudscape wants YOU for All-Canadian Comics, an anthology of Canadian-focused heroism, many inspired by classic Canadian comics from the Golden Age of Comic Books. Many of the characters in this anthology will be superheroes, those with special powers or skills who have adopted larger-than-life personas to confront injustice and evil. However, other kinds of Canadians heroes will also be featured: adventurers, explorers, men and women of exceptional character and dedication. Stories that deal with various Canadian social issues or minorities (ethnic or psychological) are encouraged, as are stories that explore what it means to be Canadian or what it means to be a hero.

This will be an on-line publication in “ebook” format, so no physical books will be produced. Contributors will keep the rights to their individual characters and stories. Contributors will not be paid an initial fee for their story, but will receive a percentage of the ebook sales.

Deadline for initial character submissions and story profiles will be May 5.

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Calling All Canadian Heroes! Your Country Needs You!

Cloudscape wants YOU for All-Canadian Comics, an anthology of Canadian-focused heroism inspired by classic Canadian comics from the Golden Age of Comic Books. Many of the characters in this anthology will be superheroes, those with special powers or skills skills who have adopted larger-than-life personas to confront injustice and evil. However, other kinds of Canadians heroes will also be featured: adventurers, explorers, men and women of exceptional character and dedication. Stories that deal with various Canadian social issues or minorities (ethnic or psychological) are encouraged, as are stories that explore what it means to be Canadian or what it means to be a hero.

The exact format of All-Canadian Comics has not yet been selected. The amount of people who are interested in contributing to the project will greatly determine this. One thing that has already been decided is that the anthology will be an “ebook” publication, so no physical books will be produced.

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Super-Why?

by Jonathon Dalton

If you spend as much time on the internet as I do, you’ve probably seen a lot of frustration lately on the subject of superheroes, particularly regarding DC Comics’ recent relaunch. Even when I was a regular superhero reader DC was never my thing, so I’ll leave it to others to respond to the New 52. But lately, a lot of the blogs I’ve been reading end with a question: “Why read superheroes at all? Why is this a genre that anyone should care about, or feel the least bit invested in?”

I understand that sentiment. I’ve bought maybe one mainstream superhero comic book in the last eight years, and gave up on my last subscription about ten years ago. The constant cycle of relaunches and restarts, of which the New 52 is only the latest in an industry tradition, had a lot to do with my decision. In the past eight years, I haven’t run out of fantastic NON-superhero comics to read. But all the same, I have to say that throwing superheroes out altogether is the wrong response to the DC fallout. Superheroes aren’t the problem. Superheroes could be so good if only they were done right.

Rather than heap negativity on an industry already eager to eat itself alive, I want to do the opposite. I want to give you my personal recipe for how to make good superhero stories. I want to tell you why superheroes are great, why I first fell in love with superheroes, not just with the comics medium, way back in 1991, and maybe why it’s the smelly bath water that needs to be thrown out, not the baby who spawned it.
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Golden-Age Superheroes

Johnny Canuck

One of Canada's greatest heroes

The Golden Age of superhero comics existed from the end of the 1930s to the beginning of the 1950s, with the bulk of it revolving around World War II. Superheroes have never been as popular since. There was something about the second War to End All Wars that made the general population respond to the superhero aesthetic in a way they haven’t done since. While now the superhero comic medium is defined by two monolithic companies (Marvel and DC), in the 40s there were countless companies all coming out with their own characters. Canada even had a viable comic book industry due to a wartime ban on various American imports. This resulted in the genre of comics known as “Canadian Whites” (so-called because they were published in black-and-white) and resulted in the creation of such classic figures as two-fisted military hero Johnny Canuck, bloodthirsty vigilante the Penguin, and powerful goddess Nelvana of the North.

Sadly, virtually all Canada comic companies vanished just after the war, when it became legal to again send American comics north of the 49th parallel.

Though it is a great shame that so many comic book companies vanished after the Golden Age, particularly the Canadian ones, it does mean that a huge percentage of classic comic books are now public domain, and thus can be freely distributed, and their characters adapted into new stories for the new millennium. There is something incredibly exciting about being able to take the greatest Canadian superheroes of World War II and spin new tales for them, creating something grand with the figures who fascinated our young forefathers.

Information on various characters, Canadian Whites and otherwise, can be found at the following websites:

1. International Superheroes: A detailed online encyclopedia of superheroes from all over the world. It includes a large section for Canadian heroes, including most of the Golden Age ones.

2. Public Domain Super Heroes: A wikia cataloging all the heroes in various mediums who have fallen into the public domain, including many Canadian Whites.

While public domain Golden Age comics can be read at these sites:

1. Digital Comic Museum: An extensive and rapidly growing database of Golden Age comics from America, Britain, and Canada that can be downloaded for viewing pleasure.

2. Golden Age Comics: A similar database of downloadable public domain comics. It includes many comics that the other lacks and vise versa.

3. Golden Age Canadian Comic Books: A selection of intriguing Canadian comics books from the 40s.

Also there’s an interesting website that analyzes the development of Canadian superheroes:

Guardians of the North

These sites give a fascinating window into a pivotal period in comic book history and into the development of the Canadian comic, and also conjure forth numerous intriguing characters who would be compelling subjects for modern comic stories. Personally, I’ve got a few things planned for some of them….