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.

Story Requirements

1. Each story will be black-and-white, and can range from 2-20 pages in length, though needs to be an even number of pages (2, 4, 6, 8, etc.).

2. Each story must either take place in Canada (whether a Canada of the past, present, or future) or feature a clearly Canadian protagonist (or both).

3. The story must be about a hero. Superheroes are the obvious choices, but not the only one. The protagonist could be a hard-boiled detective, grizzled soldier, noble police officer or firefighter, ancient aboriginal warrior, adventurer of the far future, Flash-Gordon-esque figure thrown into a fantasy world, or something else entirely, as long as the protagonist can still be classified as a hero. The person could be an historical figure, such as a prime minister, famous Mountie, or early Canadian explorer. It could even be about a group of heroes rather than just a single one.

4. Unlike with many other anthologies, all the stories in All-Canadian Comics will exist in the same world (though characters can certainly inhabit the far past or future of that world or find themselves flung from that world into fantasy realms). All the creators will keep the rights to their own characters, though a contributor will be allowed to refer to other contributors’ characters in his or her own story (a prominent guest appearance will require the permission of the contributor in question). To facilitate this, everyone will create their heroes before creating their stories, giving the other contributors an opportunity to incorporate other people’s characters in their own works.

5. As mentioned previously, the editors are especially interested in stories that explore social issues facing Canada or are told from the perspectives of minorities, be they heroes of ethnic minorities, heroes of non-hetero sexuality, heroes of particularly faiths, heroes dealing with various mental issues (such as clinical depression or autism), or other heroes who are for whatever reason outside the norm. That said, the book will also feature light-hearted tales to counterbalance the more introspective ones, and if you want to tell some grand adventure with no message beyond that of excitement and fun, then by all means send it to us, and we will be delighted to take a look.

The World of All-Canadian Comics

The Earth designated “Earth-M4PL3” by the Auditors of the Multiverse is very much like our own in several prominent ways. However, it differs in the incredible amount of superpowered beings that make their home within that sphere. Magic, bizarre science, alien visitations, psychic manifestations, and metahumans all play a prominent role in the world, and in the 20th and 21st-century, many of these individuals have put on costumes to either protect the world or threaten it. Though the United States has a particular large amount of such beings, other countries possess them as well, including Canada.

Visit here to learn more about Earth-M4PL3.

Submitting for the Anthology

Because of the shared world nature of this anthology, the submission process will contain a variety of steps, each with its own separate deadline.

As mentioned previously, May 5 is the deadline for initial character profiles. At that time, we’ll need from you:

1. A brief one sentence synopsis or “elevator pitch” of your story.

2. A character profile of your protagonist. This should include the character’s name, base of operations, appearance general background, superpowers (if relevant), special skills, and special equipment (if relevant), as well as anything else you feel is important. The profile should also be accompanied by a drawing. If the creator wishes to make more characters available to other contributors, he or she can include profiles of supporting heroes or villains, though at least one profile is required. To give you an example, here are sample profiles for my three protagonists: Johnny Canuck, Ikniqpalagaq, and the Loon.

 3. Your name, phone number, email, and a few sentences about who you are. For this anthology, we are only taking submissions from creators who either currently live or have lived for a while in Canada. Tell us where you’re from so we know if you’re eligible.

4. Artists, we need to see samples of previous, finished, sequential art. That means comics. We need proof that you know how to compose pages for the medium. This could be as simple as a link to a website with your sample pages on it, or as complex as a printed portfolio.

5. Writers, we need to see samples of your storytelling ability. This could be the script for this submission, the script for a previous comic story, or something from another storytelling medium (such as television or pure prose).

The other two deadlines are:

1. June 20, Story. At this time, we will need a script, or script-like entity showing your entire story. Whatever form your script takes, whether it be screenplay or thumbnailed drawings, it needs to be legible and include the full dialogue of the story and the panel break-downs with an approximate page count.

2. September 10, Completed Comics. This is when the final pages will be due.

We are also open to submissions of scripts from writers who don’t have an artist and art samples from artists who don’t have a writer, but it is sometimes hard for us to match up artists and writers. Therefore, it often works best to have your whole team ready during the submission process.

To contact us about the project, either email Cloudscape Comics or speak with Bevan Thomas at one of Cloudscape’s Wednesday meetings (7:30 PM at the Grind Cafe, Vancouver).

Golden Age Canadian Superheroes

In the 1940s, Canada had its own thriving comic industry with its own superheroes, and many of the stories and characters in All-Canadian Comicspay homage to these “Canadian whites” (the term for the 40s black-and-white Canadian comics). Certainly  you are under no obligation to be influenced by the 40s comics in your own submissions, but if you wish to learn more about them, you can visit 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

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