First off, I was hoping to have this post up on Canada Day this year — but I’ve been knee deep in my webblog redesing — so we’re just a little late, but that shouldn’t matter too much. Growing up, I discovered comics young — 5 or 6 years old — and I have been enthralled with them ever since. When I was a kid, my mom would drag me (not literally) shopping with her and we would often go to discount department stores to pick up household wares and other items. Back in the day, Bargain Harold’s and Biway were two such department stores in Toronto that we frequented. I would head immediately to the toy area of the store and hang out there while my mom shopped. I would check in with her, and she would check in with me, so all was well. A staple of those toy departments were always three pack bags of Captain Canuck comics. I loved them. This was the first superhero, that I was aware of at such a young age, that was exclusively Canadian! Of course I would later discover Marvel Comic‘s characters Wolverine and Alpha Flight but Captain Canuck was different than those other titles. It was created by Canadians, it took place in Canada, and I recognized many of the locales depicted in the book; which was a nice change of pace from always reading about places I had never been like New York City, Gotham City, or Metropolis.
The title was self published by creators Richard Comely and Ron Leishman under the publication banner of Comely Comix. It was a short run, lasting only 14 issues and a Summer Special, and ended its initial run at some point in the mid-1980’s. From 1980 until the end of the 1980’s, the character also appeared regularly in his own comic strip in the Winnipeg Tribune newspaper.
Here are some factoids on the original Captain Canuck:
Real Name: Tom Evans
Identity/Class: Mutated Human
Occupation: Government Agent
Enemies: Bluefox, Mr.Gold, the Stygian
Base of Operations: Canada
Powers/Abilities: Super-strength and Super-speed
First Appearance: Captain Canuck #1 (Comely Comix, July 1975)
Really Brief Origin: Former Mountie, Tom Evans went camping with some Boy Scouts in the woods (not making this up). When the young campers become separated and lost from Tom, he goes in search of them. He finds them trapped in a beam of light originating from an alien space ship. Tom rushes to rescue them –gets whammied by the aliens with another ray beam — and voila~! — super powers! He rescues the kids, joins a Government agency and becomes a superhero. Over the years the Government agency is dissolved, and Evans finances his crime fighting career by selling his exploits to a comic book company (this was kind of a thing in the 1980’s I think, because Captain America also had a stint in his own title were he was illustrating his own exploits in a comic book). Tom Evans eventually receeded into semi-retirement, and in 1993 and 2004 (respectively)two others would adopt the costumed visage of Captain Canuck having been inspired by Evan’s comic book adventures of the maple leaf adorned hero.
First Series Cover Gallery:
These newer incarnations bore a few similarities with Tom Evans but he is still the quintessential Captain Canuck. As the books were produced and released through a self-publishing houses, publication of the titles were all over the map for many years. In the mid 1990’s I saw an issue of Captain Canuck Reborn on the shelves, but I wasn’t aware of the 2004 title and thought the character was lost to history.
A friend of mine from waaay back, Hollie, whom I’ve recently reacquainted with on Facebook — introduced me to the Indiegogo campaign by some people that she is associated with, looking to raise money for a new Captain Canuck animated web series.
CAPTAIN CANUCK – Animated Web Series Teaser:
CAPTAIN CANUCK – Animated Web Series Episode 1:
CAPTAIN CANUCK – Animated Web Series Episode 2:
CAPTAIN CANUCK – Animated Web Series Episode 3:
CAPTAIN CANUCK – Animated Web Series Episode 4:
CAPTAIN CANUCK – Animated Web Series Episode 5:
Hey Look! It’s My Contribution Credit! Yay!:
The gang behind this venture at SMILEY GUY STUDIOS are all hard working chaps with day jobs, and they’re working on this after hours — on free time — weekends — and they’re putting forth a good fund raising effort to make this cartoon a possibility. I thought “good on them” – plus I wanted to see this happen, so I made a contribution. It was cool to see my name in the credits as a contributor (not gonna lie). Just adds to the fun for me. As far as the finished product goes, it was released to contributors and a special viewing was held at Silver Snail Comics in downtown Toronto. I thought the first episode was well done. great voice-over work; the art is clean, and simple, and does the trick. Plus, it has some clever humour in it; which if you are not paying attention you could miss it. I’m looking forward to watching the remaining animated webisodes and I’m glad that the character has found a new renaissance on the web.