Superman, Wolverine and – Nelvana? Canadian superheroes celebrated at new exhibition

Written by admin on 16/11/2018 Categories: 老域名购买

Library and Archives Canada is jumping on the superhero bandwagon this month, unveiling an exhibition featuring Canadian comic book heroes just as another Marvel Studios blockbuster lands in theatres.

You won’t see Black Widow or Iron Man, who star in Captain America: Civil War, featured in the colourful displays in the lobby of the national archives building, but there are plenty of other faces that most Canadians will recognize.

Among them: Superman, who was co-created by Toronto-born artist Joe Shuster, and Wolverine (aka James Howlett), who hailed from north of the border in the X-Men comics.

WATCH: Did you know comic books depicting crime are illegal in Canada?

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The exhibit’s curator, Meaghan Scanlon, said she hopes her project will also help introduce the public to some lesser-known Canadian heroes — and artists.

“There are some extremely talented Canadian comic book artists and some really interesting content and characters that I’d like people to know more about,” said Scanlon. “[Library and Archives Canada] has great comic book collections.”

READ MORE: 10 fun facts about Superman’s Canadian ties

Canadian superheroes arguably had their most prominent place in popular culture during the Second World War. The government passed a law in 1940 that banned the importation of certain luxury goods from the United States, including comic books, so Canadian comic book publishers “sort of sprang up into business to fill the void,” Scanlon explained.

“During the war there was a kind of a boom with characters like Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Johnny Canuck, Dixon of the Mounted and then Canada Jack. All of these characters are fairly obscure.”

Dixon of the Mounted was a character created by E.T. Legault who starred in the first seven issues of Active Comics, beginning in 1942.

Monique Muise/Global News

In the decades after the war, Captain Canuck became the best-known Canadian in tights. There was also a full, Avengers-style team of Canadian heroes dubbed Alpha Flight, who were created by writer John Byrne and had their own Marvel comic series that ran from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s.

More modern heroes like DC’s Equinox, a Canadian Cree girl, have since been imagined by illustrators. Graphic novels like Jeff Lemire’s Essex County and francophone comics like Pierre Fournier’s satirical Capitaine Kébec are also given a nod in the exhibition.

DC heroine Equinox was created in 2014 by Canadian Jeff Lemire. Equinox is a Cree girl from Moose Factory. ON.

Monique Muise/Global News

One Canadian-born superhero who didn’t make the cut was Deadpool (aka Wade Wilson), who was recently brought to life on the big screen by Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds.

Scanlon admits she had a personal bias on that front.

“I’m going to get in trouble for saying this, but I am not a Deadpool fan,” she said, laughing.

Look, but don’t touch

The exhibition at Library and Archives Canada will be open to the public in the building’s lobby (395 Wellington St.) starting on Thursday. The overarching theme is “Comics and Canadian Identity,” and while the displays feature reproductions of the covers of many comic books and graphic novels, the original source material won’t be there to view.

Nelvana is a Canadian superhero who protects the Inuit of Canada’s North and their lands.

Monique Muise/Global News

Scanlon explained that it would have been too difficult to secure the rarer comic books in the lobby, and some of them would have been damaged by something as simple as the sunlight streaming into the building.

“Particularly the older comics, the World War II-era stuff, are printed on really cheap paper. Light exposure does not do them any favours.”

But, she added, members of the public who are researching Canadian comic books are always welcome to come in and consult the archive material.

The walls of the lobby at Library and Archives Canada are plastered with superheroes starting this week.

Monique Muise/Global News

For more information on the exhibition, click here.

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