The 2015 Joe Shuster Awards were presented on the 18th at the first Forest City Comic Con in London, ON. All the winners are below, but of note, Doris SLater, the first prominent female Canadian cartoonist became the first woman inducted into the Shuster Hall of Fame.
OUTSTANDING ARTIST / Dessinateur
ADRIAN ALPHONA for Ms. Marvel (Marvel Comics)
OUTSTANDING CARTOONIST/ Auteur
BRYAN LEE O’MALLEY for Seconds – A Graphic Novel (Random House Canada)
OUTSTANDING COVER ARTIST/ Dessinateur Couvertures
OUTSTANDING WEBCOMICS CREATOR / Créateur de Bandes Dessinées Web
NICOLE CHARTRAND for Fey Winds (A Fantasy Webcomic) (Above)
OUTSTANDING WRITER / Scénariste
MARIKO TAMAKI for This One Summer (Groundwood Books)
Gene Day Award (Self-Publishers) / Prix Gene Day (Auto-éditeurs)
Named after the late Howard Eugene Day (1951-1982), this award honours Canadian comic book creators or creative teams who self-published their work but did not have the books distributed by a third party such as Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc.
JAMES EDWARD CLARK for Evil #3
The Dragon Award (Comics for Kids) / Le Prix Dragon (Bandes Dessinées pour Enfants)
This award recognizes the works which capture the attention and fascination of young readers, and help to create a passion for life-long reading. Works considered for this award are comic books and graphic novels by Canadian creators that are targeted at readers 14 and under. Nominees for this award are selected by a team of educators led by Jennifer Haines, MA, B.Ed., who is also the proprietor of Guelph, Ontario’s The Dragon comic book shop.
AGENT JEAN! TOMES 6 ET 7 par ALEX A. (Presses Aventure)
Harry Kremer Award (Retailers) / Prix Harry Kremer (Détaillants)
Named after Harry Kremer, the original owner and founder of Now & Then Books (in Kitchener, Ontario. Kremer was one of Canada’s first comic book shop owners and a highly regarded patron of comic arts.
AMAZING STORIES (Saskatoon, SK)
The T.M. Maple Award / Prix T.M. Maple
The T.M. Maple Award will go to someone (living or deceased) selected from the Canadian comics community for achievements made outside of the creative and retail categories who have had a positive impact on the community and are named after the pen name of prolific letter writer and fan Jim Burke of Toronto.
MICHAEL HIRSH (1948-) AND PATRICK LOUBERT (1947-)
– Authors of the book The Great Canadian Comic Books, published in 1971, which looked primarily at the Canadian Whites, comics published in Canada during World War II. Hirsh and Loubert acquired the Bell Features archives and reprint rights for the comics, which included Nelvana of the Northern Lights and Johnny Canuck, from Bell’s capital investor John Ezrin. The archives included copies of the comics, original artwork and more which were used as the foundation for the book. It was followed by a two-year touring gallery exhibit ‘Comic Art Traditions in Canada, 1941-45.’ They would go on to form animation studio Nelvana, Ltd. (named after Adrian Dingle’s character) with Clive Smith and would later donate the material from Bell Features to the National Archives where they reside to this day, preserving part of our national comics heritage. Without their efforts, recent collections of Adrian Dingle’s Nelvana and Leo Bachle’s Johnny Canuck would not have been possible.
ROBERT CHARPENTIER (1960-2014)
– Rob or Bob as he was known to his friends and customers, was a long-time fixture on the Toronto comics scene as a comics retailer and fan. At his Danforth Avenue store Shining Knight Comics, later rebranded Comics & More, Bob believed strongly that the local comics shop should be active in, and support the local community. He sponsored many local teams, schools and young people’s organizations. In the summer of 2014 he was diagnosed with brain cancer and began treatment, but succumbed to the disease in late 2014, he was 54 years old.
Canadian Comic Book Creator Hall of Fame / Temple de la renommée Créateur Canadien de Bandes Dessinées
DORIS SLATER (1918-1964)
Doris Slater of Chatham and later Toronto, Ontario attended the Ontario College of art in the late 1930’s, and was hired by brother-in-law Ted McCall at Anglo-American Comics to work on the first issues of Grand Slam Comics and Three Aces Comics for which she drew characters like Pat the Air Cadet and Martin Blake, The Animal King. In the fall of 1944 Doris made arrangements to draw scripts from Pat Joudry’s popular CBC radio show “Penny’s Diary” for Bell Features’ Active Comics 29-26. Around this time she also married popular Canadian crooner Russ Titus and soon had two children Robin and Patricia. The marriage did not last long as Titus moved to England to pursue an entertainment career under the name Larry Cross. After the decline of the Canadian comics industry, Doris drew commercially for magazines and children’s books and did murals. She would move to teaching, and taught art in Brantford and later Ottawa. In 1964, Doris Titus was killed in head on collision. Her daughter Patti, who was in the back seat, survived the accident. Doris Slater/Titus was 56, and is recognized as Canada’s first female comic book creator.
JAMES WALEY (1951-)
James Waley was the publisher, editor-in-chief, and sometimes writer, artist and colourist of Orb Magazine, a quality black and white magazine-sized anthology, which could be found on Canadian newsstands between 1974 and 1976. Orb lasted six issues. With it, Jim provided readers with some of the most sophisticated comic book stories available anywhere while giving a start to many young creators, many of whom would become the finest Canadian comic artists and writers of their generation. He also co-created Canadian superhero the Northern Light, who debuted in Orb and would later appear in the American publication Power Comics. Waley’s many other subsequent accomplishments include writing for Heavy Metal, creating a comic from scratch for Charlton, filling the Propeller Gallery with art by prominent Toronto comic book artists, running the monthly one-day convention “Supershow” for many years at the Ontario College of Art, and being instrumental in developing the Joe Shuster Award as co-founder and instigator of the idea of a Canadian comic book award.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.