3 Comic Superheroes You Didn’t See Coming Out As Gay

The LGBT community has become more apparent in the comic world in the recent years. In fact, more and more people have been supporting graphic novels like The Wicked & The Divine, a deity-inspired fantasy comic, and Lumberjanes, a girl-centric all-ages comics that I believe is a little too romantic.

This event is already a breakthrough. However, what I consider to be most important for the LGBT movement in the comic world is when the characters we have loved for decades come out in the open, bold and unafraid. To the fans who have never seen it coming, here are three characters to shock your wits.

1. Northstar

northstar

Jean-Paul Beaubier is a mutant member of Alpha Flight, a group of Canadian superheroes by Marvel. He first appeared in the comics in the late eighties and became a member of the X-men in 2002.

In 1992, he was the first gay superhero ever to come out in the history of American comic books and Marvel Comics. While his appearances after coming out were more carefully done, he was more out of the closet when he comes back to reunite with the X-men.

2. Midnighter

midnighter

When Midnighter first appeared in DC comics in 1998, he was married to another male superhero, Apollo. But what him gayer, and probably the best one so far in the world of comics, were the most recent issues of Midnighter, where he breaks up with Apollo, sleeps with other men and goes all out.

3. Iceman

iceman

Yes, one of the founding members of X-men is gay. In the November 2015 issue of Uncanny X-men, he comes out to his old self.

These three gay superheroes made superheroes more human to me than mutants.…

Read more

3 Reasons Why Comic Books Are Essential Reads to People of All Ages

Many consider buying and reading comics a complete waste of money and time. As the movie industry turn these classic stories into big screen adaptations, people tend to settle just to watch and buy a ticket for convenience and contain themselves with the overall experience from visual effects, sounds, thrill, and suspense. Here are a few factors why you should consider grabbing one.

1. Experience a Completely Different Level of Reading

comic-books14

Comics and graphic novels require immense concentration from readers who would like to get a complete and exact understanding of the storyline. This fact holds true even in storylines which progress into another volume or carry on a lasting predicament to the characters of succeeding plots. The complexity and depth of the content in comics are deeper than the convenience of movie scenes that are just right there in front of you.

When you read comics, your brain needs to digest frames and use imagination to stitch the outcome. Graphic novels and comics are more than just the characters we popularly now such as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, etc. The scene has a universe of its own, and the characters you love are just subpoints webbed into its vast chronicles of myths, theories, history, and forms of literature.

I love the crazy characters made up by comic book authors.  I often wonder where they come up with them.  I was reading a comic about a mutant from the the sewers…..and it made me think of the gook that goes into my garbage disposal after a meal.  Maybe the author was doing dishes one night and was staring at his garbage disposal and came up with the character.  Or maybe he was on a website comparing the best garbage disposals and that inspired him….who knows, but it’s fun to think about.

2. Better Grasp of the Film Adaptation

comic-books10

Have you ever completely understood why Thanos wants to destroy humankind, what happened to Jean Grey and Cyclops, or why the Avengers came to battle among themselves in Civil War? If reading comic books do not apply to you, then you may have answered a big no.

Comic book contains these “missing” pieces of information viewers do not know since some frames or sequences are intentionally removed or altered in the film. They also include the history of the character’s personal life and how they came to be. Your understanding of these films are better expanded, decoded, and will give you the answers and alignment you need.

3. Better Appreciation of Comic Art

comic-books-4

From the calligraphy, narratives, artwork, and illustrations, comic books and graphic novels are unique forms of muted art. They are mediums that contain some of the greatest stories told and untold that goes beyond the genre of movies and our concluded understanding. They have metaphors of real revolutions, holocausts, wars, calamities, and historical events in the world.

If you still think they’re not worth it, go ahead, grab a comic book, and get hooked. No explanations needed.…

Read more

Some of the Most Important Marvel Comic Storylines You Should Know About

We’ve all seen Marvel super heroes and super villains on the big screen that had accumulated millions and millions of revenue for the movie industry. While this is true, most of us have not even bought a single copy of their origin – comics. And maybe only 5 – 15% of the moviegoers put an effort to get their paperback copies to know the story better. So before your mortal life ends, we feel that we owe to let you know some of the best storylines Marvel has published. Now you have the chance to search and look for these fantastic finds yourself.

1. Days of Future Past

comic-books-1

The comic, published in 1981, opens into a cataclysmic societal decline with a dark, frightening future. The United States is taken over by Omega Sentinels programmed to hunt mutants. Many mutants in this timeline are incarcerated in prison camps. So to prevent this from happening, Kitty Pryde now an adult, successfully transfers her mind and consciousness into her younger self in the past. Back in time, the young Kitty Pryde along with other X-men stop the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants assembled by Mystique from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly to prevent their demise in the future.

2. The Coming of Galactus!

comic-books-3

The Silver Surfer begins searching the cosmos for a planet to offer Galactus, his master, to devour. As he travels, he gets close to the earth. But Uatu, the watcher of the solar system, conceals the planet. He decides to appear before Mr. Fantastic to tell him about the intention of the surfer. The surfer investigates the concealment and discovers the planet earth beneath it. He finally calls Galactus and the god-like entity arrives on the Earth announcing his plan to consume everything.

3. The Infinity Gauntlet

comic-books-9

Desperate to get Death’s attention, Thanos, a cosmic superhuman decides to erase half the life in the universe. To do this, he wears his left glove complete with the Infinity Gems to form the Infinity Gauntlet that will enable him to destroy life with a snap of his fingers. The heroes of the Earth start the battle where most of them die. Thanos is later defeated and imprisons many cosmic entities. He then decides to leave his body and become a living embodiment. Little does he know that his progeny, Nebula, will take the Infinity Gauntlet from him. She puts on the gauntlet and reverses the destruction.

If you love these stories, read the comics!…

Read more

Penny’s Diary

Holy Cats!! Happy Valentine’s day everyone! In celebration of the occasion I’m posting an excerpt of the talk I’m giving later today on romance comics. Here it is, details of the talk are at the bottom.

Penny’s Diary was introduced around 1945 and is a cornerstone in Canadian comics history. Similar to Archie comics in style and content, the romance and drama In Penny’s Diary is targeted towards mainly teen girls. The story revolves around consistently lovesick Penny and her less than savoury, but levelheaded best friend, Jeanie.

Penny’s diary is a very interesting comic. Cyril Bell must have recognized the need to appeal to little girls when he published the comic but unfortunately not enough so that he created another line of comics targeted only for girls. Penny first appeared in number 19 of Active Comics. Laughably, Active Comics is generally what you’d expect, specializing in action heroes and sports. Also, during this time no stories were much longer than three or four pages of a book, and most books ranged from about 48 to 64 pages. This meant that poor Penny was wedged between Active Jim and Thunderfist and unfortunately the poor little girls who read them probably either paid a dime for one story or were forced to nick the comic from a brother.

Although Penny’s Diary is by no means a forward thinking comic, that it exists in itself is important. Penny’s diary is a comic for girls written by women, some of the first in the industry, Patricia Joudrey who wrote the script and Doris Slater who did the art. The series was short lived concluding with issue 26, and only marginally preceded the end of the Golden Age of comics in Canada.

If you’re interested in hearing more about Canadian romance and erotica comics, I will be giving a talk on this and more at Library and Archives Canada in Ottawa. The address is 395 Wellington and the talk begins at 7pm. Alternatively, I have given an interview to CBC radio which will be posted online.…

Read more

Orb Magazine

In 1974, the honeymoon of the science fiction and comics marriage, James Waley published Orb Magazine from Toronto, Ontario. This is three years before Andromeda was published, and is very much Andromeda’s predecessor. Both lasted only six issues, featured many of the same artists and writers such as Don Marshall, John Allison, George Henderson, Gene Day, Peter Hsu and Jim Beveridge. They both focused on similar content, that is, science fiction genre common in the alternative comics scene of the 1970s with a touch of the adult themed including nudity and other mature content.

The comic has more to give in the way of just science fiction. This is the magazine that is known to produce one of the many Canadian national superheroes, Northern Light. Originally scripted by an American for an American audience, the character was adapted for the Canadian magazine. Later, James Waley resumed writing duties for the character, but, like his many brethren in red and white, the character was very short lived.

Norther Light wasn’t the only regular story line in the magazine. There was also the Electric Warrior, Kadaver and Dark Ninja. This magazine did also feature some coloured pages, mainly those given to Northern Light. Never fewer than 50 pages per issue, some contain more than 10 in colour. The series ran from July 1974 until April 1976.

The Ride: Stanley BernecheOrb 1 – 1974

  • The Astounding Origin of Kadaver: James Waley
  • Devil’s Triangle: John Allison
  • Belial: Paul McCusker
  • Meta-Morphosis: Alexander Emond
  • Whirls of a Numb-a; Matt Rust

Orb 2 – July 1974

  • Plague: Gene Day
  • Galactic Queen: Paul Savard and John Allison (Script) Paul Savard (Pencils) Gene Day (Inks)
  • Musical Roulette: Ronn Sutton
  • The Seeker: Matt Rust
  • The Guardian of Mars (Northern Light): T Casey Brennan (Script) John Allison (Art)
  • No-Man’s Land: Paul McCuscker
  • Salvation: James Waley
  • Reeve Perry: Bruce Bezaire
  • Small Talk:

Orb 3 – December 1974

  • Lepers: Paul McCuscker
  • Half-Life: John Allison
  • Cheezy-Nuggets: Alexander Emond
  • Super-Student: Ken Steacy
  • Northern Light: The Lone Guardian Strikes: T. Casey Brennan (Script) Jim Craig (Art) Matt Rust (Colours) and James Waley (Colours)
  • Escape the Truth: Richard Robertson
  • Karkass: Matt Rust
  • A Shroud of Tattered Grey!: Gene Day
  • The Rescue of Raniff The Fair: Ronn Sutton

Orb 4 – November December 1975

  • Electric Warrior: Ken Steacy (Art) Kerri Ellison (Script)
  • Encore: Matt Rust
  • Gothic Glitter: Peter Hsu (Art) George Henderson (Script)
  • Dark Ninja: Vincent Marchesano
  • The Horror of Harrow House: Gene Day
  • The Astounding Origin of Kadaver Continued: James Waley
  • Child Slayer-World Saver?: Art Cooper (Art) James Waley (Script) Matt Rust (Script)
  • The Origin of the Northern Light Part One: Jim Craig (Art) Jim Craig (Script) James Waley (Script) and George Henderson (Script)
  • Space Scouts: Matt Rust

Orb 5 – January February 1976

  • One Man’s Madness: Gene Day (Art) T. Casey Brennan (Script)
  • Dark Ninja: Harbinger of Doom: Vincent Marchesano (Pencils) Bill Payne (Embellishments) Russell Wallace (Script)
  • Retribution: Gene Day (Script and pencils) Peter Hsu (Inks and tones) Matt Rust (Tones)
  • Man O’ Dreams: Don Marshall (Art) George Henderson (Script)
  • The Origin of the Northern Light Part 2: Dénouement: Jim Craig (Art) James Waley (Script) Matt Rust (Script)
  • Kadaver: My Will Be Done!: Art Cooper (Layouts) Jim Craig (Finishing) Matt Rust (Tones) James Waley (Script) Matt Rust (Script)
  • Back Cover: Don Marshall

Orb 6 – March April 1976

  • Cosmic Dancer: Jim Craig (Art) Augustine Funnell (Script)
  • Woof! Woof!: Matt Rust (Art) George Henderson (Script)
  • Gyk the Barbarian in Escape: John Sech (Script) Paul McCuscker (Pencils) Jim Craig (inks) Gene Day (Colours);
  • Trojan Horse: Gene Day
  • Dark Ninja in Dawn of Darkness: John Sech (Script) Vincent Marchesano (Pencils) Gene Day (Inks);
  • Flame of El-Hamman: Bill Payne (Art and letters) George Henderson (Script)
Read more

Andromeda (Comic)

1977. A great year for Canadian comics, but it’s about to get better as the beginnings of Volume 2, and I think the only volume, of Andromeda is released.  This sci-fi fantasy series was created at the peak of an era that produced many science fiction anthology magazines. While slightly more expensive to find online, there were only six issues ever published. Alternatively, you could probably find some cheaper ones in bargain bins at cons and shops. Interestingly, the publisher of the comic, Andromeda Publications, was owned by none other than Ron Van Leeuwen, or the well known and ever present Silver Snail Comics in downtown Toronto.

Ron has since left the comic business to become a chef and product marketer.  He specializes in reviewing and researching the best bread machines money can buy.  Look him up if you loved his work as a comic publisher – you may find his new stuff helpful as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andromeda arrived around the tail end of Canada’s Underground Comix era but the influence is apparent in many of the comics. Filled with mature comedy, the comics are of high quality and are for the most part printed in black and white.

It is important to note that Andromeda is not entirely Canadian. For example, the second issue features a story by Arthur C Clarke while the sixth issue is completely dedicated to the writings of Alan Dean Foster. Much of it is though, including production, writers and the earnest artists, a lot of them fresh from Sheridan. Andromeda features some of the best Canadian talent such as Ken Steacy, Dean Motter, Gene Day, Don Marshall and AE Van Vogt. There is also an exceptional adaptation from bpNichol. 

Here are the issue breakdowns.

Volume 2 No 1

  • Cover: John Allison
  • Back Cover: Paul Rivoche
  • Frontispiece: “Amber” by Robert MscIntyre
  • The Man Who Walked Home: James Tiptree (Original); John Allison (Adaptation); Jim Allison and Tony Meers (Artists)
  • The Escape and Pursuit of Jeanne d’Arc: Dean Motter (Writer and artist)
  • A Day At YGSRD’s: Jason Ross (Writer and artist)
  • CerebralSwamp: Don Marshall (Writer and artist)

Volume 2 No 2

  • Cover: Don Marshall
  • Back Cover: Dean Motter
  • Frontispiece: Robert MacIntyre
  • Contents: Paul Rivoche
  • Process: A.E. Van Vogt (Writer); Dean Motter (Artist)
  • The Hidden Diaries: Jeffrey Morgan (Writer); Ken Steacy (Artist)
  • Shawn of the Ruins: George Henderson (Writer); Gene Day and Jim Beveridge (Artists)
  • The Dark Side of the Moon: Tom Nesbitt and Nick Poliwko (Artists and Writers)

Volume 2 No 3

  • Cover and contents: Paul Rivoche
  • Back Cover: Don Marshall
  • Frontispiece: Rob MacIntyre
  • Wirely L. Wiremire: Tom Nesbitt
  • Exile of the Aeons: Arthur C. Clarke (Original); b.p. nichol (Adaptation); Paul Rivoche (Artist)
  • Here’s Mudin Yer Eye!: Don Marshall

Volume 2 No 4

  • Cover: Ramy Bar-Elan
  • Frontispiece: Rob MacIntyre
  • Contents: Paul Rivoche
  • Narrowland: Jack Vance (Original); b.p. nichol (Adaptation); Tom Nesbitt (Artist)
  • For Tomorrow We Die: Brian Lee and Marc Griffiths (Artists and Writers)
  • Space Stuff: Tom Nesbitt

Volume 2 No 5

  • Cover: John Allison
  • Frontipiece: Rob MacIntyre
  • Contents: Paul Rivoche
  • The Big Hunger: Walter M. Miller (Original); b.p. nichol (Adaptation); Tony Meers (Artist)
  • Klang Klang: Derek Carter
  • The Visit: Don Marshall
  • The Bellergon Version: b.p. nichol (writer); Tom Nesbitt (Artist)

Volume 2 No 6 – Alan Dean Foster Special Issue (All written work by him)

  • Cover: Tom Nesbitt
  • Contents: Ken Steacy
  • Back Cover: Peter Hsu
  • Why Johnny Can’t Speed: Peter Hsu (Artist)
  • Where Do You Get Those Ideas?: Paul Rivoche
  • The Metrognome: Tom Nesbitt
  • Thrust: Don Marshall
Read more